The group spends the night at the Council headquarters. In the morning, they put their heads together to plan their next move. Molly shows up, saying that McCoy wants to talk to all of them. In his study they run over the events of the previous day. Harry and Mark join the conversation as they’re discussing the shield. Harry says he could make a shield like that maybe fifty feet across. The power required to make one large enough to cover the entire hill would be lethal. As they speak, Mark slaps his hands to his head and falls to his knees. A few seconds later he says he’s gotten a message from Merlin. This happens a couple more times. Merlin modified the time-teleport spell to send messages across. Arthur and the Knights are trapped, besieged in a city near Boston. He wants them to come back and break the siege.
The party immediately jumps to discussing how much firepower they can bring along. The door bashes open to admit Arthur Langtry and Peabody. Langtry forbids the Council wizards from going to Boston, which would break the Sixth Law, probably. Timelines are weird. He admits that the situation is dire and that the party is beyond his jurisdiction. As to Mark, he orders him to protect Boston as he’s assigned, wherever Boston is at the moment. He does offer resources and gives the crew 15 minutes to make a list.
Molly grabs Faelyn and brings her along. The group meets Langtry 15 minutes later with a list – grenades, iron bullets, medical supplies, armour, and a few tools. He has them all ready within two hours. They travel the Ways back to Boston’s footprint. Mark thinks as hard as he can at Merlin, and suddenly they are transported back.
Merlin expresses his displeasure at the delay. He explains that a few thousand faeries have encircled the city of Carlin where Arthur is now trapped. They’ve taken the countryside, but not yet breached the walls. The group colludes to cast an inattention spell on themselves. Now astoundingly boring, they walk through a small knot of attackers to a sally port on the western wall. Inside, they almost get by clean, until an old veteran spots them and breaks the spell. They’re surrounded by a dozen guards and threatened with imprisonment. Finally, Crichton convinces the sergeant to bring a Knight of the Round here to see them. They’re held at swordpoint until Kay rides up, smacks the sergeant, and brings the group to see Arthur.
Arthur and the Knights have set up a round table in Carlin’s bailey. On the table is a map with units marked by position and strength. He expresses gratitude to the group and shows them the map. They pick out the three commanders and decide the best plan is to cut the head off the snake. Next, they head to the east wall, overlooking the bridge, where Gawain’s men hold one side and a faerie commander the other. Aeryn sets up her nest in the gatehouse while Gawain and the party set up a sortie across the bridge. They are met in the middle by a force of ogres and trolls. Aeryn fires first at the faerie commander by his longhouse across the river, then into the fight to pick off enemies. The humans and the faeries are pretty evenly matched, until the party wades in, picking off enemies, Faelyn using faerie magic to wash enemies off into the river. The faeries produce a ballista, which Aeryn promptly fireballs into kindling.
When the faeries finally break, Gawain’s men take the far gatehouse, while the party sets faerie huts on fire or grenades them into shards. Mark, Crichton, and Rygel gang up on the commander, poking holes in his gut and finally beheading him. As his head is parted from his body, blue fire erupts skyward, and the nearby faeries go either berzerk or catatonic. The party beats a hasty retreat across the bridge.
Back inside, they move to the north wall to see the main faerie force. They are unaffected by the first commander’s death. In fact, they look better organized than before. As the party watches, a great horn blows, and the massed faeries charge the gates of Carlin.