In the south of the magical continent of Faerûn lies the hot, humid land of Halruaa. Mysterious figures come and go on strange errands and unspoken deeds. Mighty wizardlords vie for power. In this land of intrigue, only the Jordaini, a society of counselors impervious to the effects of magic, can keep order. And standing guard over the Jordaini is Kiva the Magehound, an elven wizard who ensures the purity of all who serve Halruaa's wizardlords. Yet among the jordaini there may be one in whom the magic spark lies hidden. Will the magehound destroy this flaw, or exploit it?
When Matteo, a young and idealistic jordain, rescues a street waif from Kiva's minions, he begins to realize that nothing in Halruaa is quite what it appears to be. His new friend is Tzigone, an impish girl with light fingers and a dark past. Matteo is torn between his vows to the Jordaini Order and the magehound who seems bent upon destroying everything she has vowed to protect.