Several years ago the maga Umbriel discovered the angel Eiael looking after the spirit of the young nun Sister Alban. Research uncovered that Eiael was involved in the teaching of divine magic to King Solomon, and that copies of those books could be found in Paris. However, there was never time to investigate further - until now.
Several of the magi fly to Paris, where they discover that the University has been pulled down, and the books of the library burnt by the orders of the King. At Eboris covenant, which is doing very well for itself financially by charging to help people with demon and undead problems, they discover that the old head librarian can be located still in the student quarters. The Archmagus Mathieus ex Jerbiton seems to be more interested in wealth and intimacy with young maga, so they have to rely on the local Redcap for information.
Locating the librarian is not too hard, and he confirms that though the library had copies of the Book of Solomon, and the Keys of Solomon, they were burnt. There might be copies held by the Bishop of Amargh, in Hibernia.
With nothing else to keep them in Paris, and what appears to be the start of a plague amongst the poor, the magi head back to their covenant. Zephon, who is with them, remarks that the city seems to have fallen to greed, and that it shows signs of the influence of Mammon.
Having failed to find the Books of Solomon in Paris, the magi head to Gotland to follow up a possible lead regarding the background of Umbriel. She was found in Gotland in 1216, having no memory of anything that had happened to her before then. Recently, she discovered that there was a small coven of nordic witches based here, but didn't want to investigate by herself.
Locating the dark cave, it is still within a strong infernal aura and is warded with runes of Nordic origin. Their Parma protects them from magical traps, and Vladimir's keen eyes protect them from a more mundane pit trap within the cave system.
Umbriel rounds a corner to see a cloaked figure holding a doll and knife - with a cry of Teija! the figure plunges the knife into the doll, and Umbriel is pierced with a sharp pain. It does not prevent her from striking the figure down with a bolt of lightning. Using stealth and speed, the others locate another inhabitant, who is captured alive.
A mixture of magic and threats discovers that the two were in service to the Winter Lords, a cult which served Mephistopheles. He insists that Umbriel is called Teija, and that she was one of them - or rather, one of the students of the infernal magi Pancratius and Antilia who brought the worship of Mephistopheles to the North. She was responsible for the ritualistic slaying of hundreds of Christians who stood up to the cult, but betrayed them all when she and others sided with an angel of the White Christ. They were responsible for the death of many of the leaders of the cult, including her tutors, when they aided the angel in disrupting a ritual.
Umbriel claims to have no memory of these events.
Since then, the remains of the cult have hunted for the traitors, and only three of the seven now remain - Veijo, Teija and Aiki. Two further dolls are found here, presumably of the two other 'traitors'.
Investigation of the rest of the cave complex finds amongst other things a small temple with a pit which seems to possibly lead down to an infernal regio, and a black pool of viscous liquid.
The magi investigate the caves further, and discover more rooms behind the tapestry. There is an altar there, on top of which is chained a young woman who has had sigils carved into her skin, and whose tongue has also been removed. The surviving cultist, who names himself Havring, says that she is to be a mother, and that the father is a beast that dwells below. Magical investigation shows that she is pregnant, and the magi decide to terminate the pregnancy.
Columbanus investigates the black pool, and finds that it is sensitive to his investigations. Every time he tries to scry it, a ReMe effect is targeted at him. Havring says that it is a mirror, a source of life and death, a reflection of the soul. The magi decide to leave it alone.
Finally, they make copies of all the runes they can find, rescue the slaves and send them down to the village, then get Shale to destroy the cave system. They then kill Havring after some final questioning.
Once they have tidied up any evidence of their presence, they head down to the village, and find that the villagers have killed and burnt the slaves, then retreated into their houses.
The magi locate Umbriel's gravestone, and finding nothing beneath it they destroy it. Being heavily injured, Umbriel is unable to fly back, so she turns into a bird and allows Columbanus to stuff her into a bag whilst the rest of them fly home.