In The Forests of Silence, the topaz had been retrieved by Lief, Barda, and Jasmine. They continue on their way to the Lake of Tears, to retrieve the ruby. They learn that the land surrounding the Lake of Tears is controlled by the evil sorceress Thaegan, who has 13 monster children. As the companions travel through the countryside they rescue a man named Manus from the Shadow Lord's servants, Grey Guards. Manus is from the city of Raladin. 100 years ago, Thaegan put a spell on Raladin that caused them and all of their offspring to never be able to speak. Lief, Barda, and Jasmine also learn that Thaegan put a spell on the city of D'Or and turned it into the Lake of Tears. The companions, with Manus, escape from the Grey Guards only to be captured by Jin and Jod, two of Thaegan's children. They eventually defeat Jin and Jod and journey to the city of Raladin, where Manus hopes to find his people. Upon arrival, they find the city empty. Only when the Ralad people hear the companions, they come out of hiding. Lief, Barda, and Jasmine tell the Ralads that they must journey to the Lake of Tears, despite the Ralads pleas, but they do not tell them they are going in quest of one of the gems of the Belt of Deltora. Manus agrees to be their guide.
When they get to the Lake of Tears, the monster Soldeen attacks them. Soldeen is a giant fish-like creature who is very deadly and has the ability to speak. Using the power of the topaz, Lief persuades Soldeen to give them the ruby. As Soldeen agrees, Thaegan appears and threatens to kill them all. The ruby flies out of Lief's hand and into the depths of the Lake as Thaegan uses her magic to harm them. Just as Thaegan is about to kill them all, Jasmine's bird Kree comes and kills Thaegan by drawing blood. All of Thaegan's spells are broken: the Ralads can now speak and the Lake of Tears turns back into the city of D'Or. Soldeen is a man named Nanion and gives the three companions the gem and wishes them well on their quest. The Belt now holds the topaz and ruby and now they journey towards the City of the Rats.