The trio endures in the Arcadia Rehabilitation Camp; Sitani works toward earning merit badges, while Pontus expands his dust smuggling ring and Naedas remains deliberatly defiant. They continue to protect Tim from Nedarilth and Samilda’s torment, and Tim finally confesses the circumstances under which he was taken by the Harmonium.
Pontus is caught engaging in sexual activities with a fellow patient in the mess hall and is taken to a small square room to sit by himself. He yells and screams to the guards, then to himself, and is left in the room for the full day.
The following morning, Naedas, Sitani, and their bunkmates are woken a half-hour ahead of schedule, and the entire facility is gathered in the main hall. A heroic-looking armoured figure bearing the Harmonium’s symbol on the clasp of his cloak announces that Ms. Adelle is no longer in administrative command of the facility — he is. He gives a brisk speech, stating he will cure his patients and they will thank him once they can think healthily, then exits. Sitani and Naedas speak with a guard on their way to breakfast and learn that the new commander is Gulbrand, a Paladin of the Cudgel called in from the Abyss. The guard is very impressed by Gulbrand, gushing that Gulbrand could wade into the Blood War and emerge victorious over both sides. Later, Naedas asks Amalia for information, and though she is willing to answer some of his questions, at the mention of Gulbrand she stops and pretends she has been attacked. Other guards intervene and forcefully return Naedas to his meal.
Around midday, Naedas, Sitani, and their bunkmates (with the exceptions of Tim and Pontus) are relocated to new accommodations, as Pontus’ earlier disturbance has prompted a room search. When Tim returns he has earned a new badge, and though he tells Sitani he earned it by preventing a riot Sitani knows this is not completely true. After further questioning, Tim admits that he informed on Pontus.
Meanwhile, once Pontus has settled down, Adelle opens his cell door. He tells her off several times, prompting her to leave each time, but he eventually agrees to behave. Adele makes him change into new clothes, and though he attempts to change only his pants, he is foiled by Arcane Marks on the new garments.
When Pontus is finally released from solitary confinement, he is shown to the new room, and becomes highly agitated about the move, frantically asking if the guards found his burrs or collected his dust. Naedas confirms the guards found only two burrs inside his mattress and Pontus begins scheming to retrieve his remaining burrs from the other room. Tim, with encouragement from Sitani, confesses his betrayal to Pontus. Pontus is enraged and insists that Tim has doomed them all. Tim weeps pathetically.
The following day, Pontus refuses to behave in an orderly fashion, exhibiting poor posture and self-control and talking back to the guards. He is returned to solitary confinement. As he is taken away, Pontus calls out to Naedas, saying they must carry out his plan. Tim disappears again, and when he returns he confirms that he was questioned again on Pontus’ activities.
Over the following days, Gulbrand begins making changes to the way the facility is run. The guards become less familiar with the inmates, a seating plan is enforced at meals and in classes, and punishments grow harsher. Patients can no longer sleep in and miss their meals and classes. Pontus is constantly in and out of solitary confinement until eventually he is taken to “Special Education,” where he remains for over a month.
Upon his return, Pontus is unusually calm and complacent, seeming to enjoy following directions, but his sleep is unsound. One day a fight between patients breaks out in the mess hall, during which Pontus’ chair is broken. A guard comes to take the broken chair away, assuring Pontus they will bring a new one, but Pontus obsesses over having ‘his chair’ and loses control of himself. He attacks the guard with his Burring Hands spell, forcing him to drop the chair. The guards move on Pontus to subdue him, who fights back, casting Burning Hands repeatedly until he is brought down. Other patients swarm the guards during the chaos and are all subdued. Pontus’ body, unconscious and bloody, is rushed from the mess hall.