The festival that Bernardo has been planning for the Forest is a great success. Bernardo has set up a stunning and diverse lineup of performers, and the food is pretty good, too. Folk from all over the Forest show up, and everyone has a great time. In the crowd, Marjorie notices Ana Anguerra, the Power of Anonymity (although it ironically takes Marjorie a little while to recognize her). Ana explains that she is present in crowds all over the world, as part of the workings of her Estate, and, as such, is privy to a lot of information. She gives Marjorie a phone that she says has a video on it that Marjorie must watch. Then she blends back into the crowd and is gone.
After the festival is over, Bernardo catches up with Marjorie and asks her to accompany him to Rio de Janiero. He explains that he can feel that something is wrong, or at least not quite right, with his Estate, and the source is in Rio. Marjorie agrees to go with him, then remembers to watch the video that Ana gave her. It shows a handsome man selling one of Bernardo’s cds to some cats on a nondescript city street. She shows it to Bernardo, and he can make out that it’s probably in Brazil.
When they get to Rio, they head to a beach, where a concert is ongoing. Bernardo recognizes that something is not quite right about the music, and, after walking around for a bit, the two of them spot the man from the video talking to some of the performers. Bernardo approaches the man, while Marjorie heads around behind him to keep him from escaping. However, they’re both surprised when the man runs straight into the sea. Bernardo reveals that the man did something that was simply wrong, and the two of them realize that they are most likely dealing with an Excrucian-shard.
Marjorie decides that they should stop following him any further and call for backup. She uses the Forest, and their Familial connection, to call on both Clara and Trilochan. She also calls Domingo for advice, but he’s not very much help. Clara and Trilochan arrive via motorcycle, Trilochan looking a bit worse for the ride. Bernardo reveals that the likely Excrucian gave him a business card, and they decide to go to his office and confront him.
The office is closed for the night, but a security guard reveals that the man they’re looking for is in the building. After failing to convince the guard to let them in, Clara helpfully knocks him out, and they proceed inside. They find the Excrucian shredding documents, and confront him. He uses some sort of music-based ability to create a sword and armor, but Bernardo is able to counter it with a different rhythm. Clara goes on the attack, guns blazing, while Marjorie simply attempts to distract him long enough for Clara to get a hit. Trilochan surprises them all (perhaps even himself?) by summoning roots that wrap around the Excrucuian and hinder his movement.
Despite all that, the Excrucian does manage to attempt to escape out the window. Both Clara and Trilochan follow him, while Bernardo and Marjorie take the stairs. Outside they rejoin the battle, and it’s clear that the Excrucian is tiring, while none of the Familia seem to be much the worse for wear. Marjorie (again) heads behind him for when he tries to make a break, and this time is successful in stopping him. She tackles him, and he tells her that he will reveal nothing of what he was doing here, and they’ll have to kill him. Clara obliges.
The Familia head back inside to investigate the documents that the Excrucian was shredding. Bernardo has an idea of what they are — contracts with local musicians to produce bland, watered-down versions of their music to sell in the US and Europe on world music cds. Bernardo uses his Estate to revoke the contracts, and the Familia heads back to the Forest.