In 1883, Oskar left with his uncle to get an education in the city. But he was surprised to learn that he was part of a losing bet in a card game. For one year he was assigned to be a cabin boy for the Captain of Nerissa, a sailing ship headed for Teluk Betung. There were rumors of a magical fire stone on board, though no one had actually seen it, and a collection of wild animals bound for private collectors.
Had it not been for a storm sending the ship off course and a chimpanzee that had escaped from its cage, all might have gone well. In the chaos, Nerissa runs into an uncharted island and is stalled until repairs can be made.
Bardolf, the owner of the animals, goes onto the island to search for his chimpanzee and, taking Oskar with him, discovers that there is more to the island than meets the eye. Everyone knew that something unusual was going to happen when the moon rose above the horizon, big as a pumpkin, glowing blue, but no one had any idea that this event would transcend time.