Farkas, angry at Taneskel for leading scouts to their position while also not providing useful intelligence about Atrius’s forces, drives him away from Farkas’s squad. Taneskel acquiesces and walks off into the night. Some of Farkas’s men overhear Taneskel’s voice and trail him as he slowly casts a spell. They return to Farkas, confused that Taneskel apparently vanished. Farkas tries to convince them that it means nothing, but they remain suspicious and fearful.
Khunbish, now captured and in Atrius’s camp, convinces a fellow Mongol into arranging a meeting with Atrius so that Khunbish can speak with him. At this meeting, Khunbish reveals the—in his mind—dishonor and treachery of Lord Paz, and that he is willing to join Atrius’s army so that he might have a chance to kill Paz. When asked of his adopted home, Qom, that the army is about to attack, Khunbish admits that only Chancellor Marduke holds any reverence for him, and asks only that Marduke be spared so that he may serve The Lion. Atrius allows Khunbish to join his army, but on the condition that Khunbish not kill Paz and in exchange for the army to not target Marduke. Khunbish accepts.
Taneskel-as-falcon returns to Qom and, not having a better place to say and lie low, returns to his cottage to rest. That morning he is discovered by guards. They give chase, reinforcements are called, and as Taneskel is surrounded, he transforms and flies off. He flies to the Palace stables and rests in the haylofts, waiting for the confusion of the upcoming battle to search the Palace for the Court Wizard.
Farkas tries to find a suitable location for ambushing Atrius. His movements near Qom brings the attention of the wall guard, who send a small troop to investigate. Farkas, as it turns out, knows their leader, Thorgrim. Farkas convinced him to join forces for the ambush.