War! Rat creatures! Dragons! Battlelines! Even in a world as crazy as Bone, the final story arc (in the historic 55 issue mega-saga) is a wild, surprising and out of control finish! Be sure to get this milestone issue in the critically acclaimed one-of-a-kind series!
The chapter starts with Briar, Queen Lunaria (also called "Moonwort", the English translation of her name), and Lunaria's husband the king. At Dragon's Stair, Thorn is given to her grandmother, Rose Harvestar, who is also known as Gran'ma Ben. Gran'ma delivers her to the Great Red Dragon; almost at the same moment, Thorn's parents are killed. Thorn mounts the dragon's back and takes the long journey underground withto the cavern with a bright light. The Great Red Dragon asks Thorn to look into the light, whereupon she mentions a frozen waterfall. After trying to see past this, she sees her mother's face and asks her to seek the Crown of Horns. Thorn wakes up, at which point readers learn that Tarsil's soldiers had beaten Thorn and Fone Bone brutally and thrown them into a dungeon. Thorn loses a tooth in the process. To cheer her, Fone Bone shows a goofy smile wherein one of his teeth is missing also. Meanwhile, Gran'ma Ben is atop the front wall of Atheia looking at the activity below. She is seen by a Vedu and two Veni-Yan monks. The Vedu tells her to go with the other old woman, whereupon she knocks him off the wall. The Veni-Yan are shown to be loyal to the Harvestars. Briar's army arrives and threatens to kill anyone who opposes them. Tarsil defies them, whereupon Briar declares that she will teach him fear. Defying her to do so, on grounds that he has fought dragons, Tarsil for the first time removes his hood to reveal his scarred, hideous face. In reply, Briar pulls back her hood and shows Tarsil's former, more comely face. She then flies over the wall, cuts Tarsil into two halves (possibly a reference to the manner of her own death), and declares the attack. The battle begins; as Rose climbs up a nearby ladder, three arrows are shot at her by Briar, with whom she momentarily locks eyes.
In the dungeon, Fone Bone hears the fight and shouts for the guard. Smiley and Phoney are shown to be in the next cell. Because the guards have all go At the wall, Gran'ma Ben is striving to drive back the invading hordes of Pawa soldiers and Rat Creatures. The Venu warn her of an attack on the weaker left flank, whereupon she orders them to go there as reinforcements. Threelaim that though they will obey, it is because of necessity rather than any possible allegiance to her. She is then pinned down by Pawa soldiers.
Thorn tries to break the iron bars imprisoning herself and her friends, but fails. Fone Bone and Thorn quarrel on the subject of the Crown of Horns: Fone believes that it will destroy everything because Thorn has a piece of the Locust inside herself, whereas Thorn believes that her mother would not have told her to find it if she (Moonwort) had known that it would destroy everything. Fone mentions the possibility that in using the Crown, Thorn will destroy both the Locust and herself — shedding tears out of fear of Thorn's death, whereupon she promises not to use the Crown of Horns. Taneal, a prophetess-like child featured in the previous collection, brings them a hammer by which to break their shackles while she tries to break the bars of their cell. Her brother then frees Phoney and Smiley. Tarsil's soldiers gather, causing Taneal to hide. When they have gone, Taneal, her brother, Phoney, and Smiley look into the others' cell and find that Thorn is comatose. As Smiley tries to break the bars, Taneal tells the others that Tarsil was killed and Gran'ma Ben overwhelmed by the Pawa soldiers. Hearing this Thorn wakes, pulls the confining chains from the wall to which they are attached, tears open her cell, and asks in anger, "Which way is the gate?".