Slim, Kisasi, Cathexis, and Bombik remain at Temenos Shrine for the night with Cassamyr. Gemyelt, the High Druid, gives each of them words of advice.
To Slim, she gives words of unity. To Bombik, words of redemption. To Cathexis, words of enigma. Kisasi, however, she claims is anathema to her for reasons she cannot understand.
She also reaches into Cassamyr, and sees something odd, then calls Slim over so he can also see it. She glimpses Cassamyr’s body hanging over a giant well of green liquid. Slim talks to Cathexis about it. Cathexis reads Cassamyr’s Moirae and realizes that the strand that was Cassamyr was severed and re-stitched. Each Cassamyr they see is essentially a projection of the real, captive Cassamyr, and each one has separate aspects of his personality. No one had noticed until now, and assumed he had simply gone mad.
By meditating on the problem, Cathexis realizes that a past incarnation knows exactly where Cassamyr is being held. He is in a mountain near Grailwarden and Severeign, the westernmost mountain of the Northern Crown. Within the mountain is the Vivus Well, the same place Aeschere found to create the Aeschenreia.
Bombik asked Vilkas Arcantell, the druid he’d rescued, to see what happened to the other Cassamyrs to the north.
Palio returned from the Keep of the Seal with information on the Redeemer of the Dark, one of the threats uttered by Onnahan’s illusions. He meets up with Odd and Ignatius in Crossroads and heads to Menneren. Odd has a meeting with the Seneschal of the Exultant, a man named Javier, in an attempt to create a presence for a merchant shop. She gets invited to a fancy ball the next night. Palio, meanwhile, talks to the Exultant’s daughter Septa, a paladin of Sarenrae. She tells him of the heavy corruption in the city and how her ill father is not providing proper leadership but no one can understand how to rid his mind of the disease.
The heroes reunite in the South Skein Inn in Menneren. KIsasi engages Palio’s help in trying to rescue his friend Vito from the grips of the Kardunia, the local mafia. Palio and Kisasi head down to a tavern near the docks. Slim goes down to the docks with them and gets a ship to Stygia, the Smerdyakov, led by an obitu named Ivan.
Meanwhile, Kisasi intimidates two Kardunia members into providing the location of a Kardunia safehouse. As they leave the tavern they’re jumped by three members of the Kardunia. Kisasi is knocked down, and has a brief flash of his body being covered in thick iron before knocking one of the foes prone.
They gather the other members of the group and head to the safehouse mentioned, where VIto and another Kardunia member are looking over paperwork. When Vito sees Kisasi, he’s stabbed by the other one, who is then knocked out and taken to the Brotherhood of Burden.
At the Brotherhood of Burden, he’s incarcerated. Bombik speaks about redemption with the Most Humble, Groth Tri-Tusk. Vito is spirited to Ignatius’s family manor and bribed to keep him safe.
They find out there will be a slave-trade going down in the Drowned Lands, a series of caverns that flood at high tide and empty out at low tide. This is especially strange as the slaves are being smuggled from Terund, where it’s legal, to Ravaillac, where it’s not. They sneak in early, kill the aboleths, and then hide most of the day.
When night comes and the tide goes low again, Bombik realizes the ones purchasing the slaves are Denizens of Leng, planar slave-merchants who use the slaves in their never-ending war against Leng Spiders. The pacts of Hell in Terund prevent planar outsiders who are not from Hell from interfering in Terundi affairs, so it took place as close to Terund as possible. The Denizens of Leng were paying the Kardunia money, but were going to provide alien magic to Derleth Dannibarr. Cathexis takes the scroll instead.
Two Denizens of Leng are slain, and one plane-shifts back to Leng. The slaves are rescued and one of the slavers is taken alive, to testify against the Kardunia at the ball.