In the cold mountains of the north the Kotanshi has been found. Yet the struggle is only just beginning, for strife and hatred, envy and arrogance, still blanket the land. The Kotanshi, crossing the length and breadth of Tonogato, eluding enemies while trying to keep a small band of supporters together, wrestles with both the realities of power and the frailties of human feelings while combating the seeping influence of the Darkness.
Even as the Kotanshi attempts to undo what the Darkness has wrought, an even more insidious conflict erupts within the palace of the Zaitan in Teranashi. A new Shodanjin, leader of the magicians, must be chosen, and the maneuvering factions hurtle toward self-destruction as they each seek dominance over the other.
The fate of both Kotanshi and Shodanjin are inextricably linked, their joint destiny buried far below the sands of the Sabakushi desert in a city long since lost and forgotten. There lies the key that could lock away the Darkness forever…