Cearul McKenna and Déclán ó Conghaile receive a call from their neighbors Carol and Bennie asking for help with their car which is stuck in the mud. They gather gravel and beers and drive the short distance to their neighbor’s house. They arrive and Déclán picks up the car and they fill the hole with gravel. Carol invites them inside for drinks and friendly bantering and bets over football. They leave.
In the middle of the night, they are woken up by the sound metal shearing and glass breaking. Cearul gatherings his weapons and Déclán leaps from the window to the yard. Their truck is smashed and on its side. Déclán spots a small human-like creature running in terror. Cearul sees what appears to be an unfamiliar fallen tree near the truck. A vine whips from the ground dragging the little man to the ground. Déclán severs the vine, grabs what he recognizes is a little brownie and toss it away telling it to flee. Cearul rushes the fallen tree. The tree rises from the ground and reveals itself to be a creature. It appears as twenty-five feet tall, two thick trunk-like legs, bark like skin, arms and branches protruding from its back. Many more shrieking brownies dangle from vines attached to its branches.
Cearul leapt onto its back and cut it with his knives. Déclán slashed mighty wounds into its legs with his axe, Dílleachta-Déantóir. As it took wounds, the creature drove its legs into the ground pulling energy from the earth and healing its wounds. Seeing it was losing the fight, the creature called out its surrender. Cearul demanded it release the capture brownies and the creature complies. The brownies flee shrieking into the night. Speaking in English, the creature answered their questions. He is a wood troll named Wortel. He passed through the gate to hunt gnomes, he explains, because the gate was not claimed. He swore an oath, made an offering of gold and gems pulled from the earth and a promise to never return and owe them a single favor. He gave them blood which they stored in an empty soda bottle as a means to contact him. Wortel leaves through the gate.
The next morning, Cearul and Déclán find their truck is repaired better than new. They’ve earned the brownies’ favor. Connor Fitzpatrick, a fellow Scion and mentor, calls and asks them to meet him at the Thistle. The three of them enjoy small talk, beer, whisky and steaks. The roar of a motorcycle announced the arrival of the Dagda who joins the party. Cearul and Connor throw darts. Cearul impresses the crowd by planting darts in the backs of Connor’s darts. Dagda finishes the evening by telling Cearul and Déclán they need to head north in the morning to investigate mortal deaths at the hands of a fire giant.
Per Connor’s instructions, the two of them mark the ownership in their own ways: Déclán pees on trees and Cearul carves symbols on trees. They take a brief journey into Tír na nÓg before returning to the mortal world. They load their equipment into their truck and head north.