Ysandre tells them of her romance with Drustan mab Necthana and how they had hoped to unite the two kingdoms.  Unlike all of her other suitors who hoped to make a match of power and politics, Drustan wanted them each to rule their kingdoms jointly.  The nobles all feel that romance is a luxury Ysandre doesn’t have.  Before they can argue it Phèdre steps in and explains that even if Ysandre were to marry D’Aiglemort it wouldn’t stop the Skaldi from invading, as they have their own agenda.  They then think to apprehend Melisande, but Phèdre explains this is also a lost cause.  They are confused as to Melisande’s involvement, and Phèdre understands it is because she loves to play the Game of Houses, but she has made a mistake in keeping Phèdre alive.

Plans next turn to how to determine if Camlach and D’Aiglemort are in revolt.  Ysandre agrees to bring back her exiled uncle, Marc de Trevalion, in the hopes of keeping Azzalle safe.  They devise a marriage between Bernedette de Trevalion and Ghislain de Somerville, joining the two houses.  They decide on various other measures to prepare for an invasion and to shore up their defenses should it prove that D’Aiglemort is a traitor. 

Matters then turn back to Drustan mab Necthana.  The message that Rousse sent Delaunay becomes clear as Thelesis explains that the Master of the Straits who controls the waters between Terre d'Ange and Alba will only allow Drustan to cross once he rules in Alba.  Ysandre decides to send Phèdre to Alba as her ambassador in place of the deceased Delaunay.  Phèdre protests, but Ysandre insists.  Hyacinthe agrees to go with her, as does Joscelin, against the protests of the Prefect of the Cassiline Brotherhood.  With Joscelin and Hyacinthe going with her, Phèdre has no choice but to agree.

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