Camping in the jungle, the group discovers the moon-milk of the tiger mushroom has restorative and invigorating properties.
That night, their camp is attacked by a band of quill-covered dogs (strekleons). Aiden hypnotizes two of the strekleons and presses them into his service. The captured kith is supposedly killed, but they recover the body to find he survived. He gives his name (Elkar) and pledges allegiance to Aiden, perhaps thinking him some sort of godling or master.
June attempts to learn Elkar’s language, which is slow going.
The group heads south toward the broken hills the next day. Along the way, they run into a path of kith scouts, who have an unintelligible conversation with Elkar and then depart to the east. The group continues south.
Largo lays out all his things to admire them during the night’s camp.
The next day, they find themselves caught in a flash flood, which nearly sweeps Eudicot away. Later, they discover the corpse of a death orm, which turns out to be a trap laid by cunning strekleons, who attack the party en masse. They survive, but take some wounds. Aiden orders the hypnotized strekleons to kill each other afterward. The party grows concerned.
They travel on, discovering an abandoned camp whose inhabitants are unknown and long gone. While there, they spot a large band of fifty kith approaching from the east, perhaps tracking them. They move on hastily.
Elkar leads them to the base of the mountains, where they narrowly avoid a trap but also find a hidden cache of greenstones. Finally, Elkar points up to a mysterious purple pyramid, where the party hopes to find more greenstones and perhaps a way off the planet.