We divvied this chapter up into eight sections of three pages, not our usual six sections of four pages, to widen the focus a bit (except for the Bandit-Syr’Nj section, which we agreed needed four pages even though that nudged us past 24).

This section was initially supposed to be mine, but Phil took it up while I struggling on other fronts. Ironically, he wrote much of it on the Fourth of July, coming back from a family vacation. At least at the time, he seemed to do a lot of his best work on the train.

Although the Heads of Houses are barely glimpsed here, Phil’s vision and John’s designs are already paying off. While the focus is very firmly on Ardaic, the Heads’ varied and distinct looks are a long way from “generic castlepunk senators.” They pull us into this new environment and hint that these guys will eventually start doing more interesting things than standing around and staring while Ardaic exposits.