After catching up with the Sphinxes and making some trades, Mina receives a sending from her sister. Winifred taunts her, thanking Mina for letting her get access to just about everything she needed, showing the box of sand and a book. She also gives special thanks to Erlindar. The Summer Heroes quickly realize that Winifred stole the book entrusted to them by Aryeon, which lets the reader gain complete mastery of any subject she wishes.
The group quickly departs to Skroz via the Water Temple, bypassing the Guardian with little difficulty. They emerge beneath the All Hall and are faced with an illusion of Winifred, who taunts them again before some traps go off, blocking the entrance to the Temple. The group avoids anyone else through clever use of magic and make their way across town to Uncle’s headquarters.
Mina manages to disarm every trap they encounter, and after a few battles with Winifred’s men, and an encounter with a goblin wizard doing research on an unknown subject, they make their way to the Earth Temple. Upon entering, Winifred uses the Sands of Creation to bring a simulacrum of Sanaar to her side. Together with the Guardian, an enormous Umbral Dragon, they fight the Summer Heroes.
After convincing Sanaar to join their cause, they defeat Winifred, only to realize she is herself a fake brought about using a fake of the artifact. She reveals she’s been elsewhere, reading the book, and vows to destroy them. Mina slays the Umbral Dragon, taking some of its shadowy essence into her Dragon Watch Sword. Sanaar manages to absorb the rest of the Guardian’s essence, sustaining himself and making him the new Guardian of the temple.