Jorek leads the circle in various attempts at diplomacy. To…varying degrees of success.

In the aftermath of the battle, Entropy is dead, committed to ash by Valeria, and although Three Fates Shadow saved her, Val is still critically injured. She proposes giving out the word to the Legion outside Nexus that she died in the explosion, although Jorek suggests keeping that possibility in their back pocket in case the soldiers of House Tepet plan to search for her. All of a sudden, a member of the Golden Tigers appears: “We’re under attack!”

Rushing back to the apartment in Blue Sky where Tide is being kept, Rey spies four Dragon-Blooded in jade armour surrounding it. Their commander, Tepet Crest Exultant, got a tip-off from the doorman about Tide’s presence there. Rey leaps into the apartment to try to hurry Tide out, and after they knock out the doorman, seeing no easy escape, they prepare to fight the Dragon Blooded. Tide’s attempts to bond with Rey are coldly rejected; reconciliation between the two seems impossible at present. Jorek, meanwhile, sits down with Crest to negotiate Tide’s release, as he knows Jorek to be a Solar Exalted: he is to take her back to his commander, nothing more, although Jorek does notice that he seems to pity Tide as well. Hoping to find a way that Crest could instead report back that Tide had died, he peers into Crest’s soul, discovering a husband being kept captive somewhere. Jorek promises to save him if Crest agrees to leave empty-handed.

Val and Three Fates sneak in and head up to Tide as well, trying to get more information out of Tide about her addiction to the crystal. Tide reveals that her mother, trying to control her, got her hooked on the drug: “I was saying things she didn’t want me to say”, she explains. As Jorek’s attempt to persuade Crest fails and he heads up to the group to try another course of action, birds begin dropping notes all over Nexus: “We are sorry that a disease is running through your city. No one will be allowed to leave, and we will give our lives if necessary.” The notes bear the seal of House Tepet. Jorek, hoping to take advantage of Tide’s indecision, tries to bolster her feelings of resentment towards the Immaculate Order, knowing that she feels they are wrong about the Solar Exalted, but she resists.

Speaks-of-Silence appears on the rooftop of the apartment, offering aid and a plan: she will assume the form of Exquisite Tide and be led away in her place. In order to do so, she drinks of Tide’s heart’s blood, ripping her chest open. As Val tends to the real Tide, Speaks-of-Silence, in the guise of Tide, starts to head out with Jorek and Rey to be handed over. As they descend, Heart’s String, Jorek’s new bow, whispers that she should be injured to present a more real counterfeit: they beat her up and shoot her, as they had done Tide.

Although Crest accepts Speaks-of-Silence as Tide, Rey’s “performance” to convince them of her identity leads to suspicion, and a multitude of Guild archers appear at windows around the building, prepared to kill Crest for obstructing trade. Jorek threatens to report the first one to fire an arrow, for, while the Legion is disrupting trade, he hopes their current exchange will be the first step to having the Legion leave. Rey follows Speaks-of-Silence from the rooftops, watching her be bound still further and carried away to the Tepet camp outside of Nexus; she also learns that Crest has ordered that Exalted will be allowed to leave the city, provided they can prove their Exalted nature.

Jorek, late for his meeting with the Council of Nine, stops by the Ziggurat to obtain his fine shirt, vibrant purple and silver (the colours of an Eclipse). He arrives at the meeting to find it already in session: Peaceful Hand informs him that he will be leading a small expedition of soldiers to defeat the talons of House Tepet. Knowing it to be a suicide mission, Jorek takes his place at the head of the room, speaking of a great change coming to Nexus and taking command. Suddenly, one of the Nine, in disguise, rises and moves behind Peaceful Hand: Infinite Dirge tells Jorek that they are the only ones truly fit to be there. Jorek attempts to talk him down from violence, but he snaps her neck; he laughs as Jorek fires an arrow with Heart’s String, runs out to the antechamber where, only moments before, the rest of the Council had been slaughtered. On the advice of Heart’s String, Jorek begins to run back to Blue Sky….

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