Exploring the Proving Grounds, Cían and Ceseal discover that their magics of the Serpent and the Dragon rise with power and move in opposition much as the Dragon and the Serpent once did (the Dragon, the Spirit of the Earth, died after the Godsfall war).

The heroes begin to work with the caretakers of the proving grounds – a P’ntri (a cat-man) and Tairge (meaning ‘touched’ or ‘mad’) – they begin to learn what seems to have happened to the missing Warriors of the Proving Grounds, and search for larger answers.