The Crimson take Allanon to Graymark, where he faces General Riga. He asks why he was brought to Graymark, and Riga says it's so that the Druid can stand trial. Allanon says he has committed no crime, to which Riga replies that he practices magic. Allanon refuses to answer to Riga, saying that the Druids have faithfully served the Four Lands for centuries, with hundreds of them dying in Graymark fighting the Warlock Lord. He admonishes Riga for lecturing him while sitting in Graymark, on the Warlock Lord's throne.
But when Allanon asks who will defeat the Warlock Lord if he awakens again, Riga says he will. When Riga asks for the Codex of Paranor, the Druid refuses to tell him. “Magic is not a weapon. It is a gift. But it always comes with a price.” Riga says he knows all about the price of magic, having seen his men fall while fighting the Demons at Arborlon. But when Allanon asks to be let go so that he can fight their true enemy, Riga counters by saying that the true enemy is magic itself.
In Shady Vale, Wil awakens and is surprised to see Eretria, whom he thought was dead. When he asks how she found him, she says it was her vision of Amberle. They head outside when they hear Garet Jax and Mareth confronting each other. Garet introduces himself as the “Weapons Master” to Mareth and Wil. Eretria reveals that she paid Garet the diamonds given to her by Tamlin to help her track Wil to Shady Vale. She meets Mareth, calling her “another pair of short tips.”
When Wil says he needs to find Allanon, Mareth says he's changed his tune, but Wil says it's only because he needs to save Flick. However, Eretria says Allanon was captured in Leah by the Crimson and taken to Graymark. Garet recognizes Graymark as an old Gnome fortress in the Ravenshorn Mountains, but when Wil asks him to guide them there to find Allanon, he refuses, saying that he doesn't do causes, ideology, politics, or guilt. He reconsiders when the others goad him, demanding that he prove he's not afraid by getting Wil into Graymark.
In Leah, Lyria confronts Tamlin, wanting to know what the Queen said to Eretria. Tamlin said that she only told her the truth, that Lyria had run off with lovers before. She also mentions that Eretria took the diamonds she offered. Tamlin asserts that Lyria's one purpose is to marry Ander Elessedil, but Lyria points out that Tamlin doesn't care for the Elves and demands that if she’s to be married to the King of the Elves, that she at least be told what Tamlin's plans are. Tamlin reveals that since a civil war amongst the Elves looks almost inevitable, if Lyria was on the throne in Arborlon she would be able to convince Ander to ask Leah for help in crushing the opposition. Once the conflict was over. Lyria could use her influence to assist Tamlin's army in setting up a garrison in Arborlon, essentially allowing Leah to occupy and take over the Westland without a struggle. Lyria threatens to go against her mother's wishes, but Tamlin threatens Eretria's life if Lyria refuses, implying she has someone watching Eretria already.
In Graymark, Riga has Allanon chained and tortured. Allanon is still wearing a conjure collar which prevents him from using his magic; Riga mentions that the collars were developed during the war against the Demons so that they could be used to restrain Demons for study. Allanon remarks that Riga knows quite a bit about magic for someone who hates it, to which Riga responds that unlike the Druids he respects magic's power and doesn't believe it can be controlled. Allanon remarks that Riga must have Mwellret blood, as only a Mwellret can repel and survive against his magic. Riga doesn't deny this, saying that his mother was a Mwellret and that as a baby he was forcibly removed from his mother's dead body. He says that being part-Mwellret used to be a curse, which he has now turned into a weapon. Allanon tells Riga to torture him all he wants, as no amount of torture would cause him to give away the location of the Codex. However, Riga points out that he can find and torture Wil Ohmsford instead. The Druid continues to demand to be set free so that the world can be saved, warning that once the sun turns black the Warlock Lord will once again walk the earth. However, Riga says that Allanon needs to leave the world, not save it.
Half a day away from Graymark, Wil, Eretria, Mareth, and Garet make camp. As Mareth and Garet take the first watch, Wil and Eretria catch up. Wil says he searched Safehold repeatedly looking for Eretria but couldn't find her. He is surprised when Eretria says that she knows he tried, and gives him back his amulet. Eretria says Wil was kept from finding her, by someone who believed he was doing the right thing for her. When the Demons disappeared she assumed Wil and Amberle had saved the Ellcrys. She says that she found a new life and a new lover, and that she was happy for a time until her vision of Amberle happened. When Wil asks her about what Amberle said, Eretria reveals that Amberle said a darkness was coming.
Eretria is surprised to see Wil jaded and despondent, and uninterested in helping others. She confronts Wil, saying that he's changed. She argues that the Wil she knows believed in the good in others, including in herself, and that he saved her by doing so. When Eretria says that she can tell by the marks on his arms that he is abusing the Elfstones, Wil lashes out, arguing that she can't understand how he feels, to have lost everything important to him. Eretria counters that she absolutely can, but he walks away.
As Garet watches the pair talk, another Garet sneaks up on him, frightening him. Mareth walks over, revealing that the second Garet was just her illusion. Garet asks why Mareth is so interested in Allanon, but she refuses to tell him. When he points out that the Crimson are dangerous because they are true believers, she tells Garet, "Says the guy who only believes in money." Garet says that he used to have a cause, like Mareth and the others, but when Mareth asks him about it, he stops talking, saying that he doesn't do backstories. Mareth comments that he in fact did do just that.
The next day, the four arrive at Graymark. Wil calls out Garet, saying that he knows that Garet wants to collect the bounty the Crimson has placed on Wil's head, and says that they can use that to get in. Wil demands that if Garet wants to bring Wil into the fortress to collect the bounty, that he first find for Wil a detailed map of the fortress, including a way out. Later, as they examine the maps, Eretria tells Wil the plan is terrible. Wil agrees, but points out that they have no other choice.
Wil apologizes to Eretria for what he said to her at campfire, and reveals that he is using the Stones to conjure up visions of Amberle. He says that every time he does it he vows to not do it again, but is unable to keep that vow. When Eretria points out that Amberle loved Wil and in fact told her to find him, Wil replies that it didn't seem fair that Eretria left a life where she was happy in order to do so. Eretria demurs, saying that Cephalo would have told them to dry their eyes and to be grateful for the present because the future holds no guarantees.
Eretria asks about Mareth, and Wil says that she thinks Allanon is her father. He says he's giving Mareth the benefit of the doubt, which makes Eretria comment that that sounds like the Wil she knows. In preparation for their entrance into Graymark, she places a lockpick in Wil's mouth and gives him three glass balls that resemble the Elfstones but are in fact filled with explosive fuel.
In Palace of Leah, Ander Edain wait for Tamlin to formally agree to their alliance. When the King asks Edain if he has seen Catania, Edain lies and says that Catania took Ander's engagement to Lyria hard and left for Arborlon. Ander comments that he couldn't have survived the past year without her. Tamlin announces that she has agreed to the terms of the alliance and will set up a meeting with Lyria for Ander. She asks to speak to Edain as Ander leaves. Once Ander is gone, Tamlin asks Edain to bring Riga to see her. Edain says that it isn't possible, but Tamlin grabs him and threatens him, choking him and warning that his revolt wouldn't succeed, until Edain agrees to bring Riga.
Garet Jax enters Graymark with Wil and announces that he is there to collect his bounty. The two are immediately surrounded by soldiers, led by Colonel Valcaa, who asks how Garet managed to get Wil. Garet refuses to answer, but when Valcaa has his soldiers start beating up on Wil, Garet makes up a story about knowing that Wil would probably head to Shady Vale.
Valcaa asks for the Elfstones as well before handing over the money, but Garet refuses, saying that the bounty was for Wil only and that he was keeping the Stones unless Riga was willing to pay extra. When the Weapons Master is threatened for the Stones he points a knife at Valcaa, but Valcaa scoffs, saying that he knows Garet Jax would never dare stab him while surrounded by Crimson soldiers. He also reveals that he knows of Garet's past as a Border Legion commander who survived being slaughtered by Demons even though all his men perished. After this revelation, Garet relents and hands the Stones over to Valcaa before leaving the fortress with the bounty. However, he is clearly conflicted. Wil is taken into Graymark and thrown into a cell.
Inside Graymark, Valcaa gives the Elfstones to Riga, who declares that the world is now a safer place. Meanwhile, Wil uses the lockpick to get free and uses one of his explosives to blast open his cell door. When a guard comes to investigate, he knocks him out.
As this is happening Mareth and Eretria are outside the walls of the fortress. They agree that neither leaves without both Allanon and Wil, since they each want to get one of them out of Graymark. Eretria then goes and takes out a couple guards with Mareth's help. Another guard comes at them, but Garet takes him out.
Wil finds Allanon and works on setting him free. When Allanon tells Wil it was a mistake for him to come to Graymark, Wil comments that he came for Flick's sake, because Bandon has taken Flick and wants Wil to deliver Allanon to Paranor. Allanon protests, asking if Wil realizes why Bandon wants Allanon brought to Paranor. Wil tries to remove Allanon's collar, but he is unable to do so. He starts to leave with Allanon when Riga comes in with some of his men. He has both Allanon and Wil chained up, and asks Valcaa who brought Wil. When Valcaa says it was Garet Jax, Riga warns that if Wil's entry was a coordinated plan there may be others.
In their cell, Wil tells Allanon that Eretria and Mareth are outside. When Allanon asks who Mareth is, Wil quips that the collar is preventing Allanon from reading his mind, and comments that he'll let Mareth introduce herself to Allanon. When Wil asks Allanon what he did to Bandon, the Druid admits that he pushed the Elf too hard and too fast. he says that he should have seen what was happening, but that he was trying to save the Ellcrys. When Wil comments that Bandon was yet another person Allanon sacrificed for the greater good, Allanon says that he tried to keep Wil uninvolved precisely because it was the Druid's fault that Bandon strayed. He says that nevertheless, destiny brought Wil back into involvement. However, Wil rejects the notion of destiny, saying that he's only in Graymark because Allanon made a mistake.
Riga comes in with a machine fitted with tubes. He pierces Wil's neck with a large needle at the end of a tube and sticks it down into the Valeman's body, causing him to scream. As blood begins flowing slowly out of Wil into a container, Riga demands to know where the Codex is, telling Allanon that if the valves on the machine are opened wide, Wil's body can be drained of all blood in minutes.
Garet, Eretria, and Mareth are within Graymark. When they see no sign of Wil or Allanon, they realize their plan didn't work. As they go to find the captives, Mareth stops, overcome by a feeling. She tells Eretria and Garet that she has a feeling she knows where Allanon is.
Mareth leads Eretria and Garet into an empty room, causing the two of them to get impatient. Nevertheless, she says she can sense Allanon's magic, and she fixates on a metal door bolted shut. As she approaches the door, a rattling sound emerges, and grows stronger. As she gets close to the door, Allanon's staff bursts out of from behind the door where it was being kept, and lands in Mareth's hand.
As Wil's blood drains slowly, he tells Riga that Allanon didn't give a damn about Amberle and therefore certainly doesn't care about him. He claims that Riga could drain him dry and the Druid still wouldn't crack. Riga stops the blood from draining out of Wil and tries to reason with him, saying that he understands Wil's loss because he lost his men to the Demons too, and lost his wife who was pregnant with their child. He asks Wil about the Codex, promising to stop the bloodletting if he tells. When Allanon yells at Riga that Wil doesn't know anything, Wil counters by saying that he does indeed, but would rather die than tell Riga. The General, upon hearing this, orders that Wil's blood be drained.
At that moment Mareth bursts in, using Allanon's staff to blow open the door and take out Riga's men. Riga speaks calmly to Mareth, telling her to put down the staff as he is impervious to magic. Mareth thinks for a second before responding that he's not impervious to fire and using the staff to throw wood from a fire burning in the prison cell at Riga, knocking him out. As Eretria frees Wil and Mareth frees Allanon, removing his collar, the Druid says that it is impossible that Mareth is able to use his staff. Garet warns them that more soldiers will be coming, to which Mareth responds that she knows of a way to get them out.
Riga appears in the courtyard of the fortress, calling to his soldiers and yelling that the Druid escaped into the tunnels of the fortress. He orders his men to seal them off. However, this Riga turns out to have been one of Mareth's illusions disguising Garet, and as the illusion dissolves the Weapons Master leaps into battle with Mareth and Eretria, fighting to take down the soldiers of the Crimson. Garet is knocked back by one of the Crimson soldiers and as the soldier is about to kill him he has a flashback to Demons and his time as a Border Legion commander. Luckily for him, Eretria dispatches the soldier before he can take Garet out.
As the three take on the soldiers, a weakened Wil and Allanon head for the gates. Allanon yells for Mareth to throw him his staff, and she complies. She says that it would take at least twenty men to open the heavy gates of Graymark, but Allanon uses his staff to force the gate open slowly with magic. As the Druid hold opens the gate with all his strength, he urges the rest to flee through the opening. Mareth creates a wall of fire that manages to continue burning as rain falls onto Graymark, protecting the Druid as he holds the gate open. After everyone has gone through the gates, Allanon's strength gives out and the gates begin to close. Riga, who by this point has recovered, appears in the courtyard and gets ready to shoot an arrow at the Druid. Allanon runs for the gates, throwing his staff out first in case he can't make it out in time. But the Druid manages to do just that, throwing himself through the closing doors of the massive gate. Right after the gate shuts Riga's arrow reaches it, clanging harmlessly off the metal doors.