Upon arriving into the city, the party feels tense that their cover may be blown. After successfully making their way through the checkpoint and lying about being art enthusiasts, they find an inn to rent and begin to gather information. The part of the city they are in though seems too normal. Most of the people in the area are not actually from Reidra or Sarlona in general, but near one of the ends of the city is a large gate, sealing out the innermost part of the city that the group needed to get in. What’s worse is a tower that looms over the area and sends bad vibes that they are being watched. They retire back to the inn as it grows late. Ashkhad, while waiting in the common room, feels a strange psionic pulse followed by a wail that sounds eerily similar to Neya’s voice calling for help. Ratchet, who also is spending time in the common room, feels a magical pulse that gathers the attention of many other visitors as well but they simply ignore it. The two decide to investigate as Thorn is presently drunk and Rae is out gathering any other information she can receive.
Upon wandering along the coast, Ratchet discovers a drain gate. Rusted and loose, he believes it should lead into the inner city and with this they head back to the inn and plan out how they will get into the city. The very next night, they leave the inn and travel through the drainage pipe and find themselves in the middle of the city, the pulses from the night before getting stronger and stronger. Using that, they guide themselves to the source. The city itself at night is completely different. What from the light of the sun and at the distance looked like a mystical beautiful city, now feels more like an emotionless dark prison. Not a sound is heard and no one is wandering the streets as if the city is simply abandoned. The pulse leads them back to the center of the city where a large palace is situated. As they open the doors and enter they find themselves in a white room fitted with chairs in a circle. A lone woman sits upon one of them and she speaks, “Welcome my son. Or should I call you by your true name: Ashtaratai."
Ashkhad is bewildered by this statement. Knowing that he is indeed Ashkhad since the Quori spirit inhabiting him is Khad, and not Taratai as the women had stated; Taratai being the original Quori to invent the path of light; though she does confirm herself to be the actual Taratai inhabiting an artificial Kalashtar body. Helais appears from another hallway and following close behind are Elaydren, Neya, Skye, and Andres, but they appear lifeless and only respond to Helais. When they ask about what they did, he states that they were close to us, and since we are Ta’veren, they ended up being close to the prophecy. With this, they were able to use their souls to power a portal to Dal Quor.
Taratai seems open to discuss her plans with Ashkhad and asks him to chat with “her.” She explains the history of the Kalashtar race, and how it was an experiment. Among many other things where discussed, they found out that Niv had been possessed by a Quori and his body was rejected by it in the end which led to his death. Confirmation that Ratchet and Ku’rahnk are the same recycled soul, Ashkhad posses three souls, one of which is Taratai but sealed off so that he has no access to it and thus is more closer to Quori. As well as the collection of the keys and everything up to that has been part of Zoratash’s plan but need Ashkhad to obtain his to finish it. The party hands over the mask with the sealed Zoratash when Helais threatens their friends lives (By threatening to destroy the body so the soul has no way to return to it), and then request that they enter a strange machine to remove the part of Taratai in Ashkhad to manifest the Keyblade. The device turns on and they each find themselves in a dark space.
As the group looks around, their surroundings still stay the same; a solid ground but it seems like the darkness stretches on for an eternity in all directions. Unsure of where to go, Ashkhad states that they should move but before they plan any other course of action a figure appears, wrapped in a cloak or darkness speckled with eyes. He looks too alarmingly similar to Ashkhad. When they question him, he states that he is in fact a part of Ashkhad, named Ashtaratai, but was sealed away because of Khad. They learn that he is the part of Ashkhad that they need to destroy in order for him to manifest his Keyblade, but states that he doesn’t want to as he has things to do still, that involve taking over Ashkhad’s body. When they attack none of them are able to harm him. He states that because everyone other than Ashkhad are simply visitors and not actually a part of Ashkhad’s mind, he has little power over the rest but the same holds true for the opposite. Ashkhad on the other hand is told to have no power. Ashkhad tests this out by unleashing a psionic blast, only to have it repelled back at him. Ashtaratai approaches Ashkhad in an attempt to take over him but he is stopped by some force and the group finds themselves out of the dark space and into a blasted landscape, with the visage of a ruined and fallen Sharn in the distance.
Only one moon is in the sky and Ashkhad freaks out, ranting about how he failed and that the world is doomed. His memories warped, his past life feels a dream and the scene before him feels like reality. The same occurs to the rest but not to as an extreme extent. After the group tries to snap Ashkhad out of his state of distress, he runs as soon as he hears a frightening chittering sound that he recognizes as a Quori. Thorn catches up to Ashkhad and tackles him to the ground. They get into a quick debate about what they should do. Ashkhad knows it is pointless to continue but the group is determined to see what they can do to fix the mess and are willing to stand and fight the threat. Ashkhad, while still uneasy, agrees to follow and they head off to face the Quori. As they approach, everyone sees just how dangerous it really is. An army of Quori awaits, but regardless, they hold their ground. Ashkhad steels his resolves and rushes forward to face the Quori head on.
In another instant, the Quori vanish and the group finds themselves in a familiar area. While it looks to be a simple but long hall, it holds the qualities of their home back in Sharn. On the walls are ghastly images of their friends being tortured by agents of the Dreaming Dark. Their voices scream out from within the paintings, blaming Ashkhad for their pain and suffering. It takes a lot of effort, but the group manages to convince Ashkhad that it isn’t his fault and about their current goal to save their friends, and their true enemy. The screams finally quiet down and a door appears at the end of the hall. When they walk through, Ashkhad immediately recognizes that they are at his old village in Adar.