There’s a saying, he’d forget his head if it wasn’t attached. Well, Mal seems to have lost his whole body. The mages search for Mal, but it seems he not only managed to slip into the Astral Plane, but has slipped into another meta plane entirely.
The team gets some of the drug for allowing mundanes to plane walk on the cheap from their happy Mr. J, and dives in after him. At the Threshold, the Watcher has a visitor, the desert spirit who was taking out the bugs after Trixie got shot, and carried her to the docwagon facility where they were keeping Mal. He introduces himself as Azazel. He directs them to the portal, with a few instructions. Avoid the Therans. Keep Trina safe (an eye opener for those in the group who knew pre-surgery Trina/Trixie). Mal must learn to use the ring.
They enter a desert plane, negotiate with a tribe of warriors on horseback, and run when the Therans, who are apparently mages, show up looking for a fight. They found Mal at an oasis, convinced that he was tripping, and eventually bring him back.
Time to go see Mom. The Tir gives the group a surprisingly hard time considering the new tourism boom there, and Mal and Trixie in particular. They get through the red tape, and get to the house to find mom gone. They search the place for clues, and find a secret study with a magically locked box, but can’t find the key. There are no signs that mom was planning a trip – her luggage and travel things are still in place. There are small signs of a struggle detected by the more perceptive team members. Time to find out what happened to Mom, no easy task with “tou guides” dogging the team’s every step.