In Alma, it is customary for the two joining houses to present the other with a relic of their choosing. Lanval Brighthart in preparation for his meeting with Lord Toland, to marry young Reagan Brighthart to young Jonathan Toland, brought the Sceptre of Clouds, originally owned by Lanval the Brightheart.
The evening before the exchanging of gifts, the Sceptre of Clouds is stolen from Brighthart House – presumably while Lanval was gallivanting about with Kitanna, Sedgewick, and Lars. Searching for answers, they meet Eliza Whiteshadow at the Copper Carrot. Eliza says she saw some brigand with the Sceptre head into a warehouse not far from the Copper Carrot.
They arrive at an empty warehouse and their brigand has been himself brutally robbed of the sceptre. He says a minotaur came in and gored him, taking the sceptre in the name of the Ministry of Winds. They heal up this acolyte of the church of Obad-hai, Deddin Knoc, and begin to ask around about the Ministry of Wind.
Sedgewick knows of the Obelisk of Wind, a huge stone spire in Northeast Waltz. Lanval looks into the Church of Obad-hai, while Sedgewick and Eliza head to the Grumbling Goblin tavern.
At the church of Obad-hai, Lanval (politely) interrogates the Abbott, Father Mentzer, who tells him that the Sceptre of Clouds is indeed a relic of Obad-hai, but one they intended to buy from House Brighthart, not steal, and that Deddin Knoc was acting of his own accord. Father Mentzer is flummoxed as to why someone would want to steal it again, for the relic has mere sentimental value and no magical properties.
In the Grumbling Golbin, Eliza recognizes Elim Tailor, a friend of hers. After some more sleuthing, they discover that a door sometimes appears in the side of the Obelisk whenever the unnatural wind blowing from East to West is interrupted. They are also approached by a young woman, Nareis who has seen her brother Narev going in and out of the Obelisk in a kind of daze. Elim steps outside and does a funny dance with his hands, and to everyone’s astonishment, the winds change. They enter the Obelisk and find a stone room intricately carved with glyphs and pictographs praising the four cardinal wind directions. The curving walls have carvings deep enough to climb, and they scale the Obelisk (using a pulley system to lift Sedgewick). They arrive in a rotating room with transparent stone walls, overlooking the entire city of Waltz. A homunculus sits in a chair, recording everything of note that he sees. He is friendly enough with them, and they take a break in the Observatory. Eliza spots Cheg, another friend of hers, approaching the Grand Cathedral of Avalon. She makes plans to go see him, but not before telling Sedgewick that she, Elim, and Cheg are all members of an adventuring party who have been hurtled backwards through time from the year 1000E.
Eliza starts to cry, and Sedgewick grabs a piece of the Watcher’s paper with which to dry her eyes. The homonculus brutally attacks them, but they restrain him, dope him with mushrooms and leave the observatory.
Sedgewick takes this time-travel stuff fairly well, and they go collect Cheg from the Cathedral and head back to Brighthart House, meeting up with Kitanna and Lanval. They all return to the Obelisk and discover a hidden underground passage. Lanval is particularly displeased by the falsified history depicted on the walls, especially in relation to the Sun Knights.
After dispatching some zombie ogres, the group catches the attention of Traan the mintaur and Narev, who battle with them in a windy corridor. They kill the minotaur and bind Narev, but Cheg is badly injured in the fight. Eliza takes him up for help. Everyone else makes their way further into the dungeon and finds a gnome, Erin-Kahnor and an elf, Justina, with a direwolf, waiting in ambush. Sedewick and Erin-Kahnor have a battle of knee-height proportions, full of magic and gnomish grappling. Kitanna and Justina duel – with Kitanna the victor, while Lanval battles an air elemental that Erin-Kahnor summoned. Elim enters the room and tries to banish the air elemental, but it merely blinks in and out of existence.
The party finds the door to the treasure room is booby-trapped, but when they ask Narev for help, he intentionally sets it off, killing himself. The four spirits of the old Ministers (who had previously possessed Narev, Erin-Kahnor, Traan and Justina) gather and enter the bodies of Sedgewick, Kitanna, Lanval and Elim. Fortunately, as far as they know, nothing else happened.
Reclaiming the Sceptre of Winds and claiming the Obelisk of Wind as their official new hideout, the party establishes itself under the title Ministry of Winds.
Kitanna and Sedgewick go shopping while Lanval has his meeting with Lord Toland. The gifts are exchanged, Lord Toland gives Lanval the Blue Antler of Effelwood and the betrothed meet. But one more condition is set: Lanval must marry a woman of rising stature, “Miss Kitanna Mustardseed.” Lanval, flabbergasted, agrees.
Lanval informs Kitanna of this, and she rushes off to confront her father, and it is revealed that he faked his own illness in order to lure Kitanna back into Waltz. She leaves in a huff. Sedgewick continues shopping. Lanval does confessional and gets some sagely words of advice from Eduardo.
After a rather touching proposal from Lanval, Kitanna explains how she cannot marry. Lanval voices his concern with the dishonour, to the which they agree that this issue is not time sensitive, and that the assassination plot / important sermon / Avalonian augmentation is a more pressing matter.
Gathering at the Happy Cow, the party meets Eduardo, who reports that his interrogations with Winfield the Sly are complete, and that the man who hired him came from Toland House.