During the journey to Kaer Uqbar, Antalat and the characters discuss much, but do not delve deeply into the obvious topics of negotiations; these are the province of the Heresiarch. Near the kaer, they encounter a patrol led by Chadouanka, who expresses unease at the recent inactivity of the Horror. The leader of the kaer’s crossbowmen feels something big is coming. He also believes that the giant winged creatures observed flying near Uqbar City are acting as a sort of “cavalry screen” for the Horror’s movements.
Once the group reaches the kaer, Shynya immediately seeks out Zinder. The altered state she achieved with the Bahariyans manifests as an intense desire for intimacy. Afterwards, Zinder asks her to marry him, and she accepts. Apparently he had already planned to do this and had consulted Toujou for advice.
Now the characters and Antalat meet with Heresiarch Melancho. Antalat appears forthright and honest in his answers and speculations. In fact, Antalat is the main rival of Chief Berka and will probably be more amenable to a treaty that focuses on confronting the Horror. The cavalryman also discusses the other nomad clans, including the aggressive and numerous Kenchela to the west and the Deemah to the south.
The Heresiarch determines that he must take sides amongst the nomads; there is no way to remain above clan politics and still assemble a force to battle the Horror. He will return Antalat to Yamousoukro Oasis aboard the airship Departure, impressing the clan with Uqbar’s strength and Antalat’s new friends. On the way, the airship will drop the characters off near the ruins of Arak so that Yaryar can complete a required deed to unlock the next power of Vorengehen’s Last Stand.
The characters walk two to three hours to the ruins of Arak. According to the requirements of the deed, Yaryar must plant a tree in Arak in such a way that it will grow tall and strong. The most reasonable location seems the old well in the town square. Perhaps the Passions watch over the sons of Uqbar, for the group finds a place near the well where they can plant the tree with some confidence it will survive.
Once the tree has been planted, Shynya detects incoming constructs at 500 feet from three directions. Shynya and Mishka cast preparatory spells while the group assembles near the remnants of a building. The constructs seek out the weakest melee combatants, Mishka and Shynya, at the expense of attacks from Yaryar and Oglat. Mishka is pressed, while Shynya goes down, unmoving and possibly dead. Except for one that escapes, the remaining constructs are destroyed.
Oglat calls upon the power of Thystonius to revive Shynya. For no apparent reason, Yaryar drops to his knees in pain. Shynya breathes again.