Breakfast with Count Opal and Countess Michael convinces the Heroes that it’s a bad idea to kowtow to the Princes and that it would be best to confuse and bebother the Council and make them argue over pointless things while the Heroes go about their business. This, in fact, is in general what occurs, as the Heroes, counting on the arrogance of the Princes and the self-importance of the Council, request to know what sort of fine would be assessed of them, and the entire Council dissolves into suggestions and demands. A quick motion by the newly arrived Countess Micheal is made to allow the Heroes freedom to go about their business while the matter is debated, which motion passes narrowly, and the Heroes depart to, well, go about their business. Some matters concerning Gavan’s cult are fomented, involving magical contacting of his figurehead leader Benedict, and assessment of the truth of the fact that his followers can in reality travel between worlds, which they indeed can. Following this, on a retreat the Castle worldlet, Darby discovers a magnificent horse who calls himself Pride, and says he is the stallion of the Purple Emperor, the very one on which the great ride was made, called back into being because the Emperor returned. Darby and Ellis take Pride to Veldt, and while they’re there, they contact Random to see if he wants his horse, which he most emphatically doesn’t. Darby lies to the horse to not be mean to him, and they return to the Castle, where Ellis’s room is invaded by slugs overnight.