The group reconvene at Lissie’s apartment, where Rurron has (somewhat) sobered up in the bathtub. Lissie makes her a cup of coffee while everyone else convenes around the kitchen table. There’s a knock at the door. Tending to the hungover tiger, Lissie asks somebody else to answer it; Serra peeks from the spyhole in the front door and sees it is Cassidy. Still gruff in his manner but with a touch more sensitivity in his tone, Cassidy tells the group that whilst Innogen — the orc Roe seemingly-fatally wounded during their entrance into Belbury — is now doing just fine, Elinor is looking less rosy. Unable to completely explain the situation in words, he requests the trio join him at the small surgery on the lower level of the town. Roe stays behind because she’s not ready to spend time with Cassidy, who blames her for everything that happened to Innogen, and Innogen herself, so she stays at Lissie’s, nattering with Baxter about how weird it is he can speak to her now. The good dog corrects her: it is her who has changed, and is now able to understand him, rather than the other way around.
Cassidy leads Serra, Fi and Lissie to the surgery, a small room behind a curtain, where Aidan stands with his back to them and Innogen sits up on a hospital bed, looking conspicuously not dead. Aidan explains that Elinor worked long and hard to heal Innogen, eventually resorting to a form of necromancy — whether she strayed into this dark magic on purpose or by accident isn’t clear — which, unfortunately, forfeited her life for the orc’s. He gestures towards a skeletal figure sat in the corner, wearing Elinor’s characteristically classy clothes. Serra is shaken by the sight of their friend, now nothing more than a burnt-out husk, trying to contain her tears by making practical steps towards some kind of burial. Fi is similarly struck dumb by this surprising development, quietly asking Aidan about local customs for the dead.
They decide on following Lissie’s advice and giving Elinor a traditional Belbury funeral, setting her body adrift on a boat, set ablaze. Aidan expresses his condolences (which is more than can be said for Cassidy), but notes his disdain for Elinor’s use of “dark” magics. Innogen, slightly more cheerful, says she is perfectly fine with using dark magic if it means she’s not dead.
Meanwhile, back at Lissie’s apartment, Roe is making Rurron an omelette and making smalltalk. She apologises for any part she might have had in Rurron losing her job (whilst not really admitting to any fault on her part), and wonders if maybe she should go easy on the drinking. Rurron explains that her heavy drinking was a way to deal with her job, essentially acting as a “bouncer” for the T'Eilt Railroad, ferreting out and ejecting passengers without the proper papers. Sensing that she might be sympathetic to the political goals of the orcs, Roe asks Rurron if she might be interested in the heist, noting they could do with some muscle — very noticeably checking out Rurron’s impressive boxer’s physique as she does so. Roe also explains that they will make more elaborate plans once Elinor returns to them, as she is convinced that Elinor is all right, if worse for wear.
It’s at this moment that Fi, Lissie and Serra come through the door, the latter now losing her composure, sobbing as she explains the situation to Roe (who at first is convinced it is Innogen who has died, but is then quickly reduced to silence as the situation is explained to her). The plan is: the funeral will happen the following day, they’ll do it down by the docks, Fi will set the boat alight, everything’s been taken care of. Roe struggles to follow her rushed, garbled speech punctuated by choking sobs. Lissie helps Serra to a seat, and everyone spends the rest of the evening sharing fond memories of their witch compartiat. Including Roe, who is still convinced she turned her into a duck one time, but doesn’t appear to hold it against Elinor any more.
They gather on the dock and prepare to send Elinor off into the Great Thereafter. Roe suggests tossing a few of Rowan’s seeds on the boat, as some sort of ritualistic tribute, something which Serra — hoping to plant these seeds somewhere to bring about new life — vetoes. Fi casts Zuko Style to send a controlled flame at the boat with Elinor’s remains on, cocks it up, and sets her sleeves on fire. Serra tries to help, succeeding only on catching her clothes alight too. Quick-thinking Roe pushes the two into the dock, setting the ship on fire and off along the current, whilst putting out the flames on her friends. Fi and Serra emerge from the water, soggy but unhurt, and the group watch the boat as it floats along the pier and horizontally up the Belbury waterfall, until it leaves their sight.
Lissie allows the group — now consisting of Roe, Serra, Fi, Baxter and Rurron — to stay in their spare room. They remind them they have to be up early the next morning — the day of the ball. After a brief discussion of Aidan’s allegedly-hypnotic booty, and which members of the party its powers may or may not work on, the exhausted party fall asleep. It feels like they’ve only just shut their eyes when Lissie awakens them, at the crack of dawn. A stack of delicious-smelling pancakes is not enough to stop Roe from being annoyed, burying herself under one of Rurron’s large arms, the pair having snuggled up with each other in the close quarters of a spare room shared by four people and a dog.
Quietly descending Belbury in the half-light, Lissie leads them through the surgery and into the makeshift headquarters of the orcs. There is a large wooden table with numerous papers and plans spread across it, and more pieces of parchment pinned to the stone walls. Aidan reiterates his dislike of black magic, and requests that nobody use it during the heist. Fi states that neither she, nor any of the group, even knew that was part of Elinor’s skillset. Apparently sated, Aidan runs through the plan in full, noting that they still require a few last-minute materials to pull it off: updated plans for the T'Eilt Town Hall, being held in the Belbury Council offices (it turns out that not everyone in town is supportive of their cause, although they will apparently benefit from it); invitations for the ball which can be duplicated and then returned as, Innogen explains, they do with their stolen train tickets; and party supplies, namely wine and oysters, that will provide cover for Lissie to attend the ball undercover as waiting staff. That’s the reason the group has been enlisted. Whilst orcs can work in T'Eilt no problem, suspicion would be raised if one attended this event for captains of industry.
Serra volunteers to get the Town Hall plans, but asks again about the significance of the star map being unveiled at the ball. Aidan provides as much explanation as Lissie, with slightly more detail: this is a plan B, wherein the star map can both be held for ransom or leverage in negotiation of loosening borders around T'Eilt, or else could serve as a guide for trade ships from Belbury to go “around” the borders. However, he also adds that there is some rumoured magical properties to the stars, and then seeing them laid out on a map could unlock something more powerful, if ill-defined, than simple orientation. Fi volunteers to rob the mailman of his invitations, unsure about how she’ll do it, but assured that she can use whatever method she sees fit — whether sneaky or aggressive — so long as it can’t be traced back to the cause. That leaves the supplies to Rurron, Baxter and Roe, somewhat reluctantly on Aidan’s part, who requests that neither of them “makes a scene.”
Serra approaches the Belbury Council building, also on this level of the town, and sees that a middle-aged orc is currently opening the doors to start the day. She claims to have made an appointment to view something in the Hall archive that day, to which the orc yawns a lot and kvetches, saying they will have to check the diary for that day to confirm Serra’s appointment. They invite her in to wait, whilst the orc continues setting up. The council building is a large, cavernous room, not unlike a cathedral, every wall covered in shelves stuffed with papers, books, and bric-a-brac. Whilst the orc is off in a back room switching all the lights on and making a cup of tea, Serra sneaks to the diary — sat on the front desk — and adds her name to the day’s appointments. The orc returns and confirms she’s on the list, then asks what capacity she’s visiting in and what she wants to see. Serra claims she’s a solicitor gathering materials for an upcoming case, saying she’s part of the Victoria Goode Practice (“People say we’re v good,”) and consequently requests the Town Hall plans. Having ascended a long ladder and descended with the rolled-up papers, the orc baulks at Serra’s request to take the plans away with her, and then again at her asking for some kind of reproduction. With some improvised legalese, she navigates the orc’s shaky grasp on copyright law, and spends the next hour sat at one of the archive’s study tables, producing a copy of the plans.
Innogen explains the mailman’s postal route to Fi, noting that she used to be a postal worker herself, although he takes a slightly illogical path wherein he collects the mail at the docks, then lugs them to the top level of Belbury, working his way down. With the mailman already at the top level, having begun his day’s work, Fi requests that Cassidy winch her up there aboard the bucket used for transporting supplies from the pier to the rest of the town (as used to lower Baxter into the town last time). Disgruntled but acquiescent, Cassidy complies, and on her journey upwards Fi catches the eye of Tor Giide, the obnoxious and potentially self-appointed tourist information guide, who awakens from beneath a pile of newspapers and starts excitedly yelling at her and ringing his bell. Knowing she has to move quickly before Tor meets her at the top level and rumbles this undercover scheme, Fi approaches the mailman — who, it turns out, is pulling a huge wooden cart with a sizeable sack full of post behind him — and claims that she is being stalked by Tor. Understanding that this local eccentric can often unwittingly breach social mores, the mailman agrees to have a word, if Fi keeps an eye on the cart. She agrees, and one the mailman is out of sight, Fi dives headfirst into the cart to seek out the gilded envelopes of the T'Eilt Business Ball invitations. The mailman returns when she’s still rifling through, but buys her excuse that she dropped something in there.
Down by the docks, Roe gets Baxter to sniff out the supplies they need. She and Rurron decide to get everything from one large ship, rather than hustling a couple of the smaller skiffs that are unloading their deliveries for the morning. They approach a large vessel manned by goat-people, who have a good production line going: a couple on the ship taking crates off a couple below deck, before handing them to a couple more goats down on the pier. Roe directs Baxter to pounce on Barry, one of the deck-bound goats, who delightedly falls to the floor with the adorable pupper licking his face. In doing so, he lets go of a crate, which lands on his pal Jerry’s foot and puts him out of commission with a sprained ankle. Noticing the hold-up, the ship’s captain appears above deck to see what’s going on. Explaining the situation (and pretending not to know Baxter), Roe volunteers Rurron to help unload the ship. The captain agrees, thankful, and the pair help the goats unload their full cargo — whilst Rurron stacks a couple spare crates of wine and oysters behind a pillar. As the group prepare to leave with their ill-gotten gains, Barry is back on his feet and notices their scam. Rurron turns on her heel, intimidates the billy goat with her not-inconsiderate physique, and he is suitably scared enough not to raise the alarm. They carry their cargo back to the orc’s headquarters, ready to get going with the heist.