The Weatherlight's troubles continue as it crash-lands on a strange new plane. When most of the crew disembarks to assess the damage, the ship is promptly attacked by raiders from a tribe called the Cho-Arrim, who steal the ship. Finally, soldiers from the capital city of Mercadia arrive to arrest the beleaguered crew.
After a forced march, the crew arrives in Mercadia City, which sits atop an inverted mountain where all the important trade routes meet. This city's layout is twisted and surreal: to go left, you must turn right, then right again. Inside the city, Gerrard and the crew take advantage of the crowds to fight their way free.
Meanwhile, Orim, who was captured with the ship, learns more about her captors.The Cho-Arrim are spiritual people who suffer greatly under the greedy Mercadians. Their leader Cho-Manno explains that he took the Weatherlight's arrival as a sign prophesying the return of the sky god Ramos and the end of Mercadian rule. Orim slowly becomes sympathetic to the Cho-Arrim's situation and attracted to their leader.