Tomas remains at the monastery with Sparrow, Iwlgar, and two shield-grogs to watch over the Inverted Tower while the rest of the troupe journey to Voluntus to spend the winter. They settle in comfortably and Lady Julia uses her own considerable mentem abilities to uncover more of Sophia's lost memories.
An unexpected visitor arrives in the form of Sir Robert, the Baron of Wark. He begs assistance from the magi there in helping him locate his missing nine-year-old daughter who had fallen down a mysterious hole and vanished. Sophia sets out with Aleesia, Brother Kel, Argyle, Hawk, and three grogs to investigate. They arrive at Castle Wark late in the evening but press on to investigate, rather than taking their rest at the castle. In the hole they discover a piece of chalk containing vim vis. Using the chalk to draw a small door, they find the entrance to a faerie regio called the 'Moonlit Maze'.
Along with Sir Robert they set out to explore the maze and run afoul of several wood-blights, seemingly evil versions of the dryads they are more familiar with. They defeat the wood-blights although Hawk is severely wounded in the battle. They push on and find Sir Robert's daughter, "Lilly", playing in a clearing with other children. As they press on, two of the surrounding scarecrows attack along with a third— even more hideous scarecrow called "Mr. Shuck". They defeat the scarecrows and banish Mr. Shuck, as well as kill the hideous playmates masquerading as the other children. They recover Sir Robert's daughter although in the process Brother Kel has run off into the maze and vanished (flaw- Susceptable to Faerie). The troupe retreats from the regio and recovers the night at Castle Wark.