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After laying low in Arjuf for a month, the Hearth of the One True Bell has been promised safe passage - if they can gather some key items at a high-class ball being attended by the local elite.

"I can show you so many things."

The Hearth of the One True Bell needs to get out of Arjuf: they're too easily recognized as former House of Bells students, who are all currently suspected of Anathema corruption.

A scholar sympathetic to their cause, Bati, claims he can forge them passes to escape via ship, but he needs a special seal to do so... the seal of a high-ranking diplomat, Seru. The plan is to infiltrate Seru's annual gala and steal the seal, along with the logbook of the Heightened Sense, and a strange ovoid artifact requested by Bati.

After a distraction at the gate, the Hearth are in: Oresta moonlights as one of the cooking staff while Pyres is swept off his feet immediately by Seru, a water-aspect known for his cold demeanor and skill with sculpting ice. Wielding his daiklave, Brilliant Diamond Shard, he watches over his gala while trying to convince Pyres to accompany him to meet the Regent Fokuf.

Meanwhile, Oresta learns of the secure basement archives while circulating; Gale and Sientelle stealth up to the top of Seru's office and begin to search for the seal. Fleuvienne is recognized as a student of the House of Bells, despite her lame attempts to convince everyone she is a sorcerer from the Heptagram. When Pyres steps in to save Fleuvienne, Seru is offended, and challenges him to a duel. "Only one Prince would have the gall to try to lie to me," he intones, and reveals Pyres' identity.

Oresta's cover, too, seems shaky when her catering "uniform" splits from her muscular physique, and in a desperate play, steps between Seru and Pyres, accusing the latter of being a traitor to the Realm. As an "agent for the Regent", Oresta leads Pyres and Fleuvienne to a makeshift jail cell, where she will be interrogating them. As Gale and Sientelle manage to find the seal in a locked safe, and the ovoid in a room of artifacts, Seru approaches Oresta, Pyres, and Fleuvienne....