Newly arrived in Yu-Shan, the party receives opportunities they did not expect.
“Heaven is real… floating on quicksilver high above Creation.”
The Circle enters Yu-Shan and sees the the beautiful Celestial city spread out in front of them, stretching as far as the eye can see. In the distance looms the giant Jade Pleasure Dome where the Incarnae play the Games of Divinity: Valeria knows that the Dome is their destination. As they begin to descend the stairs, an enormous Red Dragon approaches and snarls that the Circle defiles Yu-Shan with their presence. The Solars bow reverently and Ember drops to his knees, believing it to be the Elemental Dragon of Fire; Speaks-of-Silence, however, merely pushes it by the snout down the staircase as it morphs back into a small raccoon-like creature with human hands. The small goddess introduces herself as Leena, the deity of a city now buried beneath the waves, and tries to convince the Circle to take up her cause and restore her city. The Circle continues on, knowing they have more important things to do. When Leena pesters them again, Valeria suggests that perhaps Leena should reinvent herself and have a new city of Leena founded; the god gives her a coin as an apology and scampers off, terrified when Val mentions Discord’s presence at the gates of Yu-Shan.
At the bottom of the stairs, the bustle of Yu-Shan is all around as the Circle try to find transport to the Jade Pleasure Dome. Speaking to a young man giving away what appears to be lemonade, they learn that he is the god of that drink, found only in a small cave in the very north of Creation, with a taste like “sunbeam striking a bowl of fruit”, and made with starlight. They christen the god Shine, and he offers to help them find one of the Chosen of the Five Maidens in Yu-Shan to aid them, even though he believes their quest is foolish. At that moment, a tiger pulling a large robin’s egg like a carriage pulls up and offers them a ride several days north in exchange for a story. Valeria is quick to tell him the “legend” of Three Fates Saved, Chosen of the Unconquered Sun who, in a moment of weakness, was corrupted and eventually re-Exalted. The tiger thanks them for payment and delivers them to a huge building of glass and concrete, covered in writing they cannot read and apart from the rest of the city.
Given the nature of the building, Jorek believes it may be associated with the Maiden of Secrets, and that one of her Chosen could potentially be very useful to them before meeting the Unconquered Sun. Entering the building, a woman in a white coat with half-moon spectacles sits behind a large desk, the only person in sight in an otherwise empty room. She introduces herself as Eyes Alight, and explains that the building is her greatest work, the Repository of Secrets. Because of their history with Sidereals, the Circle is naturally wary of Eyes Alight, but when she tells them that she knows of their journey to bring Three Fates Shadow to the Unconquered Sun, they also discover that she is a member of Gold Faction, and that she “will assist the Solar Exalted in their return to Creation.” Eyes Alight suggests that the Solars use her machine to speak to simulacra of people they know, either to obtain information or confront any deep emotional issues they may need to face before meeting the Unconquered Sun.
Jorek is fated to be the first to enter, and he does, vowing to re-write the rules of Creation as soon as they can. Inside the “machine”, a massive pitch-black room stands completely empty, as Jorek hears a voice: “Name, and time.” Jorek asks first to speak with Tai-La of House Dvorah several years before, and, at the request of the Repository of Secrets, leaves a secret as payment: “I’m scared that I’ll never stop feeling ashamed.” Tai-La, mother of his child, materializes in front him. He is happy to see her again, and learns that she never got direct word to him about their daughter because Velvet had come and taken her away: Sola, apparently, was destined to exalt! Jorek tells her that he would never forgive himself if anything happened to Sola, knowing full well that she would die. As she fades, Jorek asks to speak with Summer Blaze the day before she died. They reconnect, with Summer Blaze saying she isn’t strong enough to save Jorek; he tells her that she is, and is one of his best friends. When he asks what she would want to do, if she could, she says that she would try to find her mother and tell her that she had met someone special. As Summer Blaze fades, Jorek asks to speak to one last simulacra: Sola, some time before they met. He sits down with Sola to have some of the father-daughter time they could never have. Jorek learns that Sola was named because of her beautiful voice, which, when he hears it, is almost other-worldly in its beauty. He tells her that he is her father and he is proud of her.
Rey enters the Repository of Secrets next and asks to speak with Quiet Word. Her donation of a secret is that “If I see my mother again, I can’t promise I won’t try to kill her.” Rey and Quiet Word spend a few moments getting to know each other, and the Dawn admits feeling overwhelmed by everything in Yu-Shan and in over her head. Quiet Word tells her to be at peace with herself so that she can be clear with the Unconquered Sun, and that if he could, he would tell off his god for giving him power and making him wait. When Quiet Word realizes he must die shortly after meeting these Solars, Rey voices her wish that she could have saved him.
Valeria enters the chamber and calls up Three Fates Saved, before she became an Abyssal. While Three Fates is suspicious, she eventually opens up to Val, telling her that she is worried for her circle. She also has a package for her Lunar mate, She-Who-Knows-Ten-Thousand-Things, which Val knows will never be delivered.
The Solars having confronted some of their demons from the past, Eyes Alight asks if they have anyone else they would like to see. They all turn to Ember, who begins to cry….