Lady Koralia and her entourage are in the midst of travelling to the Domaldo Cathedral in Anschok City when they are waylaid by a large, heavily armed Vorox, demanding that Lady Koralia come with him. Sir Evander steps up to protest, but is quickly felled by a few well-placed shots from the Vorox. A quick check of his body by Doctor Wulfric reveals that the ammunition used on the Baronet was merely stun rounds: he will be fine in a few hours, though he is likely to be sore.
Seeking to prevent a further scene, Lady Koralia agrees to go with the Vorox. He divests them of weapons and shield cores, and leads them to an armored van, and loads them into the back. The van begins moving, just as the group hears the sirens of local authorities.
The van stops a short time later, and they are let out. They are in a less than reputable area of the Anschok City Region. The large Vorox leads them into a seemingly abandoned building, where a beautiful white haired woman waits.
Lady Koralia and Kadan recognize her, and calls her by name: Lady Jann Thana. Doctor Wulfric recognizes her as the woman he saw watching them on the space station a few days ago. The rest of the entourage are somewhat surprised that Lady Koralia knows this woman.
They converse briefly, with Lady Jann attempting to sew discord in the entourage. She asks them if they truly know what sort of woman they have been following, and ask if they are even sure that their motivations with her are their own. Paxton, fed up with the situation, demands to know if Lady Jann has only brought them here to mince words. Lady Jann informs him that she sent Sargeant Kairaba, the large Vorox man, to retrieve them in broad daylight, on the busiest day on Delphi in decades, merely to prove a point: that if she could engineer their capture in such circumstances, they would be well advised to watch their backs when they are traveling the Known Worlds in less favorable environments.
Satisfied with herself, Lady Jann tells Kairaba to watch them, and she begins to leave. After she has exited the building, Kairaba gives the group their equipment, and leaves himself.
They are a bit out of the way at this point, but the group has communications equipment, and they promptly use it to contact Sir Evander. Finding that he is alright, they request that he comes to pick them up. Using Enhenduanna’s celestial attunement, they are able to give him a precise location without any complications.
After meeting back up with Sir Evander, they find that local authorities and the Synecullum have questioned every witness to the events. Satisfied that the explosion had nothing to do with the Patriarch’s visit, the Synecullum left. The local authorities took Sir Evander on his word as a Hawkwood Noble that neither he nor his wife had anything to do with the attack, and were merely victims.
When they arrive at the Domaldo Cathedral, the Patriarch’s mass has already begun, but they haven’t missed much. They take seats reserved for the local lords and ladies of Delphi, and listen to a stirring sermon, taking several hours. Doctor Wulfric gives his prized rifle, Vera, to a cousin he has in the Brother Battle order, in the hopes of having it blessed by the Patriarch.
After the sermon, as the local peasants, freemen, and nobles are filtering from the Cathedral, Lady Koralia is approached by a Squire of her manor. He informs the group that he has been waiting for an hour or so, not wishing to interrupt the group as they listened to the Patriarch, but he has a message from back home. There is an old Obun man there, asking to see Lady Koralia and Enhenduanna.
Wrapping up their business in Anschok City, they head back to the manor. Sir Evander complains, mostly in jest, that he was looking forward to spending the evening in the city. Lady Koralia promises to make it up to him later.
Upon arriving back at Sir Evander’s manor, they find that there is indeed an elderly Obun man, wearing the robes of the Church and the symbol of the Eskatonic Order waiting for them. He stands up, leaning heavily on a cane, and goes to embrace Enhenduanna warmly. She introduces the man as Philosophus Belesis, her old mentor and friend. He greets each member of the entourage warmly, even Kadan, whom he says he will enjoy speaking to at length. He then requests that they have some privacy, if at all possible, as he has a matter of a personal and delicate nature that he wishes to discuss.
Once in a private room, Father Belesis will confide in the group as to the nature of his visit. He requires assistance, and hopes that the group will be able to provide it. Back on Pentateuch, he had been training a new Novitiate: a human by the name of Darryl Fane, who had shown great talent and promise with Theurgic rites. About a week before Father Belesis left, Darryl went missing. The only clue he could find as to the Novitiate’s whereabouts was in his journal, which mentioned that he had found evidence of a massive underground system of catacombs on Pentateuch, and suspected that the lost journals of Doramos, the World Shaper, master terraformer, might be found within them. According to his journal, he was planning an expedition to investigate these catacombs, and then he just vanished into thin air.
The part that bothers Father Belesis most, however, is the reactions of the other members of the Order on Pentateuch. No one else will even admit to the existence of Darryl Fane, much less acknowledge that he has gone missing. Father Belesis isn’t sure if there is some sort of occult phenomenon occuring, or if there is a conspiracy within the Eskatonic Order, but he knows that he must get outside assistance. He begs that Lady Koralia and her companions accompany him back to Pentateuch. With very little debate, the group agrees, and they begin making preparations to head to Pentateuch.
While in transit, Enhenduanna studies Novitiate Darryl Fane’s journal. She does find some pieces that Father Belesis either missed, or omitted when speaking to the group. Namely, the Novitiate had determined that the entrance to the catacombs was located at the north pole of the planet. There are also echoes of paranoia in the latter pages of the journal, insisting that “they” are on to him, and that “they” are coming for him. He was also convinced that the higher ups in the Order did not want him to find Doramos’ secrets, and that they would stop at nothing to prevent his expedition.
Upon revealing this information to the rest of the group, they determine that the north pole of Pentateuch is where they must head once they make planetfall.