In the desert city, Xalycis Rock, the cunning hide beneath masks of perfume, the shandar read the bones of their dead, the Thrani knifedance in narcotic clouds of black khur---
And a drunkard finds a buried Artifact from the era of the vanished, forbidden Mages. Bloody murder follows as the relict disappears in the city's underground. Now a renegade chemic and a disowned noble must help the beautiful psychic Moabet to use her buried powers and all the arts of magic, illusion and trickery.
Because only Moabet can stop the ancient mind within the Artifact from unleashing its madness on an unsuspecting world.