Setting sail on the Night Star and heading north along the river towards the city of Varsi, the Heroic Do-Gooders briefly conferred. They knew that Setsuko and Marak would be pursuing, and a way was needed to slow them down. In the end, it was agreed that Mihir and Jumanah would ride south upon his mechanical steed. If, in four days, they had not caught up to their pursuers, they would return north to Varsi. If they did, then they would do what they could to slow their river craft and buy Desdemona and Rillin more time to finish outfitting the Night Star with its new Essence engine.
So the group split in half. Desdemona sailed her ship north up the river, while Mihir rode south and back into the jungles.
For Desdemona and Rillin, the journey was mostly uneventful and peaceful. Several days later, they encountered a Lookshy patrol captainned by the young Lookshy Terrestrial named Teresu Seifuku. He boarded the ship, stating that they were searching for the Anathema that were rumoured to be in the area. He also mentioned a certain Lunar who turned into an oversized wasp, who infiltrated the Lookshy archives and took every scrap of information pertaining to the Forgotten City of Denandsor. When confronting the San-Beast Kilarah, Rillin’s companion, Seifuku was deterred from believing she was a Lunar when Rillin revealed himself to be her advisor and that she was an ambassador of Halta. Believing that the ship held no Anathema, Seifuku left the Night Star and sailed onwards.
Rillin and Desdemona sailed into Varsi’s docks without further incident and immediately acquainted themselves with some heavenly tarts.
Meanwhile, Mihir and Jumanah did not have so easy of a time. Their journey south did end with finding Setsuko and Marak sailing the Mud Turtle upriver. Combat ensued when Marak took the first shot, taking Mihir in the back and through the shoulder. Jumanah boarded the vessel, and blood was spilled on both sides when Setsuko struck a hard, first blow, only to be grievously wounded herself when the infuriated Lunar cut loose.
With his flaming arrows, Mihir set the boat on fire and struck Marak’s firewand out of his hands, sending it into the water. In retalation, Marak lept off of the boat and through the jungle, pursuing the Solar until he lept upon him and nearly tackled him off of his horse. The two grappled for a short time, until Garron threw both riders off. Marak struck his head upon the ground and fell unconscious.
With the boat burning and Mihir losing blood quickly, he called for Jumanah to retreat. When the Lunar returned to him, both of them took Marak away with them and deeper into the jungles. They kept him bound, but Mihir healed his wounds. The Solar spoke at long length with the Dragon-Blooded, and in the end, Mihir convinced the zealot that he was not truly evil. A bargain was struck between them. In one year, Marak would return to find Mihir, and if he had held to his sanity, he would be allowed to live. If not, Marak would destroy him. Trusting that he would hold to his word, Mihir released the Dragon-blooded and convinced him to ride north with the pair to Varsi.
The three traveled together north, but roughly five miles out from the city of Varsi, Marak took his leave of Mihir and Jumanah in order to board a ship sailing south. His work would continue in Jades, where he would hunt for the murderer of Destiny’s Flower. Furthermore, Marak had no wish for anyone to realise that he might have possibly committed treachery by befriending (or at least abiding somewhat peacefully) with an Anathema.
Eventually, Mihir and Jumanah rode into the town of Varsi, soon finding Rillin and Desdemona. The four were reunited, and it was decided that they would travel next to Denandsor. There, Desdemona would search for Zhen, Rillin would search for First Age wonders, and Mihir would search for more sleeping Dragon Kings to awaken.