Within the boundaries of the Dragon-Blooded camp…
Feeling like she’s been caught in a difficult position, Mnemon Sarissa tries to come up with a compromise between the Realm and Rebel factions that would allow a peaceful resolution while satisfying Mnemon’s political need for a glorious and highly public victory.
Tepet Sanzo seeks out Sarissa. His pointed “philosophical” questioning of the morality behind Mnemon’s motives presents a strong challenge to Sarissa’s beliefs, but she ultimately continues to support her Matriarch.
Peleps Maera and V’neef Kai meet with the Rebel adviser Firat to better understand his position. After carefully convincing the Firat to open up to them, he gives them some unsettling information: Prince Khidara’s new advisers from outside the Realm are strongly encouraging her to take an aggressive, militant posture. Firat names the Bird Woman as the advisor he considers most dangerous. Kai and Maera skillfully instill a strong feeling of doubt toward the Prince’s new advisers in Firat’s heart.
As Sarissa and Maera converse, they discover that they’re both growing weary of war and are increasingly unsure of the righteousness of the Realm’s crusade and their own past actions.
V’neef Kai and Cathak Shao Dun sit together while spectating an impromptu martial arts tournament. They have a surprisingly genuine heart-to-heart talk, bonding over the most important thing they have in common: a love for, and dedication to, Captain Peleps Maera.
Later that night, Lynn meets with Tepet Sanzo in his tent. She mentions that what Mnemon cares for above all else is the throne, and that if following Kai’s plan will bring her closer to her ultimate goal, she will most likely be willing to go along with it. Their discussion turns from political to personal matters, and the two come together and share a romantic moment.
Sarissa and Shao continue to build on the friendship. Even Shao’s drunken and thoughtless references to V’neef Kai, made in apparent ignorance of Sarissa’s conflicts with him, can’t sour the mutual respect between the two. Shao reassures Sarissa that the Dragon Blooded are all allies, although he wonders how long their alliance will last.