At the Gathering of Nations the Harts come together to find that the taint within the Pendragon is to have serious consequences throughout Albion and across Erdreja. When the Kingmaker appears again and names C’Laweye queen, annointing her with a poisoned and lethal crown, the Harts resolve to win the Gathering battle in order to earn a gift said to be capable of cleansing ancestors. The failure to secure this is a crushing blow, followed closely by a need to stand in defense of the Dragons as ructions erupt between factions regarding attempts to slay during the honour battle.
Torvell and Mac’s wedding and various parties bring many visitors to the Harts camp but the high mood is knocked when Foxxglove announces her need to leave court to be with her people, a role assigned to her at birth but forgotten and with a rite performed before all available to watch, she moved into her role as sage, leaving behind an innocent, a child adopted by Cara Corvidae. News later reaches the Harts that Fenrir was slain in defense of the guilds, and Depravo failed to return from the final battle in which the nations stood against the corrupted versions of their ancestors.
A mission to destroy the body of the hydra is successful, as is the Harts gated defense against its heads. Sir Ross Pendragon decrees that the Harts will move a warband out to Therazine, the recently risen island near Sarnia, where more of the mythological creatures are believed to be.