With a flash of light the heroes appear in an ornate longhouse of immense size. Seated in thrones of various sorts are the major Arai gods Targa, Vinsa, Kreiton, Finara, Adan, Wendil, and Grundel. Targa announces that Shir has been brought before the council to answer for blasphemy and defaming the gods before their followers. Shir presses on unflinchingly with his grievances against the Arai gods, claiming that they do nothing to help. Meanwhile, Kur-Dan, Kaz, and Nacu opt to take more humble approaches by either remaining silent or expressing admiration for the gods.
Finara, despite her visible anger at Shir’s tone, explains the rules of the Balance and that the gods are not free to intervene as they would choose. She mentions that they are governed by a Temporal Accord, an agreement that places limitations on the exercise of direct power in the world which also binds the various dark powers of the universe. Exercising power directly upon the world allows a dark power to exercise an equal amount of power. Shir remains unsatisfied, but ultimately accepts what she says and the heroes are returned to Abderaz in another flash.
Shir gathers teeth from Malathraxis and makes a giant necklace, then the heroes proceed to Stambrecht. Along the way the Vel blade complains of how it was robbed of the killing blow on the dragon and Kur-Dan mocks Shir playfully by calling himself Kur-Dan, dragonslayer. After a relatively uneventful journey, the heroes meet with the King of Stambrecht and Shir presents the necklace as proof that they have slain the dragon. As a reward for this service, the heroes are granted Knighthood and the right to purchase property and have their own personal heraldry.
Shir, with the help of the Vel diplomat (Chari?), then pressures the King to allow the Vel army to pass through Arai lands. This is patently refused, but the King says it is unnecessary as he indicates that his diplomats have assured him that the Vel plan to move their forces another way. He indicates that he has intelligence that reports the landing of foreign troops in eastern Abderaz, and that the Arai Kings have agreed to send an allied army to aid in the defense; however, they need ships to get their. After some discussion, the heroes coordinate with the Yadarans using the communication stones to request ships from the vast Yadaran merchant fleet to carry the Arai armies eastward.
After the meeting with the King, the heroes spend a few days shopping, purchasing homes, and paying for the creation of their heraldry. Kaz purchases a carriage despite Nacu’s warning about the dangers of owning such fragile equipment. Shir asks the gods to transport them to the Dal, but Finara’s voice in his head reminds him of what they so recently discussed. Then Wendil appears and offers Shir a flip for it. Aelessa is asked to accompany them, but she requests compensation and Shir is unwilling to pay this time. Gathering the heroes under the auspices of traveling south on foot, Kur-Dan begins to walk away when he realizes Shir’s plan. Shir flips the Wendil coin and it comes up with the fishhook, thanks to the hand of fate, and they are instantly transported to the Dal. An annoyed Aelessa yells at Shir when they arrive, apparently whisked away and brought here because Shir considered her a part of the group in his minds-eye.
The heroes travel south to the city of Itu, passing large freshly covered mounds of earth which could only be mass graves. Kur-Dan and Kaz take precautions, worried about being susceptible to the plague that is said to be afflicting the Dal. At itu, Kur-Dan meets a Taimak named Guang-Ung who recognizes peacebringer and discusses Sun and Ran a bit. Guided by a blazing symbol of the Sidd God, Shir leads the heroes into Itu and to a small home with a long line of people leading up to it. Here they find an acolyte of the path of Rahan distributing a potion that cures the plague. Shir and the follower of Grakharan enter into a religious debate before the acolyte reveals that Grakharan is healing the sick near the mountain of Shokan, the place where the Vel village once stood and where the ancient Manor of the House of Sun stands.
The heroes resolve to meet this Grakharan and head south. As they are leaving the city they see carrion creatures digging into one of the mounts. Kur-Dan, upset by this desecration, fires his pistol to scare the creatures away. The creatures are startled momentarily, but end up attacking the heroes after a moment. The creatures are quickly dispatched, but it is clear that they are afflicted with some unnatural malady of their own as they burst spraying a yellowish puss when they day. Nacu’s words seem prophetic as one of the creatures scratched up the side of Kaz’s carriage and exploded spraying puss all over the interior.
A few short days later the heroes reach the camp of Grakharan.