The boy Kaszek is guardian of the city of Ayul–a city built deep within a rocky fastness, ancient home of the Last People and sanctuary from the chaos of the legendary “world beyond.” Blessed with strength and trained for violence, his duty is to protect Ayul and carry the burdens others are forbidden to touch.

Recently, the mystic Sarth of Ayul revealed a troubling truth to Kaszek: the Great Seal to the world beyond is cracked, and untamed magic seeps through and threatens Ayul. The Sarth has bound the foreign magic to a talisman left by Ayul’s creators, and tasked Kaszek with carrying the talisman to the world beyond and releasing the magic back into the abyss.

Kaszek does not wish to leave the only home he knows. He does not wish to fight the territorial creatures in the tunnels out of Ayul–creatures whose only crime is protecting their nests. But he knows his duty, and he carries the talisman in search of the Great Seal and its mythical keeper, hoping to rid Ayul of the cursed magic and–perhaps–reseal the crack to the world beyond…

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