The motley dares to venture into the Deep Dreaming.
"Games are supposed to be fun, but when you get competitive, fun takes a backseat to winning. When we decide to take the next step, we find the fun on another level."
As Sophia and Braum leave Talus' dream, they catch Patches up on what they learned there. While they didn't necessarily find a way forward to the gates of Arcadia, they did learn that the dream portends struggle for them and the satyr: it may not mean success, but it doesn't necessarily predict failure either.
Braum notices Kaylie's respect for, and dedication to, Sophia. While he isn't necessarily angry, he is a bit concerned that their best warrior seems to be taking orders only from the sidhe. As they move forward, Patches notices that those in front seem to race off into the distance, as the space behind them becomes shorter. Braum suggests that perhaps they are moving through time as well as space, but it's hard to know whether they are making progress. When Talus asks about their goal, Sophia tells him that they are still committed to finding Arcadia; suddenly, the end of the forest appears. The two cloaked figures are there again, not blocking the way forward, but definitely in front of a swirling vortex, the colour of Sophia's hair.
The figures ask what they would each give up to get to Arcadia: Patches takes it as a threat, and rolls her eyes at the figures. "You're taking bribes to get in… I guess the Deep Dreaming is still a capitalist system!" The figures deny this interpretation, saying that they are only guides that hope to warn them about the dangers beyond. They need to divest themselves of "the old world", figure out what they would sacrifice… and that Kaylie cannot go. The motley is shocked, but eventually understand that only creatures of the Dreaming can move beyond. Braum struggles to come up with an appropriate sacrifice: he feels that he would give up anything, as he has done in the past, but not his family, his strength, or his love: what's left after that? Patches, for her part, strips off her tool belt, her chimerical rifle, and all other physical vestiges of the world. Sophia also comes to a realization: the sidhe who was so dedicated to doing anything and everything to save Talus now realizes she does not wish to sacrifice anything to leave the world behind. As an Autumn Sidhe, she finally understands what it means to have "stayed behind" when the Arcadian sidhe fled.
Talus steps forward and offers to sacrifice those who ventured with him. Before anyone else can react, Patches grabs the satyr by the scruff of his neck and drags him back. She berates him for his choice of words, urging him to be better: "You cannot sacrifice us. Sacrifice something that is yours!" Talus is cowed for a moment, until suddenly a fire erupts in the forest behind them. Kaylie urges Sophia forward, promising to return to the Somnambulist safely; one by one they cross through the portal, and watch as the large hooded figure takes Kaylie away. Faintly, they hear the figure offering to take her away "into the dark", and she follows… as she has longed to do forever.
They four find themselves in the Deep Dreaming, standing in a small pool of water in front of a glittering geode. The four have all inhabited their Fae seemings completely: Sophia floats above the ground; Braum has become 3 stories tall; Patches eyes glow with the knowledge that she can fix absolutely anything; and Talus is surrounded by feelings of passion as he stares deep into their souls. All four Fae find themselves with incredibly powerful Remembrance here in the Deep Dreaming, and it pulls them to their knees with the sheer force of it. They begin to move towards the cave, and meet images of Kyoko and Ramzia along the way. They each ask the group to name them, and thank the Kithain as they vanish.
In the geode cave, a figure approaches them: Starlight Dove tells them that she has made her home here for a long time, a "troll's oath" of time. She has been here for so long, she tells them, because she promised to protect someone who is lost here, a woman who knows many things. Starlight Dove asks each in turn who they are, and confirms that, despite their remembrance, they are still the Fae that they know themselves to be. When Talus goes to name himself, his sigil burns through his clothes and chokes him. When Patches and Sophia asks Starlight Dove about Talus' previous self, Quiet Word, the Sidereal is confused: the man she knew simply disappeared. Maybe she won't be able to help… but she can at least offer them hospitality, as an invisible servant brings them a tray of pork buns.