An amulet protecting Nathalia, who is now known to be Celeste DuMarchand, is revealed to be the cause of the explosion. Unfortunately, Badger the Monk has been killed and L’Shyat has gone missing under the assumption of a Banishment aspect of the explosion. This leaves Mal and Shai to move on alone with the unconscious body of Nathalia.
Soon, they are met by the Archdruid of Reaching Woods, Trithian, who has no information but offers to protect the girl while they uncover the mystery of the Map. With little more to go on, Mal decides to return to Scornubel to seek the advise of a friend, Arren Raven.
Arren is unamused with Mal’s presence, insisting that his cover may be blown. After hearing their story, however, he agrees to contact Fiana for them who turns out also be undercover in Melcolm’s Magnificent Meandering Menagerie. This news stuns the pair and they discover that not even “The Family” as Arren repeatedly refers to his friends as, knows anything about the plot or the Map.
Fiana begs the duo to return to the Reaching Woods to discover more about the Zhentarie, an faction that has no connection at all to Zhentil Keep. Unfortunately, to reach the Zhentarie, the pair will have to travel through the northern Reaching Woods, home to the Raging Claws, a Werewolf Clan devoted to Malar.