To save their treecity and their civilization, a young scholar and his prince, along with two scouts, struggle together across a vast glacier, pursued by their enemies. They follow the last remaining clues of a long-buried secret, leading to an ogre-infested ruins where an ancient sceptre lies. They must find the sceptre first, or the wizard leading her armies across the land will be unstoppable. More
Daeroth, once a land of green forests, tilled fields and great cities, has been overtaken by cold, the entire continent covered in mighty glaciers. Civilization has barely survived in small refuges--a few ice-free fishing communities, the caverns of the underearth dwellers, and the great trees which were created by powerful jewels an age before. Within the great trees, high-caste alfarai rule over their low-caste brethren, as well as the learned corraks who tend the all-important jewels.
In the middle of the southern continent's long night, war spreads across the land. At the heart of the rebellion is Malquerias, a renowned corrak wizard who searches for an ancient device called the Skeptron. She leads an army of wizards, warriors from among the high-born alfarai, and hordes of goblins and trolls--their traditional enemies. Cities quickly fall to their rebellion, and she acquires the stones from the heart of the trees.
News of the spreading war has not reached Medara when Lysandros, a young corrak scholar, finds his mentor attacked and the tree jewel stolen. Without it, their city will die in the antarctic climate, dooming everyone who dwells within. At his mentor’s request, Lysandros agrees to find the jewel and replace it, and solve an ancient mystery as well.
He must journey with his prince and a pair of scouts across the ice sheets of Daeroth, working together to survive the brutal weather while avoiding the goblins and trolls who pursue them. Somehow, with the help of allies, he must gather clues from maps, songs, and ancient scraps of parchment to locate the resting place of the Skeptron before Malquerias does, and return the stolen tree jewels to the great trees before they die.
All paths lead to the Omphalos--the South Pole, the navel of the earth--where armies must face one another in the dark of the winter night. It is there that Goddess endows the land with the power of the wild aurora, and it is there that free peoples must make their final stand against the crone and her armies, to decide the future of the continent.