Jorek meets with the mysterious Magistrate, who has an interesting proposition for him. Val tries to uncover the truth about the arena fire. Ember and Rey get closer.


The Circle settles down for the night, Valeria tending to Ember’s wounds and her own injuries before reading her letter from home. Rey and Val talk a little, and read the note left with the spear in the Armoury – it is an address.

In the morning they discuss the events of the night past, and Jorek prepares to meet the Magistrate. Summer Blaze opts to go with him, so as to not leave anyone travelling alone, and Val (after the suggestion of wearing a disguise) dresses plainly and also joins them.

Rey stays behind at the Manse, fearful of being recognized after exposing her aura.

In town, Val is dropped off at the site of last night’s fire, where she begins speaking with the locals, gathering word of an Angel having visited the site last night to heal everyone.

Jorek meets with the Magistrate, where he senses her interest in using him for her own benefit, and digs deeper to discover that she may want to use the solars as well. She asks him for weapons enough for an army, and the soldiers to go with, offering her Money, Body, or Soul in exchange should he need them.

Rey exercises to pass the time, until Ember finally awakes, and they begin to talk. Ember reveals that he and Summer Blaze have a brother who lives back home and is not Exalted. Ember mentions that his brother’s feelings of inferiority mirrors how he feels towards Rey, whose powers will keep growing with each passing day. Meanwhile, their invisible servant (who’s been named Roomba) begins building another bed.

Valeria asks a trustworthy-seeming individual where she might find a square to stand and tell a story, and (after assuring him that she isn’t being paid by anyone) is led to a secret Bazaar.

Jorek declines the Magistrate’s offer, and departs after attempting to instill an intimacy towards him.

After some more talking (which contains light to moderate flirtation) Ember rises, and heads into the bathroom, opening the door to say one more thing to Rey, then leaving the door ajar as he takes his bath.

Valeria tells a story at the bazaar, attempting to instill passers-by with an intimacy of doing one good thing can lead to more good. Once finished, she purchase some paper and ink, and returns to the site of the fire.

Jorek meets Val, and they head off to the address indicated on the note – it is a simple, run-down building with several apartments. Not having an apartment indicated, Val writes a note and leaves it at the front door of the building.

Rey offers to help Ember, because he’s hurt, then embarrasedly suggests maybe she should get Roomba to help instead, but Ember stops her, and convinces her to stay. She begins massaging his back, and he tells her of how he felt seeing her anima flaring last night.

As Jorek and Val discuss how to pass the time waiting, the notecard disappears, they feel a small rumbling under their feet, and a few minutes later the reappears, with no change except some dirt. Val decides to circle the building looking for a storm cellar, and finds one. They head below, Val glowing her caste mark to use as a light. They come upon an underground river, and follow a path along the banks to a lighted area by a large rock.

Rey and Ember speak about how they deal with their stress and combat injuries, both saying that even with Exalted powers it’s important to hold on to things that ground you. Ember looks up at Rey. After a moment of hesitation, she kisses him.

Just as Val begins trying to move the rock, Starlight Dove appears, to tell a story of how this river was found (the spear left in the Armory has ties to this location) and how if the rock were moved it would likely destroy the building above, and so it hadn’t been moved in the past despite a flood, which drowned a team of engineers and architects preparing to take advantage of the fresh water source. Val expresses her frustration with being led to the brink of causing a disaster, and Starlight Dove suggests that Val is being petulant. After some harsh words, Val turns away and suggests Jorek will be more civil. He is, but she nevertheless declares that she won’t be seeing them for a while, though at least someone amongst them is finding Serenity…

Ember releases a breath.

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