In the icy northern realm of Eron, three young artisans bound by an unspeakable act of violence arrive at an isolated gem mine on a special commission for their king. They are the arrogant but talented Eddyn; Avall, his archrival; and beautiful Strynn, newly wed to Avall, but carrying Eddyn's child.
Meanwhile, to the south, amid Ixti's scorpion-riddled sands and sensuous cities, a horrible accident has forced Prince Kraxxi into exile with blood on his hands and a price on his head.
The four will be drawn together--and torn apart--by a magnificent find: a gem with magical properties beyone anyone's imagining or control It is a struggle in which hidden forces pursue a frighteningly sinister agenda. For whoever possisses the gem holds the future of the world, and also the power to destroy it.