The dark lord Sumeral is dead - His mortal body destroyed and His will scattered some sixteen or so years ago.
Now, travellers sent to learn more of the world beyond Orthlund, Fyorlund and Riddin are returning. They bring with them people in need of help and with disturbing tales to tell - Antyr, the Dream Finder; Farnor, to whom the great forest can speak; Vredech, the once preaching brother; Pinnatte, victim of a fearful experiment by the Kyrosdyn; and Thyrn, the Caddoran.
Their disparate stories come together to yield a terrifying revelation - somewhere, Sumeral is whole again and struggling to return. But other, even darker threads are being drawn together. Andawyr and the Cadwanol, in their relentless search for truth, have touched on a threat to their world more terrible than Sumeral. More terrible by far...