Awaking from the previous nights revels, the Baron stumbles from his bed. Conan is unused to such quantities or types of liquor and now has a rather bad headache as a result. He chafes at his incarceration and wishes to flee, but at the moment his coerced partnership in this endeavor is rankling. Not wishing to have to fight an entire army, he rightly assumes is the more prudent track to follow. But is allowing himself a few too many nights of excess out of sheer boredom.
However this is not to last, days of politicking and nights of drinking. Something is amiss in the Varikiel Marshes, a request of aid from Baron Ulf, and also the places they sent Ludya the serving girl back too. Conan wishes to check up on her and so he opts to go with the army. It isn't long before Conan gets his wish, as soon the destruction is apparent on the landscape around them. Some vast force is roving across the landscape burning and pillaging and leaving none alive.
Before long Conan realizes he must give battle to this force, apparently some sort of Set worshiping cult, and so has his "vassal" give a lengthy oratory to his troops and to that of another allied Baron explaining what they might be facing. For the following day he aims to fight and if he can, win against this pervasive force acting against the Nemedians.
The next day as the army marches eastward they come across a party of raving madmen, one is the former Baron Ulf whom they had initially come to find. He's been mutated and mutilated and is raving mad with the corruption of the Serpent Plague. He manages to regain just enough strength to warn them of an ambush and tell them where to find the priest of set responsible. In the ensuing chaos following this a number of soldiers are killed, including the girl that Conan had rescued twice earlier on. It's beginning to look a bit bleak for Conan's prospects at the moment. But he will fight on, and get what vengeance he can buy