The combined packs of Ongoliant and the Islandeers launch the assault on Mister Savings. Gunner leads the strike from the rooftop entrance, but is ambushed by not just another werewolf, but one packing a shotgun loaded with silver slugs. He falls from the ladder he was descending, and is engulfed by Death Rage as he tears into his foe….
Samuel and Asshole run the frontal strike, and Asshole’s proves to be capable with a gun as he dispatches numerous humanform Sziraku while Samuel makes a rare display of his shapeshifting abilities and fights in Urshul form. River backs them up and eventually shreds a hybridform locust host which was waiting in ambush behind the deli counter.
Felix and John Crow lead the rear guard assaulting from the loading dock, and have a lot on their hands when they enter the stocking area to find Gunner raging out of control, and two werewolves leading the Sziraku swarm. John Crow almost meets his end trapped in the monsterous jaws of an Urhan-form, but tears its throat out even as he was about to be eaten himself. Gunner flails about, his normal fighting prowess somehow suppressed by the fury within. Eventually he succumbs to his wounds and flees in terror, but the sight of the full moon burning down on him from the night sky rekindles his rage and he charges back into the fray. Both werewolf and locust hosts are slain by the packs, and Gunner is subdued before he manages to harm any of his bretheren.
Having cleared out the hideout, the packs look for what clues they can find. Samuel discovers a makeshift shrine to Bhalphegor, Maeljin prince of Gluttony; which can only mean that their opposition were Bale Hounds, werewolves who have forsaken their connection to Luna in favor to service to one of the great Evils Incarnate of the places beyond Shadow. The swarm’s search pattern is also mapped out on a map of Peoria they find – each night the circle grows bigger as the swarm expands from the bounty of the night before. However, they can find no additional clues as to what the “orphan’s crop” is. The bodies are disposed of and the pack leaves for the night.
Two days later, local news reports that it was a hoax all along. Local self-appointed activist Ethan d’Angelo haltingly reads a statement to the press after turning himself in, confessing to sneaking into fields at night to stage the “blight” patches as a way of drawing attention to the supposed unethical practices of the major agribusiness firms.