Three disparate adventurers set out from Lornwater on a quest. Plagued by assassins, forces of nature and magic, they cross the plains of Floreskand, combat Baronculer hordes, scale snow-clad Sonalume Mountains and penetrate the dark heart of Arisa. Here they uncover truth, evil and find pain and death.
Lornwater city was ripe for rebellion against King Saurosen. Subterfuge, betrayal, conspiracy, greed, revenge and thirst for power motivate rich and poor alike. Muddying the fight are the Sardan mystics. At stake is the Black Sword, the powerful symbol that entitles the holder to take the throne of Lornwater.
Some time after the Lornwater rebellion, the head of the Madurava House witnesses a meaningful change in the alignment of the sacred compass – pointing to the Sonalume Mountains, to the dunsaron. Meanwhile, the Ratava are preparing for a migration that will take them to the dunsaron as well, for they’re inextricably linked to the vast numbers of the schwarm that are now burrowing away from their usual haunts towards the land of their forebears to propagate the species.
We meet again Rujon Sos and K-Kwan as they track the schwarm and the various groups of Underpeople.
Still recovering, the three cities need rebuilding and that requires money. But the royal treasury has been emptied by deposed Saurosen. Lord Tanellor is despatched to the dunsaron, led by a Daughter of Arqitor, Charja Nev.
Others are converging on the same area. First-Commander Nimentan Pellas, loyal to the deposed king, has been despatched on a secret mission with a large body of soldiers. Almaturge Rait Falo is headed there also with a caravan of great wealth.
Ulran is slowly coming to terms with his new disability, while his son Ranell is in pursuit of Epal Danor who has been released by a general amnesty and has abducted Lorar.
Watchman Welde Dep is embroiled in arcane investigations that point to a powerful altamurge committing murder, while the new king wrestles with the serpentine diplomacy of the Ranmeron Empire, Tarakanda.
The denouement will be played out in Bellindhur, a mysterious place where the land has never experienced snow and is always warm. Soon, it will be warm with flowing blood…