Surviving the wrath of the fearsome Sauur—a hideous race of invading serpents—noble Erik and cunning Roo have delivered a timely warning to the rulers of the Midkemian Empire, and are now free to pursue their separate destinies. Erik chooses the army—and the continuing war against Midkemia's dread enemies. Roo lusts for wealth and power—rising high and fast in theworld of trade. But with luxury comes carelessness and a vulnerability to the desires of the flesh. And a beautiful seductress with her ruthless machinations threatens to destroy everything Roo has built and become—summoning catastrophe into his future . . . and terror into his world.