James Rutherford III heads to Edinburgh to become a full Wizard, and Trevor Smith tags along to witness and make a deal between the White Council and the Fomor. Trevor brokers a deal that gets goodwill for the Fomor and opens ways through the Fomor regions of the Nevernever for Wizard use. As he waits for the tests, James encounters the Gatekeeper. The Gatekeeper presents James’ father’s watch as delivered for him and informs James that the Gatekeeper will not be voting in his favor. James had purposefully left the watch behind and begun to enchant a new focus item, because it was featured in the vision he had of his own death. Now James finds himself with the watch on his person in the dark headquarters of the White Council surrounded by black-robed wizards and gray-cloaked wardens, any of which could be the figures from his Vision of My Own Death.
James fails Ancient Mai’s test of Earth Magic, which is a weak point in his studies of magic. The Gatekeeper simply goes down the line pronouncing who passed his “test,” and James is surprised when he passes. Aleron LaFortier soulgazes each candidate, and tells James he passes because he is willing to do what is necessary while maintaining the restraint to not go too far. James manages to disable the test wards the Merlin, Arthur Langtry, set before the students. James passes two of three sections of Martha Liberties test of practical use of veils, which she says is good enough. Listens to Wind puts forth sick animals to be cured, and James flushes sepsis from a cat’s intestines but doesn’t mend the internal wound. Listens to Wind heals the cat the rest of the way, and gives James a pass and the cat. James names the cat Shadow. James passes the Anastasia Luccio, Captain of the Warden’s test by applying a trick Giorgiel had once used against him. Ebenezer McCoy presents a test of honesty and integrity rather than skill or knowledge, which James quickly fails. White Council chief secretary Peabody gives a difficult written test, which James passes with a 72%. Finally, the Toymaker Klaus Schneider simply asks each candidate why they want to be a wizard. Klaus is satisfied with James’ answer, and having passed 8 out of 10 tests, James is one of two apprentices to graduate to full wizardhood and receive a blue stole.
After a brief celebration, James and Trevor return home, and Trevor begins to set up his new houseboat/headquarters.