Following the instructions of the Hierarch of Salem, and the ‘orders’ of specter called Black-Eyed John, Winters Thorn and their companions plumbed the Wood of Empty Houses for its secrets, looking for the magi who’d gone missing near its entrance. With the aid of the Changeling Alturo they gained temporary control over one of the Unfed, who was set to watch the paths for ‘trespassers’, and bypassed the dire looking village of Naumkeag. They then discovered and liberated the fugitive Sheela Little (accused of killing and eating part of her boyfriend) who was literally chained to a desk, and is suffering from an unusual speech impediment. Finally the workings of a powerful ward were discovered; one which appeared to be the power that prevented Black-Eyed John from entering the Wood. With a ritual of their own Mr. Blackthorn and Alexandria decomposed the ward.