An old dwarven chieftain, Colin Stonetooth, leads a tribe of Hylar in a migration across Ansalon, pursuing a vision of a new home. Hordes of dangerous outsiders, fleeing the Dragon Wars, are sweeping the countryside. Evil magic, strange knights, precociuos kender, too, abound.
In the Kharolis Mountains, in Kal Thaz, the Hylar come upon squabbling dwarven clans and knit them into the new nation of Thorbardin. But a Theiwar assassin precipitates a civil war, a curse is fulfilled, and a child is born destined to be the Father of Kings.