After a surprising victory over the army and the Abyssals, the Solars attempt to tie up loose ends with some…unexpected results.
“There’s a big world out there… if you want to see it.”
The Circle (with Three Fates) double back to the Tepet army to retrieve Tide and Ember. They are concerned Exquisite Tide would be forced to return with the soldiers to the Blessed Isle, and Rey is worried about Ember. As they approach, Val’s majestic, radiant presence overwhelms the soldiers in Tide’s unit: she successfully persuades the contingent to stay behind in Nexus for a few days, as a rearguard. This buys the Circle some time and retains control of Tide.
Joined by Ember and Tide, the group heads into the city and are led to the mutinous airship sailor who was caught by the people of Nexus when he was thrown overboard: Tide and Rey send him scurrying back to the army with his tail between his legs.
The Solars are then brought to the crater where Infinite Dirge fell: piecing together minute details from the scene, Jorek’s essence allows him to determine that Sanguine looted Dirge and ran north. Furthermore, he discovers that Speaks-of-Silence and another woman took the body and headed west. Feeling that Speaks-of-Silence can take of herself, the Solars, Tide, Ember, and Three Fates set off in pursuit of Sanguine. Reaching a tributary of the river running through Nexus, Klem tells them that Sanguine is hiding in the river, dragging Dirge’s armor out of the city. Klem further impresses upon the Solars the need to heal her husband, saying he is “bleeding but alive”.
As the group heads along the bank of the river, Valeria ducks back into town to buy some goat as an offering for Klem: finding only goat cheese, she asks the merchant to procure her a goat as well (#ValBuysGoatCheese).
Discovering Sanguine, Tide freezes her inside a block of ice, lifting her onto the bank. Once she breaks free, surrounded by the group, it becomes clear she only trying to escape Nexus. Rey wants her to leave Infinite Dirge’s armor behind but Sanguine refuses. After much deliberation, the group decides to let her, and the armor, go.
After Sanguine’s departure, the cheese merchant arrives with a goat for Val. She offers the gift to Klem, who is insulted that a god could be expected to enjoy such trifles. This wounds Val’s pride, and she sullenly attempts to give the goat back to the merchant. At Rey’s behest, however, Ember repurchases it and “Totes” the Goat becomes their new companion.
Back in Nexus, Jorek is confronted by the Emissary: furious that the Council of Nine has been killed and their sanctified oath broken. Val calms him down, assuring him they will repair the broken city. The Emissary says he will meet them at the tea shop after Rey and Ember’s fight in about a week’s time, and they will speak some more.
Jorek uses his bureaucratic skills to slowly rebuild trade in Nexus. After setting those wheels in motion, everyone returns to the manse. Rey gives her father the goat to remind of his childhood on a farm; Jorek is wracked with guilt over having stolen Alvor’s papers from under his mattress and attempts to return them only to find they have vanished. He tries to apologize to Alvor, who makes no mention of the theft and instead thanks Jorek for his kindness to himself and Rey: “Thank you, my son.”
Outside the manse, Tide sits. Perched in a nearby tree, Starlight Dove watches, draws her bow, and takes aim.