The party arise with the suns of Algol on a mountain slope above the Forbidden Mist Valley. Buzz Brazelhatch and Dickie Dee wipe sleep from their eyes as they pull out their maps and debate the route the party will take while seeking the Vaults of Eternity.
Although they could travel along the mountain-sides above the level of the mists, thereby avoiding it's miserable and confusing effects, they would have to walk their orniths through shattered slabs of rough mountainous terrain which could take days. With grave misgivings they decide to return to the cold and moldy fog and ride down into the valley while attempting to chart a course northwards.
Roughly two hours later the outriders see a huge form looming out of the mist. As the party gathers, they apprehensively peer through the fog. As they draw near the fog lightens somewhat and they see the tilted form of a massive silvery flying saucer with roughly one-third of it's mass embedded in the torn and scarred earth of the valley floor: Hobab's flying saucer! Five slender manlike forms in silver suits are spotted clustered about; apparently working on an aperture on the saucer's upper surface.
The nineteenth century American cousins Thibodaux and Jedediah begin muttering amongst themselves as the strange sight recalls their abduction from Earth, the more they mutter the more their tempers begin to rise. Others join in the discussion and the whole party begins excitedly debating their next move in whispers, all the while trying to be inconspicuous in the rolling, featureless green terrain.
One of the laboring silver forms turns around to grab a tool and is soon seen pointing at the party, during which a faint chirping sound is heard. Seeing this, the party excitedly debates their next move and the strange beings begin clambering inside the aperture which quickly closes behind them.
After the aperture closes the party waits for a short while before riding up to the saucer with their weapons ready. Buzz climbs up onto the upper surface of the saucer, which makes no sound when he walks on it, and strides over to where the silver suited beings were laboring. He notices the door of the aperture is a smooth silvery disk, apparently of the same material as the saucer, with a faint seam where it opened and a small raised black disk in the center, within which contained a tiny recessed glass circle. Buzz touches the circle and his entire body is immediately engulfed in flames.
Buzz awakens to his companions tending to him and finds out he was rendered momentarily unconscious immediately upon touching the disk; he seems unharmed, although his finger is swollen and reddish as if it had been plunged into boiling water.
The party next examines the other side of the saucer and finds a larger yet similar "door" on the vessel's anterior surface. Seeing no immediate way to make entry, the decision is made to further investigate the saucer at a later date and the party continues on their journey toward the Vaults of Eternity.
Hours later the party rides out of the mist and onto the southern flank of a towering iridescent bornite peak. Maps are consulted and it is determined that they are roughly five miles northwest of the Vaults of Eternity. The decision is made to camp on the mountainside for the night.
While the party is preparing camp Jedediah goes for a stroll in order to get away from Mookla the Mutant of the Slime Land's nauseating stench, and at a short distance from the campsite he notices Mookla's stench dissipates only to be replaced by a strong reptilian musk!
Jedediah looks about cautiously and spots faint tracks leading up and down the mountainside. They remind the southerner of 'gator tracks, only much much larger in scale. Jedediah runs in his characteristic loping gait back to the party and they immediately break camp and travel for a couple hours northeast along the slope before deciding to rest.
That night while some of the party are standing guard a horrible and loud slithering sound is heard from the southwest descending from the peak and into the valley. Later, before morning, while others are standing watch, they hear the sound again, this time emerging from the valley and ascending the mountainside towards the peak.
That morning the companions arise in horror to find that Dickie Dee, Jedediah, and their respective orniths have disappeared during the night...