After Dutiful receives his mistcat Wit-bond partner from the Bresigna family, he runs away to Galekeep. Fitz and the Fool, in disguise as Tom Badgerlock and Lord Golden respectively, attempt to discover the extent to which the Bresinga family is associated with the aggressive Piebalds. Civil forms a low opinion of Lord Golden when the man flirts with Civil's intended, Sydel. Civil then receives an unexpected and unwanted kiss from Lord Golden, furthering souring their relations.
Civil turns out to have been uninvolved with the Piebald plot to kidnap Dutiful, as he was unaware of the mistcat's true nature when he was forced to gift it to Dutiful. He arrives at Buckkeep Castle for Dutiful's betrothal ceremony and ends up staying for an extended period of time. He becomes closer to Dutiful, and the two often discuss the Wit. Suspicious of Civil's loyalty, Chade orders him watched; Fitz notes that Civil's low activity makes him an exceptionally uninteresting subject for spying.
It is eventually revealed that Civil has been unwillingly assisting the Piebalds with their spying efforts at Buckkeep Castle because his mother is being held hostage. When Lady Bresinga is killed, Civil secures his Wit-bond partner and goes to Buckkeep Town to meet the Piebalds, intending violence even if it ends his own life. He is narrowly rescued by Fitz.
Civil accompanies Dutiful to the Out Islands as a member of his Wit coterie. On Aslevjal, Civil publicly accuses the Fool of ruining his life, blaming the Fool for everything that had gone wrong since Lord Golden's arrival at Galekeep. He also accuses Fitz and the Fool of being lovers. The Fool rejects these claims, and the incensed Civil attacks him. The Fool fights back and manages to pin Civil, telling him to forgive himself for being used by the Piebalds.
After King Dutiful reveals Fitz's identity to the court, Civil writes to Fitz, expressing continued embarrassment over their past experiences with each other and reassuring Fitz that Civil is at his service.