A terrible war is coming to Amica. Rogue mage lords control the north where armies are massing for a spring offensive; new breeds of mage beasts are ready to destroy everything in their path, and vile blood magic controls the masses. Only the Avenging Shadow and his band of ragtag followers have seen the truth. With time for preparations running out, Marcus sets out to form an Amican Alliance amongst the twenty-nine countries south of the Northern Wall, but he has no proof to present to the skeptical and capricious kings. When he enlists the help of the few kings who know him and believe in him, the rogue mages begin a campaign of intimidation and assassination to derail the efforts of the Avenging Shadow. The only path left open to Marcus is to reveal his identity to convince the kings, but that move makes him a target as the rogue mages of Lantana learn of his true identity.