- Karigan G'ladheon
- Melry Exiter
- Lord Alton D'Yer
- A female Weapon
- Rider stables stablehand
- A male Messenger
- Messenger horse
- Captain Laren Mapstone
- King Zachary Hillander
- Lord-Governor Tomastine Mirwell II
- Ghost of F'ryan Coblebay
- Captain Immerez
- Lord-Governor D'yer
- Lady D'yer
- King Amigast Hillander
- Queen Isen Hillander
- Mirwellians (Sarge, Thursgad, Immerez)
- Chief Stevic G'ladheon
- Professor Berry's Mooonstone
- Joy Overway's Rider Brooch
- Bayberry sprig
- Bunchberry flower
- Karigan's rider brooch
Two days pass without word from the Captain. The other riders are aloof, but Melry is friendly. Karigan is allowed to go to the stable to tend to Condor and do stable chores. Weapons continue to guard her.
Karigan and Melry speak as Melry mucks out a stall. Melry tells her about the eletian visitor. Karigan tells mel about Somial. She is disappointed that the visitor is a different Eletian than Somial.
Alton enters the stable. He is confident and dapper. He bows to her formally, Karigan returns the guesture. Alton is not put off by the weapons and seems friendly. Karigan asks about Shawdell. Alton knows little, but mentions rumours. Karigan wonders how the Eletians picked Sacoridia to contact.
A bell rings, and a rider arrives from an errand. The stableboy and Alton see to tacking another horse while Mel walks the messenger's horse to cool it down. Karigan wonders what important business the rider has; Melry explains that this is actually normal for a non-urgent message arrival. Mel explains that Alton isn't allowed to ride, but was called to the service because he has a magical talent. Alton does not know what his talent is.
Captain Mapstone arrives, and tells Karigan she is to have an audience with the king.
Karigan washes up and changes into a formal Green Rider uniform, which she finds very uncomfortable, at Laren's insistence. Karigan worries she will be thought a fraud. Riders that she pass smile at her. They arrive at the throne room, which is only occupied by Zachary, a dog, and weapons. They both bow. She stops to pet the dog. Karigan notices the King is young, and finds him familiar for some reason. She feels sympathetic for his being trapped in the castle, away from the sea. He seems tired.
The captain is dismissed. Zachary speaks of her clan, and Karigan is snappish. He calls her journey irrelevant and invites her to play intrigue. Karigan chooses green pieces. She is surprised by how plain his game set is. They play - Karigan loses very badly. Karigan is concerned that the king should have a better use for his time than playing board games. Noon passes. Two hours later, he defeats her and scolds her for how crummily she has played. He suggests that she shoukd have given her messengers special abilities that Green Riders have. He tells her that it is impossible to win intrigue by following the rules, and that his portrait would have long ago been painted on the ceiling with he dead forebears if he did. He draws her attention to the space beside King Amigast that is reserved for him. He returns her belongings to her, except Joy's brooch. He is intrigued that the moonstone lights for her but not anyone else, even Shawdell.
Zachary pets Finder, commenting on how remarkable her story is. Karigan has an outburst, berating Zachary for the stare of the roads, outlaws, and not leaving the castle. She mentions the breach in the D'yer wall, and that people are unhappy about high taxes and need better protection from groundmites and other monsters, Zachary is genuinely amused by her gumption. The dog barks. He dismisses her, but invites her to the next night's ball. She bows and a weapon escorts her out of the throne room. She brushes past Lord Mirwell as she leaves.
She returns to her room and finds Captain Mapstonr waiting for her. Laren brings her food, and Karigan tells her about the meeting. Laren us amused by the outburst, laughing uproariously. She compliments Karigan's spunk, and thanks her for making her laugh. Laren is somewhat baffled by the meeting, and the invitation. Karigan demands she be allowed to go home, but Laren says she must stay for the ball. They also want her to stick around so they can ask her about the Wild Ride.
It is sunset. Laren tells Karigan she cannot give the brooch back, and she is a Green Rider whatever she does. Laren leaves. Karigan sees F'ryan's ghost out the window and wonders why he is still haunting her.