As the flying fortress passes over the city, Cain Stone and Horace rush to tell the Queen, while Willow and Bubbles put out the fire. Dorien notes the direction of the flight and deduces that their destination is the colony of Glaes, to the southeast. He asks Captain Kega to join them in stopping it, and he agrees. They quickly come up with a plan: get the fastest ship available, pursue, and board. They hurry to the airship tower, and Dorien and Kega use their influence to commandeer the vessel.
The airship captain pushes the ship to its limits, and the manage to close the distance. They leave orders for the cruiser to open fire on the flying fortress should the ship not turn around within half an hour. Zion uses dimension door to get the party to the bridge, using the schematics they found as a guide. They take the Colonial Irregulars by surprise, and Dorien uses lesser geas to compel the pilot to turn the ship around and land. They barricade the doors, and when the Irregular captain tries to enter, Dorien manages to buy time and convince him that they were experiencing technical difficulties. When it becomes apparent that the ship had turned around, the irate captain returns, attempting to break down the door. Zion decides to surprise the captain with an invisible Kega doorstop, casting greater invisibility on the burly half-orc.
When the captain finally breaks the door, he charges into the invisible captain of the guard, who takes the opportunity to attack. Two more Irregulars, one a caster, wait in the lobby, buffing the captain with stoneskin but unable to reach the intruders. The mage attempts to handle the situation with a dose of black tentacles, but Zion quickly dispels it with the Imperial Medallion. They make quick work of the Irregulars, and the flying fortress lands in Alexia with Cain and a dozen city guards waiting to arrest the perpetrators.
The party decides to go to the Blind Flame to relax and celebrate. Zion leaves and heads to the Brass Dragon, intending to win the bar challenge, with a little help from his magic. He succeeds, and the bar erupts into cheers. Zion tries to complete a sixth mug, but falls asleep halfway through. Willow finds him and carries him home. Meanwhile, Dorien informs Wandalynn of what he learned of her husband from Steelhand. She maintains her composure, saying that she suspected as much and had already grieved for her husband, then quietly retires to her room, leaving the bartending to Daphne.
The party pays a visit to the Irregulars who were captured the day before. Few of them know anything beyond the immediate plans of “capture this ship and bring it to Glaes.” The pilot mentions rumors that it was to be used in an assault on Sanctuary, while other soldiers were gearing up to storm the mainland in freighters.
They go to the palace to see the Queen, who is chatting with Weiss. Dorien implores her to give the prisoners a fair trial and guarantee their families passage to see it, as a gesture of peace. She agrees, though she doubts that the hostile colonies will change their minds. He also recommends finding out just what the colonies are up to with espionage. She says that such efforts are underway. Weiss tells them that he will have the Guardians in the coastal towns act as advance scouts in case of an invasion. Amélie also recommends that they try to relax while they still can.
They spend the rest of the day in the Blind Flame. Zion returns to the Brass Dragon to collect his prize: a clay jug with a head of a dragon as a spigot and dragon wings as a stopper. The bartender demonstrates its magic: ordinarily, it dispenses ordinary ale, but when the command word is spoken, it dispenses his signature Brass Dragon Valignale, capable of creating a gallon of each per day.
Willow and Bubbles visits the Hunters Guild, which seems to be in a state of panic. She hears that several hunters have been assassinated in their beds over the past week. All of them were pursuing relics for the Queen, though none were successful. Concerned for her guild and brother, she finds Dorien and Zion and tells them the trouble. They visit the guildmaster, Kilff Goldbeard, and they develop a plan to trap the assassins the next night.
The word is spread that an expedition is heading out to find the Axe of Unbridled Rage the next day. Dorien and three volunteers rest in a house while Willow and a group of hunters stands ready nearby and Zion waits with another group to dimension door in once Dorien signals them with whispering wind. That night, a shadowy figure appears in the house. Dorien and the volunteers leap into action, casting protective spells and daylight. The shadow becomes fully visible, and Dorien identifies it as an Assassin Devil. Willow, sensing the devil’s presence, is already on her way, leaping through a window and lowering the devil’s defenses with the Golden Star. It attacks Willow, making use of its ability to become invisible to sneak attack her. Zion and three rangers with a hate for devils teleport in, dealing substantial damage. Zion readies a dispel magic to prevent the devil’s escape, and Willow finishes it off. The entire guild soon arrives to help, but the threat is gone, so the only other reasonable alternative is to celebrate.