Proteus makes a deal with the strange child, who teleports them all back to Aeon. Lucien makes a deal with Sophia, who warns him that the Harmonium plans on arresting them all. Because of their assassinations, Mordant is claiming even greater justification for invasion, and their banishment is a stipulation the Aeonian government had to give,
She gives Lucien a note and a name, Baphon, which is their only way out of Carceri.
The Harmonium frees Guy Renard from his capture by Finn, and sends the Pale Dogs, H’ada, Finn, Xarizah, Proteus, and Lucien to Carceri. Proteus, Lucien, and H’ada arrive together and quickly find the Balacazar Syndicate setting up shop nearby. H’ada follows three of them to a watering hole surrounded by medics. The watering hole is a place of truce, and anyone breaking the truce dies.
Lucien talks to people at the watering hole and finds out where Baphon is—on top of a spire, several miles away. They trek there and H’ada’s spirits, more powerful on this plane, cause an earthquake which collapses the spire and forces Baphon to face them directly.
Baphon agrees to send them home to Aeon, which is unprecedented but most convicts don’t have infernal contracts written by Asmodean priests. However, he will only do it if they bring Relin Trias to him.
They return to find the Pale Dogs, who they send out to find Xarizah, Finn, and the flesh golem. The Balacazar Syndicate is nearby, and they intimidate Dmitri Balacazar and capture him. Since only their group is allowed to leave Carceri, the remnants of the Balacazar Syndicate, including Relin Trias, quickly join their group.
They ask Baphon three questions which he is bound to answer:
If we perform this task, will you let all of our people return to Aeon? Yes.
Where is Promtheus? In Hearthharrow.
Who is the biggest threat to Aeon? Three: Asheren, Fell, and Magga.
When they return to Aeon, they find the streets in chaos as the creatures in Fell’s laboratory have escaped.