The party returns to Dr. Steelhand, who happily invites them to dinner and promises to help talk the governor into allying with Alexia. At dinner, he offers three wand sheaths as a reward, devices he developed from his work in creating his sons. He also gives them wands of displacement and greater invisibility.
Over dinner, Quick makes it a point to mention that he never trusted Kendall in the first place. Heat later asks Crash, “Didn’t Kendall say you would only need to seal the tower for 2 weeks? What’s up with that?” Crash remained silent, avoiding the gazes of the guests. They press him to answer, and he says, “He said that’s when he’s going to ‘kick the Goddesses out.’”
Dorien, having drank excessively, abruptly and tactlessly asks Steelhand about Wandalynn Dewshining’s husband. Steelhand is shocked, and his sons quickly vacate the room. He tells Dorien that he tried to save her husband, Bevan, after he was caught in the fire trap. He tried to replace his mangled limbs with artificial ones, which did not go over well with the Alexian public. He partially succeeded, but Bevan’s mind was gone. He was hardly the same man as before, and in his shame, Steelhand exiled himself to his old home in Tipalia, where he continued his research. Bevan became his first son, Heat, who is unaware of his past self. Dorien calls him a coward for not telling Wandalynn and stumbles out, back to the tavern, where he stays for the night. Steelhand offers lodging in his tower for the rest of the party.
In the morning, the party and Steelhand visit governor Douglas Milltall, who explains that the only reason he stalled in pledging their allegiance were rumors that Alexia would not help their troubles. Steelhand explains that they resolved the issue with his tower, which is enough to convince Milltall to sign a note for the Queen. Content, the party returns to Alexia.
Once they land in Alexia, they head to the palace to deliver the letter and show off the Golden Star. She is shocked and impressed, and awards them each the Order of the Blue Hawk, consisting of a medal and a magic ring. She then informs them that their old friend Captain Kega was looking for help in cracking a tough case.
They visit Kega, who walks them to the crime scene, explaining that Fhalyassa Gladomain, an elf transmuter at the College, was murdered on Monday. She had multiple slashing wounds and arrow wounds that left scorch marks. The party investigates her home and finds a notebook with schematics for a huge “Flying Fortress”: a new form of airship without propellers, shaped like a bird. They also find an address that they suspect is her off-campus lab, in the warehouse district to the northwest.
As they head toward the warehouse, they hear an explosion from the south. They decide to investigate the explosion, and they find that Kega’s office is on fire! They see a wizard controlling a zombie wyvern and an assassin sneaking around. The party makes quick work of them, and they hear a voice say, “Damned amateurs,” as five lemures appear and attack the city guards. Kega leaps to the ground to assist, and an invisible creature sneaks through the hole in his wall and kills Clayton Anderson, still in his cage. The creature returns outside, revealing himself to be a bone devil.
They hear a rumbling coming from the northwest as they fight the devil. Kega panics due to its fear aura, but the devil is no match for the party. As the broken devil melts back into the nine hells, they see the flying fortress pass overhead…