After a rest at the Armory, the Trade Union discusses potential Hospital contact with the local Battlemen. They learn the name of Carniclave, and of the Armory’s ally Doctor Aspirus Fetch. Learning that the undead “Shrouder” troops are active only at night, the group decides to approach via the front entrance, by way of the northeast district where the Remnants are still a danger. Hinge reasons that if they are able to lay a few Remnants low along the way, it will be good progress — and fighting the enemy of a potential friend has continually proved to be a good introduction.
The group cases the edge of the district; a turtle motif is common in the sculpture of the area, and they note signs of occupation (such as a number of blocked sewer entrances). The plan is to set an ambush in a likely spot, and have Peluma sneak ahead and draw a small band of Remnants back to it. It’s a partial success — the crossroads they choose for the ambush give a nice tactical edge, with Dewlian and Sym able to snipe from above, but more Remnants than they’d bargained for come calling. The fastest of Peluma’s pursuers are a band of Gutterherd goat-men, and most of them fall quickly, but the largest hold on long enough for reinforcements to arrive: a pair of orc javelineers who impale Hinge, a massive and clearly deranged orc with an immense axe, and a somewhat more lucid-seeming human. Sym holds the high ground; Peluma is badly injured by one of the larger Gutterherd but takes her revenge; and Dewlian pours the power of the city into its clockwork guardian, keeping Hinge in the fight long enough to finish several of their opponents. One of the javelin-throwing Remnants is able to escape, but the rest are finished, and Hinge takes the body of the human along to the Hospital.
The hulking Orderlies standing guard at the main entrance summon the first Doctor contact, a white-clad fellow named Fintleroy. Fintleroy agrees to introduce them to Doctor Carniclave, and takes them up to the head Doctor’s office. The crotchety Carniclave and Sym take an immediate (and understandable) dislike to one another, but Dewlian is able to expertly defuse the situation and keep the conversation on track. Carniclave provides some of his perspective on the current state of Central Tanglestone, but clarifies that if the Trade Union wants the help of the Shrouders, they’ll have to negotiate with Morovius down in the Morgue. The group leaves the Doctors, Dewlian and Peluma leaving blood samples with Doctor Stethetta at Carniclave’s request, and descend into the Hospital’s underlevels.
They’re met by the Resurrectionist Sandgrief, who escorts them to Morovius’ operating theater, participating in some chat along the way. Morovius engages them with rather frank discussion as he dissects an ogre corpse, one that he admits was recovered from the Candelabrum district after the Trade Union’s visit. He talks about the practicality of the loan of Shrouder troops, mentioning that the recent Remnant corpses provided may generate a sufficient surplus to hold the area between the Hospital and the wall, even if it does drain their supplies somewhat. He also hints at further tasks of “procurement,” and with the Trade Union offering their support in such matters, the conversation ends on a promising note of tenuous alliance.