Having concluded their business with the Semyeon estate, the Acolytes being to dig into the circumstances surrounding their abduction. Following the guidance of Inquisitor Karakalla, they seek out his last surviving Acolyte, Septimus Dexter – The White Scholar. Making their way to the Refutation District, Acolyte Doptera begins to question local adepts. They eventually locate him within the Chancel Aethenum, amongst a stack of books.
Initial attempts at subterfuge are unsuccessful, and Doptera discovers that Dexter is not merely a meek adept when she insults Inquisitor Karakalla. However Dexter knows that he is alone and vulnerable and therefore agrees to work with them and just in time, as they are confronted by sinister masked figures.
The masked figures issue a demand to hand over the scholar, but the Acolytes refuse. Using Kadis as a distraction, the group’s psyker, Rathos Malin, attempts to flank them. A fight ensues with Kadis and Rowarke engaging two of the masked figures in hand-to-hand combat. The other assailant is revealed as a witch as he starts to hurl bolts of energy at the Acolytes and summons force a swirling vortex, creating a maelstrom of books and furniture.
Rathos engages the witch and shoots him several times before gravity suddenly reverses and the two groups begin to float towards the domed ceiling. He grabs onto a bookcase, but his comrades only manage to do his with his assistance. The witch uses his powers to remain floating, whilst he continues to dislodge the Acolytes with more bolts. The witch is eventually slain by Acolyte Rowarke’s handcannon despite clinging to a statue almost twenty metres from the ground.
Once the phenomena has abated and Acolyte Rowarke retrieved from his precarious position, Septimus agrees to follow the Acolytes and sets himself up at their lodgings for the moment. Once there, he informs the Acolytes about a semi-mythical figure with knowledge of the Haarlocks, said to reside within the Akasen Follies. He calls her the Spider Bride.