The Summer Solstice celebrations are about to commence. Both members of the Black Stockings and the Regency attend Marcellus’ festivity at her estate. Galenraug and Tonerus intervene in what they think on is an attempt on Marcellus’ life- the real threat reveals itself as the two are put out of position as the blacked cloaked and ethereal being attacks and wounds Marcellus with an ancient and obviously poisoned weapon. Tonerus is grievously injured, having his throats cut as Galenraug pursues the assailant only find that his blades have no effect. Only after drawing out his own life energy to form the Leshaye blade can Galenraug injure the figure, who retreats out into the lane and vanishes.
Pouring more of his own energy into Tonerus to save him, Galenraug is unable to fully heal the wounds. Tonerus remains touch-and-go as he is taken inside and prepared to be moved into Vega. It is revealed that while her injury is light, Marcellus has suffered memory loss as a result of the attack. The recovered blade is discovered to be Nithian, and contains vermeil- the essence of the Red Curse.