When an illusion adept is murdered, his apprentice Haeddry Dakin must go off in search of a new adept to learn from. He is joined in his travels by the untrustworthy swordsman Nydedrilar. Haeddry dreams of being a destruction adept but his powers limit him from that goal. Haeddry must uncover the plot that resulted in the death of his teacher and put an end to it before his life is claimed next.
Haeddry’s mind wandered dangerously as he walked. He envied the mages who went to the military academies scattered throughout Arnsved. The queen took utmost care of her precious mages, facilitating their training, protecting them from harm as best she could. In return, all mages competent in destruction magic were designated to companies of her military. The queen never lost a war.
Destruction adepts were pampered. By day they blasted training targets into splinters or ashes but by night they lay with the most passionate and attractive women in Arnsved and beyond. Ladies vied for places in the beds of military mages. Some of the mages took lovers, even wives, while they studied and trained in the academies. In times of war, destruction adepts didn’t often live long. Their powers in dealing death were inconceivable, but there were no spells to save lives. Emigrants from Arnsved, the seat of magic in the known world, were easily bought out by enemy kingdoms in secret and turned on their brethren with ruthless, unforeseen force.