A small, exploratory, tiefling vessel is blown off course and lands on The Maw because they lost supplies during the storm. The captain and two mercenaries get on land and prepare to hunt for food for their return journey. Meanwhile, at the edge of the forest, Dusk, Galxis, Regyr and Siren, who were hunting and scouting, see the ship approach and hide. When they see the men on shore, Dusk reveals himself and moves to meet them. Galxis stands between Dusk and the woods and Regyr and Siren stay hidden at the forest’s edge. Dusk discovers that the tieflings were caught in a storm and need food. Eventually, Dusk calls Galxis, Regyr and Siren over and they exchange some meat for the sword the tiefling captain had.
Two months later, Mortis and Sahir are employed by the Empyrean Commercium and were just told to meet with Dagnia Taggart, the guild’s head of operations. When they arrive outside her room they hear her arguing with her brother Jamnul Taggart about something. When jamnul leaves, Dagnia calls them in. She has reason to believe that a trade post on The Maw would benefit her business. She wants Mortis and Sahir to make sure the expedition goes smoothly and becomes profitable. Not without apprehension, they accept.
Two months later, Dusk, Galxis, Regyr and Siren are relaxing in The Whispering Warriors’ village when they can see a commotion on the other side of the village. When they go to investigate they see Bahyrae, Chieftan of The Divine Speakers Tribe, demanding to see their chieftain, Hyraer. Bahyrae heard about the trade that was made with the tieflings and he warns that if they continue to deal with outsiders he will denounce them and possibly take further action. Unsure of how to proceed, Hyraer decides to wait and see if the tieflings return to decide how to deal with the situation.
Two months later and a few days before they leave for the Maw, Mortis and Sahir return to see Dagnia in her office. When they approach her office they can hear heated conversation between Dagnia and Raelini Dannashold, their shipwright. When she leaves Dagnia tells them that one of the three ships they were expecting was bought by Aeleon Mouch, the son of the Aurex. This means that they will have half the mercenaries they were expecting and less supplies as well. In addition, the fact that the son of the Aurex is interested in what they are doing doesn’t bode well, especially since the Aurex, Willisa Mouch, is very isolationist. Dauntless, Dagnia tells them that they will proceed with setting up the trade post, but with caution.
Two months later, Mortis and Sahir arrive on the Maw and meet up with Dusk, Galxis, Regyr and Siren, as well as Hyraer. At first negotiations are led by Beretum Scudder, the businessman sent by Jamnul Taggart to make the deal; however, after the chieftain, Mortis and Sahir get sick of his bumbling they tell him to leave and negotiations continue without him. Dusk sees Daray at the edge of the trees; when he approaches Daray explains that he is their to observe this historic event and to tell him that the nagaja, Sahir, has more significance than he or the other’s might expect. After one last comment about how he isn’t the only one watching, Daray disappears and Dusk returns to finish the negotiations. With Regyr acting as translator, eventually they come to an agreement; the gnolls will protect the trade post and give them business and the tieflings will pay them in weapons for the land. Dusk looks over the contract because he is the only one who could read tiefling and after he is deemed trustworthy, the chieftan agrees to the terms of the contract.