The gang arrives back at the Prancing Pony in surprisingly good shape considering the stabbings, burnings and poisonings they’ve been through.
Vash, Argonath and Jenner try to determine the type of poison on the arrow Jenner was shot with. They determine that the poison is Druid’s Blood, a famous and widely used poison. Whether or not it’s actually Druid’s Blood remains to be seen.
They report their findings to the Elven embassy and the elves assure them that their ship is being made.
Word of Corsa’s fall has finally reached Tibaltia and Vash believes his Halfling friend may be with the news-bringers. Kiara eventually finds the place she believes him to be, a tavern called the Half-Empty Flagon, which is full of Corsa refugees.
The gang goes and Vash finds his friend. The Halfling is the son of one of the largest shipping companies in Tibaltia. He and Vash made friends in the army, both outcasts.
As the two catch up, the others sit down to a game of cards. Things are going well until the dealer gets angry that Kiara is cheating better than he is. The ensuing barfight is a rousing good time and the gang gives the lowlifes a thorough thrashing before escaping mostly unscathed.
Later on, the gang learns that there is to be a new coronation ceremony, to prove that the royal family is alive and bears no lasting damage from the attack. Vash gets a very, very bad feeling about it.
They set about planning how to stop the coronation. Destroying the palace is out of the question. Sneaking into the palace and slitting the king and prince’s throats is risky. Sneaking into the church and stealing the exotic weapons stored there is even more risky.
They decide to take their information to the church. After all, if Galen and Gareth are practicing dark magic, the church is sure not to approve.
Martin puts on a new disguise and acts his way into the head priest’s office. he hands over the ritualistic writing and the priest assures Martin the coronation will not go as planned.
Not convinced, the gang gears up and sneaks into the palace. They plan to take a shot at the priest, who they believe wants the throne for himself. They take positions around the coronation chamber.
Richard finds Argonath, Kiara and Jenner as they wait in the secret passage next to the gallery. As they try to extract him, they need him alive for the treaty after all, he refuses and strides out into the chamber as the ceremony begins.
Vash senses magic in the coronation chamber. And it’s not the good kind. The celestial symbols on the main platform with the royalty are corrupted by something evil. More fiendish symbols are on the balcony above the door.
The priest comes down the aisle with the Crown of Corsa. Richard starts to run.
Argonath takes a shot at the priest. Jenner shoots at Queen Beatrice as she steps onto the symbols. Both arrows stop in midair in front of their targets.
Richard stands on the summoning circle and for a moment is replaced by a demon. Beatrice changes form and becomes a woman in shining white with silver hair. She is Magistra incarnate.
Galen is crowned, presumably under Beatrice/Magistra’s control. The gang flees except for Martin who was a part of the ceremony.
Something very powerful and very evil has just taken a very big step into this world.