Kaspar manages to survive the desert of Novindus after being exiled by Magnus, at the end of King of Foxes. He finds a farm with a boy and his mother who help him recover and learn the local language while he helps them after the disapearance of the father of the boy. He decides to leave and goes to a nearby city where he meets three merchants from the Kingdom who have a secret. The secret is that they are compelled by a strange suit of armor to take it somewhere. With the help of priests in Maharta they learn that they need to go to the Pavilion of the Gods. There Kaspar is helped by the ghost Arch-Indar and then by a sect of monks who serve as guardians to the gods. Kaspar is granted audience with Kalkin (also known as Ba-nath) who shows him the next danger to Midkemia, the Dasati and their Dark God, as well as of the danger of the Talnoy like the one he has with him. Kaspar is tasked to take the Talnoy he has to the people who overthrew him, using a magical ring enabling him to control the Talnoy, the only side effect driving the user mad for extended use. He buys a ship and returns to Opardum where he meets Talwin Hawkins, now a restaurant owner.  Kaspar manages to convince the former agent to contact the Conclave of Shadows after being persuaded of the danger from the Dasati and the Talnoy. Kaspar is taken to Sorcerers Isle by Magnus where he informs the Concalve of what happened to him during his exile.  In turn Pug seeks advice from Elvandar and as they leave, Leso Varen attacks the city with a smokescreen of fire and unleashes death-dancers. With the help of the Talnoy the threat is averted and Pug, Kaspar and Tomas return only to find Leso Varen has also launched an attack on Socerers Isle. Kasper finds Varen in another body and with the help of the Talnoy, kills him.  In the aftermath, Pug and Nakor investigate where the Talnoy was found and find a chamber with 10000 Talnoys, which were hidden by Macros.

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