Five armies: the lizardmen Seshurma and frogmen Ran-Tari from the Shaanda River delta swamp, and an army of men who live in the cities along that great river, facing off against the Valician defenders of the city and the mercenary company, the Drakine’s Regal Axes. The handmaiden is saved, but the city is under siege! Grull and Marcus sortie out from the city to leverage their personal relationship with the Seshurma to try and negotiate a settlement. While the Seshurma cannot speak for the other two attacking armies, they let Grull know that he still has a few short hours before the attack is scheduled to commence.
Meanwhile, Lady Langwurt and Randarath discuss how neither one of them wishes to be wed, and that they have been pushed by forces outside of their control.