The unanticipated supernatural ability to hear each other’s thoughts fills many Armanians with fear and embroils the Armanian people in a bitter conflict. Priests protest this “bloodvoicing” magic as evil, but Prince Wilek believes it a gift from the One God to his Armanite followers. To honor his newfound faith, Prince Wilek establishes a city called Armonguard and begins building an illustrious castle. He sends explorers to the north to discover what this land might have to offer, putting his brother Trevn in charge of the expedition. In the west, as spring comes and the ground softens, Charlon sets the Magonian people to planting evenroot and preparing for the long-prophesied uprising of their Deliverer, who they believe will crush the skulls of his enemies, turn their citadels to dust, and make Magonia the ruler of nations.