The party approaches the mysterious Journal in the hut of Mengzhi. The Journal’s emergence was accompanied by a blinding light. Outside, Arturian has just visited with Zim and Galen when the light bleeds forth from the hut of the Scholar. Inside, Ts’ao Hai and Rebecca are temporarily blinded and dazzled by the intense and sudden radiance.
Physically, the Journal looks like a winding scroll inside of a cubic, etched metal frame. The Journal identifies each member of the party, as well as the eavesdropping Artie, and invites him inside, where he is given a hug by his surprised cousin Ts’ao Hai. The Journal is questioned on various personal details, and is also asked about the stele. The Journal provides much information, telling them that the stele must be replaced as long as the Well is a threat, but it requires some quite exotic ingredients, including a rare basalt called “heart of the earth,” filings of precious metals, dust of the hardest elements, and blood of the most powerful extent race.
Turning to the party’s guiding Light, the Journal tells Talis that she is a Coronus of the Legion of Light, much to her surprise and confusion. It is explained that the Legion of Light is a minor cult in our day but seems widespread in the time the Journal comes from. The Journal invokes the name of Adapa and Ts’ao Hai has a little freakout. After some more questions, the Journal begins prophesying about troubles to come, including slavers arriving at the colony within two years. In addition, the party learns the Staakos will return soon, reforming on this Realm at the temple.
The Lantern informs the party that two of the outer stele are no longer functional. Seeking to question the Lantern about the Guardian of the Temple, Talis produces the summoning stone and is forced out of the hut by a sudden feeling of weakness. The Lantern informs the posse that Talis has found one of the markers, which summon the guardians. The new information is that there are 5 markers that can be reached within this realm, but they are all quite distant from the colony. During the conversation, Moccan allows the book to attempt to absorb the group’s knowledge, dropping Rebecca and Artie into unconsciousness for the next 6 hours. Mengzhi is tasked with getting certain information out of the book as everyone breaks for the day, troubled by these revelations.
The next day, the party begins to arrange for the transference of metal across the river. Once all the metal is delivered, Ts’ao Hai gets his new mithral chain shirt. After this is accomplished, another meeting of the colony is called to determine the colony’s attitude. The vote is decided in the favor of the good of the people, and only a modicum of restrictions. As the meeting breaks up, Arturian becomes familiar with the colony leaders and planners, while Talis orders the process of officially breaking the Steadfast up for parts. Also discussed is the eventual establishment of the ioun stone mine, and the exploration necessary to achieve its establishment. It is decided that Shopik and Xaxe will take masons to explore the quarry to the south. At the end of the discussion, the colony management is finalized for the month.
After the meeting breaks up, the watch horn sounds. The old monk, Tubayek, has returned to the settlement. As the party approaches him, Art notices that Tubayek looks worn and wearied from his travels. Tubayek holds up a book, says, “I think they are all dead,” and collapses on the shore. While Talis tends to the monk, experts in the Bea’txo language examine the text, which is written in a coded form of that tongue. They read the testament with growing alarm as it details the likely end of the Tumkayal Azkaderra on their journey to examine all the stele and approach the temple. The last entry details them entering the temple, expecting to never emerge again.
The party debates what to do with this information, and decides that it is well past time to talk to the Guardian with the Marker. The party asks the Lantern for various bits of information beforehand, including the fact that the Kambral we spoke to are coming to bring genocide to the Kambral near our colony. The Lantern now speaks like a particularly unpleasant longshoreman that Artie once had dealings with as a consequence of absorbing his memories.
The party crosses the river and speaks with the Kambral, warning them about the danger. They convince the Kambral that they can conceal their presence from their enemies, and begin planning a deception to protect them from their own kind.
The party approaches the stele, and talk with Selwinnian and Battuti from the Constant, now stewards left behind by the Tumkayal expedition. They discuss the journal and then explain that they are going to attempt to summon the guardian. The guardian turns out to be a Couatl, and asks what the party wants of him. The party fumbles through speaking with it, but eventually ask the Couatl to slow the Calling until they summon it for transport to the temple. The session ends with the Couatl departing, and the party uncertain of the future.