- Genjo receives a vision from the Unconquered Sun.
- Kaveh takes the next step on his mercantile scheme.
- Our heroes enter the Wyld zone in Firewander and encounter a lovely Fairfolk who eventually agrees to lead them where they want to go for a price Drac finds more than willing to pay.
As the Sun crossed the horizon, Genjo experience a vision of the Unconquered Sun. Sol Invictus stood before he and spoke, "Genjo, forge a perfect circle," five flames in the colors of the sun of the sun appeared in a circle around the god, "and release my reflection." Genjo awoke, and went up to the roof to watch the sunrise.
The others awoke shortly later and shared a communal breakfast with Genjo's family and the refugees from Thorns. When questioned about the gar root, Kaveh explained his plan to sell it as a high fashion item from the Lap. Hira quickly caught onto the scheme, and she and Kaveh worked out a deal in which she would take care of the proper licensing and sale in exchange for twenty percent of the profit.
In Firewander, they approached the edge of the firestorm. Heedless of the heat, Genjo strode into the smoke and flames, and made his way through to a corridor made of cool silk curtains. He called for his companions to follow, though his voice sounded distant and muffled. Zakiti followed him through, pulling cloth over her face and wetting her clothing to protect herself from the flames. She passed through unharmed, followed closely by Drac who coughed and choked on the thick smoke and heat. Kaveh covered his face, steeled his will, and race through the flames, coming through unharmed.
Genjo lead them through the silk, brushing aside curtains, until they stiffened pulled away. The pathways were then formed with razor-edge, steel-strong sheets of crimson lace. Through the gaps the in lace, silhouettes of dancing flames or writhing bodies could be seen hazily. As they continued through the strange realm, Drac noticed the lace formed the shape of a face with eyes that watch him. He saw the eyes blink, and turned to take a closer look. Out of the lace, formed from the lace curving in on itself, stepped the hollow form of a perfectly formed woman.
The Solars greeted her, and she asked their purpose. Genjo told here they were trying to find a vault within the old capital building near the center of the district. She said she could guide them. When they expressed reluctance, she told them not to worry, the Interdict still held and she would keep to the Accords. The Solars did not know what she was talking about but she assured them that she meant them no harm. Zakiti asked what price she would request for guiding them, and the lace woman requested a kiss from Drac in the flesh. She danced spritely between the sheets of razor-lace, encouraging them to follow. Despite their reluctance, they decided to follow.
As she lead, the lace became glassy, and melted like wax into shimmering pools. The woman's form shifted too, becoming glassy, then running into liquid that shimmered like the pools she led them across. Giant mushrooms sprouted, growing rapidly to form a jungle of stalks and a canopy of gills. Sweet fungal spoors wafted down, clinging to the breath of the Solars. Genjo accused the woman, now made of mushroom stalks that more clearly showed the nakedness of her feminine form, of leading them into danger. She assure them of their safety and lead onward.
The mushrooms dried and were replaced by clusters of giant flower petals. The characters had to push by the petals, and found their clothing coated in a fine dust of brightly colored pollen. The wind whispered through the petals like distant lovers' sighs. Finally, the petals parted, revealing a glade domed by fire. Their guide, now formed from petals, blew away in the wind, and the characters saw an open pagoda atop a small but steep rise in the glade. A figure lough upon a divan in the shade of the pagoda.
They mounted the hill to meet their guide in the flesh. In person, he presence was overwhelming; the sweet smell of lilacs permeated the air, her dusky flesh exposed save where purple flowers clung to her like wisps of cloud doing nothing to conceal her nude body. Her lilac eyes were flecked with gold and her pupils slitted like a cat's. She greeted them, "Welcome, and now for my price." Drac move to her, intending a quick and chaste kiss, but she move quick as a striking snake to touch his face and pull him in for a full-mouthed, passionate kiss.
Genjo expressed his displeasure at not being led where he wanted to go. The raksha replied that she had agreed to lead them, but never said where she would lead them, and they never asked. They asked what would be needed to guide them to the vault, and she requested a story. Zakiti recognized that when she asked for a story, she wanted something more than a spoken tale, and cautioned the others against agreeing. Kaveh suggested that he could weave a tale from illusions, perhaps the story of Genjo's escape from Thorns. Genjo refuse to share that story, fearing that the raksha would weave in into the reality of the wyld.
The Raksha has Drac's name, which he gave, and she provided her own name, 1000 Lilac Cascade of Discordant Poise. She gestured for Drac to come sit by her. Zakiti offered her a bound spirit, that of an irksome road god bound within one of her jars. The spirit could be hers and tell her many stories. The raksha said the spirit cost Zakiti nothing, and that the value of a thing was in its cost. Kaveh was outraged at the assertion and tried to convince her to accept the small God and a spoken story. She said she would guide them for the god and an hour of passion with Drac Ir.
As they argued, the raksha worked Drac's armor loose, the the breastplate fell to the ground. Zakiti tried to lift it and found it almost too heavy to manage. Genjo tried to help Drac put it on again, but Drac refused. The solars argued, but eventually she sweetened the deal by offering to balm Drac's burns. Despite Kaveh's protests and Zakiti's caution, the deal was eventually accepted at Drac's urging. While the Raksha took her price, the other Solars withdrew from the pagoda.