Within short order the group discovers that the immediate female family members of Marcus, Obsidian and Ember have all been killed. Furthermore, the ring owned by Ember’s sister was stolen by the killer, in addition to a necklace owned by Ember’s mother. When Sorina is killed as well, the necklace of Ember’s mother left with the body, the killers initiate contact with the group. They are former Asteria who turned against the gem dragons that had used them. And though they had taken Anastas’ contract to kill the female family of the party as vengeance for the death of Larisa, now that that business was done they tried to get the party to leave the employ of the gem dragons and regain their freedom. As a sign of good faith they showed the group how to access the raw hive mind of the gem dragons, proving that no mental communication was private if one knew how to listen in.