The Solars met the Realm in battle in the streets of Calacia. Quickly overwhelmed, Meliodus persuaded Aerius to fall back to his citadel. Meliodus escorted the civilians to safety, while Marcus persuaded Aerius that the city was lost. Aerius agreed, but insisted on making one final stand. Marcus made him promise not to try to martyr himself.
After fighting the Realm soldiers for a while, Aerius decided to withdraw. He left behind a small contingent of his knights, and blessed the leader.
Surrounded by other hostile city states and Realm satrapies, the refugees realized they had to go south. Meliodus didn’t know the location of Rathess, but he did know of a temple where that information could be found. The Calacians headed south.
About a month into their journey, they encountered a village belonging to one of the Ten Tribes. The village had been devastated by plague. The source, the Solars soon learned, was a stone idol (which could not be moved), with a yasal crystal set in its forehead. Meliodus released the spirit inside, and Aerius compelled it to manifest. They asked the spirit some questions, and persuaded it to go bother the Realm instead. The spirit, imprisoned long before the Sidereals taught the Dragon-Blooded Immaculate Martial Arts, agreed.
The villagers led the Solars to the temple they sought, where they found a mosaic depicting the world as it existed in the First Age. Awestruck by how far their predecessors had pushed back the Wyld, they quickly located Rathess on the map. Now knowing their destination, they continued their journey south.