Ellen is 22 years old and was orphaned after the supposed death of her mother, Ingrid 17 years ago. Nothing is ever said about her father other than he painted a portrait of her mother. She travels to the village of Doolin after reciveing a letter from her mother who had apparently never died.
The letter turns out to have been written by Regine who had known Ellen as a little girl when she was called Cecilia. Regine had long believed Ellen to have murderd her son Herve and husband Renaldo 17 years ago and wrote the letter to lure Ellen to Doolin to kill her but was killed herself by a dark cloaked figure known locally as 'the hag'.
Ellen meets the half life Scarecrow who was created by her when she was little and he leads her into the netherworld where she'd find the answers she seeks. Ellen meets the Faery Lord who assists her in traversing the realms of the netherworld but for his own reasons and her friend Keats acts as her gaurdian accompanying her through the realms but associating with Livane, the Faery Lord's nemesis.
Ellen eventually recovers her memmories and uncovers a series of murder's that accured around her 17 years ago after first contacting the netherworld in the land where 'the living could meet the dead'.