Matteo, un-magical counselor to the mighty of Halruaa, has devoted his life to the truth - until he finds that he may have a hidden spark of magic after all. Now, with only a street waif for a companion, he's on the run from the mysterious Cabal. In the dismal Swamp of Akhlaur, Matteo will seek his own truth while battling a creature out of his nightmares. But something even worse is on his trail: a relentless persecutor of magic: The Magehound.
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After a fight, some warriors seek to return home. Others seek revenge. The battle of Akhlaur's Swamp is over, and its heroes part ways. One becomes a wizard's apprentice and tries to unravel her mysterious lineage. Another hero returns to his queen, only to find that all is not as it was. Hidden from them both, the Magehound broods. She cannot forgive those who drove her from power, and she will stop at nothing to be avenged.
Once again, the counselors of Halruaa have beaten back an attack by the wizard Akhlaur. Once more, the kingdom has been saved from its enemies. But victory comes at a terrible price. The aged king is weakened, his powers diminished. His chief counselor Matteo is torn between his duty and his heart. Tzigone, the hero of the battle of Akhlaur's Swamp, has been hurled into a dark world from which she may never escape. And at the edge of time, Akhlaur and his ally, the Magehound, plot their final revenge.