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On the treeship Yggdrasil, Fedmahn Kassad meets the other six pilgrims chosen for the Shrike pilgrimage: the Hegemony Consul, Father Lenar Hoyt, the poet Martin Silenus, the scholar Sol Weintraub, the detective Brawne Lamia, 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.
The Yggdrasil drops them off in Keats, Hyperion's capital.
From there, they take a variety of different transports across the planet, listening to each others' stories along the way.
Aboard the barge Benares, Kassad tells The Soldier's Tale, revealing that he knows the Shrike. And we mean "knows" in the Biblical sense. Yikes.
After they cross the Sea of Grass, they watch as the Ousters shoot down the Yggdrasil, and Het Masteen disappears. They can't find no evidence of what happened to him, but they assume he was murdered, since there's is tons of blood all over the walls, but no body.
In order to cross the mountains, Kassad pulls a lever to release the tramcar, performing a death-defying leap to board it as it pulls away from the station without him.
After a night in Chronos Keep, built by the followers of the Shrike, the six pilgrims approach the Time Tombs, glowing eerily in the night, and prepare to confront the Shrike.