Taggart, waking from a night with Shiloh, noticed she was agitated and upset. Despite trying to pry the answer from her, Shiloh insisted it was just the remnants of a dream, and left. They departed shortly thereafter for the Stormspire, aided by Zephyr, a Huraka sent by Kireeki. Sabah was nowhere to be found.
After several nights of seeing Shiloh sleep poorly, Taggart called her to the crow’s nest and attempted again to wrestle the reason out of her. After some assurances that nothing bad will come of it, Shiloh reveals that she has been receiving nightly visitations in her dreams from Burning Feather, in which she and Burning Feather have sex and Shiloh cannot remember Taggart until she wakes. Taggart assures her that this is not her fault and that she is not angry, instilling a minor principle of “Taggart won’t judge me” in Shiloh. It seems only partially successful, but Shiloh later claims to have made peace with it. Taggart also begins conducting nightly prayers to Burning Feather, asking her to stop, but these appear to have no effect. Near the Stormspire, they encounter Sabah, who has shanghaied a ship of slavers as a gift to Taggart. Taggart, posing as a Terrestrial, ushers the sailors below to free up the slaves and barricade themselves in the hold. She then does mock battle with Sabah in view of the captain and the freed slaves, before ushering the Captain below and telling him not to exit until he hears her give the password ‘Forgotten Kingdom’.
Path Ascendant, meanwhile, enters the temple, where he finds a poem written in Old Realm and a diorama of corpses. The thrust of the poem is that the gods have chained humanity to their will with prayer, and that the gods must be thrown down and destroyed. As he arrives, a freed slave is about to sacrifice the high priestess of Pyris to the volcano. He also finds an animate mannequin, who claims to be an Abyssal Exalt. She also claims to want to help him cast down the gods, and assures him that he has the power to defeat Pyris- and to do anything he wants, or so she claims. Seeking guidance, he calls upon Chord Euphonic, who immediately attacks the Abyssal in spite of Path Ascendant’s protests. The two fight, with Chord Euphonic briefly gaining the upper hand when the Path Ascendant calls for order and distracts the Abyssal. When he successfully manages to get Chord to halt her attack, the Abyssal vanishes into a portal formed in a pool of blood.
Chord Euphonic then berates Path Ascendant for A) talking to an Abyssal instead of killing it, and B) praying to Benecera without her explicit go-ahead. Apparently, doing so has made it so that the Path Ascendant can no longer escape the notice of Heaven or the world at large, and that it is only a matter of time before his status as a Solar is outed. She vows to help him contain the damage as long as she can, but says that she doesn’t know how long it will hold up.
Meanwhile, Granite returns to his village to find it being menaced by a monster, which has- among other things- claimed his father’s leg. He crafts a replacement out of pumice before setting out to find the remains of the sword given to him by his master. Along the way, he finds the monster- a blood ape- and attacks it. A fight ensues in which he breaks the monster’s arm and chases it into the forest, stumbling upon an altar which has seemingly not been used for a while. The blood ape heads up a tree, Granite does not follow and instead travels on to the nearby mining town of Thunder Falls.
Once in Thunder Falls, Granite breaks up a bar fight, drinks some beer, and then makes to the three nearby mining companies- Bountiful Jade Mining Company, Lucky Cat Coal Mining, and Shining Silver Ore. After briefly interrogating the owner of Lucky Cat Coal, he speaks with the owner of Bountiful Jade Mining Co, also named Bountiful Jade, and is taken inside the mine. There, he is attacked in the darkness by five ghosts.