Tepet Sanzo continues his investigation into the plot against Prince Ozria Khidara, infiltrating the palace in the guise of a young servant boy, Kiten. He networks with his contacts as he works to unravel the mystery behind Nima Isfani’s disappearance.
With Laconic Ibis in direct control of the marines deployed to protect the Prince, Cathak Shao Dun turns his attention to the sorcerous working he will create in collaboration with Mnemon Sarissa. He goes through a ritual of self-purification to prepare.
Peleps Maera pursues her investigation at the harbor. A conversation with the harbor master leads to a trade syndicate called Mercy of Iron, and a potential meeting with a new contact.
V’neef Kai meets with Prince Ozria and gives her a gift of magnificent tea, which is well-received. They thoroughly discuss the advantages and disadvantages provided by the various suitors and their Houses.
As part of his investigation into the nature of the poison found in Nima Isfani’s quarters, Tepet Sanzo seeks out another contact and mentions a woman named Yinguan.
Mnemon Sarissa begins crafting the mechanism that will serve as an anchor for the sorcerous working, a grinding mechanism for lipstick enchanted to protect the wearer. Once the mechanism, a paragon of mechanical perfection, is forged, Sarissa sends it back to Shao, who enchants the device.
Maera’s tenacious investigation yields fruit, as she is given an audience with Yinguan. The possibility that the poison may be connected to one of the great Houses is raised.
Tepet Sanzo meets a (furry, ring-tailed) contact, who helps him examine a letter in exchange for a meal.