This is volume III of a trilogy. Those who have already read parts I and II know where the plot now stands, but those who haven’t will find this volume confusing.
For millennia, the gentle people of Pàçia relied on those who filled the positions of High Duty to guide them on the path to harmony and tranquility. Ages ago, seven High Duties were known but now only three still exist: the High Protector, a person whose persuasiveness was vital to keeping the peace; the Benevola, a woman who cared for and comforted the people; and the Keeper, a man who protected all from danger. Knowledge of the other four Duties was lost before recorded history began. Then twelve years ago, disaster struck. An army led by powerful mysterious men called the Zafiri attacked the beautiful city Abbelôn in the center of Pàçia. The High Protector and Benevola died trying to save their people, and the Keeper was severely injured and lost all of his memory.
Now four remarkable people are united. Breyon, the Keeper, recovers his tragic memories and resumes his Duty. Two youngsters join him, and despite their youth, they are clearly meant to fulfill two of the Duties. When Alisánder was born, everyone realized he was destined to be the next High Protector, something which had never happened before. Many believe Caelia is a legendary heroine reborn in a time of crisis; she is the only possible choice to become the Benevola. Most important of all is Graice, the young woman whose power to use 'effect' exceeds any ever known. When found as a newborn, the only survivor of a shipwreck, she wore just an amulet around her neck. Now her strength, ability, and that amulet reveal her true identity. She is the Pacifica, one of the lost High Duties and the most important of them all.
All across the land, Pàçian exiles awake with a compulsion to return home. These refugees fled their homeland after the fall of Abbelôn and have lived in exile scattered almost everywhere. They begin seemingly hopeless journeys, helped by strangers. Destiny awaits them on the High Road to Abbelôn.
Elsewhere, war comes to Anglio, a small city populated with ordinary people. Aided by new ‘inventions’ created by two master arms-builders, the Anglions defy the odds and fend off an attack by the massive Zafiri army. In Zigor, the leaders of the Zafiri continue to scheme against each other. Their mistrust and hostility distract their attention from the prosecution of their war; but we know they have a terrible plan for Abbelôn.
Deep in the caverns of Annâles-Scientia, researchers have activated a device left behind by the Anziên people, a civilization which reached unimaginable levels of achievement until it crashed 3,500 years earlier. Called the Conspectus Crystal, this device spews out data at a phenomenal rate, but most of it is incomprehensible despite efforts to decipher it by Escol (Caelia’s father) and others. When they stumble across a way to make the Crystal itself translate the Anziên language into modern speech, their success rate increases exponentially. Escol finds the secret of the dreaded Énigmàtta Gate, a door sealed shut during Anziên days which has been the source of terrifying folklore ever since. Something behind it can help them, he realizes – something which will increase the strength of the High Duties.
Graice, Alisánder, Caelia, and Breyon must ride to Abbelôn and compel the Zafiri and their minions to leave; but they must abide by the traditions of Pàçia and their own deeply held beliefs. They cannot use force or violence against anyone, not even the Zafiri. The Four still believe that if they free Abbelôn they will save the entire world. It’s true – and they do.