The Known World is a sprawling realm ruled by mortals, protected by gods, and plied by magicians and warriors, merchants and beggars, royals and scoundrels. In Kaul, the Council of Mothers upholds the great Ancestress; Odrel, the god of Sadness, unites the suffering of the Upper Kingdoms; and everywhere the lethal minions of Zuïa, the cold-blooded judiciary goddess, do her fearsome bidding. But for all the Known World's wonders and terrors, what has endured most powerfully is the legacy of Ji.
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Elemental magic courses through the veins of vast empires. The Grand Guild oversees its network of dark brotherhoods. In the Known World, gods and goddesses are as tangible as the people who worship them. Yet in this land rich in legend and wonder, there exists a mystery beyond all others: the secret of Ji. After catching a fleeting glimpse of another world, the last heirs of the Ji emissaries search for a century-old journal that promises to unravel the world's greatest enigma.
From Romine's Deep Tower to the Grand Temple in Ithare, from the Murky Mountains to the Warrior's Vale, the heirs continue their desperate quest-whose outcome will decide the fate of the Upper Kingdoms. Will they have to recklessly desecrate one of the gods' most jealously guarded secrets? Every discovery condemns them.