Professor Smith explains that the golden barrier the group encountered earlier only allows Solars to pass through, and gives an explanation of his history. He had come across this island when the Water and Fire were just demesnes, and settled a dispute between the two sister spirits by building the manses for them. Then he set up a hidden shop here so he could work on his artifacts in peace, not caring very much that a city ended up being built on top of his workshop.
He was also at some point, one of the Regents, long enough to ensure that his workshop would not be discovered and would have sufficient power, then abdicated to avoid the cut-throat politics and to concentrate on creating warstriders. He notes that he was pretty sure one of the other Regents is the Sidereal, and another is one of the Fair Folk.
Professor Smith has a request for the group—to find large quantities of orichalcum. He has heard rumors of this in the Traza district. The group realizes that they may be the odd shipments Prefect Jonas had mentioned earlier—especially since Prefect Jonas noted that the items seemed unusually heavy.
Kunai scouts out to identify the warehouses that may be housing the orichalcum, and discovers that some of it had just been transported to a steam-powered ship. He sneaks on to the ship, but is discovered. He kills the golems aboard the ship and one of two Enforcers, but not before they accidentally cause the ship to blow up instead of speeding up. So, the orichalcum sinks to the sea floor and one of the enforcers escapes.
The next morning, Trevan has tea with Prefect Jonas to ask if there are rumors of odd things happening. He learns that a ship blew up, but the superior officers believe that they were messing about with the engine and that the survivor has become insane, babbling about a monster with a giant scythe. Satisfied that the circle’s involvement has not been revealed, Trevan thanks Jonas for his time and tea. Prefect Jonas again complains about Enforcer Surril, and Trevan promises to check into what he might be able to do, in exchange for some supplies being diverted his way.