The party rendezvous with Armad bin Zahn in Whitendon, and pick up a basic sketch of the Elfholm Fortress layout — including the secret wing where Freddie believes her sister Anoushka is being held.
On the train to Elfholm, the party hatch a plan to steal the airship and rescue Anoushka bin Zahn from Project Diamond. Angela will resume her disguise as Lieutenant Marian, Zoe will resume her disguise as Agent Rosen, and they will good-cop-bad-cop the director of Elfholm Fortress, Professor Dancer. ‘Marian’ will antagonise Dancer, demanding Project Diamond be shut down, while ‘Rosen’ will gets in his good books by slapping her down and then suggesting Dancer move Diamond off-site in the airship.
It almost goes to plan. Angela, Farqual and Jal arrive and antagonize Dancer enough that he insists on demonstrating to them the secret projects he’s developed to annihilate Dourmoor: the Progenitors, a plague of magically-engineered chimeras; the Doomguard, a heavily enhanced Magitech golem; and “Number 42”. They don’t have the time to see exactly what 42 is, though — at that point, Zoe, Freddie and Nyke arrive.
While Dancer is away, Angela knocks out the guard watching over the gates to the secure area where Project Diamond takes place, stuffs him in a locker, and dresses Jal in his uniform. Jal takes the opportunity to investigate Diamond — unfortunately, he’s not the master of stealth that Angela is (though he does get a good look at what it is: it seems to be a normal-looking office with people working at desks). The alarm is raised, and Jal is captured. Meanwhile, Dancer becomes suspicious of the rest of the party bar Faqual, who persuades them to surrender, intimating that he has a plan. They abandon their weapons and enter a holding cell.
It transpires that Faqual’s plan is to betray the party, threatening to leave them in the cells unless they offer up their souls to him. When they aren’t willing to play ball, and Angela starts to pick the lock of her cell, he switches to plan B: call for the guards and flee.
The party fight their way through Elfholm’s guards and evacuate the scientists — including Freddie’s sister
- from Project Diamond. They race to the hangar where the airship is stored and, thanks to Jal’s pet rat having scouted the area, are able to defeat its crew and get it in the air - - just as a devil armed with a vast array of spellgems arrives, and hurls a magical chain of flames into the hull of the ship, anchoring it to the ground -
— but the ship’s engines are too powerful, and they break free, Angela taking a parting shot at the individual they assume to be Zaszperezal and leaving him with a visible scar across the eye.