Events are coming to a head. The battle for CarCamel has ended and Kaplyn is seen as its saviour. Catriona, the Thracian Queen, wants him to lead the army in its fight against Trosgarth, with a dragon at his command.
Kaplyn, however, has other ideas. He fears dragons, but does not know why. His dreams remain plagued by the great serpents and yet one helped them to defeat the enemy. It is a conundrum that cannot be solved and instead Kaplyn decides to pursue an image shown to him by Astalus, the Thracian wizard. The image was that of Vastra, now an old man, held captive in Aldrace.
Kaplyn harbours a terrible fear. Vastra recovered a crystal from the Tree of Life and, with it he can open a gateway to the demon world. A permanent one! Should that happen then nothing can prevent Drachar’s Shade from crossing the Great Divide at the head of a demon horde. Fear drives Kaplyn on and he worries that he has made a crucial mistake in abandoning his people.
The secret that is Shastlan is about to be played out and Kaplyn will be driven to the very brink of despair. Not only are lives at stake, but so too are the souls of the damned. The army is about to be betrayed and the Prophecy is set to fail. A great Doom is about to fall upon the land and yet the army will march. Proud banners set against the might of the demon hordes.