V’neef Kai and Peleps Maera meet with Saffron Veil to address their encounter with Righteous Shrike. Veil expects the Prince will reject the offer from Thorns.
Maera visits Yin Guan and tells her Thorns is coming, and asks her to help evacuate Jiara if necessary.
While on the road back to Jiara, Mnemon Sarissa throws herself into a major crafting project. The increasingly paranoid Cathak Shao Dun spends every moment of his time worrying about the warstrider. Sarissa does her best to keep his mind occupied on other things.
Maera and Kai secure a warehouse to house the warstrider.
The kinship, minus Tepet Sanzo, reunite at the gates of Jiara. As the warstrider is brought to the warehouse and revealed, Shao and Maera go over safety arrangements. Maera tells him of Righteous Shrike’s visit and Saffron Veil’s intended rejection. As the discussion goes on, the two share a brief, intimate moment.
Shao and Maera return to Kai’s villa. Inside the anteroom, Shao becomes immediately aware that a malefic spirit is present. WIth Maera’s help, Shao locates the ghost. During his questioning, the ghost attempts to retreat, but Shao smashes open the ceiling and destroys it through exposure to sunlight.
Kai and Sarissa arrive, and Shao and Maera explain what happened. They speculate as to the identity of the ghost’s master, and consider the possibility that it was a servant of Thorns.
Shao proposes using salt wards to prevent incursions by unwanted spirits. As the discussion continues, the kinship is bolstered as they are finally rejoined by Tepet Sanzo.