The quartet all enter Nexus, exposing themselves, some for the first time, to the greasy underbelly that is the entire city. Making their way to the Bastion district, they rapidly leave the grime, crime, and outright violence behind them. They are welcomed at the penthouse of Kratz the Astrologer, a member of the Council of Entities. While Kratz prepares a meeting room, the characters – Entaro, Jingcai, Rook, Yara, and five of the River Province Irregulars – are left alone in a sitting room, where they exchange basic pleasantries (though not one another's names).
Eventually, Kratz appears, an ancient woman dressed in spider-motif silks. They are escorted into a positively opulent sitting chamber, where a feast is provided for them all. During the feast, Kratz outlines her proposal: an expedition to the Tomb of Hatshep-Kur to retrieve a powerful Artifact, the Gauntlet of Dreams. The Tomb has, until recently, been engulfed in a Wyld zone, but the zone has inexplicably ebbed, leaving the Tomb vulnerable. She offers one hundred silver dinars each for the return of the Gauntlet; in addition, the characters may keep whatever other treasures are located within the Tomb.
Yara immediately demands more money, unsuccessfully. Though Kratz sweetens the pot with promises of fame, provisions, and even a bonus if the characters return swiftly, she refuses to up the ante. She also promises to provide Jingcai with tomes of the history of Hatshep-Kur. She asks Entaro to prepare his ship, which he claims will take three days. True to her word, Kratz has provisions and porters sent to the ship. She also allows the characters to stay in one of the finest inns in Cinnabar, using only her name as payment. The characters finally make introductions, as they prepare for the journey two weeks to the south.