Standing victorious in the graveyard of the House of the Morning, the members of the Ebon League share their knowledge and develop hypotheses regarding the bulette they had defeated. Certainly it had traveled a great distance and appeared to be confused, but none were certain if it was to blame for the recent surge in seismic activity or not, nor why it attacked when it did. One thing was certain though: the value of the bulette's remains was measured in gold as well as a myriad of powerful solvents.

300 armed members of the Blackwater mercenary company arrived in the tiny village of Eveningstar, proclaiming their intent to protect Lord Reardon Cormaeril from any would-be assassins, though the validity of this claim could be called into question given the Cormaeril family's long history with the Fire Knives assassin's guild, and Reardon may actually be planning to use these "bodyguards" to act against his opponents and detractors in the town. In direct defiance of Lord Cormaeril, Patriarch Charisbonde Trueservant Belon of the House of the Morning petitions his archdiocese for the release of Shevaril Starcloak into the church's custody because of abuse at her captors' hands, and the King grants it personally.

Shevaril, Belon, Lauritz van Aken, and others who would oppose Reardon's rule meet in secret with the Ebon League. The Lord's right-hand man, Rodrigo Vanzetti, reveals himself to be an agent of the Crown, and together this rebel alliance forms a plan to remove Lord Cormaeril's new army by economic means.

At Shevaril's request, the Ebon League is granted access to Tessaril's Tower to retrieve a chest of the apprentice's personal effects. Here they come across the renowned artificer and techsmith Cidolfus Alva Dolomite and his gondsman Prometheus, working to clean up after an experiment gone awry. After explaining the very basics of his magical and technical processes, "Cid" offers the Ebon League a reward if they would assist him in recapturing several summoned elementals who had escaped in the laboratory. The Ebon League met this challenge head-on and made quick work of several fish who swim the vast magma oceans of the Elemental Chaos.

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