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Dark King Marauders and What Happens Next
In Fillory, Fen and Margo are on the run after the kill-the-Dark-King thing. Julia and Eliot are running to catch up when they are stopped by the Dark King and his men. Fen and Margo get away and make it back to the Penthouse after seeing their friends get taken.
In the apartment they find Christopher Plover. Ugh. He's speaking nonsense and Margo has no time for him. Fen convinces her to try to listen to him. Margo calls the magic vet, Gordie, for help, and he finds tongue twister bugs in his body. It's a possession problem, so Margo uses Sorrow to make a quick extraction.
Plover can talk and Margo and Fen question him about The Dark King. He has lots of info since he seemingly can't die and he's been trapped in Fillory all this time. 1) Martin Chatwin knew about the conduit spell. And 2) All Fillory tree roots are intertwined, so chopping down one tree will not break a conduit. 3) The conduit can only be broken by destroying all of Fillory. Martin Chatwin was going to try that but was stopped by his brother, Rupert Sebastian Chatwin. Rupert tied himself to the conduit before Martin could. Martin then cursed him with eternal sleep. The recent magical surges woke up Seb, he created the Takers, and then became King by holding them at bay. Seb turned evil because while he was in stasis, he lost the one thing he loved: Lance Morrison.
Plover goes to leave the Penthouse, and Margo asks him his plan. He says he will stay out of Fillory and write. Margo re-curses him with the tongue twisters on his way out the door. Goodbye, and good riddance, Plover!
Julia and Eliot are Trapped in Fillory
The Dark King put Julia and Eliot in prison in Whitespire. He shows up and ominously says he needs their help with a spell. Julia and Eliot realize it's a cooperative seance and he wants to reach someone who has been dead for a long time.
The Dark King, Julia and Eliot perform the spell and Eliot is possessed by Lance Morrison, Rupert's former love. Eliot speaks Lance's words of love and despair and they embrace. Then Eliot collapses.
Brakebills Hands-On Learning: (Time) Traveling with Professor Adiyodi
Plum Chatwin appears. She's been gone three weeks and vaguely remembers being stuck in some room. Penny talks to her about traveling and encourages her to try again. He tattoos on the group-travel sigils and they work together. She travels with him to Brakebills 1998 — oops! They find '98 Fogg and ask him for ideas. He sets them up with a timebridge, and they travel again, this time to Brakebills 1920. They are mistaken for staff. Then Penny remembers Hyman, the astral-plane-pervert-ghost. Penny goes to him for help.
Hyman helps them find a timebridge with Professor Saito's work. They then realize that Plum's travel has happened via totems — she's been holding things from each time period that they travelled to. They look for a totem from 2020.
Hyman bursts in, angry because he is being expelled. Penny is worried about a time paradox — if Hyman is expelled before he can help future Penny and thereby save magic then their past will be unmade. Penny tricks him and hides his body so that the astral plane hidden thing still happens, and he can help him in the future. Plum convinces him to put his body in stasis and they hide him in the Cottage. Then Penny realizes he has a token from 2020 and they travel again.
They make it to the Physical Kids Cottage, 2020! And are then sucked into the mystery room. Plum tries to travel them out and fails. They're stuck!
Alice and Kady Search for Information About "The Couple"
In NYC, Alice and Kady try to work out who "The Couple" are. Kady has a contact and they set up a meeting at the Library in the Neitherlands. In the library they work on research and Alice remarks on how the circumstances keep changing. Alice confronts Zelda: They should not be subjected to lunar cycles in the Neitherlands. Zelda freezes — this is an illusion and some guy admits that he has tried to trick her 18 times. He's half of "The Couple." He snaps his fingers, and Kady and Alice are both tied to chairs in a warehouse. He says he is sick of this and tells Alice to give him the page or he'll kill Kady. He tortures Alice and cuts off a finger. She won't give up the page; He cuts off another. And another. Then another. When he threatens Kady's life again, she says she'll give him the page. Will she?