He was walking with Pug when he saw Seigneur Locklear with two other persons walking in the Palace, realising from his odour that he had been walking again in the Krondorian sewers again, as he was told not to. Locklear said that he chose that way as there was a problem with the gates, and that he met James there, who will return soon; Arutha replied jokingly that he will have them accompanied by a score of washing maidens from now on. Locklear warned him about worrying news from the Northlands, and presented to him one of his companions, Gorath. As the crowd was shocked seeing a moredhel in front of them, an assassin showed up, shoot Arutha with a crossbow, but he was saved by a spell cast by Pug.
All sat to the council table and Arutha patiently listened what he called "vague speculations based on incidental half-heard conversations" from Gorath. Gamina tried to probe his mind, but was soon tired; Arutha asked if he is hiding his thoughts and Pug said that his moredhel mind might have different defenses; Makala confirmed that his intentions were true. Gorath once again pointed out the dangers and urged Arutha to prepare his troops. Arutha was angered to be dictated by a dissident moredhel, and said that only Lockleard's good faith saved him from being executed on sight, and that he tolerated his unproved claims long enough. Even if Delkhan prepares a strike, Arutha didn't know where to expect it, so Gorath offered to intercept information by going to Romney. Arutha refused him supplies and a parcel of gold, as he still didn't trust him and wouldn't look a fool by financing a possible moredhel scheme. Showing a map, he showed him the location of Romney, and told him that a special detachment of King Lyam's soldiers will wait for him at the Black Sheep Tavern; he would arrange Seigneur James as his escort, and that Arutha will act only with James's word.
After dismissing everyone, he kept Pug with him for discussion; he expected Delekhan to attack either Highcastle or Northwarden, but the latter would be unlikely considering that his resources wouldn't be enough to defend all Sar-Sargoth. He begged Pug to postpone his return to [[Stardock] as he needed his advice for those difficult times. Finally he decided to call up the militia reserves from Malac's Cross, Darkmoor and Lyton and have them join a detachment of the Krondorian Lancers just ouside of the Dimwood.