Having outmaneuvered the Wyld Hunt and left them chasing their own tail in the desert, the three heroes make the journey back to Chiaroscuro, though not without incident – Tepet Lisara seduces one of Keemia’s handmaidens, and Shadow Edge reveals his Solar Exalt nature to the Varangian men they met earlier. These Varangians have come to trust Edge and Rakios, and at least two of them – Fahrad and Kasim – declare that the heroes have their loyalty. Kasim becomes Rakios’ student, and Fahrad promises to be loyal to Shadow Edge and to do his best to kill him should he turn evil. Shadow Edge appreciates this gesture.
Shadow Edge goes to find Faqir, and arranges a deal with him. Faqir can smuggle the heroes into the city, and provide a sleeping draught for Tepet Lisara so that she does not cause trouble. He does this in exchange for a few gems from the Glittering Desert. So it is that the heroes sneak into the City of Glass, setting up camp in one of Keemia’s warehouses, where nobody will look for them.
Shadow Edge also visits Keemia’s husband, Rajeed. He finds that he is with another woman. Reporting this to Keemia, they learn that he has always surrounded himself with mistresses, but that she loves him deeply anyway. She wants to see him again, so Rakios escorts her to her old manor. Keemia goes disguised as Takeshi the Poet, an alter ego she comes to use extensively in Chiaroscuro.
While Shadow Edge learns the lay of the land by calling upon his contacts, Keemia learns that her husband has not even held a funeral for her, despite thinking her dead. This enrages her so, that she makes him swear to never touch another woman again, and binds this oath into Heaven. She leaves together with Rakios, and tells him that she has always suspected Rajeed only married her for the money.
Edge lures out Jafaar from his hidey-hole, and they banish him from the city, setting up residence in his apartment instead. Thereafter, they decide the best course of action might be to speak with the Tri-Khan of Chiaroscuro, for they hear rumours there is yet another Solar in the city, one with supposed connections to the Khan.
Meeting Yejouj Khan, a crafty old man, in his throne room, they learn that it is indeed so. Arbash Serik, a loyal member of the Chiaroscuro Guard, has indeed Exalted and serves the Tri-Khan fiercely. Yejouj Khan agrees to lend help in freeing Shadow Edge’s sister from Cynis Denovah Yassari, so long as the wicked sorceress dies in the process. He provides them with maps of the manse she inhabits and with papers so that they can approach it in disguise.