The coven works to resolve responsibilities in Hell before returning to Creation. The Daughter settles into the library and laboratory of her apartments, initiating research on several topics. She summons several naneke and a sorcerous duplicate of herself to lead them, dispatching the group to one of the great glass libraries of Orabilis, The End of All Wisdom. She commands them to seek knowledge of Mount Metagalapa. The Daughter then fills her time beginning the designs for Essence powered propulsion systems and hearthstone bracers.
Henley and Hammer journey via agata-drawn palanquin to the markets of the demon Makarios. Henley and Makarios have an arrangement such that Makarios supplies exotic goods of the Demon City for Henley to sell in Creation, while Henley finds victims to be enmeshed in the dreams that Makarios’ sends to mortals. Each profits greatly from the deal, and a modicum of trust has developed between them. Lord Ravenhurst asks a gift from Makarios; a number of large emeralds and rubies, pieces of Malfean brass, and a small amount of chalcanth to aid the Daughter in her experiments. Makarios graciously accommodates the request.
Meanwhile, Job and Encore introduce themselves to the Scourge known as Captain Gyrfalcon. Job applies his considerable social acumen, persuading Gyrfalcon to transport the coven aboard his airship to Mount Metagalapa. Gyrfalcon is uninterested at first, but when Job offers Gyrfalcon fifty hawkmen slave warriors by the next Thing Infernal, a deal is struck for passage.
While Hammer and Henley are away, the Daughter is visited by a meek fegran. It carries a message from Querros, the Burning Orrery; he holds lore the Daughter would find valuable. If she is interested in a deal, she is invited to visit his home and negotiate. Her interest piqued, she makes the short journey to Querros’ dwelling and asks for more information. Querros tells her that he knows of a hearthstone that can be planted like a seed, growing a new manse and returning the seedstone to the manse of its origin. However, this seedstone is created by a living manse that swims the deepnesses of Kimbery and rarely appears…except that it is now accessible, if one acts quickly. Querros only asks that the Daughter establish a cult in his name in Creation, and he will tell her where to find the manse so she may claim it for her own. The Daughter has Querros write their bargain as a contract, providing a copy for herself and him. The two parties sign in agreement, and Querros gives her the location of the living manse known as Brezozi.
When Hammer and Henley return to the Conventicle and the coven is reconvened, the Daughter leads them to Brezozi. It is a massive creature, beached on the shores of the acid sea. Its thick, armored shell indicates no entrance, save through its fetid, gaping maw. The Princes step over the threshold, seeking the treasure within. The Daughter sends her stomach bottle bug into the flesh of the creature to learn what it may. Using the magic of the Unimpeded Perfection of Exertion, Encore manages to tread lightly down a fleshy passage and avoid triggering a deadly swallow reflex in the beast. He discovers the stomach, and its decided that the hearthstone is more likely to be near the heart than in the gut. Job sees an opportunity to hopefully make Brezozi friendly to them, and he invokes the Locust Mana Plague to fill Brezozi’s stomach with sweet insects.
After some internal exploration, the coven returns to the creature’s mouth to plan their next move.