Hmmmm. . .
yes, it's not just a loose end. It ties back into Nikos's backstory. Except that as soon as I re-read it, I said, Hmmm. You've got to tie off that thread, especially after the way it ties back into Nikos's backstory. Yes, going hopping from one place to the next in a place filled with non-Euclidean geography and enchanted doors means a lot of stuff is just local color and vanishes, but not this.
Not the first time. I figured out that the dragon couldn't be a one-shot even when I introduced it in the outline.
And so -- have the dragon eat them. It's annoyed, it's flying about, they're flying about. . . .
Sometimes the threads tie themselves.