Something is badly wrong in Valdemar.
Leareth's spy-reports from Haven are inconclusive and confusing and deeply concerning. Herald-Mage Savil is probably dead. The Queen's five-year-old daughter might be dead?? The Queen of Karse is probably not dead but just the fact that there are rumors of it is alarming. Someone - maybe multiple someones - are badly injured at the House of Healing.
There might have been a bloodpath mage. Or summoned demons. Or a Changecreature. The Heralds aren't making any announcements and the rumor mill is going wild.
There are rumors that Vanyel is dead, and Leareth is not especially inclined to believe those - this smells of a godplot and it would be baffling for the gods to have steered for that - but it would also be, from his perspective, very bad news.
Leareth hasn't had the Foresight dream in months. By itself this was only mildly odd. The fact that it still doesn't happen the night after he hears the news - or the night before the news arrived, which was, one assumes, after Vanyel was already well aware of it - is a lot more blatantly suspicious.
Leareth's entire organization is on intensely high alert, which makes it a PARTICULARLY implausible and disastrously unlucky coincidence when a shipment of seasonings from Seejay proves to contain a mislabeled mushroom blend which, while nonpoisonous (they do check for that!! thoroughly!!!), causes Leareth to suffer a severe allergic reaction, with just enough of a delay that he happens to be alone in a shielded Work Room when the symptoms start and is thus moderately delayed in summoning medical attention. And the senior Healer on site has a migraine, and the more junior Healer who responds instead is distracted by a recent breakup with her fiancé and is perhaps slower to escalate this than she would have been otherwise, and this still really shouldn't have been enough but sometimes you get incredibly unlucky. More often when you're Leareth.