300 years after the Great Shadowking War, the tendrils of an ancient evil are worming in through the cracks of the world. Emperor Magramon is dead, the Khatrimantine Empire mourns and soon his only son, Ilgarion, will ascend the throne. But undercurrents of dread foster unease and mistrust in the imperial capital and disturbing portents hint at unrevealed horrors. Meanwhile, the agents of an old and vicious power plot, and wait… Can Corlek Ondene, former captain of the Iron Guard, work with the likes of Dardan and the Countess Ayoni to stem the tide of evil? Can the Order of Watchers, a band of renegade mages, unlock the terrible onrushing mystery in time? And can their leader, the elderly Calabos, keep his true identity a secret through the terrors yet to come?