It’s just before Christmas 1889 on the west coast of Scotland. The Good Folk from the underground kingdom of Netherdoone kidnap, first, a boy from the nearby village, then more “Big Folk”, including two adult men. The King and Queen of Netherdoone are displeased at having to hold so many Big Folk captive, especially now that they have high-ranking guests to entertain. Many of Netherdoone’s citizens share a dislike for the kingdom’s kidnappers, the Treble twins, who are constantly causing annoyance with their drinking and general bad behaviour. Above ground, the search gets underway, while underground the prisoners are given their duties. Edward, one of the adult men kidnapped, is anxious to gain freedom as soon as possible, saying he has a ship to catch. The so-called Anti-Christmas ceilidh celebration on Christmas Eve offers a chance of escape. Meanwhile, James MacLennox, whose two daughters have disappeared, is desperate to find a way to quit the army and return to his family. This tale, the first in a planned series, ends on New Year’s Day 1890.