Skandranon Rashkae is perhaps the finest specimen of his race, with gleaming ebony feathers, majestic wingspan, keen magesight, and sharp intelligence. Courageous, bold, and crafty, Skan is everything a gryphon should be. He is the fulfillment of everything that the Mage of Silence, the human sorcerer called Urtho, intended to achieve when he created these magical beings to be his champions, the defenders of his realm - a verdant plain long coveted by the evil mage Maar.
Now Maar is once again advancing on urtho's Keep, this time with a huge force spearheaded by magical constructs of his own - cruel birds of prey ready to perform any evil their creator may demand of them. And when one of Urtho's Seers wakes from a horrifying vision in which she sees a devastating magical weapon being placed in the hands of Maar's common soldiers, Skandranon is sent to spy across enemy lines, cloaked in the protection of Urtho's powerful Spell of Silence. As days pass and Skandranon doesn't return, all in Urtho's camp wait anxiously.
But there is one among them for whom the possible loss of this great bird will be more than just a major military defeat. Amberdrake, a Kestra'chern - a Healer of body, mind, and spirit whose talents are as essential to the army as those of any general - waits on the landing strip with anguish in his heart. For Amberdrake has come to value the vain, cocksure, and brave Skandranon as his closest friend and comrade, and he now fears that this prince of gryphons will never return.