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Gale gets down to business while Oresta meets Pyres' parents.

"In the Realm, parents are special."

Gale Whispered washes up on a beach outside Myion with Sientelle and Fleuvienne (along with the midshipman from the Fire and Fury, who quickly takes his "shore leave"). Fleuvienne laughs off their misadventure while Gale asks Sientelle about how to better understand people. Sientelle tells her that most people don't care about the truth (sorry Gale!), but rather about what they want to hear; one has to plant the seeds of an idea before attempting to win them over to it. Gale leads the way as they go to find lodgings, ideas brewing in her mind.

Meanwhile, Oresta and Pyres are being dressed on board the Cathak ship, and are led to Pyres' home by Perna on behalf of his mother, Qiri. Pyres tries to learn more about the new political situation on the Blessed Isle, and wins over Perna: she tells them that Vieren's attack was "ill-considered", and that House Cathak is attempting to distance themselves from him.

In the centre of Pyres' family's pavilion is a meticulously-kept Zen garden, reflecting the rigid nature of his mother, Qiri. She greets Oresta warmly, having heard of her valour at the House of Bells, but has only dismissive words for her son. Pyres goes to change in his pagoda, demanding food and pots to smash in his rage, watched by dozens of portraits of his family... and not one of him.

Finding lodgings in Myion, Gale suggests that Fleuvienne pose as a member of House Ledaal ("No one cares about us anyway,") given the current enmity between Cathak and Peleps, and she is sent to buy clothes. Sientelle and Gale take advantage of their time alone to... be together. Afterwards, Sientelle muses that civil war is coming, and while it may be fought with swords, it won't be won with them. Gale reveals she has a plan to help win the war, and it involves de-legitimizing Vieren. Gale wants to create a new, impressive Gateway opening and dub it "Vieren's Sacrifice", but once it's gained ground in the Realm, reveal its flaws and re-term it "Vieren's Folly". Fleuvienne returns to find two excited, naked Princes of the Earth playing Gateway, and is bowled over when Gale calls her "lovely".

Qiri takes Oresta aside, asking if her son is a "leader or a hero". Oresta tells her honestly that Pyres is still finding his path, which confirm Qiri's suspicions: "You'll lead him, then?" Pyres' mother also tells Oresta that House Cathak must distance itself from Vieren quickly, and expresses her suspicions that he wasn't aligned with House Peleps, but rather with some other, unknown enemy. Oresta also meets Dawan, Pyres' father, who is much more down-to-earth. Meanwhile, Pyres is getting measured for a new outfit by Pai-Linn, known as "The Seamstress" of Myion. She demands to know what Pyres wants from his life and Exaltation: he wants to unite the Realm to strengthen it, maybe even help install a new Emperor, but "no one will listen to me". Designing him an incredible garment, Pai-linn suggests that perhaps people should therefore find him worthwhile before he even opens his mouth.

Dinner that night is a formal affair, with Qiri and Dawan at one end of the table, while Pyres and Oresta are at the other. Pyres tries to impress his mother with his vision, but all she cares about is seeing Vieren destroyed. Learning that he is in Myion now, she demands Pyres and Oresta set out to destroy him. How is it possible that he is here, when Oresta and Pyres know that he is dead? Pyres shoots back at his mother, demanding to know what will happen if he chooses to forsake her demands; Oresta will take his place in the House, she rages. Pyres spits back that zealots like his mother give the Realm a bad name, and as she upends the table in a rage, Oresta catches it with her incredible strength....

Student Comments

The following are reactions from viewer's non-canon students.