In this 20,000-word novelette set in the main character through-line of the Door Into… novels, the first man in a thousand years to bear the Blue Flame of Power, Herewiss s’Hearn, is now happily married to King Freelorn of Arlen, their lover Segnbora tai-Enraesi, the fire elemental Sunspark and the dragon Hasai. But Herewiss tells none of them why (at a most delicate moment) he must undertake a clandestine mission to the city of Darthis.
His reasons are secret: his intentions desperate. So why does Herewiss wind up spending his whole visit in a tavern? Only the Stuck Pig’s indefatigable bouncer, Iras, can learn the reason why… and finds herself caught up in a kind of tavern brawl that no one’s ever imagined.