- The party run through the secret passageway, out of the safe-house, and through the streets- Loxodon appears as a brightly glowing, Moonsilver-tattooed man; Lady Bright Feathers is in her Beastwoman form; Tacitus appears as a normal-looking man; and Ryu is in his Beastman form as usual.
- Upon arriving at the Seven-Stranded Vine’s ‘abandoned’ teahouse, Loxodon hangs back so as not to directly associate the others with him, as Tacitus melds into the shadows, Ryu starts stealthily casing the place, and even Lady Bright Feathers succeeding in becoming unobtrusive to mortal gaze.
- Ryu detaches the lock from the front door without alerting anyone within, and he and Tacitus sneak inside. Both neatly avoid the people on watch-duty, and Ryu finds his way immediately to the room Kharyu is being kept in, quietly placing some explosives as he goes at strategic points. He finds her on a futon with another mortal girl, skillfully tosses a smoke grenade in the direction of the quietly-chatting, Gateway-playing cultists; and snatches up the apparently sleeping girls before escaping in the confusion.
- Meanwhile, Tacitus sees a guard and takes pre-emptive action, punching him and, when the guard moves to respond, transforming into scorpion-man form to knock him out before he can raise an alarm. Doing more damage than he intended, he quickly stabilises the hapless chap with bandages, before making his way to the room Ryu entered. Despite the smoke grenade, Tacitus succeeds in moving the cultists’ Gateway game along a few plays before following Ryu out at top speed, the explosives detonating cinematically behind them, damaging only architecture.
- In the street, a man spots the group, and recognises the other girl on Ryu’s shoulder- the man’s name is Corvus, and the girl is his ward and apprentice in the arts of thaumaturgy. He agrees to go with them away from the chaos, and Crouching Panther conjures the Cloud Trapeze for them and flies them post-haste to the entrance to his manse at the Thousand Dragons Gazebo.
- At the manse, Lady Bright Feathers immediately retires to her room, exhausted. The others discuss what they intend to do next, deciding to go to Salt-Founded Glory and help restore and/or ensure the stability of the Shore Lands. Crouching Panther agrees to go to Jade Plum Citadel to discern the state of the High Lands. Loxodon then meditates and talks with Corvus for a while, and when Corvus excuses himself to become better aquainted with Crouching Panther and his manse, Loxodon selects some hallucinogenic herbs from Crouching Panther’s garden and meditates through the night. Ryu works on a couple of craft projects in Lady Bright Feathers’ room (planning stages and suchlike so as not to disturb her!), and Tacitus does the same elsewhere. As time passes, Ryu leaves LBF’s room, and he and Tacitus work together on a brainwave that had occured to them simultaneously- the steam engine, to quicken their passage to Salt-Founded Glory! They work through the night.
- In the morning, the party (now including Corvus), with the two mortal girls, return to the Thousand Dragons Gazebo, purchase a boat from the nearest Guild trader (who slightly over-charges them), and Ryu and Tacitus fine-tune and install the steam engine. As they set off down the river, many gaze in awe and wonder at this strange contraption. The day passes uneventfully, as Loxodon smokes his herbs and ponders the necessary sacrifice he must make to initiate himself into the Sapphire Circle of Sorcery, and the others busy themselves with their own matters and helping the crew keep the boat in one piece and on course. Night falls..
In Which Kharyu is Rescued, and a Plan Formulated