Hollow Hall is the home of Prince Cardan and Prince Balekin. The front door of the mansion is described as having an enchanted door with eyes and the ability to talk. It recognized Cardan as its prince and Jude as its prince's lady.
Hollow Hall is a stone manor with a tall, crooked tower, the whole thing half-covered in vines and ivy. There's a balcony on the second floor that seems to have a rail of thick roots in place of iron. A curtain of thinner tendrils hangs down from it, like a scraggly beard. There is something misshapen about the estate that ought to make it charming, but instead makes it ominous. There's a kitchen in the back and multiple parlors. There's a wide stone staircase without rails. The stone walls don't have any tapestries or paintings.
At the top of the tower is a circular room paneled in bookshelves. The shelves are filled with manuscripts, scrolls, golden daggers, thin glass vials with jewel-colored liquids inside, and the skull of some deer-like creature. Two large chairs rest near the only window. Dominating the middle of the room is a huge table. On it are maps weighed down by chunks glass and metal objects. Beneath them is correspondence.
Balekin uses ensorcelled human servants. They drive through their chores, lost in sickly dreams from faerie fruit. They are not well taken care of.
Jude visits Hollow Hall as her first mission as a member of the Court of Shadows. Prince Dain has asked her to find evidence of treason. Jude is disturbed by what she sees. There are fey sleeping in various states of undress. They have been taking nevermore, a power that stupefies faeries. There are goblets of mead everywhere. She hears an odd cry, like someone in pain.
Jude explores Hollow Hall, eventually making her up to the top of the tower. She finds a letter that talks about blusher mushroom and any action with it must not be tied to the writer. They consider their debt paid and never want the reader to speak their name.
She is suddenly interrupted by Prince Balekin and Prince Cardan. She hates underneath one of the large chairs in the room. Balekin forces Cardan to demonstrate his fighting skills. Jude is shocked at how terrible he is. Balekin beats Cardan with a staff and then his belt, all while telling him he is weak. Jude sees that Cardan's back is covered in scars. Balekin tells Cardan that he is doing this "because he loves him." When Cardan grabs the sword, Balekin tells him to go ahead and kill the human servant with them. Cardan replies that he is not a murderer.
Jude realizes that Cardan has "come by his cruelty honestly in Balekin's care." That Cardan has been raised on cruelty, "instructed in its nuances, and honed through its application."
Cardan asks for authority over Hollow Hall as his conditions for agreeing to oblige to Jude for a year and one day.