The Trade Union is taken through the Grand Gate, a structure that seems as fortified as the Gaol; the Gatekeepers are fairly strong in number (by Tanglestone standards), and use a system of passwords to secure the area. Slicer Kout brings the group into a war council room to meet Jinra Targe and his dwarven adjutant Rattlescree.
Targe is receptive to the news they bring, and shares some of his knowledge of the situation of Central Tanglestone. He names the Baths, Gardens, Hospital, Scholarium, Museum and Hermitage as primary guild-clan points of strength; similarly, he describes the Remnants, Talons, Gutterherd and Stonemongers as standing threats. The Pyrologers seem to fit somewhere in between. Targe proves quite interested in the story of the Locksmith, and admits that he’s very interested in locating the Gatemaker’s current Apprentice, who might know something about the various gates that threats such as the Gutterherd have passed through. Though he can’t answer all of the curious Greystack’s questions, Targe allows the Librarian to go to the roof of the Grand Gate, where Dewlian sets a smoke flare to indicate to the northern Battlemen that things have gone well, and gazes on the colossus that guards the gate to the south.
Dewlian proposes that a Battleman delegate be sent back north with the Trade Union. Targe can see the wisdom of it, but states plainly that Rattlescree will not be “open-minded” enough to suit the Trade Union’s purpose, and that Kout, while…adventurous, would be potentially problematic if not given enough excitement. The group returns to the Armory shortly afterward and offers the same question to Taciter Plackart. Plackart is willing to dispatch her adjutant Picket, and mentions that the scroungers Cassitus Glaive and Corvery Bolt are volunteering as well. After some discussion, the group agrees to take Glaive and Bolt along. The two are quite excited, and after answering a few of Peluma’s questions about the Hermits, inquire about whether or not a gift would be politic. Peluma tells them that it’s not necessary, but the lesson doesn’t seem to take. The next morning, Bolt and Glaive have slipped out in search of some sort of offering. The group goes to pursue them, and encounters them fleeing, large gold tusk in hand, from an angered ogre with a bleeding jaw and his Remnant warband.
Once things are settled and the scrounged loot dropped off at the Armory, the six head north up the Wall. Bolt and Glaive are agreeably talkative, answering various questions about their experiences in the central city. At times, though, they seem almost hesitant to talk about the Gatekeepers, though they do their best to cover up any tension there.
Back in Northern Tanglestone, the Trade Union lets the Battlemen of the Fortress speak with Glaive and Bolt while they address the question of the Clock Tower’s next custodian. Over the next few days, they take Brackenflange, Vigardine Fell and Finecrafter Ratbait to the tower and assess which one might make the best Caretaker. All three seem to have the skills and the ability to set themselves apart from others, which leaves the question of empathy and ethics. After some debate, the group agrees to induct Finecrafter Ratbait. The halfling agrees to the position, and to the charge of helping them find a new “heart” for the inactive soulworked Hilt. After investigating Hinge’s innards to be certain of what he’s looking for, Ratbait vanishes into the Tower to do his research.