Finally rounding the door to the dining hall, Málean tries to get an overview of the situation. He lifts the Thunder Cane to his cheek and looks for a clear shot toward the lord's attackers.
The ogre—who has been distracted for so long with his laughter from Terrence's puppet—finally comes to his senses and climbs to his feet. The beast begins to flail about, striking down those standing around him as he advances toward the group surrounding the unconscious High Lord Fennix.
At the sight of the hulking shape coming toward the High Lord, Málean takes aim and fires toward the ogre. An ear-splitting crack reverberates through the dining hall. Málean waves away the steam rising from the side of the receiver not pressed against his cheek and from the barrel mouth. He squints through the fog lightly obscuring his vision, his heart beating fast with anxiety and with all the blood and chaos; also, this was his first chance to see how his invention would fare in real combat! Then he sees it: a massive gaping wound in the ogre's thigh. The hole hemorrhages blood in gushes and spurts.
In a dangerous political climate, several expeditions are made to the infamous Wilds in hopes of expanding the country, Urbane, and avoiding an all out civil war. But, when the lord in charge of the excursions is almost assassinated, tensions increase and put new pressures on the brave explorers.