The towering vertical city of Mahala is on the brink of war with its neighbouring countries. It might be his worst nightmare, but Rojan and the few remaining pain-mages have been drafted in to help. The city needs power in whatever form they can get it - and fast. With alchemists readying a prototype electricity generator, and factories producing guns faster than ever, the city's best advantage is still the mages. Leading the alchemists is Rojan's sister, with a risky plan to help tap the mages' strength and overcome the armies marching towards them. With food in the city running out, and a battle approaching that no one is ready for, risky is the best they've got ...