The evening started out with the group discussing what to do next. After defeating the Topka Empire’s small expeditionary force and capturing the gatling gun, the group was uncertain about the best course to deal with the expected retribution and invasion. The four main options seemed to be:
- Build up the town’s defenses and deal with it as best they could.
- Scout out the Topka Empire to learn as much as they could
- Rally the nearby independent villages into some sort of federation
- Make an alliance with the nearby tribe of Grayskins
After much discussion, it was decided to pursue the Grayskins option. Earl McClintok, who had just learned their language, spoke with the prisoner and asked questions about the Grayskins and if negotiation was an option. What they learned was:
- The Grayskins are a matriarchy with each tribe led by one High Priestess
- The grayskins are a collection of tribes, largely independent but capable of cooperating when needed
- The grayskins worship a goddess named Ondwa; the human women who were taken were meant as a sacrifice for Ondwa, and thus the grayskins did not see them as having been murdered
- The prisoner could not say if the grayskins ever cooperated with humans in the past, since he was male and thus outside of the ruling group, but he did indicate that these humans were the first he had ever seen.
Earl McClintok decided to release the prisoner with the message for the High Priestess. He offered to meet to discuss a truce at a open area in the forest that the prisoner described to them.
The next day, as planned, the group arrived at a clearing that was roughly 60 feet in diameter. Earl was there as spokesperson, with Fisher, Steve, Alysa, and an extra from the village as backup. The High Priestess was there with four of her warriors. Earl and the High Priestess, who introduced herself and Hanai, spoke for a few minutes, but then arrows came out of the forest behind the group targeting the other members. A brief battle ensued, but the ambush put the group in a very bad position (and the villager was killed), so Fisher (after being heavily wounded) produced a smoke bomb and the group fled.