A day after several Ibaloi mummies are stolen from the National Museum, Pastilan and Cailleach assist Professor Dimagiba in reconstructing a damaged mummy left behind from the burglary. Dimagiba explains how the remains were discovered by accident in a cave complex in Sagada.
Cailleach uses magic to delve into the origins of the mummy, and becomes trapped in Death Sight when she has visions of the mummy coming to life. Pastilan attempts to rescue her through her mind. The effort succeeds, but at great cost, draining both mages. Moreover, the Ibaloi mummy imparts its single-minded mission to Pastilan: Reclaim the other stolen bodies.
In a restaurant, Tasyo secretly meets with a contact from the Sangguniang Malaya. The man reminds the Thyrsus of his mission to recruit Mumbaki for their order. The Free Council’s influence is growing, says the contact, and eventually the Diamond orders will respect its strength.
In his workshop, Mumbaki fails a ritual, and becomes disturbed by visions of clockwork angels and saints. Alunsina picks him up from Quiapo Church, and at the request of Idiyanale, the two visit Mandragora at the Dangwa flower market to analyze the poison used on Alexei.
As the Moriones’ plant expert uses a magical Voynich Manuscript-like book to study the poison, assassins ambush the mages. They are led by the same woman who influenced the mark to poison Alexei, and stole the mummy’s at the National Museum. Moreover, the woman uses magical charms similar to Aloysius Tseng. Mumbaki fends off several gunmen as Tasyo arrives to stop one from escaping with Mandragora’s book.
Alunsina briefly steals into the woman’s mind, and discovers that she is a Proximus named Criselda Hao. Additionally, she glimpses an image of an old man on a balcony overlooking what appears to be a district with multiple signages in Chinese. Before Alunsina can learn more, Criselda breaks free of the spell, and escapes.
Through a mental link, Alunsina reports to Idiyanale who calls in the mages for a debriefing. Alunsina decides to meet with her cabal first, while Idiyanale ponders how reliable the PCs are. Beside her is Santelmo who expresses his doubts.