The Abhorsen's House is besieged by Dead Hands led by Chlorr of the Mask (an undead sorceress) under the control of the necromancer Hedge. Hedge himself serves Orannis the Destroyer, an immortal imprisoned millennia prior by 7 of its 8 cohorts and now desirous to destroy the biosphere. The protagonists escape the siege through a well-like opening, in whose adjoined tunnel they encounter the spirit 'Astarael' (the originator of the Abhorsens' power). Meanwhile, Prince Sameth's parents, the Abhorsen Sabriel and King Touchstone, are in Ancelstierre to stop the genocide of refugees; but are nearly themselves killed by rebels and return to the Old Kingdom. Thereafter descendants of each of the powers that originally created the Charter unite at the two nations' dividing Wall (a fictionalized Hadrian's Wall) to re-enact the imprisonment of Orannis; and having done so, Lirael's 'Disreputable Dog' (a self-identified remnant of the spirit 'Kibeth') revives the dead Nicholas Sayre and departs into the border dividing Life from Death.