The legend of the mountain fortress Duradh Mal, mysteriously destroyed centuries ago, has many tellers and many versions, but only one truth. And now, in the shadow of that once-mighty fortress, something evil is stirring. Unaware of the danger, the high priest of the Dome of the Sun has sent two inexperienced Illuminers to the village of Carden Vale, at the foot of Duradh Mal, on what should be a routine tour of religious service. The warrior Asharre, strong and tall, her face scarred with runes, her heart scarred by the loss of her sister, is assigned to protect the young clerics. But in Carden Vale they find unspeakable horrors—the first hint of a terrifying ghost story come true.
The Sun Knight Kelland, whose faith is his power, has been set free by the daring woman he loves, the archer Bitharn, but at the cost of undertaking a mission only he can fulfill. Joined by Malentir, a Thornlord steeped in the magic of pain, they follow the footsteps of the long-ago ill-fated expedition to Duradh Mal. There lies the truth behind the frightening tales of the dead come back to life, flesh ripped from bones, and creatures destroying themselves in a violent frenzy. For a black magic that had been sealed for six hundred years has been unleashed, and now must be contained again—or an entire world will fall victim to a Mad God’s malevolent plague. . .