Summary: Rüktiv and Krista duel in the Spiral Arena. Neither are strong fighters, but Rüktiv, maddened by Krista’s insults, is thoroughly beaten and carried away. Trahmsi formally hands Takíza over to Krista. Rüktiv reappears and draws a pistol on Krista which Krista shoots out of his hand. Rüktiv is dragged away again, much more roughly this time. The Arena, now in chaos, is cleared so that it can be purified. Tábudh is then retrieved from the brothel called the House of Blown Crystal Reeds. Once back at House Víkpe, Arjuna and Rizé ask Harthuk to disguise them, as they anticipate repercussions after their altercation with Rüktiv’s champion. Harthuk disguises Arjuna as a sloth bear, and Rizé as a bobcat. He introduces them to everyone as pilgrims who have taken a vow of silence. Meanwhile, the sir’hibasi, escorted by Ganjan, visit the scholar Sandeep and pick up the original Sarpah map and Sandeep’s translation. Sandeep asks them to make copies of any writings they may find in the city, supplying them with materials for that purpose. That evening everyone attends Naímur’s funeral at the Temple of Krilárah. Kailua leads the ceremony, and Vikram says a few words in his memory. Afterwards, Kailua calls a meeting, where it is decided that they will all go to explore the Sarpah city. After midnight, Harthuk (disguised as a spider monkey) sits with other beggars outside the Temple of Krilárah. He sees a robed figure speak to a crippled mouse, who hurries off, ending up at the kitchen door of House Víkpe. Harthuk, sans disguise, catches up with her inside. She tells him that a blue-skinned frog left a spiral pastry and a blue bead in her bowl, and told her to come here. While he is pondering this, Inakáli, head of security, comes in. He asks Harthuk to keep him better informed, as he has the reputation of his House to consider. He also asks him to take the two “pilgrims” with him to his rendezvous with Trahmsi. Arjuna, Rizé, and Harthuk go to Sarpah’s Choice. Although it is only 3 am, Sri, her husband Vaayu, and a young lizard are preparing for the morning rush in an atmosphere of heat and controlled chaos. Sri shoos them to a table. In about ten minutes a tired-looking Trahmsi appears. She tells them they all have to get out of town, or else be arrested after morning prayers. Rüktiv, angry at being crossed, has set events in motion, and it is possible Jyoti, Arjuna’s brother, is involved as well. She advises them to set out for the ruined Sarpah city in a skyship, which will be provided courtesy of Teénna and Mosar. The guards from House Ayrram will return to Sadahm on foot with Naimur’s remains, which may distract pursuers. Trahmsi then hurries off, and Sri sends them on their way with a huge bag of baked goods. Back at House Víkpe, they rouse the rest of the group and quickly prepare to depart. When the situation is explained to Vikram, he refuses to go, convinced that justice will prevail. Everyone else heads for the docks.
Story Points: 1