Tyrects tries to sleep in a bed, but he finds it too soft and uncomfortable. After a few hours of sleep on the floor in front on the fire, he wakes. Quietly, he heads out to the pond he noticed in the garden, clad in only his skirt. There, he soaks in the water until the sun comes up and then lays out in the sun in the garden to await the day.
In a dangerous political climate, several expeditions are made to the infamous Wilds in hopes of expanding the country, Urbane, and avoiding an all out civil war. But, when the lord in charge of the excursions is almost assassinated, tensions increase and put new pressures on the brave explorers.