A generation ago, the city of Voortyashtan was the stronghold of the god of war and death. Now the city's god is dead and the city itself lies in ruins. So it makes perfect sense that General Turyin Mulaghesh - foul-mouthed hero of the battle of Bulikov - has been exiled there. At least, it makes the perfect cover story. The truth is that the general has been dispatched to investigate a discovery with the potential to change the world - or destroy it.