Five years have passed since Jason's birth and Pelias has grown increasingly paranoid about the prophecy of the old woman. Jason has been secretly nursed on Mount Pelion, but now Cheiron must prepare the boy for his future life. However, a near-fatal accident shatters Jason's courage and only a cunning strategem can rebuild the boy's confidence. And yet the strategem has unforeseen consequences for ward and guardian, so Cheiron enlists the aid of his son-in-law to introduce Jason to two fellow princes of Greece, the centaur's grandsons - Peleus and Telamon.
After a blissful summer together, the young friends are filled with remorse at their imminent separation. Cheiron too reluctantly accepts that there are some skills a centaur cannot teach his teenage charge. And so the four journey southwards through Greece to the island of Aegina. First they must pass perilously close to Iolcus and not far from the city they are ambushed. As the soldiers encircle them, aid comes from an unexpected source: the mighty hero Heracles, son of Zeus himself. Heracles agrees to escort them southwards until their paths diverge and the hero must turn westwards to Mycenae and slavery under his cousin Eurystheus. But as they approach Delphi, Cheiron becomes distracted and one night leaves the camp without word. Telamon takes charge, overruling a resentful Jason's desire to seek out his guardian. When Cheiron returns, his reticence too offends Jason. As Jason sails towards Aegina, the centaur can only hope that the friendship of Peleus and several years at a royal court will heal the breach between them.