The party and their kuo toa clients, Bob and Volbo, are attacked by the Warbonders en masse. However, several other kuo toa allied with Bob, hidden under their racial invisibility cloaks, become visible and join in the fray. To complicate matters, another group of kuo toa make an appearance. This new group are Deluvians, as indicated by their black armor. The battle is chaotic and fierce, with the Deluvian leader making use of a grappling vine (called a Ripvine Tube) to interrupt the party's troop formations. But at the end of the day, the party emerges victorious. There are no losses among the Illuvians, and the leaders of both the Warbond and Deluvians are captured. Bob expresses his thanks and parts ways with the party.
On the way back, the party encounters an older man who is also journeying to Corso's Cavern. He introduces himself as Darren, an aged warrior who venerates Marduk. He plans on bequeathing his arms and armor to his son, a merchant, in the city. He regales the party with tales from his past, such as a murderer who copied the methods of a kuo toa monitor, but was found dead himself under unknown circumstances. He also tells the Legend of the Smith, detailing the formation of the original human kingdoms of Vistria, Yerandi, and Korstraad. Everyone rests for the night, and when the party wakes the next day, they find Darren dead, having passed away from old age. His possessions amount to a magical longsword and breastpate, 22 silver coins, and a bronze bracelet with Marduk's holy symbol.
Upon reaching Corso's Cavern, Darren's body is turned over to the temple of Marduk, stylized as a large sparring ring with armored priests holding bouts. The head priest details the significance of the bronze band that Darren held – the worshippers of Marduk are given bands of bronze, iron, or adamantine to indicate their status among their peers. Darren's son and family are found and they hold a funeral for the old man. Leora offers the son ten platinum coins to help tide him and his family over in their time of grief.
The party then meets with Don DiCorso and gives him the spoon acquired from Bob. He is pleased, and mentions that the third spoon was to be retrieved by his steward Belloq from ancient ruins along the Diamond Coast. It has been a month since Belloq was supposed to have returned and the Don fears the worst; he wants the party to investigate and retrieve the spoon. He irons out the contract between himself and the Anderson family for the sale of spoons in Vistria. He gives the party a few days while he gathers supplies for an expedition; he also promises a dwarven cleric and a skilled archaeologist will join them for the journey.
The party splits up and takes care of personal business. Leora learns of pilgrims of Dialia passing through Gruel as of late. She also learns that some wandering orcs have allegedly acquired a religious relic taken from a pilgrim (around the Iron Sea). Matthew asks Leora about the town of RowRo in Vistria, which housed an orphanage where Leora grew up. A tarot card in Averyn's possession changes its image to an elven woman who looks like Averyn being pulled away from a reaching hand. Ronar, after several past efforts, manages to bed a dwarven barmaid (with the help of Pallus).
As the party relaxes in their usual watering hole, The Hefty Barmaid, a panicked dwarf runs in calling for help. A band of orcs is approaching the town, and are presently right outside the town gates. The party goes to investigate and finds three imposing figures waiting. One is on horseback, wearing a worn red robe. Another is on foot, with rippling muscles but no weapons or armor to speak of. The third one, also on foot, stands almost at 8 feet tall. He wears mail made of chitin and carries a greataxe, hammer, and greatsword (the latter of eladrin make). The armored one, likely the leader or "Kah," demands three barrels of water, three fresh horses, and a magic food-generating spoon in exchange for sparing the town. However, on a whim, he offers to fight someone in single combat – if Corso's champion wins, the orcs leave the town be. Before anyone can stop him, Matthew jumps down the town walls and accepts the challenge.