Our heroes make their way up the rivers through the Scavenger Lands to the heart of trade, Nexus. They make their final approach to the city through the manicured estates and densely packed farmlands around Nexus. They wait their turn to enter the city, and having no trade goods, they pay the head tax, and enter the city with throngs of other travelers. Genjo warns them about the laws of the Decree, tells them to meet at an inn called Riverman's Rest across the canal from the Iron Market before heading out across the city. Zakiti disappears into the crowd behind him, secretly tailing him.
Kaveh and Drac set out into the city, following the main broad avenue into the city. After passing along the broad avanue for some time, and crossing a rather large canal, Kaveh began to ask where to find Riverman's Rest. No one had heard of the place. Mildly frustrated, Kaveh continued, into the city. Cresting a hill, he saw the bulk of the city stretching out ahead of him, with the tangle of streets, canals, and suspended cable cars. He and Drac decided to take the cable cars. At the boarding station, they were told they couldn't take their horses on the gondola, and would be best off to pay for their horses to be delivered wherever they were needed in the city. Striking on an idea, Kaveh approached the horse-porters, and asked if they could deliver horses anywhere in the city. The porter said he could, and asked where they'd like their horses delivered. Kaveh named the inn once again, and the porter asked what part of the city that was in. Realizing his mistake, Kaveh told the porter it was across from the Iron Market. At that point, they were able to find a stables to take care of their horses, and make their way across the city to the meeting point.
Meanwhile, Genjo was tailed by Zakiti across Nexus to Nightside, where he had a joyful reunion with his son and father. His father, Noburo, told him that one of the recent civilities demanded that Genjo and his companions appear before the Astrologer, one of the Council of Entities ruling Nexus, within 25 hours of his arrival in the city. [The civilities are the ever-changing laws of Nexus as laid out by any member of the Council of Entities.] He also told Genjo that the community had done well; Hira, Genjo's wife, had a job with the civil administration, and many of the older children were getting an education. The tenements they were staying in had been repaired, and there was plenty of hearty and healthy food for the refugees of Thorns. It was as if fate had smiled upon them.
Sometime later, Kaveh and Drac finally arrived at the Riverman's Rest. Genjo was waiting for them, and told them that they wouldn't need to pay to stay there because his family would host them for free. Kavah, incensed at having marched across the city to find a place that they didn't need to go, stormed into the inn and ordered a strong drink. Genjo followed him in, and tried to convince him to leave. Kaveh insisted on having the drink, and down the tall cup of river rum in a single drought. [Kaveh's player rolled Stamina + Resistance (2 dice) and rolled double ones!] He sputtered, stumbled sideways, and dropped the cup, which Genjo deftly caught. Genjo hoisted Kaveh over his shoulder, and led the others to Nightside to meet his family.
Upon arriving home once again, Genjo was reunited with his wife. She first slapped him, demanding to know where he'd been, then hugged him tightly. While a drunken Kaveh insulted his hosts and bemoaned the state of the accommodations, the others discussed the civility with Genjo and Hira. Hira tells them that the Astrologer's name is Kratz, that her role in the Council is unclear, and that she seems to have some skill for predicting the future. She's worried about Genjo but has prepared formal attire for him to meet the Astrologer.
The next morning, our heroes made their way to the Astrologer's estate, a First Age tower across from the Parko Llana. Kaveh, suffering from a hang over and not yet having changed, used his artifact to garb himself in illusory finery. They were shown in, and asked to wait for the Astrologer to see them.
While waiting, they are served a fine meal of light fare. Part way through the meal, a ostentatiously and archaically dressed man with a corpulent build joined them at the table. He asked Genjo to pass him a bowel of fruit and in exchange, he'd pass the wine. Genjo agree to the exchange. Afterward, the man scrutinized Genjo for a moment, then exhibited a momentary expression of surprise before beginning to gorge himself, glancing warily at Genjo between mouthfuls.
Shortly thereafter, the Astrologer arrived. She is an elegant woman with deep black skin, more common in the south, and short tightly curled hair. She wears multiple layers of fine silks fringed with gold and silver charms. Bangles decorate her wrists and ring her neck and jangle slightly as she moves. She carries herself with a self-assured poise that isn't quite smug.
Smiling at Genjo, she spoke. "So you're the son of Thorns I've heard so much about…" Turning to the corpulent man, "Is he what I though?"
The man replied, "He is. This can't be kept from the Council Kratz."
Kratz: "Ah, but it must. Remember what you owe me. Fear not, your city will be safe and trade will continue to flow. You man go Master Gen."
And with that, the old man took his leave.
Now alone with our heroes, Kratz turned to Genjo.
Kratz: "I trust you have met with your family and seen that fortune has smiled upon them."
Genjo: "I suppose your going to say that's your doing."
Kratz: "It is."
With the tone set, the conversation continued. Kratz asked them to go into the crypts beneath Firewander, and unseal a tomb beneath the old administrative center. She admitted to not know exact what was there, but she knew only the Solar exalted could open it and it would likely contain powerful artifacts or sorceries that could be turned against the dead. Genjo felt he had no choice but to cooperate, but the others were reluctant to go along; they did not trust Kratz with whatever power could be recovered from the crypt. She agreed that they could negotiate about what was recovered after the task was complete. She hope this would be the beginning of a mutually beneficial relationship.
During the conversation, she also implied that she knew something about Kaveh's family.