The githyanki attack and the Bear Claws fight heroically, driving them back until only their captain and a few others remained. The Captain, a githyanki woman named Iquel, surrenders to the Bear Claws but tells them that she will continue to fight them as long as she lives.
James kills her just as the airships crash to the ground a few hundred yards from the edge of the bluff.
The githyanki guarding the boulder trap see the two airships locked together crash to the ground and send up a giant cloud of dust and smoke and splintered wood. Out of the cloud flies the bloody head of the githyanki captain and the Bear Claws striding in a line from the wreckage.
Thornside fires two arrows, loaded with sticks of dynamite at the pillars holding up the boulder trap and the boulders plunge over the edge of the bluff on the githyanki armies below.
Tokk’it quickly leads the Bear Claws into a secret entrance into the monastery where he is attacked by Izera a githzerai monk. When she recognizes him she chastens him for bringing so few but lets them into the monastery.
The monastery is stark, covered with writings of prophecy and magic but devoid of anything that could be called decoration. Several rooms are being used as triage centers where githzerai are treated for wounds and sent back out to the front to defend the monastery.
In the main courtyard an older githzerai, a bandage over his eyes, stands in the midst of chaos shouting orders to the githzerai there.
Outside the Bear Claws find the githyanki soldiers assaulting the main gates on either side of the courtyard. A few githzerai hold them at bay but they are clearly outmatched. The Bear Claws rush to their aid, smashing through the githyanki invaders.
Tokk’it runs along one wall and leaps off it to land on the back of a githyanki and begins punching him in the face. Izera is also there, bright short swords flashing as she darts about the entrance, dark robes rustling.
Despite the best efforts of the githzerai the wall is soon breached and the Bear Claws turn to fight on that side as well. When the battle finally ends the old blind man emerges from the monastery, his face twisted in sadness. Tokk’it tells the Bear Claws this is Odos of the House of Reprisal.
Odos mourns the loss of so many githzerai and and pronounces that they must abandon the monastery. With such heavy losses they cannot survive another attack. He orders everyone to pack up. There is a deep anger in his voice as he tells them that he is the last leader of the githzerai and that he must meet other refugees in Sayre before they abandon the material plain and its problems for the ‘humans’ to take care of.
In the crashed githyanki ship nearby Jak finds another portrait of the king he once served and shows it to Odos, asking who it is. Odos is surprised that there are ‘humans’ here — he seems to think all non-gith are humans. He tells Jak that this is Emperor Zethr’r of the githyanki.
He is angry and upset but understand that the Bear Claws were instrumental in aiding the monastery in its defenses. As a reward he gives a few of them some magical items as well as payment in gold and potions of vitality.
While they stand around the courtyard discussing what to do next Thornside’s armor swells around him into the shape of a shadowy demon and devours two nearby githyanki bodies before shrinking back to its normal size.
The other Bear Claws want to know what is going on with Thornside’s armor but he seems either oblivious or unwilling to talk about it.
They are similarly curious about Jak’s association with the githyanki Emperor and he explains that he was press-ganged into service before leading a rebellion. When Jak knew him he was only a king on the material plain, obsessed with conquest.
About this time Tokk’it sees Gallia, his former fiancé. She is poking around the edges of all the conversations, trying to listen in. Tokk’it rushes over and brings her to meet the Bear Claws but she seems aloof and uninterested until they notice that she exhibits many of the same awkward mannerisms that the possessed leaders of Overlook did. James quickly grabs hold of her and the githyanki mindslicer that possesses her departs, leaving her lifeless. Upon searching her body they find a piece of glass that Alton can tell is some kind of magical communication device.
James and Xaladin perform the speak with dead ritual to ask Gallia what has been going on. She confesses that the githyanki possessed her a month previously and used her to relay information so that they would know when and where to attack. She tells them that the assassin, Brann’ot, is still at large somewhere.
Alton can tell that the piece of glass is linked to something to the west of Akma’ad, their current location so James heads out in that direction, looking for tracks or clues of Brann’ot.
Alton summons some fiery steeds for the rest of them to ride and they head out in the same direction, except for Emil, Pattie and Roland who stay to help the githzerai and all their wounded.
Alton, Xaladin, Jak and Thornside quickly pass James but never seen any sign of the assassin that they suspect is ahead of them. Instead the trail they follow leads them twenty miles away to the city of Sayre.
Sayre is an artistic city with a large university and three rivers running through it that eventually converge into one to tumble over a tall waterfall. The city gates is a busy place full of buskers, merchants and beggars, tumblers, workers and nobles. One servant approaches them and asks if they are the famous Heroes of Overlook. When they acknowledge the title he begs to introduce them to his master. His master turns out to be a finely dressed githyanki by the name of Telicanthus.
Telicanthus appears very excited to meet them and heaps praises on them, insisting on paying for their stay in Overlook at the finest inn — the River Jewel. He also invites them to tea on the next day which they postpone until the following day in order to wait for James and Roland to arrive.
Not trusting his heaps of praise the four of them do not immediately seek the River Jewel but head towards the University district to look for the Tankard of Ink, an inn that Roland had previously mentioned to them as a meeting location.
Meanwhile Pattie speaks with Roland and is worried about Emil. She tells him that Malthazard speaks through him while he sleeps. She wants Roland to talk to him and see if he knows about it.
Emil doesn’t know about but seems to think it’s pretty exciting until he realizes that it’s not a good thing. Roland tries to teach him some ways to keep his mind safe while he sleeps. At some point as the wounded githzerai make their way to Sayre James joins up with them.