The research into Dauntains arrives, and not a moment too soon.
"I think the moment I live for in games is when you shift into the mid-game."
With nothing reported from Abford Pharma, and Jack on his way into town, the motley decide that the time is ripe to explore Patches' dreams for potential links to their previous selves. In her dream, Sophia and Braum find themselves on a riverbank next to a small village, with children playing the water. One child they approach tells them that this is simply "The River", but when they ask him where he comes from, he tells them that he "never grows up", and reveals that he is dead… disemboweled. "She brought us here," he tells them. "She's in that building."
The two follow the child's instructions into a large building on the bank of the river: inside, there are dozens of people surrounding a massive table, pushing troops around a map. Sitting on a dais above the room, on what can only be described as a throne, is Patches, although she seems to be superimposed on top of another woman with dark hair and a commanding presence, the same as in Braum's dream. She tells them that even though she is adept as a healer, it is not her who heals those who need cleansing… it is the Unconquered Sun! Valeria says that she has made part of her life's work bringing those who have fallen to the gates of Yu Shan, where the Unconquered Sun cleanses and restores them to the light. "If you can earn your way into heaven, you could meet him too," she tells them. "Perhaps you have an equivalent to the Sun in your world?" Before Braum and Sophia take their leave, Valeria is very clear in calling out Braum: "Not all agree that in order to save many lives, you have to destroy one from time to time."
The three leave Patches' dream to ponder the meaning of it. Sophia isn't too impressed: despite the fact that they were able to get to the heart of the matter very quickly and interact with Patches' previous self, she tells the others that she already knew they would have to get to Arcadia. "If someone was going to figure out a way back, they would have done it already!"
The Crystal Circle piskie Jack arrives in the Exhaust, bringing with him a huge number of documents pertaining to Dauntains past and present. He is up front with Sophia about his concern for their plan, but she reassures him that they are trying to do something ambitious to truly help their once-friend. Braum approaches Incisor to ask whether she has reason to distrust Jack, and accidentally implies that he and Sophia may well have been together. This sends the redcap into a murderous rage as she slams out into the garden, frightening Kyoko and tearing branches off a tree. As Braum tries to come to grips with what he said and tries to explain it to Sophia, Claude learns that Talus has awoken; it looks like Jack's research arrived right on time. Patches and Claude set off to retrieve the Dauntain and bring him back to The Spark to keep an eye on him. At Claude's wife's house, Patches is put off to see the boggan treat his wife so disdainfully, and he makes a big show of ordering the nocker not to speak to her. In the basement, Claude unbinds Talus from his cold iron chains, sticking something in his back to force him to accompany them back to the Spark. Once there, Claude infuses Patches with a burst of Glamour, and the satyr comments that she is "brave… I hope that's what they remember about you."
As Braum studies the documents on Dauntain, learning that they all have a strange brand much like Talus', Sophia sits down with Kyoko. The pooka is on the verge of running away from the Spark, believing that her being with them has impeded their success. Sophia reassures Kyoko that she is valuable, and that they love her, but the pooka only tells her that it's important they see her dreams tonight: she once swore an oath with herself that she thinks the rest of them should see.
In the dungeon, Talus asks for Sophia to play for him again, and tells Braum that at Tara-Nar, he almost "fixed everything", suggesting a possible motive. Incisor takes off to go thrashing, blocked by Sophia from guarding Talus, as she doesn't feel Incisor can be trusted at the moment.
That night, Sophia, Patches, and Braum enter an anxious Kyoko's dreams. Four different Kyokos are running a relay race, and one approaches each member of the motley to hand over their baton. The fourth Kyoko approaches a running Talus, and, kneeling, offers him her baton, which he callously tosses away. The motley learn that Kyoko has always had a bond with Talus, one which she may have well wanted to keep hidden….