Shortly after Verik is handed over to the Guard, Ser Arlynn encounters the drunken guardsman Grau Soldado, who mistakes her for an old acquaintance. Grau reveals that he has gone AWOL from his duties, depressed by the chaos that seems to be engulfing Korvosa. Ser Arlynn takes him back to the party’s headquarters to sleep off his heavy drinking; by morning she is able to convince him to return to duty and he leaves grateful for her help.
While Ser Arlynn helps the guardsman, Zandu examines a mysterious silver dagger retrieved from Verik’s possession, provoking its true form as a snake-like Raktavarna. After defeating the beast, the party interrogates Verik, who admitts the knife had been a gift from his lover, Vimanda Arkona. Cressida promises to investigate the matter.
The party then learns from Grau’s former mentor, the famed duelist Vencarlo Orisini, of another threat to the city—a plan by the Chelaxian ambassador Darvayne Gios Amprei to bankrupt the city by poisoning its relationship with Cheliax. Vencarlo’s sources had spotted the ambassador repeatedly visiting Eel’s End, lair of the notorious King of Spiders, Devargo Barvasi. The party sets off to investigate the local hive of scum and villainy, with instructions to bribe Devargo for any information that could undermine the ambassador.