After returning from Sijan, the S-Team finds no mission waiting for them, the dilemma of the new Exalted still under investigation, and the Sidereal body politic working out the aftermath of the War for the Throne. After receiving a letter, Unknown Axiom goes off on her own to complete a secret task in Mafeas. Taking the initiative, the rest of the team chooses to investigate the tip they got from the Infernal Exalt Eva. The Infernal revealed the details of a Solar akuma’s plot to disrupt the dragon lines of Halta and ruin the land. Eva hoped to obtain the party’s trust and promised to reveal more as part of a plea for her unnamed demon associate’s amnesty from Yu Shan.
Countless, after learning from his research staff that Halta is Lunar Exalted territory, sends out invitations to Lunar friendly contacts of the Division of Secrets to join in the investigation. Eventual, he is sent instructions to contact a Lunar friendly forest guide in the Haltan city of Chanta. He also hires the freelance Lunar Bulldog to help with the mission. Meanwhile, Idris arranges to have tea and drinks with a representative of the Bureau of Nature, Pirouette of Thunders, an undersecretary and the Goddess of Weather Worship. At her manse, Idris proceeds to drink the bureaucrat under the table and obtains the contact information for Glorious Jade Branch, the leader of the Forest Walkers in Halta. Idris is told that the Forest Walker can be contacted by relaying messages through the local trees. Additionally, Idris receives formal permission for her team’s mission as Pirouette of Thunders agrees, on behalf of the Convention on Natural Disasters, that the Haltan forest is in danger of total destruction due to fire spreading through the region. This would annihilate the trees, erode the soil, and disrupt the water table. Disrupting the water table would change the course of a number of underwater rivers connected to dragon lines and lead to massive essence disruption.
The party reconvenes, sets out through the 22nd Yu Shan gate, and travels on Slinger’s land boat towards Halta. Once the party believed they were deep enough in the forest, Idris disembarks to contact Glorious Jade Branch. Putting her hand on a tall redwood, Idris speaks in a formal tone, summoning the Tree Walker and announcing the party’s presence to the forest at large. Following this, Stickboy elementals appear from the tree branches. Idris implores them to help the party reach Glorious Jade Branch swiftly while Countless entices them with promises of berries bundled in silk ribbons. The few stick boys with attention spans board the ship and point the way to the Tree Walker’s sanctum.
After days of charm-enhanced speedy travel in the land boat with a gaggle of hyperactive stickboys, the party finally makes it to an open clearing where the Tree Walker stands in giant form. He appears to attempt to crush the boat by stepping on it but shrinks to manageable, but still large, size and lands on deck. Gracious introductions are made, Singer’s battle butler Joe Bob serves drink, and the party informs the elemental of the situation as well as their intention to stop the destruction and heal the forest. To aid in the mission, Glorious Jade Branch sends out alerts to his fellow Forest Walkers to be in the general area of the party as they travel just in case back up is needed.
Next, the party heads north to the city of Chanta to meet with the forest guide contact. The city is located entirely in the branches of the massive local redwood trees. The party, along with Bulldog, climb rope ladders to the settlement above and meet with a man calling himself Tree Speaker. He claims he can arrange a meeting with some local Silver Pact Lunars but that he will need some sort of pretense. Countless convinces Bulldog, who isn’t a member of the Silver Pact, to meet with the Lunars about joining. Tree Speaker sends out his spirit contacts and a meeting is arranged with two Lunars named Arr-D’gado and Silver Python at the border of a small village a bit to the north called Black Branches. Tree Walker describes Silver Python as suspicious of Sidereals and a powerful survivor of the usurpation while Arr-D’gado is more recently exalted and knows little about the Sidereals.
In the forests outside Black Branches, the Lunars appeared in the canopy above the land boat and boarded once called too by Slinger. On the boat, Silver Python largely ignores the party and speaks to Bulldog. She asks to use the captain’s cabin and she goes in with Bulldog to talk about the Silver Pact. Countless waits outside and makes small talk with Arr-D’gado, who inadvertently insults the Sidereal repeatedly. Eventually, the pair of Lunars return, with Bulldog agreeing to join the pact but choosing not to get the usual Moonsilver tattoos as he wants to remain casteless. With that business covered, the party explains the cause of the troubles in Halta and asks for assistance. The two Lunars agree to help for the sake of the forest and due to the insistence of Forest Speaker.
With the war party now assembled, the group starts discussing how to find the Akuma. With Glorious Jade Branches assistance and knowledge gleaned from the Loom, the group maps the progress of the destruction and figures out where it will be heading. An intercept route is charted and the group sets out. On the route, shortly before reaching the planned intercept point, there is an earthquake. Idris sends out her God-blooded Peafowl to survey the area and they report that a fire has started nearby. Countless, whom as knowledge of sorcery, hypothesizes that the seismic activity and the fire together likely means that the Solar Circle spell Magma Kraken was cast and is devastating the area. With the Akuma likely nearby, the group prepares for conflict.
Glorious Jade Branch calls out for his fellow Forest Walkers to appear but stays on the boat as the Magma Kraken’s fire would be especially dangerous to him. The three Lunars assume their Warforms and head off to battle the Kraken. Idris uses her Sky and Rain Mantra charm to create a localized monsoon directly over the Magma Kraken. The rest of the S-Team chooses to stay on the boat, Countless because he isn’t a combatant, Slinger because he wants to protect the ship, and Zhuī Lóng because she wants to protect Idris Khan in case anything goes wrong. Hearing the intense fight with the Magma Kraken and seeing that the Sidereals aren’t going to fight, Forest Speaker reveals himself to have been a Lunar the whole time by transforming to his warform and flying off to aid his allies.
With the barrage of attack from the Lunars and the deluge from Idris’ charms, the Magma Kraken soon loses power and solidifies into cold obsidian. Idris send out her peafowl again to search the area and they find two figures deeper in the forest. The Lunars are sent to stop them from escaping while two of Glorious Jade Branch’s back up Forest Walker arrive undeterred now that the fiery threat has been removed. The two new Forest Walkers place their palms out and ask for the Exalts to step on. Idris and Zhuī Lóng do so and sink into the plant giants. After fully submerging, the two exalts are able to control the giants and their extreme strength. Large versions of their individual weapons appear in the Forest Walkers’ hands, allowing them to rain destruction on the source of the chaos: a female Solar Akuma and a spider-totem Lunar Akuma. A chase ensues with the Solar Akuma performing twenty perfect dodges in order to avoid her six pursuers. Finally, a well-placed slash from Idris’s brace-knives cuts the Akuma cleanly in half.
Slinger and Countless remain on the boat, steering it clear of the violence while maintaining an eye on the activity and commanding the stick boys to search for the Lunar. Unfortunately, the Lunar evades the group’s tracking attempts and gets away. The party returns to the land boat, where Countless, Zhuī Lóng, and Bulldog use the Forest Walker’s extreme strength to forge together obsidian from the fallen Magma Kraken, the blood of the Akuma, and Bulldog’s sword into a minor artifact. After that little experiment, Zhuī Lóng and Idris dismount from the giants, choking on putrid moss but mostly unharmed. Tree Speaker reveals his real name to be Rain Deathflyer and asks that his true identity remain a secret so that their can still be positive contact between Lunars and Sidereals. Despite some philosophical disagreements, the Lunar and Countless come to an agreement of mutual assistance. With the mission complete, the Lunars set off to hunt the escaped Akuma, whom they identify as The Last Hunter of Xaal, while the party and the elementals head off to reverse the damage to the forest. Over the course of the next month, Idris uses her charm Wilderness-Commanding Practice to move healthy forest to cover important damaged sections, Countless uses sorcery to increase plant growth in burn areas, and Glorious Jade Branch directs the healing to where it is need. Slinger and Zhuī Lóng enjoy a nice vacation while being waited on by Joe Bob.
With the forest healed, the party returns to the gate where they are met by Eva, who asks knowingly if her tip checked out. When the party confirms, she asks to continue her amnesty negations in Yu Shan and reveals she is working on behalf of the Yozi Szorney. Knowing this makes the negotiations even more fought, she offers to be taken by the party in shackles. For maximum security, Countless and Slinger ask the Celestial Lion at the gate to call for backup and bring essence-limiting manacles. With the Infernal Exalt contained, the party and the prisoner step through the gate to Yu-Shan.