Marjorie heads out to meet up with Domingo in Australia, but as soon as she leaves the Forest she gets a frantic phone call from Billy, a member of her former firefighting crew. He took a wrong turn somewhere on the way to meet up with friends, and is stuck in a weird motel, in a White Gulch, California, and he can’t seem to leave. Marjorie tells him to stay calm and stay put. She contacts Clara and asks for her help. Clara would rather deal with Billy than Domingo, so Marjorie continues to the meet-up.
Domingo has borrowed to giant, skeletal, bat creatures from his brother, and he and Marjorie ride them to the Chancel of Tenora-Mishu, a winter wonderland dominated by a giant monolith. He introduces her to Sun Bu-er, the Power of Shunyata, which she explains is a type of fertile emptiness. They settle in for a conversation, and are joined by Theodore, the Power of Reversal. The two agree that no great harm will come from helping the Familia Atlatl regain the lost part of their Chancel, although Sun warns that it is not empty. They also discuss the Articles of Babylon, which is, according to them, an agreement that many Nobles enter into, to respect the laws and culture of the Nobilis. Marjorie says she’d need to know more before joining up with them.
They invite Marjorie and Domingo to stay for dinner, but Marjorie says they really have to be going. On their way out, they meet Amlliq, the Power of Winter, who is a strange being of ice, but is pretty hospitable nonetheless. They seem pleased to learn that Marjorie is a firefighter, and give her a small bundle, which Domingo later tells Marjorie is probably an icy wind or a snowstorm. Marjorie and Domingo part ways, and she travels through the forest to Idyllwild to meet up with Clara.
Clara is waiting for her on the highway outside of White Gulch. She has discovered that there are no motels, and the town seems pretty normal itself, but there’s a divergent highway which seems to lead to an alternate White Gulch in the spirit world. Marjorie tells Clara to wait outside in case Marjorie also gets stuck there, and goes in to find Billy. He’s fortunately still at the motel, although he tells her that he went out for dinner, but everybody in town seemed to be staring at him in a way that made him very uncomfortable. Marjorie tells him to stay in his room and lock the door, and she’ll find a way to get them out.
Marjorie asks at the front desk of the motel who is in charge of the town, and they point her to the town sheriff. She goes to the police station for a little chat. He can tell she’s powerful, but not what exactly she is, and Marjorie learns that the town traps humans and feeds off their fear. She tells the sheriff that she’s a Noble, and threatens him with vague but terrible repercussions if he doesn’t let her take Billy back to the prosaic world. Her threats work, and she gets Billy out of there. She and Clara talk about what their responsibilities are in this situation, and Clara ends up using her Domain to turn the spirit world version of the highway into an unappealing logging road to prevent anyone else from going there. By the time they’ve returned to Idyllwild, Billy doesn’t seem to remember much of what happened.