Thorn, Fone and Smiley lay low for a few days while planning an attack on The Hooded One. Thorn explains how she believes The Hooded One plans to use her and Phoney to speed the release of the Lord of the Locusts from where it lies trapped in the stone of the mountains. She also explains her mistrust of Gran'ma Ben - Thorn believes the tale of how her parents were betrayed by the nursemaid is a lie; she never had a nursemaid. Meanwhile, The Hooded One approaches Roque Ja and asks him to recapture the Bones.
At Old Man's Cave, the survivors of the Rat Creature attack are gathered, along with a large group of Veni Yan warriors. Gran'ma Ben gives Phoney Bone a history lesson, telling him the story of when dragons ruled the world; their Queen, Mim, kept The Dreaming in balance until the Lord of the Locusts entered her mind and drove her mad. The other dragons were forced to turn Mim to stone, trapping the Lord of the Locusts inside her. The Hooded One, she tells him, wants to sacrifice him to free the Lord of the Locusts.