Lady Koralia and her entourage are still on Byzantium Secundus, awaiting the arrival of Novitiates Azoth and Jall and Provost Torensen from Pentateuch. During their stay on Byzantium Secundus, the local leadership of the Scravers, Consul Oliver Lords, assigns an apprentice to Paxton, partially because of his brilliant mind, and partially because he hopes that a dose of responsibility will reign in Paxton’s borderline heretical research.
While they await the arrival of the smuggler’s ship that will bring their allies to safety, Lady Koralia decides that it is about time for Enhenduanna to get a new change of clothes. She insists that sending all of her money to support her ailing mother is no excuse for a shabby wardrobe. Lady Koralia also receives a visit from Duchess Oelestre Xanthippe, who gives her a beautiful platinum and sapphire headpiece as a token of appreciation.
The day of the ship’s arrival comes, and the three refugees from Pentateuch arrive without incident. Lady Koralia gets them settled in at a safehouse, and the group discusses strategy. They agree, almost unanimously, to go to Velisamil to investigate the connection between the Door of Doramos on Pentateuch, and the ancient Obun language.
After retiring for the evening, Paxton and Lady Koralia are awakened with a start. They each find a strange man by their bed, glistening knife at the ready. Each of the assassins cut their prey but a single time, then drop their knives and try to flee. They are, of course, handily dealt with by the entourage. After dispatching the assassins, they realize that Lady Koralia and Paxton are poisoned. Enhenduanna’s Theurgy neutralizes the poison, which she and Kadan identify as Grixi, a particularly nasty Ukari poison. Furthermore, the knives that the men discarded by their victims are traditional Ukari kris blades, bearing the sigil of Clan Malak, the Clan to which Kadan belongs. It does not take anyone very long to connect that the men, who bore the sigil of the Worldshaper heresy, were attempting to frame Kadan for the murder of a Noblewoman and a Guild member of some note.
Without a word, Kadan runs to the Ukari embassy in the Imperial City, and finds it in a state of disarray. After speaking with a guard, he discovers that two men broke into the Embassy, killed the Clan Malak representative, and stole his ceremonial daggers. Kadan presents the daggers to the men, and explains what happened to his group. The guards solemnly state that the daggers should be returned to the representatives family back on Kordeth. Kadan volunteers for the duty.
The following morning, the group departs for Cumulus Station, and books the first ship they can find leaving for Velisamil: a Hawkwood merchant ship called Merlin’s Chariot.