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As the Hearth moves to discredit Vieren, they learn an Anathema has been caught.


"Now, when we play, we open ourselves up: the difference between a private life and a public one."


The Hearth plans to accelerate their undermining of Vieren's legacy: Gale Whispered has learned that Vieren had indeed planned to leave everything he owned to the Regent Fokuf, rather than to his own house. Pyres thinks they can use this against him to question his loyalty and motives publicly.

As Gale heads out to begin dismantling her own Gateway strategy, the Hearth are drawn to the town square by a commotion. Vieren (actually Brevin in disguise) is leading a hooded figure up to an execution platform. This small figure has green light pouring out from under her hood, searing a symbol like a 4 into the cloth: while it's unclear what kind of Exalt she is, there is no mistaking that this person is Chosen... and is therefore denounced as Anathema.

"Vieren" invites Pyres forwards to do what needs to be done: execute the Anathema and help him maintain his disguise. The struggling figure sounds familiar, and when Pyres gets a peek, he realizes with horror that this Chosen is, in fact, their friend Lee-Ann from the House of Bells! No one seems ready to risk it all to save Lee-Ann, which would undo all the work they have done so far in building up Vieren's legacy. Pyres captures the crowd with his force of personality, instilling a belief in unity in the crowd: "It is not me alone who does this; it is all of us. Ten thousand dragons fight as one!" He gives the Anathema a moment to speak to him, hoping that others will follow his lead in the future and give voice to all. Lee-Ann only tells him that she believes in him before he lowers her back down onto the chopping block. Gale frantically tries to save the second-year, but hears her small voice tell her that "Juwinn always cared about you".

And then Pyres brings the blade down, executing her.

Oresta brings Lee-Ann's body to the ocean with Fleuvienne, giving her a final resting place. Oresta is shaken by what Pyres did: executing an Anathema on Vieren's orders is only a further victory for the Gamesmaster. Gale returns to the inn, obliterating her opponent's use of Vieren's Sacrifice, calling it dishonorable, and then takes Sientelle to the city's library. There she encounters Bracken, who is able to support her in her moment of need, asking her whether the loss of Lee-Ann's knowledge is what's upsetting, or rather having lost the knowledge for herself. Bracken encourages Gale to "keep playing: it's winnable", and mentions that Juwinn is somewhere close by, although she's not quite sure where.

Pyres prepares a delicious feast for the Hearth as a way of trying to apologize to them. Meanwhile, Fleuvienne opens up to Oresta about being jealous of what Gale and Sientelle have together. The Hearth reconvenes in the inn and try to find common ground, and at the very least decide that they are furious with each other because they care. Is what happened today a win? Pyres is convinced they can leverage his "performance" to undo Vieren; Gale is furious that the Realm doesn't seem interested in learning anything about these mysterious "Anathema"; and Oresta has to leave for a while, to go somewhere where she won't need to be a Commander.

Oresta goes to her home where she is surprised by her father, who, kind as ever, insists on helping her and her Hearth. And as the others are brought to Oresta's home for the night, Sientelle tells Gale she was able to get a signal out to House Iselsi....



Student Comments

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


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