The party goes to see Petra again to get their final instructions before departure. He gives them a map with the locations of the skyfalls as close as his contacts can estimate them. He also mentions that shady city officials are obstructing their investigation of the theft. He thinks that the Syndicate has a hand behind this and doesn’t want him to unravel their direct involvement and the corruption of the city government. The party then collects their chocobos at the church’s stables. Cook chooses the gold chocobo (Moogle), Gore the red one (Ifrit), Bumble the green one (Titan), the woodsman the black one (Odin), and Gerard the blue one (Shiva). The party then makes their way towards the west gate. They meet Durzak again and buy another powerful but dangerous cypher from him.
On their way they are stopped by two guards who try to detain them. The woodsman immediately bolts away. The others follow, but Gore is pulled from his saddle. With a little help from Bumble and Gerard he is able to remount and escape with the others. The guards sounded the alarm though and as they try to escape riding they encounter 4 guards blocking their way at the gates with halberds and the gates begin to close. Bumble lobs his spore sack cypher into the midst of the guards dispersing the spores among them. They scatter as they are gripped by strange hallucinations allowing the party to safely ride out of the city.
The party decides to investigate the skyfall in the Dark Hills first so they set out west along a main road. They ride half a day uneventfully before being ambushed by two ravage-bears along the road. The party engages the creatures and although Cook and Gore get a bit mauled they manage to send one running and slay the second. The bears appear to have been making meals of travelers and amongst the undigested bits of vomit they find two cyphers.
They rest up after the battle and continue on their way. As dusk sets in they notice two huge metallic colossuses lumbering south from some hills towards the road. The party continues on the road; when the colossuses reach the road one turns east but the other turns west and follow along behind them. The party veers off the road into the hills away from the path of the giant creature, but Moogle becomes spooked and takes off running with Cook causing the colossus to lope quickly after them. The woodsman tries to distract the creature and Cook manages to hide himself and Moogle. The creature crushes a few boulders looking for them but finally returns to the road and lumbers away. The woodsman finds them a hidden niche in the hillside and they bed down for the night.