Pursuing leads on Broken Flight ends in joy and tragedy.
"Sometimes the best part of a game is moving towards inevitability."
As Sophia and Patches rest by the balefire, Braum keeps his word to Halleah and deactivates The Spark's defence matrix for just long enough to allow her to leave. Seeing no trace of her in the garden, Braum returns to tend to a promise of his own, and guards Cog's door as he sleeps.
The next morning, Patches is quick to notice that the defence matrix will run out of power far sooner than expected, caused no doubt by someone turning the matrix off and on. Checking the security footage, she confronts Braum with his betrayal. The troll is honest with his motley, explaining that he cannot condemn Halleah for needing to keep her oaths: "it is who we are," he tells them. Patches explodes at him for putting them all at risk, for not seeing how easy it would have been for her to escape sooner, for letting an enemy escape, for being a traitor to the crown, and for breaking her trust. Braum is heartbroken, telling his motley mates that he is having a crisis of faith: if he of all people can't choose justice over mercy, what can he do in this war? Sophia tries to break up the argument, insisting that she doesn't want "us" to end up "like them".
Sophia invites Sir Xaeron along to Caer Frost in Saskatoon, the court of Queen Laurel. When Sir Xaeron tries to avoid mention of Laurel by telling Sophia of a dream he had, she is quick to discover that her lover and the Queen once had a history… of some kind. They fly out to Western Canada, hoping to learn more about Broken Flight's prophecy about the monarchy and the Long Winter.
Patches and Braum each stay behind, hoping to find those Kithain taken by Broken Flight here in Montreal. Patches revels in her craftsmanship by creating a chimerical gun as well as a miniature flashbang disguised as a makeup compact and a tracking device in a palette of eyeshadow. She provides one of each to Sophia and then heads off to the Royal Victoria Hospital in search of Zistor.
Braum, melancholy and adrift, takes a moment to open Patches' wedding gift intended to himself and Kyoko, discovering with awe that the nocker bought them a home! Braum thanks Patches by text, admitting how unworthy is feels in receiving such a gift now; Patches replies that the home is intended for "both of you… find her". Braum calls Lord MacAllistar to see if any further progress has been made on leads into Broken Flight. He reveals to his Golden Braid companion that Lady Helena was the intended recipient of a letter from Halleah, and asks him to keep her close, in case she is a target; he can't find it in his heart to believe she could possibly be a traitor. He also makes MacAllistar aware of their captive and his Geas, and receives confirmation that Halleah doesn't know how to Geas someone. He tries to raise Braum's spirits, although without much success.
Sophia and Xaeron are brought to Caer Frost by Fiadh, a Clurichaun in service to Queen Laurel: they discover a massive palace made completely of ice, translucent from the outside, but totally transparent from within. Sophia ducks into a powder room and meets a flamingo chimera, Klunk, that compliments her on her appearance and offers her a warm towel. They meet the Queen as she is making vegetable stock: the sidhe with electric blue hair is incredibly elegant, and possesses even more unearthly beauty than even Sophia! Noticing that both of her guests are injured, she serves them some of the stock as a Well of Life before bringing them to Caer Frost's library. There Sophia and Xaeron are presented with Broken Flight's prophecy in its original form. (For the entire prophecy, click here.) They agree that it seems pretty clear cut, but it definitely merits further study. After all, they don't want to "end up like Broken Flight" by jumping to assumptions! They are re-joined by Queen Laurel, who invites them to spend some time with her in her private sauna….
Back in Cross' Shadow, Patches fakes her Navy credentials to gain access to the hospital's security footage. She clearly sees Zistor Flexx carrying Sir Kenwyn outside, where he strangely pulls a box out of his pocket and faints. The hospital administrator confirms that Zistor was discharged two days ago, but Patches can't figure out where he went. She decides to follow the trail of the other figure who must have crawled off… and discovers a disenchanted Kenwyn huddled up in the tunnel connecting the hospital to the metro.
Braum pursues a lead provided to him by Talus: Halleah's old ironmonger, Bouchard, still works in Griffintown. While Braum's poor cover story doesn't convince Bouchard, he does learn that Halleah did indeed visit yesterday. He threatens the mortal, trying to convince him that Helleah isn't to be trusted. On his way out, Braum is suddenly struck by an overwhelming feeling of loss… almost exactly like the feeling he felt at Kay's death. The troll chooses not to resist but sinks down onto the curb, giving into the feeling that he's past his prime, a useless old man. A satyr approaches him, recognizing the knight, but instead of offering help, goads the troll: "you can't even save her!" Braum chases the satyr down the street, around a corner into an alleyway… and straight into a trap. As he tackles his aggressor to the ground, he feels the presence of a dozen archers bearing down on him. He takes a few arrows to the back, and then begins to accept his fate, chained by the satyr. Helleah appears and whispers to Braum to "go limp" while dislocating his shoulder. As Braum tries to break free, he is shot many times, collapsing on the ground, his vision going dark. He tries to reach out to Halleah, telling her that it's up to her to "make the right decisions", and to tell Kyoko about their new home. Helleah is furious that Braum is choosing to die like this; the troll can only shrug: "A life of glory and battle, and I end up dying in an alley, shot in the back." As he is about to give up, Halleah looks at him: "This is the moment…" She shoves a rice cake in his mouth, a Well of Life, providing him with the small bit of Glamour needed to roll out into the street and run, run towards the safety of the Spark….