Dure is a city where dreams die, a dark and gritty mining settlement under the heel of the imperial Talarian League. The city walls draw a prison of fog on coastal cliffs around Elysa Ustanon, a prostitute who learns that she is the first of three prophesied Dreamers who will shatter the illusion of reality." Sea storms bring Rourke Artomey, a famed investigator and man of science running from his own illusions. Rourke works to end a rash of abductions that have plagued Dure but quickly finds himself staring down Elysa's strange powers. Elysa and Rourke are soon caught within a web of political and religious intrigue. Regional governors vie for the imperial throne. Merchants and burghers scheme, balancing conquered and rogue nations within a plot to control the trade of the known world. Religious schools compete to inherit a post-apocalyptic afterworld. All the while, a secret order of knights, keepers and shapers of the realm's hidden history, works to insure that truth and magic are neither sold to the highest bidder nor stolen.