The team, along with Jane, flies safely to Ife, the seat of the Yoruba kingdom’s power and the location of King Adegoke’s palace. They are met at the private airstrip by palace security, searched thoroughly, and allowed in. They have been provided with a guest suite if they wish to freshen up before viewing the items that will be up for auction, or if they decide to stay the night.
They head to the auction, and make out around 5 different groups of buyers looking at items. The supposed thief, Lockwood, is there, and they try to subtly observe him, gaining some info on who some of the other buyers are. They include representatives of the Apep Consortium and the Atlantean Foundation. The item that they are looking for is not here, however. Lockwood is near a large map that LS notices is readable (and contains even more detail) in its astral form. When LS points it out, Jane seems interested, and wants to go back to their room to contact her employers. The team has also acquired a robed guide, who seems to be awakened, and they notice a pretty significant physical security setup while they are guided around the palace.
Jane contacts her employers, who tell her not to apprehend Lockwood, as they are not sure he is the thief himself. They still hope he will lead them to the stolen item. However, they are also excited about the map, and authorize Jane to gain entry to the auction and bid on it. The team finds out that the only way to get into the auction is to present an appropriate gift to the King, and they currently lack such a gift as Zuberi won’t part with his dragon tooth. They decide to sleep on it.
In the middle of the night, Atlas is on watch and notices a commotion. A pair of palace guards burst through their door while two more cover them from the hallway. Atlas easily disarms the first one, but Rooster and the rest of the team manage to talk the situation down without further violence. It seems that a small statue of significant importance to Adegoke has been stolen, and guards are sweeping all the guest rooms. The team agrees to a search, and, finding nothing, the guards leave. The team decides that finding this statue (or the theif) might be their ticket into the auction. Jane decides to stay at the palace to allay suspicion about their involvement.
The team heads back to Lagos, after they contact Kayin, who says he might have a lead. They pay him a reasonable fee, and he puts them in touch with a local fixer named Hippo, who he says may know more. The team heads out to Lagos University area to find the bar Hippo works out of. They negotiate a deal: the non-Africans in the group will deliver a small package to Lagos Island (it’s easier for foreignors to gain access), and he will give them some info. Atlas, Rooster, and LS head out for the island while Zuberi and TY wait in the bar.
They arrive and drop off the package without any trouble, although they are impressed by the security situation on the island: its the first place in Lagos that’s felt remotely controlled. There is some local air traffic, prominently displayed megacorp logos, a decent amount of skyscrapers, office buildings and fancy stores, and a large amount of patrolling metahuman security. They also notice that there are a lot of foreignors here, which they haven’t seen much of since arrival, and security seems to be actively keeping locals out if they don’t have specific business on-island. Atlas insists on getting LS fit for a white armored suit to match his, so they take a minute to take measurements and then head back.
They arrive at the bar late in the night, and Hippo gives them the deets: the thief is a local Igbo ork named Silence. Normally, Hippo wouldn’t sell out a fellow Igbo, let alone a fellow ork, and he doesn’t want it getting out that he did. But, he also doesn’t want Yoruba palace guards rampaing around the city stirring up trouble either. So he tells the team of a brothel that they might find Silence at if he recently acquired some money. The team heads out there, and LS inquires with his newly bound guidance spirit as to wether they will find Silence inside.
Getting a mixed result, they rush in and chase Silence out a window, across some neighboring rooftops, and through a small market. Rooster stays at the brothel to distract some palace guards that he notices approaching. He delays them significantly, but they ko and detain him after the priest who accompanies the guards sees through his ruse. Using spirits and sheer strength, they eventually corner him and Atlas incapacitates and ko’s him. They haul him back to the brothel. TY manages to bribe the local area boys to stand down from confronting the gaurds, and the team swaps Rooster for Silence, after LS reads his mind and finds the statue’s location.
The team hightails it to the compound that Silence’s employer, hoping to beat the palace guards, and waking Rooster up on the way. They talk their way into meeting with the family elder, and LS, using info gained from Silence’s brain, plays on his fears and superstitions to convince him to hand over the statue (his son was the one who commisioned the theft). The team recovers the statue as the palace guards arrive, and the residents reseal the compound gate. The guards tell the team that they will have to come back to the palace to explain their continued interference. They agree, and luckily for them, Adegoke, impressed by their efforts, grants them tickets to the forthcoming auction, which he tells them has been moved to a corporate facility on Lagos Island for security reasons. Success! However, the future does not look bright for Silence, and the team gains some local notoriety for handing him over.