Musket fire echoes through the strange city streets. The party, with ebi-kreen and chul in tow, follow the sounds, apparently coming from the crumbling castle in the center of town. As they approach the castle grounds, they find it half buried in loose sand. An expanse of the sand stretched out several dozen meters in all directions. Footprints lead across the sand before coming to an abrupt end where a musket lies alone in the sand. As Jin reaches for the musket the sand below him falls away and he vanishes. The party rush to his location to find that the sand trap is the home of a Yellow Worm. They fight to bring Jin from the belly of the monstrosity, their survival hinging on the strength of Jin's rope. They eventually manage to pull both him and Irome from the creature's gut once slain.

They must catch up to Khangweizhin's expedition, but they need rest. They decide to take a brief respite in the shadow of the worms corpse. The ebi-kreen, looks over the body enthusiastically and begins prying the glistening teeth from the worm's maw. During the night, Kimchiwei has engaged in heavy conversation with the chuls Cheeve and Zekkt. The chuls claim that, since their aboleth master vanished, they must follow whatever creature has "the greatest mind" and have determined that Kimchiwei is more worthy than the ebi-kreen. The ebi-kreen ia apparently displeased with this his traitorous pack-animals, but does not become hostile towards the party.


Rested and rejuvenated, the party head into the castle. The building is half buried buried in the sand, piled around it as the ages marched on. They find what appears to be a balcony, just a few meters from the ground and climb up to it. At the far end of the small room is another balcony with a heavy railing, looking down into the foyer. What draws their attention, however, is the thick layer of char. This room was heavily burned, as if blasted with intense flames. Standing among the black ruin is the marble statue of an angel. The statue is pristine, but carved in such a way as to reflect having been burned. In the statues right hand is a single bronze scale with arcane runes engraved into the surface. Despite Irome's protest, Finellen chips the angelic figures fingers away to retrieve the scale. Jin identifies it as a magic item that can temprarily summon a small approximation of the dragon that shed it.

They hear raised voices coming from the foyer. Below is Khangweizhin, dressed in elaborate violet and gold robes, along with his son and two groups of mercenaries. Some in the groups carry western style weapons and armor. The party quickly formulate a plan, but by the time they are ready to implement it, half of the group has headed down deeper into the ruin and the other half is coming up the stairs below them.

They go forward with the plan anyway, ambushing the nearest group of Khangweizhin's mercenaries. The mercenaries prove a easy challenge, hardly getting a chance to fight back, old man Wei is another case. He greets his cousin with mild amusement, asking if he was the torchbearer they fired at in the darkness the other day in the cavern. Hauri takes a warrior hostage and orders Khangweizhin to abandon this fools quest for the 6 Demon Bag. Old man Wei laughs and states that these are not servants, they are slaves, and unleashes a torrent of flame upon the group. They retaliate, and prove to be more than a match for Wei, who has revealed himself as a servant of Cuelebre, the Violet Queen. He flees deeper into the ruin, erecting a wall of pure fire behind him, cutting off his pursuers.

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