The decentralized nature of Ython made it hard to figure out how to find the people who'd be able to (unwittingly) help them get inside the palace. They discussed various options, all of which used spells and abilities they did not possess, until Cane decided to flip through his Book of Ythonian Potions (listing special potions that could only be made on Ython) for ideas and found a potion of 'utility sight'. The people who were useful to the crew stood out like beacons, and they were able to find one especially useful one who not only worked inside the palace and wanted a kitten as a pet, but was very very stupid.
He also used it to finally figure out the ball of wings' name, using a bunch of letters written on scraps of paper. Apparently, its name was 'Insinuating Concordance'. Cho, seeing that, theorized that its time on Ython had been *really bad* for Enka -- it'd lost most of its powers for a while and was only now getting them back, and perhaps its nature had changed some as a result. Cane decided not to go tell the ball that he knew its name, though -- he wasn't really sure he wanted to see what the prize would be. OTOH, he wanted to see the penalty for losing even less, so there was only so long he could put it off (since other people kept making wrong guesses).
And of course there was worry that they'd already been affected by the presence of a shard of Enka on the boat. After all, it was kind of strange to have so many magic users with so many different styles working together peacefully...
At any rate, that problem was shelved for later -- for now, Takara was sent to infiltrate the palace, with the rest of the away team (and some other people who wanted to come, like Cho and the gurus) bottled up inside her collar (or something like that). She charmed the Ur-Kalmar (bear with a parasite) into making her her shoulder kitten, then was taken inside where they were watched carefully by a ghost, who didn't trust the kitten, despite their patsy vouching for her.
So she created a distraction, and let everyone out. Cho instantly grabbed the crystal, which made a few of the ghosts take notice and attack them -- with a paralyzing scream, that they were helpeless to resist! Well, except for Kyngeah and Takara. Kyngeah put up a sanctuary, and Takara started *changing* everyone in the party so that they'd be 'marked by enka'. Nico got metallic antennae, Cane got shiny fur, and Kyngeah got a skunk tail. With those changes, the ghosts' powers against them were weakened, and they had plenty of practice killing ghosts from earlier...
So they were able to escape, although Cane picked up the most useful object of treasure on the way out -- a painting of a slime with heavy magic. Back in the ship, they theorized that the painting was either a trap or the transformed form of a lord of Ython... and sure enough, utlity-sight indicated that Oil of Restoration would free whatever was trapped inside.
Cane wanted to set it free -- maybe it would be grateful, and spur a revolt against Enka? But then he realized (after the rest of the party vetoed the simple version of that plan) that (a) the slime might not be friendly, (b) the moon was *already* breaking free of Enka's control after Cho and his gurus left with the crystal (they left two Gurus behind to lead them through the storm around the sun) -- the face ships were gone, and the populace had turned on the enforcers and lynched them -- and (c) if they *didn't* set the slime free, Ython would be defenseless against the Nightmares' dream powers anyway. For FOUR NIGHTS, before the conjunction happened, they'd be inside the widened envolope of dream that the Nightmares had set up.
Oh, and (d) if released on Ython, the slime would have ALL the power of the moon at its disposal -- the power wasn't inherent in the lords, it was split up between them. Away from the moon, maybe it would be more tractable.
So leaving the moon was the first priority. Luckily, the Brushfire was easy to free from the tree with the power of Enka no longer protecting it -- Itsaboy was able to just bottle it. They scavenged the wrecks, but wouldn't have time to repair them, so they did the best they could (building on a couple extra, temporary decks) and zoomed away ahead of the nightmare field.
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