The Rovers have invaded the Southernlands, sending its inhabitants fleeing for respite. Waylaid in a defunct desert town, and reeling from revelations about his past, a powerful, emerging evil lures Kelen to seek vengeance. Though he resists, Kelen soon learns that the Shadow Man will not relent until a terrible, ancient claim is fulfilled.
As Marathana quails under the burgeoning darkness, Jeru’s clan looks to him to lead. Jeru, however, knows his path lies elsewhere. Leaving everything behind, he braves the Badlands, a hellish desertland where only the bravest dare tread, to awaken the latent spirit of the Papilion within him. Jeru learns much in that place of desolation, including one truth which could turn destiny on its head. Now more than ever, Kelen, the Wolf of the North, threatens everything he holds dear. Jeru must choose: save the people he loves, or sacrifice them to save Marathana.