As our adventurers approach No Such Monastery to the cries of "HEEEEYYY ABBOOOOTT!" they are greeted by Qu, a somewhat nebbish scientifically-minded member of the Order of History Monks, and The Abbot, a relatively "new" leader to the Order, well-regarded among the rest of the monks. However, all is not right. After some deep conversations, it is revealed that a small sect of monks left the monastery due to "ideological differences", led by Sen'dai's mentor Arima. Not much is known about why they left; only that there was no real bad blood, except for the artifact that was taken when they departed. The Abbot ends Sen'dai's training at NSM due to his affiliation with Arima, but tasks him with recovering the stolen item in return for his re-acceptance into the Order.
The Told Ones wander the monastery, viewing the lush and beautiful gardens and pissing off everyone they see. Beau checks out a training session to learn some sweet new moves brah, Dialyn tries to find out how to get home by visiting the library (and also melts a flower), Deck checks out the limited armory, and Sen'dai (with Loki trailing behind him) attempts to uncover the circumstances of his master's disappearance. Eventually, the group reconvenes at the side exit and starts punching rocks, with little info on where to go from here.
Just then, Qu shows up to deliver a message: the general direction of Arima and her crew. Thus, the gang sets off in pursuit through the Ramtops. On the way, the hear a group of trolls (who seem to have trouble pronouncing their S's) approaching, and take cover in the rocks. It is then that they learn of a troll invasion against the dwarven mines. This is too much for Sen'dai, who jumps out and attacks one of the peeing trolls. A brief yet intense encounter follows, during which the team manages to murder all of the trolls but one, whom they interrogate. They learn that the dwarves have been mining troll babies and women, and this is simply their means of revenge. The troll is released, and draws them a crude map to the mines, telling our heroes that should they join the Troll cause, they will be rewarded with the spoils, as Trolls have no need for gold and such.
Going to rest for the night, The Told Ones are interrupted by an ambush from a group of shadowy robed figures, who dance around the characters for a while until another robed figure appears from the shadows and hits Sen'dai with a special "slow" technique. The figure removes its hood and reveals herself to be Arima. Apologizing for the dramatics, she brings our heroes to the humble mini-monastery of the Order of the Turtle: the monks who left NSM.
Around the campfire, Arima explains that her Order has achieved a special connection with the mind of Great A'Tuin, the sky turtle on whose back the Disc rests. They were ostracized for their "deity-worshipping" beliefs by the History Monks, and all parties agreed it was best they left. It was Arima who most fervently believed in the "prophecy" of The Told Ones, as she saw them appearing in the future, and she sent Sen'dai to gather the rest. However, the Order's connection to A'Tuin has been clouded somehow, and things are awry on the Disc. As the monks have a sworn duty not to directly interfere with the course of history, she implores the adventurers to take the Eternal Hourglass, the life-line of A'Tuin himself (ie, the stolen artifact) and find out what is going on. Her Order will help by displacing small amounts of time to make their journeys easier. She also tells them to keep an eye out for "The Sweeper", an ally who will pop up to assist them from time to time. The group accepts this quest, and sets off the next morning for Lancre, home to the Coven (who both Qu and Arima said may have answers).
After dispatching a lame group of bandits on the road, the group arrives in Lancre Town, main province of the kingdom of Lancre, and home to the Fool King and his Queen. Everyone seems excited about a "play" about to commence, and the group follows along and watches some terrible Canadian Shakespeare. During the show, two pointy-hatted women are heard loudly disapproving of the events of the performance, until a rather portly young woman takes the stage and sings a beautiful area which cracks glass.
After the first act, The Told Ones pursue the women, who turn out to be the witches of the Coven: the gaunt and intimidating Granny Esmeralda ("Esme") Weatherwax, the matronly Nanny Gytha Ogg, and eventually, the same overweight younger girl from the show, Agnes Nitt. Following the witches back to their small hamlet of Bad Ass, Loki accompanies Nanny with a fine rendition of "The Hedgehog Cannot Be Bothered At All". On the walk, Dialyn picks up on some magical energy and sees a circle of rocks in the distance, whereupon Granny scolds her and tells her not to go near " The Dancers", as they will have a pull on her. She also warns her, oddly enough, to keep iron on her person. Nanny similarly suggests they not speak of the beings who live inside The Dancers…
Arriving at Granny's hut, the group settles in for a tea-leaves reading (except with Pine needles, as Granny is forced to use the tea leaves to make actual tea). While they settle in, Nanny asks for a broom to help sweep the dust, at which point Deck begrudgingly offers his broom from his sailing days. Nanny takes a keen interest in the broom, asking who its previous owner was, then touches the object and seems upset. She tells him to take care of the broom, as Granny comes back with the tea, also seemingly perturbed.
The reading, in which Granny attempts to "borrow" the mind of A'Tuin (a ritual almost exclusively known to witches wherein they may enter the mind of a creature and gain limited control), but can only see a little bit: namely, that a dark presence is also attempting to borrow his mind, and steer him off-course. This, Nanny explains, must be the reason for all the strange things happening on the Disc. Enraged that someone else would use "her" ritual, Granny tries to find where A'Tuin is headed, but that only a "supercomputer mind" could account for all the variables. Nanny whispers that there may be such a thing in the Forest of Skund, where, "coincidentally", the celebration of Hogswatchnight is set to occur that evening. The group takes off for the Forest, but not before Granny tells Deck to recover some items and bring them and the broom back.
That snowy night in the Forest of Skund, The Told Ones revel (except Sen'dai and Deck, who hate reveling) at the yearly celebration of Hogswatchnight, a magical night where the Hogfather gives gifts to all the good little boys and girls on the Disc. During the jubilation, Dialyn wanders off and finds The Dancers, the circle of rocks with a magical aura, and a ring of iron around the stones. Sen'dai and Loki follow her, but she suddenly disappears, reappearing minutes later with a stronger magical aura about her.
Deck, meanwhile, sees a creature darting through the woods, and takes off in pursuit, the rest of the team (eventually) giving chase as well. They track the being to a giant tree with a large entrance, which they soon discover to be The Forest Temple of Skund, home to the druids (who are believed to have the supercomputer of which the witches spoke). Entering the trap-filled overgrown ruins, the group is met with the temple's guardian: a Shambling Mound. Luckily, during the encounter they hear an elderly Tarzan-like voice from the trees overhead, and down swings the legendary Cohen the Barbarian, the same person they followed to the Temple. He goes into a hulk-like rage and helps make quick work of the monster, and agrees to help the group through the temple.
A vine maze and some other inconveniences aside, The Told Ones (with the assistance of Cohen) make their way through the temple, eventually arriving at a Teleporter Crystal, which Dialyn manages to manipulate to bring them to a secret chamber. Listening in, they hear what sounds like a strange ritual going on.
As they enter the room (a bit too loudly), The Told Ones stumble upon a group of cloaked figures (seeing a pattern here?) finishing the ritual amid 4 trees and, at the center of it all, a book. A taller figure, overseeing all this, begins to exit the room as the ritual ends.
Suddenly, the four elements pour from each of the trees (air, water, fire, and earth) and enter the book, at which point a devilish being emerges from its pages, announcing himself to be Mephistopheles, Lord of Hell. The terrifying monster and his followers then turn their attention to our heroes…