Finster is now a drunkard and a con man living anonymously amongst simple, easily manipulated village folk. But his self-serving cunning cannot save him when soldiers of the Magus Supremeus of the High Order burst in to drag the disreputable mage to the dreaded Red Citadel.
His former acolyte, a young woman of cold heart and ruthless ambition who has already murdered numerous magic-doers in her quest for ultimate power. The only reason Finster still lives is Ingrid’s belief that he knows the whereabouts of the Founders Stone, a magical artifact that could make her invincible.
Finster realizes he is doomed unless he escapes and recovers the Stone before Ingrid does, and he turns to his dungeon cellmate for help. But the hulking, mute, barbarian youth he calls “Moth” is inscrutable and unpredictable. And their ultimate survival—and the survival of an entire kingdom—may require the cowardly wizard to assume a most unfamiliar and uncomfortable role: hero!