Someone is lying. But who? And what is to be done with them?
“I know what’s going to happen…. And things will change. Someone will die.”
The standoff between Starlight Dove and Velvet over Quiet Word’s body continues. Valeria flatly states that, given their actions, she can no longer trust either Sidereal, a conviction echoed by Rey and Jorek. Just as the arrows fly from their bows, time rewinds and they are reset… Since they seem to be at an impasse, Valeria orders an end to it: “Either we leave or you do.” Jorek suggests that he may not be able to force them to adhere to promises, and Starlight Dove is surprised, chiding him to remember that he is a Lawgiver.
Jorek begins to investigate the crime scene, hoping to uncover something Valeria may have missed. Velvet tries again to win the Solars to her side by swearing that Starlight Dove has killed on of their circle, but since Three Fates Shadow had claimed something similar on the rooftop in Nexus, this is hardly news to the Solars. Jorek can see that the wounds that killed Quiet Word were indeed caused by Essence-infused strip of cloth, and that it seems Starlight Dove had opened Quiet Word’s bonds. Starlight Dove tells Velvet that their truce is finished. Jorek, still hoping to find a damning clue, builds on Starlight Dove’s suggestion and creates an oath: “Velvet will head west, Starlight Dove east for 5 leagues each, and then you’re free to do as you wish, but if either of you approaches us with malicious intent again, we will end you.” Trying to get Velvet to swear to the terms, he sees blood at the bottom of her robes; he uses Subtle Speech to indicate to the others that Velvet was the assailant, and Starlight Dove tosses him her powerbow, Final Beat.
Plucking it out of the air, Jorek immediately attunes to it, infusing it with Essence and firing at Quiet Word, who goes flying back through the wall. She is preparing some sort of spell as Rey grapples her, and Three Fates Shadow pours Essence into Valeria’s spear as she stabs up under Velvet’s ribs. Jorek approaches and, wishing they could have met under different circumstances, but that “this is your Final Beat”, fires point-blank into her heart.
When Valeria commits Velvet, she discovers that the Sidereal had Defining ties of both Daughterly Love and Animosity towards her mother, Starlight Dove, as well as the guiding principle: “I will ensure the Solar Exalted remain in their Jade prison forever.” Safe in the knowledge that they indeed eliminated an enemy, but struggling with their feelings of having killed again, the three part ways briefly. Valeria transfers Velvet’s daughterly love to Starlight Dove, who leaves, needing to grieve her daughter. The Zenith heads to Quiet Word’s body, recalling her history with war while committing the Twilight. She understands his tie of Fatherly Love for Sola, and also learns that he was defined by the principle: “If I can do something good for Creation that will last beyond my life, I will.”) Jorek speaks to Three Fates Shadow about balancing out fate, who cautions him that “Revenge is not the same as balance”. Rey, upstairs, hears the fluttering of wings: an owl approaches, landing on her head.
Coming back downstairs with the owl, the bird transforms into a Lunar with copper skin, dark hair, and large robes. She claims to have come all the way from the Mahalanka Library for Three Fates Shadow and introduces herself: She-Who-Knows-Ten-Thousand-Things, or 10K for short. Her curious interactions with Three Fates prompts Jorek & Rey to watch more closely. The Abyssal seems ashamed of her current appearance, and the Lunar has a Defining Tie of Unrequited Love for her! She-Who-Knows-Ten-Thousand-Things lives up to her namesake, having known all of the Solars in their previous incarnation (and Three Fates before being turned, when she was still a Night Caste).
The issue of how to deal with the deaths inside and army outside is discussed: using the Tepet seal on hand, 10K forges a letter on behalf of Tepet Flow Exultant ordering the army to finish the clean-up effort and head home, as he “had to leave with Quiet Word for a while”. Rey heads out to find out to whom this info should be passed on, and inadvertently ends up on a “date” with Philla, who buys her pork buns but just can’t sway Rey from Ember. Jorek and Three Fates are disguised while Valeria passes the letter on to the second-in-command, Luka.
The group reunite with Ember at the tea-shop, having had an eventful day himself, with Terrestrial missives for them to read. Valeria begins treating Jorek’s lost eye, although he makes it clear that he doesn’t yet want it back, as it stands as an important reminder of the day’s events. She-Who-Knows-Ten-Thousand-Things has a private word with Jorek: she wants to thank him for everything his past self had done for Three Fates, including giving his life for her; she is sorry that his body’s final resting place has become a sewer. Jorek realizes that the body of the Solar Exalted from the sewer in Nexus uncovered by Starlight Dove was, in fact, his previous self, and that he was potentially Three Fates Shadow’s brother! Spinning with this revelation, he pushes the Lunar for more: surprisingly, Speaks-of-Silence was bound not to him or to Val, but to a Twilight. And since the Circle is headed for the Blessed Isle, perhaps they should visit Rey’s mother… a Terrestrial Exalted!