The game opens with An-Lan, Procyon and Five Blades continuing their discussion of what to do about Lopra Red Tail’s interference with the town of Oakbridge.
It is decided that An-Lan will command his forces in the town to salt and bless the dark site of Lopra’s supposed death, which is in danger of becoming a Shadowland. Meanwhile, COMPLETELY UNRELATED TO THAT, the goat-headed god will also recommend to his cult that they support this and sanctify it with marriages and so on.
Five Blades Night will go to Jugram’s Falls to speak with Incomparable Implement of Industry, revealing the truth of Lopra’s involvement in Old Abelshire. He lands near the hidden (but not from the air) log cabin and takes his true form.
IIofI says that the young and old miss going to the ruins, but the majority of the people are happy about the changes. Says that the river is no good for Abelshire to attack, no traffic on the road to the ruins. Implement says that her tell is a “red tail on her shapely buttocks”. Says that he does not believe even now that Lopra was seeking to be an enemy or start a war.
Meanwhile, Procyon visit Chandresh Kar, who is unsurprised to hear that the Bandit Queen is alive. He asks what Procyon brings to the table, and Procyon responds by saying that he wants to speak to the Bandit Queen and understand why she does what she does. Chandresh says that he is unsure of how to find her. Chandresh also says that we should beware assuming we understand her motives. Suggests that she is nudging things to a more peaceful course herself, but he says it would be hard to understand without directly speaking to her. Procyon asks how he would fix it, suggesting that Chandresh knows her better. He only laughs in response, saying that he has only had a longer period of time in which to become baffled, bemused and enraged by her.
Chandresh then addresses perceptions of himself, stating that people do not understand him, the Realm or the relationship between these two things. States that he has no abdicated power, rather he has focused his power into an smaller field. Says that he is an upstanding member of the Realm.
“Ah, you want to understand why I tolerate Anathema!” – Chandresh
“No, why you do not hate or fear those called by that rediculous term!” – Procyon
States that the problem with the term “Anathema” is that it unites them against the Realm and keeps them from pursuing their own purposes. Chandresh says that the Realm now lack the advantages which once made the concept of Anathema so powerful a tool. It is strategically unviable now continue the old faith in that manner. Chandresh also says that he did not stay in the realm “tearing at his own belly” by damaging the Realm with internal squabbles. Instead he came to Bewellen to discourage that behavior and prove that the Realm is not the enemy for Lunars. Literally suggests Yuri Kaneko is a greater threat than the Realm. Also points out the threat of Thorns. Reveals that he is deeply involved in Lunar politics.
MEANWHILE, An-Lan goes to the Chronicler to get his input and assistance in the cleansing of the battle site. Wants to see the Chronicler in person. The Chronicler has left orders to his subordinate to rebuff An-Lan’s attempts. However, the Chronicler’s people agree to help with the process of the cleansing.
Alex is asking about the possible actions of Lopra. Greg answers in chronological order:
1) Possibly the open Declaration of War on Jugram’s Falls
2) Apparently responding to Procyon’s clawspeak, he was mysteriously character-assassinated.
3) Someone greased the wheels on getting An-Lan salt and assistance to cleanse the battle site.
An-Lan then looks into the history of Lopra’s rule as the Bandit Queen. A look of the history shows that she actually started out her takeover with destabilization. It shows that almost having war has been a repeated event with Jugram’s Falls, but each time the lack of authority prevents it. The goal SEEMS TO BE revolution and dissolution of all power structures.
MEANWHILE, Procyon continues to interrogate Chandresh. Chandresh finally reveals that the dark being Lopra battled had an anima banner which was “like a dark rent in space full of ghostly white Old Realm text.” This being wore a darkened Twilight Caste mark.
Procyon has not heard of any Deathknights serving Mask of Winters that fit this description, revealing only that this is a Dark Exalted from distant lands.
Then An-Lan and Ong Park show up. When Park asks how things are going, Chandresh responds:
“I was having a very relaxing evening with me, my smashfist, a certain sergeant who has a talent for the moon-lute.”
A long conversation degrades until An-Lan threatens Chanresh. Procyon looks excited, Ong Park sighs, crosses his arms and leans back. Chandresh draws his sword and rests it on An-Lan’s shoulder, asking if he can chastize our associate. Procyon and Park accede while An-Lan summons his Air Bear elemental guardian and it appears.
Chandresh suddenly hurls his sword in the air, leaps behind An-lan, summons a dire lance from nowhere, hits An-Lan, then banishes the lance and catches his sword effortlessly, sheathing it. An-Lan is knocked unconscious by the barrage.
The Air Bear knocks Chandresh back, picks up An-Lan and hurtles through the ceiling with him, shattering it. Park leans forward and says, “So, we should really go to that Manse some time…”
Chandresh agrees and then calls for an assistant, telling them:
“Send the bill for this roof to the House of Len-Ri. And add a notation, RE: Bear.”