- Chaser orders Lily to vacate the body of Eldara Vergonha and sets out after meeting her need.
- Ghanna is missing and Duke confronts Krenzi at swordpoint. Krenzi says she is safe.
- Duke reveals Maiven to his Baachus crew.
- Ghanna appears in Krenzi’s hovel, takes his arming sword, and meets Chaser among the Hounds/Skaalruter scouting party.
- Tulasa goes to the Hinnemûs farm and enters the Infinite Stacks to recover. He learns about the Adderhood’s Bridge and wraps his frostbit extremities.
- Ghanna dreams about her father Sadeq cutting cake.
- Krenzi follows the Invader back into the Infinite Stacks and tells his story to the Stacks.
Tulasa recalls Limnas approaching him as they rode into Kl’austed behind the Skaalruters. Limnas confided in him that she was a woman. She had disguised herself as a man to rise through the ranks in the Magisterium, ultimately becoming a member of Tulasa’s armed escort. She wanted to reveal this before now, but Tulasa’s paranoia always made her edgy about it.
Krenzi recalls Tûk insisting on bringing him charcoal through his first winters after becoming a hermit in the Kl’au. Krenzi always offered to pay Tûk in wild herbs and mushrooms that Krenzi was skilled in gathering, but Tûk always refused.
Krenzi also remembers Margaret Petrova, the mother of his son Jonathan. Margaret died mysteriously while Krenzi was deployed to the Siege of Deltoss. Without her to anchor him, he took Jonathan with him to the Kl’au to raise him out of the Magisterium’s reach.
Departing from Kl’austed
After parting ways with Tulasa and checking preparations for the scouting mission to Hichtepunt, Chaser sees Lily saddling his horse, Daisy, using the body of Eldara Vergonha as her puppet. Chaser orders Lily to follow him out of the Kl’austed camp so they can speak privately.
Couching his expression so as not to alarm the Klav woman trapped in her own body, he explains that some people in the presence of an Inquisitor are set upon by the Holy Spirit and given special gifts—but he asks the “Holy Spirit” to depart from the woman. Lily withdraws bitterly, letting the woman colapse at Chaser’s feet.
Chaser helps Eldara up, and Eldara pledges to aid the Inquisition in any way she can. Chaser tells her that he may require her assistance after he returns from scouting. She goes back to the village, erect with pride that she has been blessed by St. Crucian.
Chaser calls out to Lily, who speaks to him from a frigid mist in discordant tones: “It’s obvious you don’t want me here.” Chaser tells her he needs her, and asks her to return to him. She reënters his body in chilling silence.
Chaser delays his departure to walk with Lily again, reminiscing about a forest cabin they used to spend holidays when they were a young couple. Once she is sated, he returns to Kl’austed, departing with a mixed scouting party including the Hounds, the few remaining Felkiezers, and some Skaalruters led by Avga Akh and Namuu.
The Old Arming Sword
After being grabbed by the Invader and dumped in Krenzi’s hovel on Caer Hyvel, Ghanna finds Krenzi’s old service weapon—an arming sword with he blade still keen—wrapped in a Magisterial standard. Hearing voices outside, she takes the sword and exits the hovel.
Ghanna uses Pinaka to send an arrow over a thicket outside to spy out whoever has approached the hovel. The Skaalruters there hear the unmistakable sound of a bowshot and spread out to search. Ghanna hears a voice—like her father Sadeq’s—telling her to knock another arrow as soon as she makes out the insignia of the Inquisition on Chaser and the Felkiezers.
The Skaalruters who find Ghanna recognize her as “Anchin Gunj”, and they escort her to Avga Akh. Lily scrutinizes her and her bow, telling Chaser that Ghanna has the same mark as the necromancers who killed Lily herself, and her bow is a demon. Pinaka jerks Ghanna’s arm to train her aim on Chaser, but she makes a quick turn so that the demon can’t loose the arrow at him.
As they make camp, Avga Akh orders his warriors to disarm Ghanna, and they take her quiver, knife, and Krenzi’s arming sword, but they leave her with Pinaka.
Taking Shelter in the Stacks
Tulasa comes out of the Fuorjen near the Hinnemûs farmstead. Entering the cellar where he met them before, he finds a note scrawled on tree bark: “Caer Hyvel”.
Finding himself in no state to press on tonight, Tulasa opens the Infinite Stacks within the cellar and retreats there to conceal himself while resting. After wrapping his frostbitten extremities, he finds the Curator in desperate depletion, and tells them a story in an effort to meet their need for obscure lore. The Curator points Tulasa to a record that mentions the Khatiba Adûnibad (“The Oracle of Adûnibad” in Adûnaic) holding a key to “the Adderhood’s Bridge”.
The Invader Returns
The Invader returns to Krenzi at the ruins of Caer Hyvel. The demon reports that Ghanna wasn’t in Sarchanan’s Vault, so his stash there is safe. When Krenzi orders him to find the girl, the Invader notes that whatever was hidden there must have been taken, and he can no longer perceive the space where he dropped her.
Duke confronts Krenzi about his missing ward, threatening him with Maiven, who is eager for violence. Krenzi calls on the Invader to open his mind, and learns that Ghanna took his arming sword, placing her somewhere near his hovel. Krenzi tells Duke that she should be safe there.
Duke resolves to come clean with the Baachus crew about Maiven’s demonic nature. While they are still a bit shaken by their ordeal with the Invader, Armentad signals that they appreciate Duke’s full disclosure. They make camp with the Hinnemûs family.
Ghanna dreams that she is attending a banquet where her father Sadeq is serving a honey-sweetened cake. The guests include the Felkiezers of Adacius, Skaalruters, and many blackbirds. She realizes that the cake is shaped like Pinaka, but also like the valley of the Kl’au. Sadeq tells her he needs his knife to cut it. He urges her to recover his knife, and she remembers seeing Adacius sieze an ominous dagger from Sadeq before executing him.
Chaser is under a linen sheet where he sees golden light shining on Lily’s face, while Lily caresses his own hair and cheek. She tells him not to be afraid, and asks him to tell her how she can serve him better. She insists that he can only succeed with her help, and urges him to remember her. He shares his pressing questions about the fall of Adacius, the facts of the Necromancer, and the supposed plot to attack the Magisterium. Lily soothes him so that he can rest peacefully through the long night.
While inside the Stacks, Tulasa determines that the Invader may be looking for a way back into the domain. He orders the Curator to allow the Invader to enter, should he sense the demon approaching.
In the wee hours before dawn, Krenzi asks the Invader to search for Ghanna, and the Invader tells Krenzi it has found the hidden library once again. Krenzi hears people approaching the ruins, but he ignores them as he marks a large rock with charcoal to let Duke know that he has gone to find Ghanna and will return. Krenzi then asks the Invader to take him back to the Infinite Stacks. While being yanked into the shadowy void, Krenzi hears Nolduska Hinnemûs greet someone named Troché and Sietske, and ask why Renke is not with them.
Tulasa is waiting for them when they appear in the shadow under a leaning pile of books. They introduce themselves and Tulasa asks Krenzi to reveal a bit of his personal journey, in order to satiate the Infinite Stacks. Krenzi tells the story of his capture and torture in the vaults of Deltoss, and how he renounced his faith and summoned the Invader there.
The Last Valley
Riding along the ridge of Caer Hyvel, Ghanna travels with Chaser’s scouting party to a point that overlooks the ruins a couple miles off, apparently abandoned in the light of dawn. The low sun casts its rays on the standing stones at Hichtepunt, looming above them on the other side of a wild valley on the other side of the ridge.