The party splits to cover more objectives quickly. Bombik and Slim head to the Neocognomina, where they undergo blood tests and a zone of truth to make sure they are who they say they are. Bombik goes into a psychoscope which shows him the truth of what he did those many months ago. He knew Qadmon was lying to some extent, and followed along anyhow, out of fear and curiosity.
While Bombik recuperates, Eldairen sneaks down to Bombik’s old laboratory in order to find what he can about Bombik’s theoarcana converter. Slim tails him and calls him out, ultimately making him give up his goods.
Bombik’s recollection of the events and the information he had accumulated building the first one makes him realize just what he will need to undo it. As the theoarcana converter had a sphere of annihilation—a magical artifact of pure destruction—to undo it they will need an artifact of pure creation. The best option is The First Light, which was the only light to exist in the universe before Rovagug’s destruction and binding. It is the key to freeing Rovagug, and it is currently owned by Asmodeus, in Hell.
Meanwhile, at the Keep of the Seal, Palio and Kisasi realize something has gone wrong as the people all treat Kisasi as if he is a paladin, and do not recognize Palio. Kisasi is given the honorific of First Blade. Cassamyr is in charge of the building and completely coherent, and does not recognize that his holy sword is the exact same wooden toy sword he had given Palio over a decade earlier. Even the books have all gone blank. As they investigate further, they find out that the wardstones that keep out the energies of the Rift have been destroyed. They enter the basement and face down demons that have taken root there. One of the demons mocks Palio and claims that the paladin order’s own leader has fallen prey to them.
After the wardstones are in the process of being repaired, things start heading back to normal. Palio learns about the real leader of this building, Tartellagio, taking five hundred men into Solacium and vanishing. He and Kisasi leave with ten low-ranking paladins at their side.