On the treeship Yggdrasil, Brawne meets the other six pilgrims chosen for the Shrike pilgrimage: the Hegemony Consul, Father Lenar Hoyt, Colonel Fedmahn Kassad, the poet Martin Silenus, the scholar Sol Weintraub, and the tree Templar Het Masteen.
They decide to tell their stories to learn about each other and their connections to the planet Hyperion, first listening to The Priest's Tale before descending to Keats, Hyperion's capital.
At Cicero's, a bar and inn in Keats, Brawne helps the bartender physically expel some rowdy freeloaders.
Following the android A. Bettik, the pilgrims board the barge Benares and continue on their journey.
They take a variety of different transports across the planet, listening to each others' stories along the way.
Brawne and drunk poet Martin Silenus often clash.
After they cross the Sea of Grass, they watch as the Ousters shoot down the Yggdrasil, and Het Masteen disappears.
Brawne, a detective, tries to find out who may have murdered the Templar, but can't find evidence of foul play... aside from the gallons of blood all over the walls.
On the tramcar through the mountains, Brawne shares her story: the Detective's Tale, revealing that she is carrying the consciousness of the poet John Keats in a device implanted in her neck. (We're not making this up.)
After a night in Chronos Keep, the six pilgrims approach the Time Tombs, glowing eerily in the night, and prepare to confront the Shrike.