Eskar arranges a test of the Captain's Guard by setting up for a newskin saarantras, Basind, to be attacked by a mob led by Sons of St. Ogdo. She finds them lacking—their response time was thirteen minutes, even though they were only two minutes away—and she tells Lucian Kiggs this. The two argue, Eskar disparaging the human tendency to carry grudges through generations: the people of Goredd still regard dragons with fear and disgust, even though the war was forty years ago and few of them fought against dragons firsthand. After warning Kiggs that if security remains this inadequate Ardmagar Comonot would cancel his visit, Eskar goes to talk with Orma.
Orma introduces her to Seraphina, his ityasaari niece; because Eskar used to work for the Censors, she is aware of Seraphina's secret. In light of this, Eskar assumes that, like a mule, Seraphina is infertile and thus refers to her as an "it" rather than a "she." Orma corrects her, but Eskar loses interest in the conversation and leaves to join her subordinates and Basind.
- Seraphina: Chapter 2