We open on Kathra the druid, who is currently on the trail of some rather shady warforged — the sort that keep referencing “The Baron.” Word is, they’re after a dragon that has “learned to bring the shards inside herself in a sustainable way” — as well as her traveling companion, reported to be “difficult to deal with” on account of how he can explode people with psychic power. As we know the targets in question to be Genie (Allele’s long lost chemical sister) and Gustav (Anders’ older brother), it happens that Anders is also trying to track them, and the rest of us are following him.
This arrangement works just fine, until Kathra and Anders inevitably run into each other, and have a very hushed stealth-convo about what in the heck the other person are doing there. This leads to a begrudging team-up, in which we scout out a good place to ambush all them warforgeds. Turns out they’re in a cave, attempting to break through some fallen rocks to attack Gustav and the dragon. Some of us attack from the ground and some from a nearby outcropping, and battle is generally joined. Of course, once Anders and Allele break their way into the cave to reconnoiter, Gustav seems to ALSO be being attacked by a vampire, which is problematic. And also combat-worthy.
The warforged are vanquished, with the leader (wheel for a foot) getting away, but hostages remain for questioning. The vampire (who came out of nowhere) gets away as well.
Gustav and Genie connect with their family, but also resolve to keep heading North, towards what Gustav feels is a solution to his problems. Genie is able to somehow control his outbursts, or calm him as they travel enough to stay safe.