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The hearth sets about understanding new information and old rivals.

"Right at the moment of victory, there's a crash."

The Hearth sits with Juwinn, planning their next course of action. Gale requests blood from Juwinn, and then that Oresta and Fleuvienne go to fetch some from the deceased Lee-Ann. Tracking information about this "Essence poison" may help in tracking down Vieren's conspirators, and though intel would benefit them, they are in need of allies.

Pyres speaks with his mother Cathak Qiri, who admonishes him for apologizing to her about their Vieren subterfuge. "It was on a need-to-know basis," she tells him. When he promises to try to honour their house, she is cold and precise. "Do not try. Did the Scarlet Empress try to enter the Imperial Manse?"

Back at her parents' home, Oresta takes a moment to suss out Fleuvienne: is she interested in deepening their relationship? Oresta freely admits that she wasn't jealous of having found her with Pyres, but what are they to each other? Across town, Pyres is having an intimate conversation as well. As he tries to get information out of Brevin, the Ragara continues to try to raise his ire. Pyres learns that "Vieren" received a number of visits from house Tepet, suggesting some sort of alliance between them and parts of House Cathak. He mocks Pyres' house for siding with the fallen Tepet, and the two have a battle of wills to see who will submit to the other first, before fading to black....

Gale works feverishly on Juwinn's, Lee-Ann, and Sientelle's blood, confirming the presence of the same toxin in all three! In Dragon-Blooded, the artificial compound seems to be fatal, but in Anathema, it causes a dramatic flare of Essence. Could it mean that Iselsi is indeed linked to Vieren's assault on the House of Bells? With her mind spinning, Sientelle sets up another obscured game of Gateway, and the two places all the pieces out that they know of. They agree that their next step needs to be to capture, or destroy, the Lancer... Maral.

Pyres returns to Oresta's home to find the Earth aspect waiting for him. She's trying to figure out his feelings towards the other members of the Hearth, and Fleuvienne in particular. Pyres is an open book, and reveals to Oresta his secret passion for music and dance, pulling her to her feet. When Oresta asks whether he'd be open to exploring with her and Fleuvienne, he tells her that he doesn't make a habit of half-measures, pulling her into a kiss.

To the east, in the ruins of the House of Bells, a lone figure waits for answers. And for justice.

Student Comments

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