The corpse of a fruit farmer is found in a meadow orchard. It was buried upside down, draped like a scarecrow. The spectacular staging of the murder leads Commissioner Maris Bächle and her colleague Konrad Diener to suspect a personal motive. While the black asylum seeker is quickly suspected as a perpetrator, the Freudenstadt inhabitants speculate behind closed doors about the involvement of earth spirits – of course, just for fun. However, when Konrad Diener’s introverted 14-year-old son disappears without a trace in the forest during a school trip and reappears completely changed, but refuses to give any information about his whereabouts, Maris remembers how she was found in the forest as an 8-year-old. She had mysteriously survived there. With the help of the city archivist, the two investigators come across an old legend about forest spirits and an old place of execution in the middle of the forest. The forest court once met in this mystical place. Apparently it is active again.