Chaos reigns at the magical academy of Oriath: The halls of examination lie ruined, a student has perished inside. While the feared auditors of the jabit-kadhrel, the Office for Magic Misused, are still in the dark, teacher Olidra has suspicions he dare not voice. He begins to make his own investigations.
Meanwhile, the exiled Vahnatai apprentice Tam sets out with the Nephilim, the mythical cat-people, to explore an ancient ruin and shed light on the ancient past. But they soon realize they are not the only ones searching - and their rivals are merciless killers.