So yes - I think its a safe assumption that if Jillian hadn't been involved, the stack wouldn't have been found.
That's fine. I don't agree. The RCC would have had Jillian's forces without Jillian. They had Archons. They could have hired more Archons. They had bats. They could have gotten the job done with or without Jillian.
I don't disagree with that.
BUT : If Jillian hadn't been there, the Archons, Jillian's group, etc. would have been with Webinar. They wouldn't have gone near the lake. They would have stayed near the Siege columns.
Vinny had bats, yes. But Vinny wasn't randomly sending them out, looking for that stack. Vinny was giving Ansom "The Flight" and "The Stand" plans. Yes, he had sent one to the hex they thought they were in, Ansom decided it was Foolamancy, and they charged in. There was no sign whatsoever they were even considering sending more bats. They didn't know about the lake. It was a non-issue.
And as for more Archons : I really doubt that. If hiring more Archons was easy and viable, Vinny would have had a Plan C : "Hire more Archons - enough to protect our stack."
So where are you going with this?
My point was I believe they would have been just fine without Jillian there.
Vinny gave Ansom The Flight and The Stand plans, and Ansom chose to scout instead. I'm saying that I believe Ansom would have scouted regardless of whether or not Jillian was there. And scouting means scouting, it doesn't mean 'Hey Webinar, I'm going to tell you to scout but you should completely ignore me and stay by the siege mmkay?'.
I believe Ansom would have made the same decision. There are a lot of variables in the process after that. But they knew where to scout and had the forces to do it, so I think they would have been fine. We can't be SURE what would have happened, but my point is they had a good chance of being just fine without Jillian.
And hiring Archons did seem pretty trivial to me. Ansom did so when he needed to later on when he got into trouble with no problem whatsoever. They were in the area, they could've been hired. Whether or not Ansom would have thought of it without Vinny's help, or whether he would have wanted to agree to Charle's terms at that point is a different matter.