Gideon is asked to act as mentor for Gerard’s young daughter Mathilde. Giddy takes the fiery young mage under his arm and returns to England. The mages reunite after a year at The Gables in Cheshire, guests of Earl Simeon Allard-Remington. During dinner, Adamas’ wraith appears to them, attempting to warn them of dangers ahead. Much of his message is garbled, however and the mages have little to go on.
They are approached by a strange albino calling herself Placida. It transpires that she was born of Verbena magic and vampire blood during the battle of the glacier – she is the “daughter” of Persephone Rhys and Muresha the Eblite. With Placida’s introduction, the PCs are taken aboard a high-tech stealth plane for a meeting with none other than the Eblite herself. She gives them a few hints about how to proceed and deposits them in the vicinity of Chicago (where Adamas’ information was leading them).
In Chicago, the mages encounter local enforcers of the mob as well as a small cabal of Tradition magi investigating temporal disturbances in the area. At their chantry, the PCs learn more about the history of the area and its numerous inhabitants and come into possession of an enchanted wakizashi.
Their investigations lead them into Chicago’s underworld and a subterranean labyrinth below the HQ of a fighting Tong seemingly loyal to none other than the Jade Demon, formerly of the Jade Circle, apparent captor of the Thebian’s spirit and (hopefully) also Barraclough.
At the heart of this labyrinth they discover a dragon and must pass through its gullet in order to reach the Maze of the Ebon Gates – the Jade Demon’s massive umbral realm. They battle the defenders of the realm before finally reaching the enormous palace that serves as the Demon’s home.
They are eventually granted an audience, but the Jade Demon has little of joy for them. He refuses to yield the Thebian’s spirit (from whom he is learning the secrets of Lilith’s Path), coerces the PCs into giving him the wakizashi and then dismisses them. As they leave his realm, however, he causes them to fall out of this reality and into a bizarre parallel version of Earth where they are seemingly trapped forever. This time round, the good guys lose. Again.