The party rode back into Kalsgard, ready to start spending their loot. Suishen warned Marcel that Nogitsune are particularly hard to kill, and knowing that Marcel was a kitsune, he would be watching Marcel for signs of possession. Suishen warned him that if Marcel was possessed, he would free Marcel quickly and mercifully. By parting his head from his shoulders.
The party went back to the caravan, where they were welcomed by Arach and the others. They found that there had been some serious changes while they were away. With the return of Lute Haggersly, there had been a serious upheaval in Kalsgard’s business environment: the Rimerunners Guild’s assets had been frozen while they were investigated thoroughly, searching for how deep the corruption went.
The party found Maia and presented her with Suishen. She accepted it gratefully at first, listening to it introduce itself, but then as Suishen finished, its blade burst into flames. Maia turned white and screamed, dropping the sword to the ground with a clang as she recoiled from it.
Silence fell over the group for a long moment. Maia caught her breath and asked Elsa to go on carrying Suishen for now. Suishen hesitantly acknowledged Elsa as its temporary wielder, so long as she had the permission of the Amatatsu family.
Maia told Suishen that she was no Amatatsu, at least not pureblood. She was a bastard of the lady Kaijitsu. Suishen disagreed, and explained: years ago, the Amatatsu family had come across the Crown of the World, to escape the political turmoil that Tien Xia was falling into. Upon arriving in Kalsgard, they had changed their name to Kaijitsu, to keep their anonymity and start a new life. Suishen had suggested selling him to a trader, giving them seed money to start a new business.
Suishen also revealed that he had felt Maia’s blood in her veins when she held him, and knew that she was a pureblood Amatatsu. When Maia said it was her half-sister that was the pureblood, Suishen suggested that perhaps the Amatatsus had taken another step to protect their line, switching her with a bastard as a sort of insurance against disaster. Insurance the family was in dire need of, as all other pureblood Amatatsus have died out. Suishen knew this last part, as it sensed that the Amatatsu Seal (the artifact from Brinewall) had marked Rehoofa, Marcel, and Elsa as proper scions of the Amatatsu family, a step it would only take if the family itself were dying out.
Marcel and Elsa expected Maia to become even more intolerable upon hearing she actually was a princess, but Maia instead went very quiet. She asked the party to leave her alone to sort out her thoughts. The party obliged, heading out into Kalsgard.
They went by Fynn Snaevald, the proper owner of Suishen. They considered simply “forgetting” to come by, but in the end they presented him with the blade. Fynn looked confused, saying that wasn’t the blade he remembered. When they instead presented him with the duplicate Suishen they’d recovered from Ravenscraeg, he nodded, saying that was definitely it, offering them a wink and a nod as he took the fake sword. He even gave them a magical, but normal-looking, scabbard for the real Suishen, wishing them good luck.
Fynn also mentioned that he was impressed at the chaos the party had brought into Kalsgard, especially with the Rimerunners Guild. He also mentioned that the black knight the party had been traveling with had been taken to the fighting pits, sentenced to fight for his freedom. The Rimerunners Guild had played a legal game: Thorborg Silverskorr and every guard on her had claimed offense by Guillaume following them, and so every one of them had brought a separate charge, meaning a separate fight for Guillaume for each of them.
Fynn had heard something about the knight still being alive, however. So with this news to embolden them, the party immediately made way for the fighting pits, hoping to find Guillaume.