London, England: From under a bridge comes a troll, who smells the presence of gold and decides to go an investigate the much sought after mineral. His search ends him at the home of young Thomas Jones who is studying for a chemistry exam. As he tries to memorize the characteristics of different elements in the Periodic Table, his latent mutant ability kicks in, transforming his pen into solid gold. The boy is so immersed in his work that he doesn't notice it and discards the pen to go down for supper. Having seen this amazing transformation, the troll believes that the boy is an alchemist and decides to wait in hiding in the boys room so that he may capture the lad and take him to his fellow trolls.
While on the other side of the Atlantic, X-Factor takes some time to relax and watch over their latest charges: The members of the New Mutants, who have also absorbed their former students Rictor, Boom-Boom, Rusty and Skids into their group. As Iceman, Beast, and Cyclops go through a training session with the kids, it's noted that Boom-Boom has abandoned her crush on Iceman to focus her affections toward the New Mutants leader Cannonball. Marvel Girl and Archangel watch from above, and talk about the changes both have gone through: Archangel's manipulation by Apocalypse, and Jean's having absorbed the minds of Madelyne Pryor and a portion of the Phoenix Force that was inside her clone.
Back in London, Thomas returns to his room and is instantly snatched by the Troll, who pulls the boy out the window. However, his kidnapping allows the boy to transform some bricks outside his window into gold and rouse the attention of his mother who sees his son being pulled away. Thinking that the Troll is a mutant, she calls X-Factor's hotline to get their help. As the call is coming into X-Factor's ship, the New Mutants play around, while Jean notices that both Danielle Moonstar and her steed Brightwind are both feeling under the weather. When Ship tells them of the call from London, X-Factor decides to go and investigate, leaving the New Mutants under the care of Ship and taking young Christopher with them. As they blast off to London, Iceman and Beast remark at how great a parent Jean has become in such short time.
Soon they find themselves at the Jones home in London, where they listen to Thomas' eccentric mothers story. Searching the area they notice that there is a trail of objects that have been transformed into gold and decide to follow it. They track it to the doorway that leads to the Troll's domain, and after Cyclops uses his optic blast to blow open the doorway, they are find that on the other side are tones of gold, some of them solid gold objects that are modern conveniences. They are soon confronted by a group of Trolls who introduce themselves as Phough, PHumm, Phay, and Phee. At first X-Factor believes them to be mutants, however as they lock in battle, they soon begin to realize that they are fighting actual Trolls. Soon the members of X-Factor are over powered and chained up.
When they come around, they are told by the Trolls that hey intend to use young Thomas (whom they have dubbed Alchemy) to help them reclaim the British isle. To this end they intend to use the boys power to turn everything in the United Kingdom into gold, causing a over saturation in the gold market and force the human population to leave so that the land can be reclaimed by Trolls and other mystical creatures that used to dwell in their place. Although Beast finds this notion crazy, Cyclops fears that the Trolls are quite serious. Just then Jean realizes that they have lost track of young Christopher in the battle.