Upon visiting Ramaneb Brothers’ Traveling Curiosities, Tbidi becomes obsessed with the moose, Neferkare and Figaro find only the most mundane drinks and trinkets, Amaya narrowly misses a pickpocket that’s been plaguing the circus, and Guidrit finds a sickly black bear cub in one of the cages. Figaro gets everyone in for free, and acquires ringside seats, by pretending to be the same river god high priest that he impersonated at the last cataract.
Neferkare confronts Amaya, but doesn’t learn much about her intentions, other than that she poses no threat to the party. She does learn from Amaya that The Shrike will not be able to attack another god for months.
Guidrit barters with Salama, the beastmaster at the circus, to train the moose to dance in exchange for the black bear cub. With Tbidi’s help, the moose is successfully trained and the bear is purchased for 6pp. It comes with a wagon/cage assembly that Arsinoe allows on the boat on the condition that it not leave the cage and that it not eat her cat.
Figaro makes some brews. And sleeps with Arsinoe. They travel two weeks down river, past a handful of small cities and several cataracts.
They see Takhat trailing them on another ship. He manages to get ahead of them at the cataract just before Luxor. He has murdered the guards and closed the gates. He and his two archer compatriots are unconscious, his fighter runs off in confusion after Neferkare convinces him that she’s his lost sister, and his barbarian is charmed (it didn’t help Takhat that he blasted his own man with his fireball). The Maelstrom is grievously harmed in the battle, both from Takhat’s fireball and because it was plowing into the gates that were shut as it approached. The party has defeated a powerful foe and are nearly to Luxor.