Tom, Ellen, and the children make their way to Kingsbridge Priory and encounter Tom's abandoned baby taken in by the monks. A fire started by Jack destroys Kingsbridge church and its holy relic, giving Tom, his son Alfred, and stepson Jack the chance to settle down and build a new cathedral. Prior Philip learns the power of politics when he gets caught between Bishop Waleran and the Hamleighs' machinations for Shiring Castle. Kingsbridge is rocked by Alfred's accusation of Ellen being a witch, and a trial that Waleran personally oversees. William and his underling, Walter, ambush Aliena and Richard in a brutal attack at Shiring that leaves both siblings scarred. Aliena makes a life-long promise to her father, Earl Bartholomew to regain the family honour, and Ellen makes a daring escape.