Phèdre says goodbye to the members of Gunter’s steading, but does not know what’s become of Joscelin. She faces the wrath of the women of Selig’s steading, something Selig doesn’t understand despite his every effort to show that she is valuable. He finally puts her to work doing translation for him during the day and having her pleasure him at night.
Three days later she discovers what has happened to Joscelin. Selig worries that Joscelin is not eating. When Phèdre reaches him, he looks a mess, and when she asks him why he’s not eating it comes out that he has broken his vow in doing what he did in saving her. Phèdre explains to Selig that he is atoning, and Selig orders him to live so that he can teach Selig some of his skills. Joscelin is too caught up in his own remorse to care, but Phèdre reminds him that he is sworn to protect her, and she needs him to stop feeling sorry for himself and to pick himself up and do it. In anger, she swears that if they live through this she will write the Prefect of his order and tell him that Blessed Elua was better served by a courtesan than a Cassiline. This seems to snap Joscelin out of his moroseness. He finally begins to eat.
Joscelin's confinement causes chilblains, giving him an excuse not to train Selig. In response Selig sends for a healer, Lodur. Joscelin is forced to agree to teach Selig something of the Cassiline style. Lodur recognizes what Phèdre is, however, that she is a weapon of Kushiel. He warns Selig that D’Angelines have the blood of gods in their veins and it isn’t wise to go against them. Selig seems to believe their gods are too soft and that he can force their blood into the Skaldi’s veins and make them strong. The healer is not so sure one can strong arm the gods.
Selig is now suspicious of Phèdre. He wonders if there is magic in her marque. He asks why he shouldn’t just kill her, and Phèdre points out that much like his totem animal, she is marked by the gods.
- Selig’s Steading