The Bear Claws look at their cramped quarters and Alton settles down on a bed to eat some snacks and ask Roland about why he uses Wild Magic instead of something more stable. Roland thinks the instability is what makes it so powerful.
Jak heads out into the hallway to practice with his ugrosh while Thornside breaks into the room next door, Xaladin goes to check out the banquet hall and James goes in search of a restroom.
James finds directions to a restroom but sees an envoy going in to Cachlain’s throne room and follows them in. The envoy is there to talk to Cachlain about shared slaving resources and James quickly grows disinterested as Sovocles haggles with them.
Thornside finds a locked chest in the neighboring room with a Ironfell pendant and some fancy clothing inside. Thornside takes the clothing and pendant and locks the chest behind him.
As he comes back in the hallway James and Xaladin are just returning from their excursions and ground starts to quake and tremor. James identifies the sound and quaking as coming from something tunneling through the rock and crystal.
Jak takes a fighting stance and gets ready to fight whatever is coming when a bullette smashes through the wall into the entryway followed by a drider and several drow shouting out Sangwyr’s name.
The drider takes to the ceiling and the drow rush into the room behind her. Thornside runs away screaming about being attacked only to come face first with two purple nightmare creatures and a githyanki. The githyanki attacks Thornside and his screams turn to cries for help.
Roland unleashes his Wild Magic and only hits Alton. The drider, once dead rises up from the floor and begins attacking once more. The drow go down quickly but are followed by fiery bats that swoop about and light the Bear Claws on fire.
Thornside flees from the githyanki and his companions but one of them changes shape so that he looks exactly like Thornside.
Roland teleports Thornside so that he switches places with the drider which makes her angry enough that she attacks Roland. He stabbs the Thornside look-alike in the eye with a dagger full of lightning. Thornside and Jak rush in finishing off the drider, the purple monsters and the githyanki but not before the githyanki cut down Roland and nearly killed him.
While the Bear Claws rest and try to recover from their encounter Cachlain’s slaves come into the banquet hall bearing trays of food. They stop and stare shocked at the carnage.
Behind them, talking softly is a dwarf with two githyanki bodyguards. The dwarf looks up and sees the Bear Claws, turns pale and tries to flee. The Bear Claws recognize Bram Ironfell and Jak makes a grab for him. Thornside shoots him with an arrow and draws another one.
At that moment Cachlain, lumbers up the stairs behind Bram, while the githyanki body guards pull together to keep James from getting to him. Cachlain tells Bram to tell the Bear Claws the truth about Thornside’s parents.
Bram haltingly tells them that he didn’t kill the Autumnfalls. Xaladar — Xaladin’s twin brother — did. Bram claims Xaladar was instructed to scare them, not to kill them. Cachlain seems very lucid and angry that the githyanki have betrayed him to Sangwyr, not like he was the last time the Bear Claws spoke with him.
He picks up the two githyanki body guards and enters the room, leaving Bram unprotected. Thornside shoots him again but is inadvertently blocked by some of the stone armor on Cachlain’s skin as the giant steps over the dwarf. Sovocles appears on the steps and Cachlain suddenly becomes less lucid. Sovocles calls him back to the throne room and he turns solemnly and leaves, still dragging the githyanki bodyguards behind him.
James grabs Bram and asks him how he is still alive. He admits that he paid a body double and that is who the Bear Claws killed previously. He went into the Astral Sea where he made his way to the githyanki city of Tu’narath and got hired to be their ambassador to Cachlain.
Xaladin polymorphs him into a rat and Thornside cuts off his tail before Xaladin turns him back. He comes back screaming and two of his fingers lie on the floor. Thornside stabs his arm with a letter opener and they get him to talk.
He offers money if they won’t kill him but they just take his money anyway. He offers more if they let him go and they find where he’s hidden it and take that as well. Bram, desperate and in pain spills all everything he knows about the githyanki.
He tells them that recently the lich queen Vlaakith XXVII was assassinated and Zetch’r’r took over as Emperor of the githyanki. He made a deal with Tiamat and they have pursued her agenda of conquering the material plane instead of their usual pursuit of war with the mindflayers. The githyanki believe that each incarnation of Vlaakith is the reborn soul of the ancient warrior queen Gith. They hired Bram to negotiate with Cachlain for use of his portal network so that they could start their invasion before their own plans to build a portal network were complete.
James asks Bram what he is keeping in the chest in his room. Bram tells them it is clothes and Thornside tells him if he is telling the truth they will let him go. When Jak smashes the chest open it is empty and the Bear Claws conclude they cannot trust Bram and they knock him unconscious and take him with them back to the banquet hall.
They come up with a plan to get Sovocles away from the king by having Roland go talk to him while the rest of them lay in wait to knock him out. When Roland enters the throne room the doors slam shut and Sovocles immediately accuses him of orchestrating the attack to kill the king. He accuses the Bear Claws of lying and tells Roland if they submit to being imprisoned their lives will be spared. Roland gets angry and scary and Sovocles stumbles back, almost revealing something about himself as he tries to regain control.
Sovocles sends the guards to bring the rest of the Bear Claws to the throne room.
Meanwhile Alton has been eating the food the servants brought and promptly falls asleep, the food obviously drugged. When the guards appear Jak picks up Alton in one arm, Bram in the other and follows them. Thornside and James are left in the banquet hall wondering what to do and Xaladin has hidden unnoticed in the rafters as a small flying animal.