Once again at Charan’s Hoof, the characters discuss their next move. They realize they need to find where Shen is now since she by now knows they are after her. They also realize that they have done no research into Eveyl. They eventually decide to try to track Shen first.
Using “Billy’s” skecsis they track Shen from the Purple Tower through town to a guard tower at the outer wall. The characters find this unexpected but one of them approaches the tower and asks one of the guards at the door if they can speak with Toba Hama. The guard looks at them curiously and says that Hama is not stationed there; he is part of the palace guard. The characters want to ask about Shen but can’t come up with an excuse to ask about her and leave.
They next go to the palace. The palace in Rarmon is a large, perfect sphere that can rotate in any direction. When the city was attacked during the war it simply rotated so its entrance was underground, preventing the attackers from entering. (No matter what the palace’s orientation, “down” remains normal for anyone inside.)
Inside they find their way to a guard station and ask for Toba Hama. The guard on duty goes to the back of the station where the wall is lined with dozens of small cubbyholes each with a grated door on front. He opens one and takes out a small, bat-like creature. The guard whispers to the creature and releases it. The creature flies away. The characters wait and as they do they see several of the bat-like creatures flying around.
After a while the creature flies back in and lands on the guard’s shoulder. The guard takes it and listens to it then tells the characters that Toba Hama is assigned to the personal guard of Baron Camor and is currently escorting his daughter, the Honorable Eveyl.
The group then ask about Shen, saying that she is missing from her home in the Purple Tower. The guard takes another of the messenger bats and sends it off, but this time some of the characters follow it.
The bat soon enters a part of the palace that is off-limits to them, but they wait until it comes back out and capture it. Uraz is able to communicate with it and finds that Shen is under “protective custody” at the guard tower they tracked her to earlier.
They release the bat and it continues back to the guard. The guard tells the characters who had remained behind that they have no information on Shen. The characters thank then and leave.
The group next tries to track down Eveyl and find that she is attending a poetry reading at the Apool Garden. They go there.
They quickly find the location of the poetry reading. A rather bad poet is reading in the center of a gazebo while several rows of politely bored nobles sit around him. Eveyl is sitting in the first row, obviously uninterested. Other watchers and a number of guards are around the gazebo.
The characters realize they do not know what Toba Hama looks like so cannot tell which of the guards is him. In the meantime, they start looking around and quickly spot Betis in the crowd.
Yeti and Tanasia decide to approach Betis while Uraz keeps an eye on Eveyl. Betis sees them and starts to leave. The characters follow.
Betis ducks into the alley. Tanasia and Yeti, suspecting an ambush, follow him.
In the alley they do find Betis, hiding behind three members of the same gang that attacked them near the Purple Tower. The characters easily dispatch the gang members, capture Betis, and take him back to the Metcami estate.
Uraz, meantime, waits until the poetry reading ends. He sees Eveyl leave and quickly be met by one of the guards and another woman. He decides the guard is Toba Hama and starts following them.
Eveyl slowly makes her way though town, occasionally stopping at various stores and stalls. She seems to buy nothing and on several occasions is denied entry to a store by angry shop owners. Seeing the group enter a wine store, Uraz stops at one of the stores she was barred from to ask what is going on.
The shop owner readily tells him. When she thought she was getting married to Kyler Metcami, Eveyl went on a shopping spree. While the financial situation of the Camor family is well known, so was that of the Metcami family. With the promise of her having access to the Metcami fortune, the shopkeepers were more than willing to extend her credit. Now, with Kyler dead, it is unlikely that they will ever get their money back and so she is no longer welcome.
Uraz thanks him and returns to the street, only having to wait a few minutes before Eveyl and her group reappear, the woman with them now carrying a basket containing several bottles of wine. Uraz approaches them and waits until Toba Hama sees him. At that point, he pulls out the Scythe and holds it up so that Hama can see it.
Hama immediately points at Uraz and shouts that he is a thief. Several of the city guard hear this and start towards him. Uraz turns and runs. He is eventually able to outdistance his pursuers and returns to the Metcami estate.
There, they discuss everything they have found with Metcami, this time telling him about the Scythe but not that they have it. They realize that they have all the information in the case and just need to confront those involved with it with their findings.
They start with Betis. They are able to convince him to start working for them (well, for Metcami) by promising him all the “stuff” he needs. He is coerced into helping them.
Metcami then invites Eveyl to his estate to talk about what will happen now that Kyler is dead, knowing that Toba Hama will come with her.
Uraz and Yeti go to the guard tower where Shen is staying, Betis with them. They relay a message to Shen telling her that they are taking her to the Scythe. Betis acts as if he is about to reveal to her what is happening but they intimidate him into staying silent. She returns with them to the Metcami estate.
There they meet Metcami, Eveyl and Toba Hama and several other guards that Hama has brought along. The characters then reveal what they know and openly accuse Toba Hama of killing Kyler.
Toba Hama, realizing that everything is known, charges the characters along with one other guard. The other guards spend several long seconds in indecision before falling into the fight on the character’s side.
Toba and Shen are quickly subdued. With the evidence they have the characters are eventually able to get both Toba and Shen to confess to the plot.
In the aftermath they get the final story. Toba Hama was in love with Eveyl. Eveyl knew this and used it to manipulate Toba into helping her, but never reciprocated. This led to Toba’s anger. They also learn that Eveyl was not that interested in being married to Kyler but accepted it as the political marriage it was. She and Kyler had agreed to an open marriage in which they would have minimal contact, even producing an heir if necessary, but would otherwise not interfere with each other. This angered Toba, who learned of this through Eveyl’s handmaiden.
Drel and Shen approached Toba through Betis telling him that they could arrange for Kyler to be out of the picture. Betis told them to kill Kyler using the Scythe and assured him that he would be protected by Eveyl if he did, implying he was working for her.
Unfortunately, Betis did not sufficiently impress on Toba that he needed to use the Scythe. Toba realized that the Scythe was a terrible weapon and killed Kyler using his own sword. He then disposed of the Scythe (not realizing its importance) and reported that he had done what was requested.
Betis, and therefore Shen, realized something had gone wrong since “Kyler” was actually dead. Toba had told Eveyl that he had killed Kyler, expecting her to be grateful. She was not. She had made her arrangement with Kyler and had every intention of going through with the marriage. She told Toba her true feelings about him and held his confession of killing Kyler over him to continue having him work for her. (Toba’s attack on the characters was due to his realizing that he had truly lost everything at that point.)
By this time Betis and Shen were looking for the Scythe (which still contained Drel’s spirit). Shen, through Betis, had tried to find out from Toba Hama where the Scythe was but by the time Betis got to him the characters had already found it. Toba Hama never knew who Shen was or what the real plot was.
When the dust clears Metcami again thanks the characters for their help and pays each of then an additional 250 shins. He then tells then that he has some information on Caiden Phorr for them. Phorr had been in Rarmon for a while but left suddenly about two weeks ago; about the time the characters were given his bounty. He joined a caravan heading towards Far Brohn as a guard.
Enriched and with a new, powerful patron, the characters thank Metcami and resume their pursuit.