Part 2 of the 3-part "Bindings." Tim continues to search for the truth about his parentage, but to find it he must face the Manticore, a creature with a penchant for eating people and stuffing their skins. Meanwhile, Queen Titania is faced with Faerie's total destruction, unless the Falconer can make the land what it once was.
Tim goes through the process of accepting that the man who raised him, Bill Hunter, is not his father. He confronts him with his marriage certificate, showing that Tim was conceived before they were married. His father admits it, and implies that he knew Tim was not his, but that it never mattered to him.
Tim was told that his father is Tamlin, but he needs to be sure. He picks up his magic Stone of Opening (which he earlier got from Tam Lin in the Arcana Annual) and the Key of Worlds (which he got from Titania in the original Books of Magic miniseries) and disappears, leaving the key behind.
The Amadan brings Tamlin to Titania, who believes he is responsible for the rot at the heart of Faerie. They argue. He says he is not responsible, that it comes from a lack of connection to Earth, and that the Faeries are no longer in connection with themselves either. She says she has tried to reconnect the ties with Earth, but someone is stopping her.
Tim arrives, not in Faerie, but in the realm of the Manticore. The Manticore collects things, takes their soul, and stuffs them, but appears to Tim as a Victorian-style gentleman. Tim can tell he's trying to trick him, but the Manticore says he'll tell him who his father really is if Tim can win his game. If Tim loses, he will be come his "student," lose his illusions, and be eaten.
The Manticore explains that he is trying to simplify the world by erasing it, bit by bit, such all the unicorns. Tim agrees, but says he wants to know the Manticore's name instead of his father's, so he can defeat him.