Outside the town, where the forest reclaims its right and where the last ruined walls are used as orchards and livestock pens, the circle meets Piliang, having dinner with friends under a pavilion. As they share their meal, the Bey’s wife informs them that her husband has been sick for a while, governing when able and otherwise staying in a forteress along the coast. In the meantime, the power vaccum has left his heirs fighting amongst themselves for influence, trying to shape the court to their ideals.
As in much of the southern territories, some people resent being ruled by Ansibah, and while outright rebellion hasn’t yet been an issue, being contrary to those from the rest of the Twelve Thrones is seen as a show of strenght. Being loyalists to the Twelve, Piliang and her daugther are afraid that separatists may be gaining too much power, and she offers her help to the queen’s envoys, promising to try and introduce Rohim as a court physician.
During the afternoon, they meet Panman, one of the youngest son of the Bey and a avowed separatist. He asks them the reason for their presence, telling them that he can interceed in the place of the Bey for them. Unwilling to reveal their mission, Pragatima tells him that they are here to learn about the strange copper armors made by the local artisans for the ghostly warrior-servants of the Fiery Isles. They talk about the local family of thaumaturges who craft them, and the Bey’s son lets them go, still somewhat wary. Something in their attitude doesn’t ring true.
The circle dines with the Admiral once more, and Beyaloa makes plans to send her new corsair crews on some exercices with his ships. Then, in the dead of night, the sorceress summons her Cirrus Skiff, and leaves with Harik to scout the Bey’s fortress on the coast. They find it well guarded, atop a small cliff riddled with holes hollowed out by the sea. From one window they get a glimpse of the Bey, incoherently raving near his bed, but they decide to leave without attempting anything… for now.