Episode Link: Shall We Spare the Ravages of War?
Determined to ensure the success of his proposed marriage alliance, V’neef Kai retires to his quarters and begins the difficult task of coming up with a list of potential mates for the Rebel Prince, Ozria Khidara. Working deep into the night, he manages to narrow the list down to three possible choices.
Kai meets with a disheveled, somewhat troubled Captain Peleps Maera and goes over the three candidates with her. He understands that it’s imperative to make a choice that will please Mnemon. The conversation moves on toward Maera’s relationship with Shao Dun and her lingering anger over his rude, insubordinate behavior. Eventually, the two reminisce about old memories of good times spent together at school.
Maera and Shao meet up for the first time in days and are able to have a civilized, if unusually formal discussion, although both are aware of the bittersweet undercurrent of emotions and unresolved issues running between them. Shao reiterates his distaste for Kai’s plan, while Maera lowers her guard and expresses her own nervousness and fear about the consequences of resolving the conflict through violence. Eventually the two share memories of simpler, happier days spent together on the ocean, and resolve to work together, at least one more time.
Maera and Shao approach Sarissa, who is still upset and aggrieved over the way V’neef Kai has treated her. Shao goes to find a Tepet Sanzo, and the Dragon-Blooded, minus V’neef Kai, gather together to prepare for their pivotal meeting with Mnemon Gia’Senai. Maera asks Sanzo to help her during the upcoming negotiation; Sanzo, playing his role as the humble teamaster, expresses nervousness and surprise at this idea. After further discussion on the people of Daric and their impressions of the conflict, our heroes proceed to the meeting.
The Dragons, along with the Rebel Adviser Firat, head to Gia’Senai’s encampment to begin the negotiations. Everything proceeds relatively well, with a few unexpected twists: critically, Firat mentions that Prince Khidara’s foreign advisers are strongly against the proposed peace-through-marriage agreement, but that the Prince herself would not be opposed to denouncing voices on the rebel side that call for further aggression and militance. Firat also concedes his belief that the foreign advisers have led his Prince astray, and that it was their influence preventing peace talks from beginning earlier.
Ultimately, the first stage of the negotiations is a success, although the session ends with the Dragon-Blooded preparing for a far more difficult and dangerous task: heading back into the city for the next phase of the peace process.
Cathak Shao Dun