As spring blossoms into summer the troupe suddenly finds a wagon-train on their doorstep. Five nuns have arrived with a host of workman to rebuild and reoccupy the old monastery at the expense of Baron LeCornu. It seems obvious the Baron has used the nuns to get rid of the magi and their armed host who have consternated him for sometime. With no choice but to leave, the troupe packs their things and move into the forest, making their way into the Woading Wood. Here they establish their new base of operations in tents and under the canopy of trees.
Toward midsummer a sudden storm erupts which leaves much of the encampment in shambles. While the tempest rages, a great white serpent almost fifty feet long steals into the camp and into Sophia and Aleesia's tent. It is apparently drawn to the sack of vis stored there. Sophia stops the serpent from devouring the vis while her shadow-wolves hound it and keep it at bay. Aleesia delivers a powerful blow with her flaming sword and the serpent flees into the night shrouded forest.
In the morning, the troupe gather and decide to track the beast to its lair. Sophia elects to take the entire troupe to fight the massive beast. They find that it is living in the caverns below the Inverted Tower and cautiously enter in pursuit. After tracking it through numerous twisting caves and past many dead and devoured rat-creatures that the serpent seems to be surviving on, they are ambushed by the monster. Although he gains the advantage of surprise, only one grog is injured before the superior numbers of the troupe beat it back. The serpent attempts to withdraw but the grogs corner it and at last kill the creature.
In the creatures gullet they find a magical spear, as well as harvest the creatures eyes and fangs for vis— in its lair its long shed skin also contains vis, which they gather and return to camp with.