The Wardens have just killed Mediggo agent Evan Bryce in a Spirit Temple beneath the Drass Aristocracy. As they left, Xuchilbara, the spirit of the temple appeared before them in a rampage. He stood as he took solid form, bursting into the moonlit city streets to destroy all that stood in his way. As the casualties skyrocketed instantly, the heroes scrambled to defeat this Harbinger. The Wardens identified it as three separate threats: the tail, which had split into three independently vicious attack foci; the back, which spilled weaker spawn from an orifice between its two flame hurling wings; and the head, which they could destroy easily once they had climbed its back. The party began climbing and faced the dangers of Xuchilbara. In the battle Sergio came to rely on Mephisto and each time he would suffer a terrible penalty or gain a demonic trait. He grew heartier and small horns jutted from his brow. Once they were atop the head, the beast leapt away and teleported, dropping the heroes to the streets once more. Now they properly engaged in combat against the monster. During this fight, Sergio was overcome by demonic power and began to blast flames from his eyes, though it immobilized his body. Sergio begged the party to bring the monster into the range of his flames and when they did not, he attacked Quan Genero with the demonic ability. Once defeated, Xuchilbara returned to the form of a humanoid and calmed.
Xuchilbara thanked Kohkanest for cleaning the desecrated shrine, which he explained that he was bound to. Jacob Cromwell arranged for the shrine to be excavated and put somewhere where it could never be defiled again to bring about such destruction. Through the sending stone, he was told that Thomas Shoney was recently attacked and his Awakened Weapon, Malakym had been stolen. The Wardens began to leave the underground shrine, but were stopped by the new member of the Drass Families, who had succeeded the Leone Family, Alquarro Cerdevo. Cerdevo cited laws that Sergio’s family had broken posthumously by leaving unclaimed goods in the home of a Noble. He gave an estimate for the fine and passed this on to Sergio Leone, who retorted with a death threat.
Unmoved by the violent behavior, Alquarro declared that the fee would be handled by the state and it would be taken from his wages and added, “Also, I shall send a copy of the property damage estimate to your superior as well. I recognize the need to protect the identity of the new State Operative and will forward all matters relating to you and your missions to Crucoy, including this statement.” Despite the minor annoyance, the Noble caused no further problems. The Wardens headed towards the teleporter that would take them to Sempaurora and Jacob informed Sergio that he had become a threat to the party and once they had the chance, he would arrest Sergio.
Back in Sempaurora, John Winterdusk briefed the Wardens on three powerful men who had began attacking the city. Two were said to be wearing the garbs of Mediggo, while the third was seen with five weapons on his back. Kohkanest recognized the description of one of the men as Ray Starkiller and departed with Hikaryu Savarem to defeat and arrest the agent of Mediggo.
After hearing the description of the Lightning-Sword Quetzalcoatl, Sergio struck a claim on the duel with his former assailant. Jacob refused to leave Sergio’s side and the two left to confront the swordsman. Before weapons were drawn, Sebastian Grant offered Sergio the chance to join Mediggo. Sergio agreed, understanding that they may be able to extract the demon from within him. He left his father’s daggers with Jacob and departed with Sebastian, the entire time holding Calamitas and Venia within his backpack. Jacob hurried to the third encounter, where Quan and Inugami Yoshi attempted to defeat the Sword Collector, Railoc Greyshadow. Railoc quickly had the three on their toes and called on the power of many awakened weapons to strike down his attackers. After sustaining a lot of damage, Railoc decided that the King’s sword would be too hard to attain and abandoned his cause, leaving behind Malakym.
Within the guardhouse of Captain Winterdusk, Joy Stovelli, Blaine Crucoy, Thomas Shoney and the heroes spoke of Sergio’s decision to attempt to face his darkness with the help of Mediggo, which Jacob Cromwell was able to identify as the original scientists behind Project HAMMER, due to Sebastian’s passing reference to his superior Sylvia LaLonde and the presence of Chauncey Diggenbothams, who opened a portal for Sebastian to pass through. Cassius Deepcrow appeared as they spoke, to give a report to John on the status of the frontlines. Cassius seemed surprised to see Quan and Jacob alive, despite their claims that he was the one who returned them to Iifa through use of a magical scroll. After proving himself to be the true Cassius Deepcrow, he gravely stated that though he did not understand why they were back, they had been returned to life by someone who needed them on this side of the veil. They realized that there were three dire situations before them, the threat of the Harbingers, who had now emerged worldwide; the actions of Mediggo, which now had Sergio; and the undead that constantly filtered south from the veil.