Picking up where they left off, the party are greeted by the grim sight of Jeet Nujarek’s old steward’s pulpy remains as they’re exiting the floating estate. The new steward, Theodore “Teddy” Maleficius, requests one more favor of the party on behalf of Councillor Nujarek: investigate the glitchy golems before they leave for Enos Joppa.
On doing so, Adric finds a curious pendant, a steel rose-stem brooch, in the golems’ remains. The party splits up; Mahl, Kerr, and Adric do some wenching and scouting for the journey, while Telorin and Noah visit the Khamsin Archives to do some research on the brooch’s previous owners, the Blackthorns. Evidence of the family is scarce, but our two researchers find just enough to believe that two local noble estates may hold some clues.
Meanwhile, the other half of the party learns a bit about the little-understood current Orc hierarchy and its leader, Kzar Nabar. Seems as though Enos Joppa is a tindertwig ready to ignite. Nujarek’s head-Altem shows up and escorts the party on their way, explaining that the Blackthorn estate will be a good lead to follow up on—but only after the apparent traitor, Raydan Marz, is in custody.
Next, the party runs into sandstorms. A lot of sandstorms. Adric gets them lost a few times, with Telorin’s makeshift compass getting them back on track. They overcome a cute monstrous scorpion and finally are approaching their first destination. That’s when they notice the pink sky in the direction of Enos Joppa, as well as the Orc conversation going on over the next ridge.
Adric scouts, Mahl is spotted, and Noah bravely but futilely attempts to soothe Orc tempers without knowing the Orc language. Exhausted and not moving quickly enough, the party is run down by Orc riders joyously calling out the name of “Khan Scavenge” while knocking our intrepid adventurers unconscious, save—apparently—Mahl, who, as last we saw, was running much faster than everyone else.