The Crew has gained an audience with the Glorious Strategist crime lord Rat-Skinner Hou while seeking info on Lass’s father Black Hand Morgaine and the T’Romm Industries/Cult of Lost Angels plot, the Thundera Project. Hou’s secret palace is in the ruined canyons of Shan Fan’s moon of Zarra, once a profitable mining settlement filled with the palaces of wealthy Exalted nobles. Decades ago it was decimated in a surprise Blood Imperium attack and never recovered.
Hou has invited the heroes to spend time in his court so that he may gauge their character and skill before hiring them on to his operation. The Crew seeks to learn specifically what it is Hou is trading with T’Romm. Meanwhile, both Lass and Serenula have been receiving whispered pleas of aid that get stronger the deeper they go into Hou’s palace. All while the crime lord awaits the arrival of a T’Romm Industries negotiator.
We pick up with the Crew in Hou’s arena after having offered to be his champions in a famous gladiatorial competition that is fast approaching. They have defeated 19 of 20 targets they agreed to slay to prove their worth, and the only one that remains is the massive, hulking, servo-assisted power of a Cybersaurus-Rex!