Mercus Verilian is a man of action, a patron of war, yet his posting as a guard of the Third Realm Road: a portal to other worlds, has become dull. The goblins haven't attacked in years. Dragons are becoming a fleeting memory, and Mercus' blood has gone stale. The promise of danger an... d a month's wages is all he needed to hear. He soon finds himself on a strange and savage world of ice, inhabited by bloodthirsty trolls, in search of a missing dwarven expedition. But as things quickly escalate into a desperate struggle for survival, it becomes clear to Mercus and his companions that there is more at stake here than the missing expedition. They become ensnared in a heinous plot that will shatter the fragile balance of power in the four realms, and herald the return of an ancient enemy.