An impromptu meeting at Knotbread by Marcellus, Brendellari, and Valine to discuss her visions of the “Nightmare World” is interrupted by the ambitions of a party of patrons. Recognizing Marcellus, the three Regency councilmen of Princip, Radis, and Mabróné send over one of their bodyguards to pass a message requesting her company. The ogrillion (Orc-troll) is rebuffed by Marcellus, and Valine notes that he bears the mark of a debtor slave out of Trollhatten in Thar, making him and his fellow ogrillions (Valine believes by association) runaways. He inquires as to “whether elected officials of Vega are always in the habit of enlisting criminal vagabonds to be their peons”. Naturally, a standoff and (very) brief skirmish occurs.