The motley make a big move… and discover a bigger threat.
"Jenga is exciting because of the way it tempts you. It tempts you to make risky moves."
As Sophia hussles Alnek into Sybil's Tenderness in order to stave off any more Banality, Patches brings them food and drink. The eshu isn't yet undone, but he is indeed very confused. He suddenly looks up in shock, able to see Sophia's ethereal beauty again as the two breathe a sigh of relief. They insist he return with them to The Spark for safety. As Patches yanks Zistor out of Sybil's oven to get a move on, they suddenly realize… where is Braum?
Beneath the city, Braum is face-to-face with Seville, a relatively innocuous vampire. Gathering that he doesn't seem to be armed beyond some vials in his jacket pocket, Braum sits down across from him, intrigued by his description of Sophia as "The Quill of the Sun". Seville proposes helping the motley: he doesn't want any harm to come to Sophia, but two Ventrue are hunting her down. Since they don't have exact proof of the two murders committed by "Sophia", he offers to obscure her trail and send them "knocking on the wrong door". Braum is naturally suspicious: why would such a creature want to help them? Seville admits that he would rather see the Ventrue get what they deserve, but that Sophia also has an important task she still needs to accomplish… although Seville isn't exactly sure what that is. Braum accepts the vampire's phone number but refuses to make any promises.
On their way back to Cross' Shadow, Braum gets an earful from Sophia and Patches for going off on his own into potentially dangerous territory as he relates Seville's proposal to them. Calling him immediately, Seville bemoans his difficulty in travelling, but Braum gives him one week to find his way to a safe place in Cross' Shadow so that they can meet. The motley also examines the Duchess Eloyse's letter provided by Tailor, determining that the false letters possessed by Fala must have come from a source to which Tailor now has access. The fingerprints on the letter, however, remain a mystery.
Braum and Patches head over to Heart's Light, but not before speaking to Duke Granville about the current political situation. The Duke has no knowledge of any tacit conspiracy to undermine High King David, but that sowing confusion in the Kingdom of Northern Ice may be a move to try to further confuse the line of succession in Concordia. He is quite certain, though, that King Meilge is the most likely person to have wanted to get rid of the Red Branch, which would have presented an obstacle to the throne. Patches and Braum ascertain that Sir Xaeron is managing things well at Heart's Light, but they determine that he's still nervously awaiting a date with Kaylie. Despite his protests about maintaining an image at the freehold, the two vow to bring her to him as soon as they can.
Back at the Spark, Sophia wakes Alnek to check on his recovery: learning that the Duchess Eloyse sent him to deliver useless letters into places of incredibly high Banality, she inflames Alnek's passionate hatred for her, asking for his help in overthrowing her. He swears an oath to her: "I will see her ripped from her title and pay for the crimes she committed, and those that I do not know."
Before attempting to assemble more allies for their attempt on the Chateau Frontenac, Braum is contact by Lord MacAllistar that all is ready in the Kingdom of Apples. The motley, along with Kyoko and a reluctant Claude, Wayfare their way to Homefires, where they are distressed to find no one there. Calling Lord MacAllistar, he assures Braum that he cleared the freehold so that they could arrange a meeting with the High King David. Relieved, the group make their way to his office, only to discover the leader of the Red Branch standing in the room, slack-jawed and glassy-eyed. They discover explosives taped to his person and suddenly the source of the influence appears: the Masked Man, the King of Willows himself! Braum is distraught, knowing that he killed the man before him; the masked man simply laughs, telling him that a title cannot be killed.
The masked man demands Patches' lightning gun as she levels it at him: the nocker uses Chicanery to fire a tracking device at him but make him believe that it missed. Taking the rifle, he raises it up and breaks it clean in half, leaving the pieces on the floor! Both Braum and Patches are devastated, although they both know that the strength required for such a feat would be… unlikely. Perhaps this too is a mind game?
At that moment, a voice sounds from out in the hall: "I have arrived, alone!" The masked man smiles as he tells the motley how he plans to persuade the High King to take a "sabbatical" and install his own ward, Faerilyth, as High Queen. And just as the High King David rounds the corner, the motley prepares themselves for what is to come….