In Stone-in-the-Wood, Kylan and Naia are led by Rian's younger sister Mythra to meet with him. They find him being attacked by a horner. Unlike creatures infected by the Darkening, it is focused in its attacks rather than erratic. During the fight, Neech attacks the horner and it mysteriously collapses and falls asleep. Kylan and Rian dreamfast and show each other everything that has happened to them on their journeys.
Kylan and Naia examine the stories carved into the stones at the top of the village before they dine with Rian's family, including his mother Shoni and his younger brother Timtri. Rian hides when Maudra Fara arrives at the dwelling. She gives Kylan a message that has been sent to her and the other maudras by Maudra Mera, who reveals that the Skeksis are searching for Kylan and sent SkekLach and SkekMal to Sami Thicket. When they could not find him, they took three other members of the Spriton Clan as collateral. They leave that night, with Rian travelling to Ha'rar to inform All-Maudra Mayrin what he has learned about the Skeksis while Kylan and Naia go to the High Hill to seek guidance from Aughra.
As they make their journey, Kylan sings Rian a song of his own composition to boost his spirits. Once they reach the Black River, Rian takes a boat towards Rian and Kylan and Naia cross to the other side of it. Once there they find a tree with very sweet-smelling fruit, which attacks them once they approach. They are rescued by Tavra, who is accompanied by Gurjin, both of whom have escaped from the Castle of the Crystal. Gurjin is very weak and Naia heals him by transferring some of her essence to him. As they continue on their journey, they make their way through an area infested with Arathim, where they find a hidden message: "DO NOT TRUST HER".
The group arrive at Aughra's observatory, where they are allowed to enter once Naia dreamfasts with the finger-vines. Inside, they meet Aughra and seek her wisdom. She informs them of the connection between the Skeksis and the UrRu and that the two races first appeared at the last Great Conjunction. She has no immediate solution to the threat that the Skeksis pose, content to wait for the next Great Conjunction to solve the problem. Kylan chastises her for her inaction and she gives him a book that belonged to her son Raunip, feeling that he is meant to have it.
The Gelfling leave the High Hill and Tavra, who has been acting uncharacteristically haughty and rude, insists that they travel to Ha'rar. Kylan reads Raunip's book and reads about a firca that belonged to the legendary song teller Gyr, which he forged from the bone of a now long-extinct Bell-Bird. Tavra reluctantly agrees after much coaxing, believing the firca to merely be a legend. The others agree that Gurjin should return to the Swamp of Sog to recover from the damage done to him by the Skeksis, hiding their plan from Tavra. As the others sleep, Gurjin departs with Neech accompanying him.
The next day, Kylan, Naia and Tavra arrive at the Caves of Grot, where the firca is said to be held. As they make their way through the tunnels, they are confronted by Amri, a young member of the Grottan Clan who leads them to Maudra Argot. Kylan and Naia enter her dwelling and she confirms that the firca is real but demands to know what they plan to do with it. Naia dreamfasts with her and informs her of the Skeksis' crimes. She tells them that it is in the Tomb of Relics and that Amri will lead them there. Once they leave the dwelling, they discover Tavra with her neck cut open, claiming to have been attacked by once of the Grottan. Naia heals her wound and they make for the Tomb.
At the tomb, they meet UrLii the Storyteller, who helps them search for the firca. Tavra locates it, but it is broken into many pieces. Kylan converses with UrLii, who tells him that his ability to dream-stitch may be of great benefit to them. They leave the caves and set up camp, but Kylan overhears Tavra communicating with a Skeksis and deduces that she is an impostor. With the help of Naia and Amri, he subdues her and discovers that she has been possessed by an Arathim named Krychk, who reveals that their brethren have already attacked the Caves of Grot. Kylan then uses dream-stitching to allow Tavra to live on in Krychk's body while the spider dies in hers. The group then decide to go to the Grottan Sanctuary and help the felling Grottans.
The group leave their belongings behind and enter the tunnel. Naia and Amra make their way forward to find the right path and when they do not return Kylan and Tavra search for them. They reach a cavern where they encounter SkekLi the Satirist and fool him into thinking that Krychk has possessed Kylan. He leads them into the Sanctuary, where the spiders have webbed up the Grottan and Naia. As SkekLi gloats over his triumph, Kylan frees Naia and Amri and the Gelfling proceed to trap SkekLi by cutting down the bridges. As the spiders close in, Amri reached the nest of a Bell-Bird and finds a bone, but cannot play it. At Kylan's urging, he throws it down and Naia goes to catch it. Once she does, SkekLi catches her.
Naia throws the bone to Kyian, but SkekLi threatens to kill her if he plays it. UrLii and UrVa and subdue SkekLi, allowing Naia to escape and Kylan to play the bone. The sound drives the spiders away and the Grottan are rescued. Maudra Argot promises to keep SkekLi prisoner, with UrLii vowing to stay and help her with this task. SkekLi warns them that SkekUng is creating an army that will destroy them. UrVa tells the group that if they see any of his brothers to tell them to meet him in the Valley of the urRu.
Once they leave the Caves, the group discover that UrVa has left their belongings for them to collect. Kylan forges a firca from the bone of the Bell-Bird and uses its song to dream-stitch a message about the Skeksis' crimes onto the leaves of the Vliste-Staba. A gust of wind sends the leaves blowing to the Gelfling Clans throughout the Skarith Region and the group set of for Ha'rar.