Pharaun summons Jeggred's father, the demon Belshazu, and interrogates him to find a portal to the Abyss. Belshazu tries to escape, and during the commotion, Ryld Argith and Halisstra Melarn leave the party to pursue their own ends among the surface. Pharaun successfully binds the demon, and learns there is a demon ship that sails on the plane of shadow, and can take them to the Abyss. The party then journeys to an aboleth-filled lake to find this ship, and Quenthel Baenre and Pharaun both devise schemes to get rid of the other. Neither are successful, and they eventually find the ship. Meanwhile, back in Menzoberranzan, duergar and tanarukks are attacking, led again by Nimor Imphraezl. Gromph Baenre awakens in a cave nearby, trapped in a small sphere, but with the help of his familiar escapes. He is captured by an Illithid, but by using his cunning drow intellect he is able to defeat the foe. He finds an amulet of light and binds it to Nimor, trapping him in the Shadow Plane.
Ryld and Halisstra are happy together, and she eventually converts to the followers of Eilistraee. It appears that Halisstra is a chosen one among Eilistraees followers, and is sent on a quest to recover The Crescent Blade, a sword that can sever the head of Lloth. She learns she must regroup with her old party to venture once more into the Abyss.
During a conversation between Gromph and Triel Baenre, Quenthel recounts her death (at the hands of Drizzt Do'Urden in Siege of Darkness) and subsequent resurrection (by Shakti Hunzrin in Windwalker). Quenthel is uncertain what this event means, but anticipates she has been chosen for some special quest by Lolth herself.