A thousand years ago the Darkness came - a terrible time of violence, fear, and social collapse when technology ran rampant. But the vicars of the Temple of Light brought peace, ushering in an era of blessed simplicity. For 10 centuries they have kept the madness at bay with "temple magic," and by eliminating forever the rush of progress that nearly caused the destruction of everything. Childhood friends Orah and Nathaniel have always lived in the tiny village of Little Pond, longing for more from life.
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Against all odds, Orah and Nathaniel have found the keep and revealed the truth about the darkness, initiating what they hoped would be a new age of enlightenment. But the people were more set in their ways than anticipated, and a faction of vicars whispered in their ears, urging a return to traditional ways.
Orah and Nathaniel return home with miracles from across the sea, hoping to bring a better life for their people. Instead, they find the world they left in chaos. A new grand vicar, known as the usurper, has taken over the keep, and is using its knowledge to reinforce his hold on power. Despite their good intentions, the seekers find themselves leading an army. And for the first time in a millennium, their world experiences the horror of war. But the keepmasters' science is no match for the dreamers, leaving Orah and Nathaniel their cruelest choice.