Farkas presses into the phalanx protecting General Atrius, which also contains Khunbish. Most of Farkas’s men have fallen to get him here, although he can hear Thorgrim fighting nearby. Farkas chops off an opponent’s arm to acquire a shield. Atrius calls, “Hold!” and his men stop fighting, but this merely emboldens Farkas, and he advances into the ring of guards around Atrius. Atrius charges him from horseback, and the fight begins!
Taneskel wakes up naked and tied to a table in yet another laboratory of the Court Wizard of Qom. Hours have passed. He is no match for the restraints upon him. The Wizard eventually arrives to gloat and question him. Taneskel reveals that he came back to Qom, under penalty of death, because he wants access to the secret library. The wizard questions him further on who sent him, and Taneskel eventually reveals that Lord Paz wants the wizard dead. Taneskel also admits that Paz must want him dead as well, otherwise, why would he have sent him to face a superior foe. Over the course of the questioning, the Court Wizard senses a glimmer of potential in Taneskel and decides not to kill him immediately.
The fight is not going well for Farkas. Atrius on horseback proves to be nigh-unassailable to Farkas on foot. As the situation worsens for Farkas, Khunbish cries out that Farkas should submit and join them, the alternative surely being death. Khunbish (with help from Atrius) and Farkas argue over terms: Farkas must have a higher position than Paz once Qom has been taken over, but Farkas must convince his half-brother, the King of Qom, to join forces with the Lion of Jeptha or kill him.