The group discusses their various plans with Professor Smith, and Professor Smith suggests that he can build a drill with some of the orichalcum if they want to launch a subterranean assault against the slave pits, but it will take some time. The group agrees, and Smith begins building the drill. Smith also says that he can build up orichalcum artifacts of their request, but if it uses too much orichalcum, he will be missing some warstriders. Trevan puts in a request for a necklace of Solar charisma.
Meanwhile, the circle now decides to sail to the delivery location of the orichalcum. Following the dubious instructions of the half-insane surviving enforcer, the group found themselves in a hidden waterlock, lowered into what seemed to be a secret factory. With the only light being the lanterns on their ship, the group was attacked by multiple golems, which they handily dispatched.
Then came on the lights. They were surrounded by hundreds of more golems.
A figure with grey hair sat about 100 yards away at a dinner table applauded the group and invited the group to dine with them, commenting, “I thought you would find me sooner.” It was the Sidereal that they had been looking for. Accompanying him was one of the Fire-aspected dragon blooded, wearing an emblem of the Red Flare Army.
The group outmatched, and Kunai failing his valor check, decide to join the two at the table.
The Sidereal, calling himself Silver, explains that their goals may not be at odds as much as the group believed. While not part of the Gold faction, Silver was also not part of the Bronze faction, preferring to be independent. Silver did not believe that the Solar should be hunted down, but neither did he believe that they should be restored as the primary rulers. He believed that they should be allowed to aid for the first few hundred years of their lives until the Great Curse corrupted their virtues and then be forced to… release their exaltation. Since no one in the group had objections to terminating those, Solar or not, who showed immediate threat to Creation, Kunai no longer needed to kill the Sidereal.
Silver gave the group three guesses each as to why he was building golems with orichalcum blades. No one guessed correctly in the first round. In the second round, Trevan reasoned that the threat must have something to do with the Abyssals, as golems cannot be made undead.
Silver confirmed his suspicions. One of the Regents was secretly an Abyssal, and Silver reads that something terrible will happen to the island, and thus needed powerful assistance. Assistance that he was hoping that we would provide. Silver also revealed that there were three other manses besides the Fire and Water manse, and that together they enabled the true purpose of Sprocket: a First Age defense fortress.
The group agrees to band together against the Abyssal threat if Silver pledges an oath supporting Kunai’s idea of Celestial Deliberative where all three types of Exalted ruled and to aid the circle in securing Sprocket. Silver agrees to do so, and Trevan seals the deal with an Eclipse-oath.
Trevan asked why the Red Flare Army is advancing towards Turith. Silver explained that it was a misunderstanding—initially, he thought the Abyssals would target Turith first, but diverted course to Sprocket, so he had been directing the army there. The nature of the Red Flare Army was to not reveal their reasons and to kill any scouts trying to report their movements. Trevan demanded reparations for the scouts of Turith so slain. Smoldering Cinder, the dragon blooded, grudgingly agreed to the blood-money and also offered his apologies.
Silver identifies one of the manse locations as being near the slave arena in Kuz. Gronk and the rest of the crew become even more determined to assault that stronghold and gain control over the manse.