Jeremy and Walt went to the hospital to observe an old one-eyed acquaintance of Jeremy’s, apparently settling into his new job working on Stash‘s physical rehabilitation after his eyes were injured. Training under a blind Japanese-looking man, he seemed to be happy with his work. He did not recognize Jeremy, as per Local-Trade’s agreement. Then they saw Philip, looking after a pregnant woman who must have been his mate.
Once he noticed them, Philip nervously demanded that they make no move against him, or the woman. Jeremy agreed and pressed him for information about his presence in their territory. He seemed nervous about the birth, and eventually confessed that it was no coincidence that Elder Wolf had been filling their pack mate’s shoes at the hospital. He also told them that his pack’s Totem, Purity-of-True-Fury, demanded the lives of all first-born children from Uratha to whom he gave his favor. It seemed that Elder Wolf was considering joining Philip’s pack in earnest and bonding with the Totem, which would be bad news for his son.
The group began to look into the lair of their enemy, the Azlu. Bentley concentrated his prophetic dreams on the Azlu. He saw a spiral tower made of stairwells and mirrors connected to a network of webs leading to a huge spider puppeteer. Images of office workers interspersed with spiders move along the stairwells and mirror faces. A pack of wolves walking through the building’s pathways is slowly and steady enveloped by webbing, until they disappear. Bentley has trouble interpreting this dream for his packmates, but they glean that some manner of spirits inhabiting the office building are obscuring the actions of the spiders hiding within and that a misstep could lead to the pack being overwhelmed there.
They entered the Shadow and approached the Wells-Fargo building together, sneaking past the defenses of the Workling spirits flooding in and out of the building. Jeremy left an Essence marker to act as a guidepost to lead them out of it on their return trip. After spotting the influence of spider spirits, Walt tapped into his Irraka heritage to follow their trail through the winding landscape. Aleister periodically used his Two-World Eyes gift to get a clear vision of the state of things in the physical world, finding an increasingly complex and thick tangle of spider webs covering whole floors of the building. They saw Azlu of varying size and appearance working on both sides of the Gauntlet to perfect the webbing. Bentley narrowly avoided being attacked by a pair of Azlu with human infant features.
As they began to near the area of influence of the Locus, Aleister felt its resonance—greed and desperation—strained by the thickness of the Gauntlet. He surmised that if the Gauntlet here were to be torn away too quickly it might cause some form of catastrophic event that could lead to the creation of a Wound, a sort of tainted Locus. They pushed on until they found the Touchstone of the Locus, an old metal filing cabinet completely covered in Azlu webs.
Getting the hell out of there, the pack headed back to the bar and argued over the risks and rewards of a full-on assault on the Azlu with chemical weapons. If done wrong, it could lead to their escape or the destruction of the spiritual landscape at the expense of their extermination. Aleister and Walt were against acting too hastily in this manner without more information, while Jeremy and Scott wanted to deal with the Azlu and be done with it. They settled on a plan to trap the Azlu, seal the Locus, and mop up the enemy outside of the area of its influence without altogether collapsing the web structure sealing the Gauntlet. Hopefully.