V’neef Kai, Mnemon Sarissa, and Cathak Shao Dun journey to the seat of Trellis. They meet the Satrap at her countryside estate.
Shao is disturbed by the what he sees of Trellis: plantations of slaves laboring under the whips of wealthy overseers.
The three Dragon-Blooded struggle to convince the Satrap that the dead marching from Thorns represent an immediate threat to Trellis. When Kai encourages the Satrap to evacuate the satrapy, she asks for evidence that the dead are coming. While the heroes have none, the logic of their arguments eventually begins to convince the Satrap.
Peleps Maera and Tepet Sanzo work to incite rebellion in Trellis, operating clandestinely in local watering holes and other gathering places. They seek out and make contact with a local resistance movement, organized against the ruling slave masters.
Kai and Sarissa finally convince the Satrap to accede to their wishes, and preparations for a partial evacuation of Trellis once the harvest is completed.
Maera and Sanzo reach the center of the local resistance, and meet the group’s leader, Humble Wren. The Dragon-Blooded work to convince the skeptical Wren that their offer of freedom is genuine, and a better option than what Thorns may provide.