Taking place during the years that the Wolfriders wait for the Palace to return, the story begins with the tribe watching a fight amongst the wolf pack. Strongbow's wolf-friend, Lashpaw, loses a challenge to the pack's second chief Goldgrin, and as such is chased from the Holt. However, Strongbow's bond with Lashpaw is too strong to let him go, and the elf follows after his banished wolf. Unfortunately, Lashpaw runs across a domesticated dog, mad with the foaming sickness. They fight, and Lashpaw quickly kills the dog, but not before being bitten himself. Strongbow continues to track his wolf-friend and eventually catches up with him, but upon seeing the foam dripping from his jaws, he realizes what has happened. Strongbow attempts to shoot him out of mercy, but can't go through with it and runs away. Lashpaw catches up with him, but in a split second the disease takes hold and the wolf turns on Strongbow, attacking and biting his arm. The elf quickly knocks him unconcscious and straps him to a make-shift sledge, careful to bind his muzzle. The two treck back over land and water, until Strongbow miraculously runs into Timmain. Suddenly, the sickness overwhelms him and he lashes out at ferocious feverish tribemembers. Moonshade knocks him out, and they worry that there will be no way to cure the two without a healer. Shenshen remember's Old Maggoty's potions and the tribe takes the two to the trolls, where there they are healed by heat and potions. Eventually, Lashpaw rejoins the pack and it is revealed that Strongbow is cured as well.
Kahvi and Tyldak fly high above the Frozen Mountains, in search of her lost tribesmen. Though she finds them, the tribe seems different, somehow less spunky than when she lead them. Kahvi promises them that she'll bring them a piece of their long-lost palace, and takes Chot and Yun with her on this quest. Soon after, Tyldak finds the last fledglings of Bue Mountain and leads them back to Kahvi's small party to be used for travel. Meanwhile in Sorrow's End, the Sun Folk are getting ready for their yearly harvest festival and the revelry quickly begins. Tyldak takes this opportunity to fly through Savah's hut and grab the little palace, but luckily Scout spots him and Windkin soon takes back the relic. Kahvi, Chot, and Yun begin to destroy the village, and in an attempt to lead them away, Windkin flies off with the little palace, with Tyldak in hot pursuit. The winged elf eventually takes it back and hands it off to Kahvi, but Chot betrays her and takes it for himself, knocking the chieftess off her mount. Tyldak comes to her aid and stops her from plummeting to her death, all while the preservers take back the palace from Chot. They drop it with Yun and encourage her, "Highthing do right thing!" until eventually she returns it to Windkin. Meanwhile, Kahvi refuses to cooperate with Savah and claims she'll just keep fighting until they kill her. Luckily, the preservers are there to save the day and they wrap her and Tyldak up in wrapstuff until the day they can be unwrapped again. Savah meets Yun, and smiles that she has taken after her father (unknown at the time) Skywise, and she decides to remain in the village.
Taking place after the palace has been returned, Tyleet tells a tale to Ember, Suntop, Leetah, and Skywise about the cub she once had. It starts with Tyleet finding a human newborn one day, abandoned in the forest. She takes it back to the human's village, only to see them abandon it yet again, this time almost killing it. Finally, Tyleet brings the baby back to the Wolfriders, and they begrudgingly allow her to keep it. The child is named Little Patch, for the birth mark over his eye. He is different from elf children, but is brought up like one and learns much from his elven tribesmates. Though he fits in well with the Wolfriders and has integrated himself quite well with the tribe, he still longs for a companionship that they cannot give him. Though Aroree tries to satisfy this urge, the experiment does not end well. Little Patch runs away, and presents himself to the human tribe that cast him out to begin with, but again they turn him away with violence. Distraught and feeling alone, he nearly takes his own life, but Tyleet watches from the shadows and puts a stop to it. Instead, Little Patch continues to try and appease the human tribe with great amounts of hunted food, each time getting closer to acceptance. Finally, they allow him inside their camp, and he slowly gains the trust of the tribe, even finding himself a mate. However, before he can truly be considered a member of their tribe, Little Patch is told he must cut the birth mark from his face. He does and Tyleet is overwhelmed with grief, seeing him bow to such a dishonorable act. Time moves on, and when Tyleet ventures out to check on him again, he has become the chief of the human tribe. Many years later she sees him one last time, old and dying. He tells tales of the Wolfriders, but his tribe thinks they are just ramblings of a delerious elder. Little Patch breaks free from the village and sprints towards the Holt, calling for Tyleet. Though the Wolfriders cannot bare to shoot him, they also dare not be exposed. Luckily, Tyleet whistles for him to remain still and he does, even while his human captors bind him and leave him to die. Tyleet comes out from the darkness to cradle her long lost child, and she sings to him as he drifts into the afterlife.
Right of PassageEdit
Six years have passed since the Palace has returned, and Ember is all grown up now. While hunting with Choplicker, she witnesses the sunken Palace rise out of the water, and greets Suntop, Leetah, and Venka who emerge from within. A council meets in the forest to discuss Rayek's rediscovered powers, and the possibility of a trip to Sorrow's End. Though both Cutter's children and Leetah seem eager to go, he forbids Ember from leaving and the two start to argue. The fight ends with the two of them in disagreement, and they both storm off. Skywise attempts to council Cutter on the matter, reminding him that Ember is of an age now that seeks companionship, and that there is no one for her with the Wolfriders. Later, Suntop, Venka, and Leetah have gathered at the bridge to the Palace to bid farewell to Cutter and the Wolfriders before their trip. As the bridge starts to recede, Ember atop of Choplicker bursts forth from the forest and takes a daring leap over the cliff to land on the bridge. The palace is swept away and the tribe gets a good chuckle out of Ember's fiery rebellion. Upon arriving in the sun village Leetah and Mender get to healing the many wounded warriors from the battle with the Go-Backs, and he and Ember do some catching up. During the many years they waited, Woodlock, Rainsong, and Wing have died of old age, something rare for the Wolfriders, and Mender has grown up to be quite the warrior. However, Ember is upset at Mender's adoration of her parents, particularly her father, and she runs off. The two come to realize their mistakes, and they console one another amidst the rocky caverns surrounding the village. Later in Savah's hut, the whole group is together talking about what their next move should be when Ember shows up, full of responsibility. She tells everyone that before flying the Palace off anywhere new, they need to go right back to the forest, and be resonable with how they use its magic. Before leaving, Scouter and Dewshine decide to go back to the woods, and Shenshen decides to stay in the village. Finally, the Palace flies them back to the Holt, and Cutter and Ember make amends.