Chapter 10: Projection
Dante is overcome by fears that, because of her beliefs in supernatural beings, Emily will suffer the same fate as his mother. Things don’t improve when Chief Payne announces a surprise final examination that charges the initiates with entering the Scar, enclosed ruins under the jurisdiction of the Sophist Aristocracy. Attempting to calm his nerves with sedative drugs, Dante ends up caught in a dreamlike state where he witnesses his housemates discussing the exam — only to realise, to his disbelief, that he is actually witnessing events through a disembodied projection. Emily and Kat come to his aid, but Dante would rather pretend nothing happened and decides, against Katrina’s wishes, that he will join them in entering the Scar. Meanwhile, another initiate, Oscar, plans to show Chief Payne’s announcement to his father, a member of the Sophist Aristocracy, so he can use it to indict Seelie.
Chapter 11: For a Father’s Approval
When Oscar’s father learns of Seelie’s actions, he demands immediate action from Director Guirlande, but the Sophist leader shows reluctance to go up against his old friend, Rembrandt Payne. Meanwhile, the Director’s daughter, Astrid, heads into the ruins in the hope she can learn the motives behind the surprise exam. Upon entering the Scar, she and her friends find abandoned, but pristine streets lit by strange obelisks. As Oscar’s father pushes Director Guirlande to take direct action against Seelie, Astrid has a run in with Ceres Mendoza, a fellow initiate and survivor of the Aristocracy’s attack on the forest.
Chapter 12: The Fogs of Agnoia
Astrid’s meeting with Ceres is resolved when Seelie officer Azhara’d al-Hakim steps in to quell the violence with a warning that the ruins are dangerous for those weak of heart — as Astrid soon learns when her friend, Elizabeth, suffers a temporary breakdown amidst a strange, rising fog. Escaping the fog for the safety of the glowing obelisks, the girls finally reach their destination at the centre of the Scar, where they learn that the situation was not, as they suspected, a Sophist trap. Meanwhile, Director Guirlande rallies a small troop to investigate the ruins, and Emily, Katrina, Dante and Byron begin their climb inside.
Chapter 13: A Scientific Investigation
Chris Shaw, a Malkuthian immigrant assigned to Torsten by the Foundation, a group who works to ensure the Cities’ high technology isn’t abused by the outside world, begins his investigation of the Scar. His findings lead him to conclude that the ruins, and their mysterious fogs, are connected to the Erebus, a corruptive force found around numerous locations across the world. Forced to take action when his immature charge, Lysander Goodfellow, breaks into one of the abandoned houses, he also learns that someone has sabotaged — or stolen — local power supplies. As he and his friend, Lance, contemplate completing their exam, Director Guirlande and his forces enter the Scar.
Chapter 14: Shelley and the Ruins
Shelley Eoghan, a young friend of Emily’s, observes the Sophists’ movements through astral projection, alongside Shuck, a spirit who lives in the Scar. Shelley has holed herself up in one of the houses, which Shuck has designated a safe zone, along with her friend — and Emily’s estranged sister — Alonie. They are soon joined by various other initiates seeking refuge from the Sophists. Escaping from the growing crowd, Shelley returns to the aether, where she spies Dante, Katrina, Emily and Byron in trouble with a Sophist seer. Then Dante panics and leads the Sophists straight to the safehouse…
Chapter 15: The Gathering Place
While the Sophists await further instruction from the Director, Emily investigates the safehouse, intrigued as to how Dante knew its location. She soon learns that the house once belonged to Dante’s parents — and that his parents were friends with her own. Before she can ask him about the connection, and how it might relate to what happened six years ago, the Sophists launch a surprise attack against the Director’s orders. While Emily flees to the roof after a panicked Dante, Shelley and Alonie come into conflict with the Sophist seer, and Chris, investigating the mystery behind the Scar, has to deal with a Sophist peacekeeper.
Chapter 16: A Crack in the Mask
Caught between the growing fogs and Director Guirlande, Emily prepares to cast aside her kind persona and fight her way out — only for Director Guirlande to announce that he has no intention of arresting the initiates. Meanwhile, Chris gets into a brief fight with a peacekeeper and Shelley forces herself to confront the seer, learning in the process that Alonie is herself a seer. Back on the roof, Guirlande reveals that the fogs are actually the Erebus made manifest — a revelation Dante does not take well, leading him to accuse the Director of using lies to manipulate people. Concerned, Guirlande confronts Dante about his beliefs and realises that he is a victim of City indoctrination — and that his mother isn’t dead, as everyone believed, but a prisoner. Unable to accept these revelations, Dante falls into a dark pit of denial, and the Erebus breaches the safehouse’s defences.
Chapter 17: Fear of the Light
Princess Phantasia appears to repel the fogs and save the day, leading Director Guirlande to question her intentions — and Emily’s place in things. As he enters conversation with Prince Dionysus, Emily tries to get answers out of Phantasia, but all she knows is that Dionysus is investigating the Erebus in a bid to control it and thus save the world. Desperate to know why the Sidhe want her to use her seer powers on her friends, Emily convinces Phantasia to demand answers. Before she can do that, however, Dionysus announces that the Sidhe have summoned them away. Guirlande warns Emily about the danger of dealing with Sidhe and leaves, but not before asking her to watch over Dante. As the initiates deal with the fallout of their adventure in the Scar, Rembrandt Payne delivers a final message, announcing an unexpected holiday to distant resort, which Veritas believes a secret Seelie training facility. As Director Guirlande convinces Astrid not to get involved, Lord York demands he take action against Seelie, or York will bring his indiscretion to the attention of the Aristocracy’s Founding Fathers. Before he can do so, Prince Freyr appears to make sure everything runs according to Dionysus’s plan.
Rembrandt Payne discusses the situation with his confidant, Amber Thorbjorn. They realise this is all part of an elaborate scheme, with Emily — Aliza Adel — at its centre.