After receiving the letter from Ingrat ex Merinita, who the magi are pretty sure is a demon, there is much discussion about whether to go and meet her in London on the 25th of December. Eventually the decision is made to go and see her, to hear what she has to say. Umbriel and Shale ex Miscellanea, Quaesitor Columbanus and Vladimir ex Tytalus head down to London, along with their raven companion Zephon who claims to be the last remaining angel.
A lot of preparations are made, including scouting out the church a couple of days before hand (the church has fallen into disuse, and has an infernal aura slightly higher than the rest of London). They also manage to gain some aid of Schola Pythangoranis, who offer them the use of a town house they have access to.
On the night of Christmas day, the magi turn up at the church with all the protective magic they can think of cast. Close to midnight, the crypt opens and an old man comes out, beckoning the magi to follow him. He mentions that Drogo, the grog who 'betrayed' them five years ago after the head of the covenant Jeremiah ex Jerbiton was murdered, is waiting for them.
The crypt leads onto a dim plain of grey dust, an abyssal regio that saps their strength even despite their protections. Some distance away is a completely out of place white cottage, which they are led towards.
Inside, is a very comfortable house with a log fire burning in the fire place and several people. Eira, the 15 year old girl who was said to be the second coming and who murdered Jeremiah is there holding a baby. Drogo sits next to her, and a beautiful dark haired woman who introduces herself as Ingrat. What follows is a long discussion, which the magi aren't entirely sure whether to believe or not.
Drogo says that when at the covenant of Tablinum in Transylvania he was possessed by a shadow that told him to do things. It led him up to England, got him to meet with the magi Jeremiah and Videnaeci and helped them found the covenant of Cruentis Petram. When Eira turned up, it told him to befriend her, and to try and convince her of the corruption in the world.
After she murdered Jeremiah, he fled with her to meet with an agent of the shadow who would take them back to Transylvania. However, they were plucked out of the travel spell by Tiamat, a demon of chaos who was opposed to the shadow in his head. A few weeks ago, the demon's realm came under attack and Drogo and Eira fled, with their child, and were picked up by Ingrat who brought them here.
Eira says that she has always had dreams, which scared her mother so she told no-one until Drogo befriended her. Jeremiah listened to her as well, but he was cold and distant. She has been sent here by the Good God, the Monad, in order to work against the Bad God who is also known as the Blind God, the Demiurge or even Yaldaboath.
The Demiurge was created in secret by the Aeon Sophia, and he was incomplete. Not having a proper understanding of things, he tried to create a world - this one. He fashioned four elemental keystones as his base - the four elemental objects which the magi have encountered previously. After he created Adam and Eve, he kept them prisoner in the Garden of Eden until they were freed by herself as Christ, the Light. Since that time he misled mankind into thinking that he was the ultimate God. It wasn't until Christ appeared a thousand years ago that the true word of the Monad was taught. Wisdom of the Monad is gnosis, but it has mostly been lost in its uncorrupted form.
Killing Jeremiah broke the last link with the world where Jeremiah came from, and also with the link to Heaven. She knew this would lead to much suffering, but it is also the only chance to fix things completely. The Demiurge is now freed, but he is also vulnerable. It' a very big risk.
The Demiurge wants to remake the world. He needs the four stones, and this time he wants to use Eira, Christ, in the making as well. Doing so will fashion a world to his liking, which will be without heaven, hell, magic and faeries. It will be a desolate prison where mankind is forced to worship him forever.
Tiamat is the ancient god Ummu Hubur, who wishes to destroy the world and plunge it into chaos. She hoped to disrupt the re-making.
If the ritual is not done, then the world will be engulfed by Hell - they have maybe two or three years before this process is complete.
Eira also summons forth the spirit in Vladimir's mind, which is a fragment of Sophia. She had originally been in Eira's mother's mind, but was attracted to Vladimir when he was studying the stone of Fire. Re-awakened, she is able to fill in everyone a bit more about what happened at the beginning of the world.
Zephon says that the ritual of the Demiurge is inscribed on three golden tablets, but there are copies of those kept safe since the last time Christ was in the world. They were placed somewhere safe with a dozen codices which contained the wisdom of the Monad, however he does not know where they are.
He does think that it may be possible to change the ritual, to reverse the fall into Hell, but the Demiurge would need to be tricked into using that ritual somehow.
The magi recall that the Criamon magus of Doissetep who investigated one of the stones, Benzigotrin, mentioned seeing twelve books in a vision.
The discussion wraps up with an agreement for the magi to go away and think on things for a couple of days, before meeting Ingrat again to give their decision.
Ingrat may be a demon, but has recently come to like humans. They are fun playthings, but they aren't so much fun as downtrodden slaves of either Hell or the Demiurge. She wants to see the Demiurge fail, and will try to do something herself with what resources she has if the magi do not decide to do something themselves.
Her son, King Henry III of England, should be able to slow the encroach of Hell upon Stonehenge. He has been bound to the land via ancient magics that will keep it healthy as long as he is able. But even Stonehenge will fall eventually, and all of Europe will slip into Hell just as Hibernia is doing.