Chapter 4 has worked out well so far. Its one of those chapters where a character who wasn't supposed to show up until much later demanded an early entrance. While I know there are bits to clean up in this chapter and perhaps more to add as I develop this character's mannerisms and personality more, his arrival in this scene works well with the new sub plot that struck me last week when I was struggling with where to end the previous chapter.
Now all I have to do is figure out who is actually going on this diplomatic mission along with the duchess. Since this actually turns out to not really be a diplomatic mission at all but a ruse to gain an invaluable hostage (namely said duchess) I have to be careful with who goes with her. There are certain characters who would be natural choices to be chosen to accompany her, but they can't go because they have to be present on their own Isle when everything goes down.
So, I have to figure this one out. Since chapter 5 switches back to the duchess as the POV character setting out on her mission, I don't have much time to decide who goes along for the not so fun ride and whether or not they survive.