Following his return to Parison, Edward Eastland realises the Empire was disintegrating. His sworn enemy Latask the Covenenter is asking for help which Edward reluctantly agrees to provide. There had been no communication with the Parison for three years. People reported that strange creatures had been seen. Sending troops to investigate has proved futile. As soon as they crossed the border of Sandaria, nothing has been heard of them again. The plan they concoct is to hold onto Rombuli while somebody found out what was happening elsewhere.
Edward is given the task of finding the Walloonian army at a place called Bryants Ridge in order to contact two Covenenters. Going on this trek means he has to leave his new wife Kitty. He is to be accompanied by her brother Boric and his friend Tag. In the event, they becomes cut off from Rombuli. With his friends, he sets out to find his way back home by a circuitous route.
Edward wonders whether his powers, magic as Tag calls it, will help him to keep them safe. Will he have to learn quickly the extent of his powers? Are there forces with greater powers than him waiting to prevent him reaching his goal? During the journey, will his friends keep following his lead no matter the dangers they encounter? He has to suppress these doubts when he leaves.
As they set out they have to face the possibility that the Empire will no longer exist when the get back home.
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