Landing at inner docks of the Nexus Pool, the group split up to take care of errands. Most retreated from the seasonal rains to a comfortable inn, but Whispers and Shade both headed for the Guild Headquarters while Stalwart Second left to find a proper stable to house Azagael.
Second met Telta, a god-blooded Marukani woman, at the stable. The two got along well, and Telta surprised him by laying a blessing on Azagael. Unfortunately, things did not go as she planned; Bored and frustrated that his rider wouldn’t make a move on the pretty woman, Azagael discovered he could turn into a half-man, half-horse and gave the entire stable enough to gossip about for a season.
At the Guild tower, Shade and Whispers made their reports on their activities since they abruptly left Marita. Shade added that he felt Whispers had developed inappropriate ties to Typhon, an emissary for a foreign power that was hostile to the Guild. Faced with this information, the Guild began an audit of Whisper’s dealings and contacts that would keep her busy filling out paperwork and answering questions for several days. Shade managed to promote his own reputation in the meanwhile, letting several key people in the Guild know that he would be willing and able to gather information about the inner workings of Thorns for them.
The next morning, the group dispersed throughout the streets of Nexus, searching for the safe house for Adamant Rose’s school. Shade found it and they planned their journey to the school that afternoon. They walked north of Nexus across the river dam and into the forested hills to the temple of Lho Myu Jin, a local forest god. While on the way there, Gaias practiced and pondered what he would say to Adamant Rose when he got there about her husband, Howls Justice. The group was still divided on whether they had done the right thing in not going back into the Underworld to search for him after their escape from Karuth Vlan. Gaias settled on telling Rose the truth of the matter.
The monks at the temple greeted the group and began giving the newcomers a tour. There they met a young Solar named Maya who had been traveling with her Lunar mate, Pak San-Toki, a student of Adamant Rose. Gaias went alone to the training grounds where Rose and her students were practicing, saying he needed to do this himself. When he arrived at the training grounds, Rose scolded him for being gone so long and ordered him into a sparring competition with Pak San-Toki. Delaying the inevitable, Gaias sparred with Toki and won using his new Daiklave, though his form still met with critique from Rose.