That evening Finn is summoned to the chambers of Estal Donge who has chosen him to be her latest lover. Presumably she is not disappointed in his performance, as she speaks up for the heroes at the law court of the the Prince the next day. Gordius Silverus argues that a crucifixion would make a good example of these lawbreakers, but is overruled.
While the heroes are arguing their case, the proceedings are disrupted by Ordo Gordangarsson who has come to Boldhome to make his own attempt to the steal the Red Hands of Hofstaring. He is accompanied by Zara and Kronin, who were dispatched by Ordos father Gordangar Kenstrelsson to keep him out of trouble. Ordo did not have permission to come to Boldhome and has taken The Iron Cardinals Egg without permission, planning to present it to Prince Temertain as a gift. Esra manages to use the power of Ernalda to sway the minds of men and prevents Ordo from giving away a magical treasure for little return. The business of the court is concluded with the heroes being forgiven by Prince Temertain and are allowed to stay in the palace until the banquet of Victory, when the Red Hands will be out in public.
Having five days before the banquet, the heroes endeavour to locate the Red Hands somewhere in the palace. Having learnt that they are kept in the vaults and that the key is kept by the Dish thane of the palace, a woman called Berra Stone. Kronin manages to get the key off Berra by groping her “accidentally”.
Deep in the palace vaults, the heroes locate a huge stone and iron chest, probably of Dwarven manufacture. The lock is made of iron and seems almost impossible to pick, Esra tries to summon a Talosi, an earth elemental to swallow the chest but the solid rock and Dwarf magic that built the palace defeat her. The heroes realise they will need a different plan.
While Finn carries on his illicit affair with Estal over the next few days, the heroes make their plans for the night of the banquet. While the others attend the banquet, Esra and Kronin will lie in wait in the vault. Come the night of the banquet, everyone present is required to take an oath of hospitality. Daranestra and Zara manage to give a non-binding oath and Finn produces an astonishing amount of legal gibberish that no mortal could possibly decipher.
Esra and Kronin see the the hands removed from the vault by palace servants and two of Temertains Telmori bodyguards, they await their return later in the evening. Meanwhile, the other heroes find themselves seated at the same table as Redbird who they last met in Jonstown. He seems disappointed that Esra is not at the table and he mentions the The Eye of the Halfbird.
Slowly the banquet winds to a close and the heroes in the vault await the return of the hands. But they are not brought back! Quickly regrouping, it is decided that the hands have probably been taken to the apartments of the Prince. Luckily, Finn has a good idea where these are.
Everyone except Esra sneaks through the palace and after quickly subduing the only guard the heroes break into the Princes apartments. Kronin sneaks around like his god Yinkin, finds the key for the Princes strongbox and removes the hands. Everyone manages to exit the palace without raising any alarms.
The next day the Lunar authorities do not seem to be making a big effort to recover the hands once the theft is discovered and the heroes manage to leave Boldhome without incident. On the road back to Orlmarth lands, they meet Branduan Hodirson. He offers friendship to the heroes and proposes they share their resources, including the Red Hands. He is rebuffed and leaves in a foul mood.
Once they have reported back to their clan elders and chief, the heroes travel to Clearwine to see King Kangharl Kagrudsson. Although he seems angry and informs them that they are now outlawed in Boldhome, skilful negotiation and flattery mollify him into supporting the heroes against the Greydogs. He even offers to lend a few of his huscarls if “strong action” is called for.
Finally, the heroes travel to Greenstone temple to present Ernalsulva Entariosdottir with the stolen hands of her dead father. She is impressed that the heroes accomplished this without causing any deaths. She then issues her second impossible task.
“In the Upland Marsh is a great heirloom that once belonged to my ancestors. It was taken by a turbulent hero who lost it to the Taker and Waster, the Emperor of the Marsh. So here is my second challenge: bring me my ancestors sword. Bring me Wrath, the sword of Indrodar Greydog. It was lost at the Howling Tower. You must bring it back to me”.