They bring the unconscious magician back to the house and chain him up.
Nick wants to kill him and remove Alan's mark. Right away.
But Alan, in typical Alan fashion, isn't so sure. He thinks they should use this magician to remove Jamie's mark—not his.
Nick is (surprise, surprise) enraged.
Jamie chimes in that he thinks they should remove Alan's mark first, and Nick thanks him for being sensible. They're all still debating what to do when the magician wakes up.
They begin questioning the magician for information, but the magician defends himself and other magicians, claiming they're not all bad.
Since he won't give them any information, Alan excuses himself to get his implements of torture. Jamie is shocked—he didn't think Alan could do such a thing.
Nick knows that Alan hates torturing people, so while Alan's out of the room, he plunges ahead on his own. Jamie feels sick to his stomach and leaves the room, but Mae remains. Nick gets a bit of info from the magician, Gerald, and then Mum comes in.
Gerald recognizes her and refers to her as Lady Livia. He seems to know her history, but says he had nothing to do with what was done to her.
Olivia exposes her sigil (a brand on her skin showing that she was a member of the Obsidian Circle) and then pulls down Gerald's shirt to show his, telling him "Nobody who wears this mark is innocent" (9.91).
Nick is questioning Gerald again, using his knife for encouragement, when Alan returns.
Now it's Alan's turn to be enraged. He tells Nick to get away from Gerald, and is obviously disappointed that torturing people doesn't really bother Nick.
Nick storms out (there's a lot of that) and hops in the shower to wash the blood off his clothes. A moment later he hears a gunshot and runs back downstairs to find a wolf in the living room, circling Gerald's chair.
Alan's aiming a gun at it, but Nick realizes he must already have shot it once with no effect. Nick (being Nick) takes on the wolf in hand to paw combat. And wins. The wolf, upon dying, transforms into a woman.
As Nick stands up, Alan demands to know what he's done with his talisman.
Nick's confused at first, but then remembers that he took it off when he summoned Liannan and (oops) forgot to ever put it back on. Alan's pretty bent out of shape and makes Nick come upstairs with him immediately to get a new one (Alan bought some extras at the last Goblin Market).
While they're upstairs, they argue once again about whose mark they'll remove with Gerald's blood, but a scream from downstairs puts an end to the debate.
When they get back to the living room, they see that Gerald has gotten away. He turned into a bird, escaped his chains, and flew out through the window.
Nick realizes that Alan wanted Gerald to get away—otherwise he never would have left Mae and Jamie alone to guard him—and confronts him about it.
Alan assures Nick that he has a plan, but Nick isn't mollified. He tells Alan that Mum isn't worth all this trouble—nothing's worth all this trouble. Alan disagrees though, and says that some things are.
Nick argues that Gerald will be reporting to the rest of the Obsidian Circle soon and then the magicians will be coming for them. Does Alan have a plan for that?
Alan does: They're going to Merris's house on the Isle of Wight.