Someone gets lucky, and chaos strikes again.
“It’s hard to say goodbye….”
In the silence before Starlight Dove appears in the Repository of Secrets, Ember quietly admits that he feels responsible for his mother’s death. Taking in his pain, the Circle turns to the Sidereal Exalt who appears in front of them: Starlight Dove tells the group that she had just killed a Bronze faction Sidereal who had been hunting them. She also knows that there are more Bronze faction on their way to find the Solars in Yu-Shan, and so they should be leaving as soon as they can. Valeria tells Starlight Dove of their plan to find more allies and unite Creation in fighting the Deathlord, but that with their knowledge of Rey’s mother on her way to Nexus to annex it, they will head there first. Jorek asks Starlight Dove why it is that she was forced to kill one of the Solars in their previous life: she explains that someone had been forcing themselves to make a choice without love, and that lack of love was at the root of all evil.
Preparing to leave the Repository and Yu-Shan, Eyes Alight holds Jorek back for a moment as the rest of the Circle steps out. She breathlessly admits to him that she has in fact spoken to him before, using the Repository of Secrets to interact with him long before they met, and to direct those in Creation to bring the Circle to Yu-Shan. Jorek is flattered by the attention, and tells Eyes Alight that she is indeed very important and that he feels a strong connection to her. At the exact moment that they move in closer to kiss, a small sprite appears: She-Who-Knows-Ten-Thousand-Things has sent a message to Jorek! She apologizes for having lied to them, but Rey’s mother has in fact been in Nexus for almost three weeks at this point. She advises Jorek of the true name of the Deathlord, The Clouds of a Gentle Father’s Fall to Cacaphony, and urges them to seek their other manses! Jorek is shocked for a moment, but not wanting to lose a moment of pleasure, he forges on with Eyes Alight….
After all is said and done, Jorek promises that he will see Eyes Alight again when she explains that she was destined to give comfort in a time of pain. As she leaves the room, Jorek takes the opportunity to check her desk to learn more about her work: he uncovers many notes about the Solars’ personality traits, as well as a note to herself to “inspire Jorek”. The Eclipse, overwhelmed with emotion, leaves a heartfelt note for her before joining his Circle outside.
After watching all of this unfold through the window, the Circle greets Tony, who races all of them back to the gates of Yu-Shan. Inside the egg, Jorek relates to the group all that he learned from Ten-Thousand-Things, and All Fates Saved believes she remembers where the group’s manse on the Blessed Isle may be. Arriving at the gates of Yu-Shan, the Circle discovers that Discord has attacked Crest’s airship! Jumping on board, Valeria and Rey discover a group of the sailors are in the middle of a mutiny: believing Rain-After-Storms to have been corrupted by Discord, they are trying to break the door down and kill her. Valeria’s terrifying presence cows the mutineers as the Solars take stock of the situation. As Jorek tries to figure out what is going on from Rain-After-Storms, Rey and Val rush up onto deck in time to see Discord himself holding Crest Exultant off the side of his ship. Thinking fast, Rey rushes to the airship controls and narrowly avoids the ship’s destruction, just as Discord drops Crest. Quicker than lightning, Valeria throws her sword at the mast to slice some rigging free, which Crest Exultant is just able to grab a hold of. Sensing his defeat, at least for now, Discord steps off the edge of the ship and drops into the river of quicksilver below them.
The crew come to their senses after the effects of Discord on their minds begins to wear off. Jorek is confronted by Rain-After-Storms: since she had been attacked by Discord, “in what world can I trust you?” The Eclipse, struggling to restore the fae’s faith in him, throws it back in her face: “This one, the only one where someone is on your side.” The two reach a mutual agreement to continue their bargain, with training to begin that night.
In the aftermath of the attack, and now safely on their way to Nexus, Valeria receives command of the the ship from Crest Exultant, who believes her to be a better commander for it. While she does not want to diminish his accomplishments as captain, she does accept, and renames the airship the Celestial Leeway. At the ship’s tiller, All Fates tells Rey that she is beginning to remember moments with the Dawn’s former self, and their game of forcing the other to drink the foulest teas they could find. She also finds a moment to communicate to Jorek that, if for some reason she is unable to reach Mahalanka and see Ten-Thousand-Things again, she wants her to know: “I did not do everything for her, but I did everything I could for her.”
Satisfied to be on her way back home to see her father and her hometown, Rey receives a whisper on the wind in that moment from her mother: “I’m waiting for you, Rey… It’s up to you how I receive you. Love, The New Matriarch of Nexus.”