The story opened with the three attending heroes returning the city of Charouse after a successful day of herb-harvesting. Approaching the last rise before the city, they heard a carriage being robbed.
Upon intervention, the bandit leader, Jean, pulled the young Madeline Prevoye from the carriage, and took her hostage. With an incredible oratory performance, Facana convinced all of Jean's henchment to abandon the attempted robbery in favor of rations of food and a promise for medical care for themselves and their families.
Jean, however, refused to capitulate and continued his aggression. Isabelle and Zio, through tremendous odds, not only managed to avoid Madeline with their attacks, but they succeeded in getting Jean to finally surrender, with no harm done to anyone besides himself. Facana bandaged his wounds, but had her work dealt a setback when Isabelle caused Jean's nose to explode – by firm application of her basket hilt.
After checking that he would survive his wounds, Zio moved him to the side of the road and left him 10 Guilders.
Moving into the Chateau du Soleil, they made friends with Benoit Ètalon do Toille, comforted Madeline some, and planned their costumes for the Masquerade Ball.