Will has become obsessed with bitter memories of his parents, dead at Xax's hands. Despite Kalem's warning that he must concentrate on his Quest, Will cannot leave aside fruitless thoughts of revenge.
Kreel has a new plan for subjugating Kale. He is beginning to form a Youth Brigade - ""educating"" the children of the various regions and villages to form a spy network. One of these is Lucien, a boy of around Vara's age, whose home - the Hidden Valley - is known to Will of old.
Will believes the Hidden Valley will prove a safe haven for his exhausted group - but its people are strangely altered. Leon discovers Kreel has contaminated the water supply with the powerful hypnotic substance lythmarg - the ""waking sleep"" - and in so doing has created a class of willing slaves.
Leon can brew an antidote, but he feels that there is no time for this - amongst such zombies they are all in great danger, and should move on immediately.
Will feels a loyalty to the villagers who treated him so kindly a