Archmage Planir and the wizards of Hadrumal have unleashed their devastating powers to destroy the corsair threat. As they hear the survivors' tales, noblemen from surrounding lands can only fear for their own grip on power. The mysteries of Artifice could counter Hadrumal's might, but Solura's adepts will demand a high price for their aid. Planir faces more urgent dangers. The Archipelagans have cut all ties and are baying for wizard blood, enraged at magic invading their domains, while in the Council of Wizards, Planir's course through the crisis is challenged. He must look beyond the island city for allies. To Suthyfer, the haven for mageborn far in the Eastern Ocean; and to Caladhria, where Corrain, Baron Halferan and Lady Zurenne believe all their trials are over. But this is merely a lull before winter's storms descend from the high mountains, where jealous observers contemplate Hadrumal's plight...