So! Last time the throng finally took Red out, and then headed back up to the surface. They stop off at the junkyard's electrical poles to top off. Sicky is swinging a car antenna around in a fencing sort of way, and Grimm offers to teach him to shoot. Sicky declines; he's afraid of the noise and he doesn't want to hurt anyone anyway. Feather, then, mentions that she's trained in unarmed defense - getting out of the way rather than striking, and that seems up Sicky's alley a bit more. She trains him a bit, and makes a milestone: teach someone self-defense.
NEXT DAY. They decide that it's about time to start thinking about packing up and heading on, but there's no real hurry. Enoch heads to his workshop to finish his Athanor. Matt keeps working on his Pilgrim Mark atlas. Feather heads out to go sit on the bank of the river where she was created. Avalon goes out to be a vigilante (she isn't quite sure how). Grimm goes out to meet Anita, the Sin-Eater that they'd talked to. Skip is at home thinking about where to go next, since he's mastered Ferrum.
Enoch takes the stones he picked up from the River Lethe and fixes them as eyes on the frog that he's fashioned, and in so doing, he completes the Craftsman Role (make an Athanor using metallurgy/electronics). He forces Vitriol into it and tries to make it like the one that was smashed in the sculpture garden...and fails. The frog becomes a black hole of power, sucking in life around it. Enoch isn't sure why or what he did wrong, but he stares, trying to figure it out. Maybe he just used too much, the smashed Athanor, the stones from Lethe? He uses his Vulcanus Alembic to animate the frog and ask it what's going on.
Matt, meanwhile, is working, and Sicky asks him what's up. Matt explains the project, and Sicky looks interested - Matt realizes that he's jealous, a little, but mostly he wants a project, something to focus on. Matt invites him to help, and Sicky enthusiastically agrees, and the two of them spread out the notes and start looking at how to arrange them, how to put it all together, and so on. Matt completes his multiplicatio milestone: Mentor a Promethean on a Role or Refinement. He realizes that, as an Extempore, he might not ever be able to create a new Promethean, but he still pass along some of himself this way. Maybe he doesn't even have to finish the atlas, if he can pass it along to Sicky.
Skip feels the spiritual balance of the place shift, and goes to find Enoch. He sees the frog and activates Ephemeral Flesh, and sees that light just seems to fall into the stones, creating little black holes around its eyes. The frog starts talking to Enoch, but then Enoch asks it if it can still fulfill its original purpose (to make Pandorans Dormant) and it says it can. Skip realizes it is lying, and informs Enoch of this. Enoch figures that he'd better call an Originist in on this, and since Feather is out that leaves Matt. They call him in, and he uses the Plumb the Fathoms Alembic to try and figure this out.
What he sees chills him. That "Athanor" is more like an anti-Athanor, and it's summoning something. He isn't sure what, but they figure that can't be good, so Skip does what Skip does best and smashes the damn thing. He crushes the black eye-stones in his hands, and feels pure, powdered Torment suffuses his humour. He figures he can either succumb to it or ride, so he rides it, taking on Stannum. As it turns out, adopt the Refinement of Tin is his separatio milestone, so that works out pretty well. He isn't sure, though, if the summoning was interrupted.
Feather, meanwhile, is at the river, and she reflects on her path so far. She was created to be a protector, and the word in her forehead - "SISTER" - reflects that, but is that her path? Is that what she's meant to do? She decides that she needs to change it, to take a name that reflects her path since her creation. She gathers some of the mud from the river and heads back into town, now pursuing the Pilgrim Role.
Grimm contacts Anita and meets up with her. They talk about Red and the cabbie that he killed, and Anita agrees to take some money from the throng and get it to his family. She asks Grimm about the throng and their bond, and what his role in the throng is. Grimm says that he's what he needs to be, practical and protective, but he does feel like sometimes the throng doesn't work together especially well - but they're family. He feels the stirrings of Vitriol, and heads back to the storefront.
Avalon is out and about, and finds pickpockets and uses Arc to give them minor zaps. At the end of the day, she winds up in the sculpture garden, and sees Parris Mick. Parris is confused - she can't quite remember how she got here. She says she remembers hearing a familiar, low, enticing voice, but not being able to make out specific words. She remembers following the voice here, and then...nothing. Avalon spots the shadows move and, embracing her new Role, throws lightning at it.
Parris screams and runs. The shadows coalesce into an insect-like creature, so dark Avalon can barely see it, but she knows it - it's the Creeper in the Dark, the thing she saw when Carroll died. She asks it where Carroll is, but it doesn't answer, it just rushes her and claws her stomach. She shocks it again, and it slithers off.
She follows it as it approaches the street, but as she watches it changes and takes on the silhouette of Carroll. It speaks, but it isn't him. It moves to the street where some buskers are performing, and knocks their money into the street. The folks on the street start grabbing for money, and Avalon, sighing jumps in the middle, trying to talk people down. She isn't successful at first and a fight starts, so she grabs a dude and plants his ass on the ground, and then speaks much more firmly. People cool down and Avalon tosses money in the buskers' hat, and the calm down and start playing again. The Creeper, though, is gone. Avalon realizes that she might never catch it but, she's prevented it from hurting people, which fulfills her Vigilante Role. She heads back to the storefront.
The throng gets together and talks about their day, and Matt talks about Sicky and his newfound purpose. Grimm suggests that Sicky probably needs a new name, and he chooses "Virgil." In celebration, the throng goes down to the Cafe to get beignets. There, they find DeVries.
"Glad I found you," he says. He shows them a video taken in Lexington, KY. A pillar of fire lances down from the sky, and people run and scream, but then a figure walks through the frame. Matt knows that silhouette - that's "Lurch," the Promethean that created him.
The throng decides they need to head up there and investigate. DeVries agrees to buy them a van, and they take a day so that DeVries can give Avalon a crash course in Cobalus. And then they bid farewell to the Big Easy, and head north.