In Yu-Shan, the Solars try to meet with the Unconquered Sun and save their friend.
“Sometimes you give a gift… Today they may get the greatest gift of all.”
As the Circle prepares to head to the Jade Pleasure Dome, Eyes Alight hopes that they all found what they needed in the Repository of Secrets; she comforts them with knowledge of life as a turning wheel, that all suffering is only temporary. While the Gold and Bronze factions of the Sidereals are at odds, she hopes that one day a compromise may be reached. When Eyes Alight claims to not be an important character, Jorek takes a moment to instill a sense of importance in her for helping them. Outside the Repository, the tiger with the robin’s egg carriage waits to take them to the Jade Pleasure Dome: Valeria once again pays him with a story, the tale of a fighter from Nexus who rose up from the slums to become the “punchiest puncher who ever punched”. The tiger is quite impressed with the Solars, and reveals that he is the god of the first breeze of sun, and that he is only pulling the “carriage” because of an off-colour joke he once made. The tiger also explains to the Circle the games of Divinity: the Incarnae bet on the outcome of events in Creation.
When a woman standing in the shadow of the Jade Pleasure Dome sees Three Fates Shadow in Valeria’s arms, she is quick to duck inside to get the keeper of the Dome, a fifty foot giant called Heffump. Even though they insist they were sent for by the Unconquered Sun, he is adamant that they come away with him to prison (albeit pleasantly). At an impasse, he instead proposes a trial by single combat, and Rey accepts impulsively: “You’re all going to be useful in there; at least let me be useful out here!” Rey leaps up onto the giant’s head and punches him in the eye. While Heffump is totally unharmed and claims to be able to crush Rey if he wanted, the pain causes him to cry. He insists that he can only bring the Solars (leaving Speaks-of-Silence and Ember), and takes them down into the Dome to await the Unconquered Sun… after they have been purified, that is.
In a large, dark room under the Dome, lit only by torches and built around a deep well, the Circle meets a wizened old man in a white robe. He invites them in to the next room to wash themselves and be purified. After each of the Solars and Three Fates have washed themselves, the old man explains that in order to have an audience with the Unconquered Sun they must each tell him what they would sacrifice for the chance. He, for example, sacrificed his privilege of speaking to any gods… ever. Rey says she will sacrifice any chance she has of seeing Nexus or her father again, as well as any glory gained from her exploits in the future; Jorek promises to sacrifice any chance he has of being revenged on those who have wronged him; Valeria will give up her relationship with Speaks-of-Silence, that which makes her the most happy. The old man, having collected these “sacrifices”, says that only the one who sacrificed the most will have to uphold their end of the bargain, although he also offers it up to a game of chance. Although risky, the Circle agrees that any chance to prevent Three Fates Shadow from having to sacrifice anything more is a good thing, and they allow the man to roll.
With the outcome in doubt, the Circle ascends to an office, empty save for two couches and glass windows. Through the windows, each glimpse a flash from their life: Alvor and Rey’s mother at home, Valeria’s home under attack, Summer Blaze charging down an alley with her daiklaves drawn, and Totes the Goat, grazing by the river above the manse. The old man re-enters, wishing them all to be comfortable: he suddenly grows two extra arms and his brilliance begins to shine. It is the Unconquered Sun himself! While he has brought a delicacy known as “pizza”, the Circle is straight to business, asking about the outcome of the sacrifice. The Unconquered Sun tells them that Three Fates Shadow did indeed “win”, but that she sacrificed nothing. Rey challenges the god, dressing him down for deceiving them. Valeria wants to know if he can re-Exalt Three Fates Shadow as the Solar Exalted she once was, and he asks them why he should. To each of the Solars he asks: “Is it your intention to see Three Fates Saved?” All three declare their loyalty to their Circlemate, and The Unconquered Sun, deeming them worthy, agrees. Three Fates’ Day Caste mark flares briefly and then begins to sear, transforming into the mark of the Night Caste. Her anima banner flares up, and the Circle sees millions of pages blowing around inside a tornado, each with the name of one of Creation’s citizens. Three Fates Shadow is no more; rise, All Fates Saved!
The newly-Exalted All Fates Saved greets her Circle by both their former names and their current ones. She wants to know why they chose to sacrifice so much for her, why they trust her enough to spend so much time and effort getting her here: Rey, Valeria, and Jorek all tell her that her being saved may be important, but with her power restored, she can do so much more. The four are reunited at last!
Somewhere in Creation, a Deathlord screams….