Swift is ten years old when he answers Kettricken's invitation for Witted to meet her at Buckkeep Castle in Golden Fool, explaining that he could no longer abide Burrich's intolerance of the Wit. Burrich learns of Swift's whereabouts and forcibly brings him back home. Swift refuses to continue suppressing his Wit, and the tension in the household is such that he is able to convince his sister Nettle to help him escape. Nettle forges a note in Burrich's hand which states that Swift has been released from his family. Swift slips away from his home in the course of running an errand for his mother and returns to Buckkeep Castle.
Kettricken accepts the contents of the note and allows Swift to begin lessons at the castle. He struggles to fit in with the other children, and Kettricken eventually assigns Fitz to tutor him. Swift is proud of his Wit and disdains Fitz's refusal to unquestioningly accept this pride. He is also condescending about Fitz's apparent lack of the Wit.
Swift becomes a member of Prince Dutiful's Wit Coterie and accompanies the prince to Aslevjal. He is nearly killed by the Pale Woman's stone dragon and is only saved by the timely intervention of Burrich, who later dies from his injuries. Swift kills the stone dragon with the arrow given to him by the Fool. When he returns to Buckkeep, Swift and the other members of the Wit Coterie are honored for their loyal service to Dutiful.
Later, Swift is apprenticed to Web. He accompanies the Witmaster on his tours of the Six Duchies.