Lord Rhel held a contest where the best four kitchens in Umbriel took part. The winner would prepare a meal for Lord Umbriel himself. Toel, Phmer, Luuniel and Ashdre were the chefs invited to take part in the tasting. 
Annaïg, who at the moment worked for Toel, was informed by the skraws about the tastes, fashions, and fetishes Lord Rhel and most of those attending his tasting. She planned that the meal would subtly insult and discomfort those accompanying Lord Rhel. Annaïg also knew that he prided himself on a sort of coarseness of taste, probably imitating Lord Umbriel, who was known to dine on the lowest sorts of matter at times. Rhel had been heard to say that such tastes reflected not the lack of refinement, but the fulfillment of it.
Toel was killed by Mere-Glim and Annïg in the middens. They his body near Phmer's kitchen to avert suspicion. Lord Irrel decided to put Annaïg in charge of the kitchen. The tasting was held, and Annaïg prepared all the dishes she had designed for the contest. At the end of the day, Annaïg went exhausted to bed. When she woke up, Lord Rhel was staring at her. He inquired how she knew that the first dish would make Lord Ix vomit and make Ghol laugh. He was amused by the suffering of the other lords. In addition, he admitted that each dish was perfect for him. Lord Rhel informed Annaïg that she had won the contest, and that she would prepare a meal for Lord Umbriel.
After Annaïg poisoned Glim, Lord Rhel showed her Glim's body to identify him. Rhel informed her that he would be cut in pieces and each of the skraw dormitories would get one, to remind them their failed rebellion.
When Umbriel was about to arrive at the Imperial City, she poisoned the trees of Umbriel, hoping that it would weaken Vuhon. Vuhon had to absorb Rhel and three other lordsbto keep going on in his body and find the venom’s mother.
- "I think I shall enjoy your world, when we are done."
- "Three days from now you will cook another meal, this one for Umbriel himself. I will be interested to see if you can please him as much—and as specifically—as you did me."
- "Umbriel is pleased."
- "I am a high lord, Annaïg. We do not move through cycles as you do. We have always been and we remain. We were here at the beginning, and if there is an end we will be there, too."