Thousands of years ago the words that told men the way were blazed into the rock. In Robi's land, isolated by towering mountains, the words have long been the way. It is a place of tranquillity where science and the arts flourish and war is just a distant memory.
In Adan's land, the Salacian horde has swarmed from the black plains close to the Mountains of Madness and swept across the country bringing fear and death to all who would choose to live by the words. In a desperate attempt to slow the enemy's advance, Colonel Astara, Adan's father, stays to fight as Adan and his mother flee. They are separated when Adan, with the best of intentions, disobeys his mother's instructions.
A combination of events throws Robi and Adan together in Adan's world. They encounter an old friend in an unexpected guise and confront many perils as they search for Adan's parents.