The dread plot to destroy the Empire of Great Kesh has failed. The Conclave of Shadows has ended the murderous Nighthawk brotherhood's horrific reign of terror and death. But the mad sorcerer, Leso Varen, has fled, taking refuge among the most powerful men and women on Kelewan--a world now threatened, along with Midkemia, by hordes of the most vicious warriors in the known universe. The great sorcerer Pug knows of no power that will vanquish these invaders. And now he, brave Magnus and Nakor, and a disturbing young stranger named Bek must venture into the poisonous heart of the Dasati realm--the most terrible place they have ever encountered--in a valiant, impossible attempt to turn the tides against the encroaching doom that would swallow their world.