The party returns to Dagna as dusk begins to fall, and they head to the tavern to sup. Roasted garlic chickens are on offer: Shan takes three for herself, while the others take one each. The waiter — Annick — ends up being the fellow whom Shan recruited as a student. Zorran begins telling the story of their adventure to the gem cavern in epic fashion, with the “return of spoils” and the “defeat of the bakemono”. Amaira rolls her eyes at some of the more exaggerated aspects, before waiter-dude asks about the tengu “bird men” that were spotted during the rescue, to which she says they were simply in costume. Momoko also relays information to Amic and near-by listeners about the guard captain that the team encountered before entering the cavern, who was also dressed in a feathered cape and bird mask.
Farmers in South Crystalmere have mostly recovered from their injuries, and folks aren’t quite sure what to make of the “half-height people” that were rescued from the manor. Amaira professes that they are called “halflings”, but Zorran claims there is no such thing as a “ling”. Shan declares the tengu would be halflings: half human, half starling.
Momoko decides to interrupt the inanity and tell the tavern clientele a story from her village about a foolish adventurer who strays from the path and runs into goblins who steal all of his possessions, even his clothing. Returning to his home, he gets ridiculed for his fate. When Zorran says, “This reminds me of another story about foolish adventures, who ran off toward a field that they knew nothing about…” and Amaira slaps him on the back of the head.
The next day, Momoko makes a beautiful lunch for her apprentices. Shan approaches Faustina about a battle exhibition. Zorran hangs out at Generations and drinks. Amaira consults with one of the Raven’s Eye lodge elders about her vision quest, confirming that the ants likely represent ants, and trees are symbolic of the world and divinity: in this case, the tree may be the creator. The timing nearly lines up with the arrival of the hobgoblin land mass.
On day two of downtime, Shan decides to work on a gi for the Shotokai Dojo. Amaira heads south to do a second vision quest with Enamund at her side, experiencing some cleansing but no further visions. Momoko has her students recite stories again, with Aki improving and Haruno doing about the same, and teaches some more etiquette. Zorran has little success in his dealings.
As Amaira is contemplating her empty vision, the ground quakes, and a new island has arrived in the east. In a series of hills, there appears to be a castle in one of the upper peaks. She heads back to Dagna. Everyone else senses the collision as well. Momoko starts a fresh pot of tea as she is “expecting company”. Shan gets on the roof of the dojo to see what happened. Zorran heads toward Dagna to meet the others in the “ORS”.
Amaira spots Shan on the roof of the dojo in her new bright-orange gi, and then enters the tea house to alert Momoko and Zorran about what she saw. They decide to gear up and head out on horse-back. As they get through the first ridge of hills, the valley reveals a town built at the side of the hill with a wooden palasad around it. Watchmen guard the walls. The castle atop the hill appears to be about a half-hour walk from the town.