The Lost Hand reports on their findings and are let in on yet more secrets.

"Stop his disruption."

The day begins as a reprieve from the chaos that defined the first week of school: a normal day of morning exercises and dull lectures. Even Brevin's band of misfits seems to be acting as if nothing is happening. Gale, Pyres, and Oresta, taking advantage of the relative calm, make a trip to the Commandant's office. They report on Vieren's motives, and while Nuven is hardly pleased by Vieren's supposed plan to smoke out a traitor with the fires of conflict, he has not yet done anything to give her an excuse to throw the book at him. Their report completed, the three ask Nuven for more information about the expulsions, and their own fortune in evading them. Unfortunately, Nuven can say only that she gave approvals on recommendations made by her staff. Not wanting to test Nuven's patience beyond the breaking point, the three members of the Lost Hand leave to find their fangmates.

Fleuvienne is found easily enough, but Sientelle has wandered off into the Glade. She's thankfully easy to find, having taken an opportunity to take in nature and reflect on the tribulations of the past few days. When the Lost Hand is reunited and wandering back to their barracks, they find Brevin once again addressing his new followers. He's sporting some whip-like wounds, and playing them up for all he can. Pyres, stirred by passion and whim, makes an effort to rally the crowd even further behind Brevin. It being an effort of Pyres, it has considerable emotional effect. Looking on quietly from nearby, Juwinn will remember this.

Back at the barracks, the Lost Hand has only moments to relax. Lee-Ann soon arrives bearing a message in a shaking hand, seemingly un-altered from Vieren's original this time. The contents are quite deserving of her trepidation: "Game Four: Lost Hand versus Quartermaster Juwinn. The Glade. Noon". Though they think Juwinn might already be plotting their downfall, the Lost Hand seeks her out to come to an arrangement. Sientelle finds her in the Glade, digging small holes. After some tough negotiations, the Lost Hand manages to convince Juwinn to join them in refusing to play along with the game, should the terms not suit them. After some other discussion of Vieren, Juwinn reveals that she was, indeed, ultimately responsible for forming the Lost Hand. However, she only took the task of sparing as many students as she could from expulsion, not any of the expulsions themselves. After such a cleansing, she doubts that any traitors truly remain in the House of Bells. The Lost Hand leaves, but Gale stays behind to analyze Juwinn's machinations - some manner of ward, marking the unaware for purposes unknown.

Gale returns to the barracks to flirt with Sientelle a bit before bedtime. In the small hours of the morning, Oresta, Pyres, and Gale awake to a horribly familiar sight: missing fangmates, with no trace of conflict. Just as they wander out to look around, they see that nearly the whole school is in turmoil, students looking for their fellows all around campus. Before muster, Vieren calls the entire student body to gather. Everyone will be subjected to questioning, canceling both classes and the game for the day. While the Lost Hand waits for their turn, they find Vieren and try to get more out of him. In regards to the upcoming game, he says he has no plans on disbanding any fangs for it, but the game is still on.

When it's time for the Lost Hand to be questioned by Nuven, they wind up getting more answers than they give. They quickly manage to clear themselves from suspicion, in part by calling upon the bond of the Hearth, unique to the Dragon-Blooded. It seems that signs point to an Anathema infiltrating the House of Bells, and few are the students who can offer such strong proof of the Dragon's Exaltation. For her part, Nuven says she is mostly confident, though not perfectly, that the infiltrator lies among the cadets. With nothing more to gain from questioning the least likely culprits, Nuven dismisses the Lost Hand, allowing all five to rejoin. On the way back, Oresta stops to check in on Brevin, whose boldness is undiminished by the turmoil of the day. He even tries to get Oresta to turn her back on the Lost Hand by offering his winning personality as collateral. For some reason, it doesn't work. With a door shut in her face, Oresta goes back to her fang having gained little except a new perspective on Brevin's position in the school heirarchy.

Student Comments

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

  • "Is it me or is Breven playing the martyr card hard? You could say he is dying for some recognition. No? Nothing? Ok, I'll be in the corner." Tepet Aoife, 6th year
  • "I mean on one hand I am terrible at Gateway but on the other hand I might get the chance to play Pyres. I wonder if he prefers to play shirtless..." Tepet Aoife, 6th year
  • "I should probably be worried about my own fangmates, but, to be perfectly honest, for the past couple hours I've been mostly planning in case I am unlucky enough to play opposite of Gale Whispered." Tepet Voren, 5th year
  • "Why would we have to fight our own fangmates in the Gateway tournament? I thought the whole point is to learn to trust your fellows?" V'neef Siltara, 5th Year
  • "Brevin is going to get half the school killed with his sense of self importance. Pyres and the other idiots who support him should realize that it's too dangerous to get riled up when the teachers are making changes to the curriculum, disbanding units and kicking out whole fangs." Mnemon Ptack, 5th Year
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