One of the problems of a project the size of the Nuegua Trilogy is that one can lose sight of the motivations of a character, because building the world is so much fun.
With that in mind, let us see why Dianire Redourine is in the Ruins of Phoenix, fighting for her life at the Kierland, the last known gathering place of the Sky Wanderers.
Going back to ‘Ghost Sickness’, the reader will know that the Sky Wanderers have left caches of treasure and weapons for their eventual return. Finds-Water, the oldest and cleverest of the Apache Traders, has not been able to convince Alathea of Clan Tiala that her clan must intermarry with the Apache, to create a new, superior breed of human, to combat the Sky Wanderers.
Instead, Alathea commissions Dianire to locate any and all Sky Wanderer weapon caches that she can. The Kierland is a logical place to start. Rintiala is deep in the building of Dragon Head, and Alathea will never put her oldest daughter in jeopardy again. Dianire agrees, because simply reconnoitering the Kierland will likely be a high enough acheivement to promote her to First Sister.
Dianire succeeds, although the Kierland has only a small cache of weapons, most of which have been converted into tools for the aid of the synthetics, the old ‘beating swords in plowshares’ metaphor.
What Dianire does discover is the map of all the Sky Wanderer’s weapons located in the American South West, or the ‘Empty Earth’ in Tialan parlance. Finds-Water insists that she share this information with the Apache, but she flatly refuses. This fuels his suspicion that Clan Tialan and Clan Redourine will ultimately rule the Empty Earth, leaving the Apache and the rest of the Native Peoples as second-class citizens. This has ramifications for Rintiala, because when she delivers her grand scheme to have all Apache women bear their children in Clan Tiala, Finds-Water is convinced that his suspicions are correct.