The House is rocked with the arrival of a journalist from Beigor named Lex Sullivan. Bringing food and supplies,
she explains that she has been sent to begin working on a book about the adventures of the Phoenix Fighters. With her
assistant Bobby, she begins to interview each of the Phoenix Fighters to learn about their experiences in the war against
the Ebene. She is greeted with some hostility, but soon strikes a bit of a friendship with Casey who in turn helps her
to relate to some of the more hostile members of the House.
Meanwhile, the four Risans of the House, Lucien, Kazuo, Lilah, and Aden, discover that their rooms have been broken into
and trashed. The only thing discovered to be missing are a few pages from one of Kazuo's books, dealing with an artifact
known as the Gem of Ariosto, believed to revive the dead. Adriana begins an investigation into the gem which proves
fruitless. Desperate, she asks Warren to speak with some of his sorcerer contacts. He returns, explaining that
there are some obscure Gerudo references to the gem. In the meanwhile, Tranns and Lucien realize how difficult it is
sharing the same room, even temporarily.
Adding to the tension in the air, Valero and Amorette are forced to deal with the questionable paternity of Amorette's
child. Soon, the Gem of Ariosto is found, decorating the hilt of Philip's sword. Ariadne is sent to Miranda in
order to destroy the gem, leaving Amorette without her newfound confident. Ariadne leaves, however, unsettled after
learning that Adriana is harboring a deep rooted jealousy for her. Philip, who also learns of this, engages in a loud
fight with his sister, upsetting the entire House.
Lonely, Adriana spends some time in the company of Warren. He invites her to explore an interdimensional plane
known as "the Seventh" where ghosts can make physical contact with the living. During her time with Warren, Adriana
realizes how truly she's in love with Kazuo, wounding Warren's pride slightly, though not enough to keep the two of them from
sharing a dance.
Back in the real world, Milady, who was in fact looking for the gem by having a ghost possess the Risans to trash their
own rooms, learns of Ariadne's mission. Desperate of obtaining the artifact, she enlists in the aide of a down and out
Gerudo wandering through Shaldani, named Malik Dragmire. Malik agrees to retrieve the gem in exchange for a large amount
of money in order to maintain his elaborate lifestyle and he tracks Ariadne to Miranda.
Malik attacks Ariadne, but she manages to hold her own against him. When he learns of her close ties to the Phoenix
House and Philip Summer, and fearing punishment from Milady, Malik decides to return to Shaldani with her. There,
he is welcomed to the House with mixed reactions from the Phoenix Fighters, along with a curious mage called Alastor.