The Purple Morrow is destroyed. However, its promise endures in the form of a champion, mankind’s only hope against the destruction spawned by an ancient, sinister evil. The Rovers have invaded the Southernlands, forcing the inhabitants deeper south for respite. Ex-Rover commander Kelen arrives in Swill, a defunct desert town, with revenge in mind. There he encounters the Shadow Man who reveals the truth of his past, including the disturbing origin of a mysterious mark on his forearm. Kelen tries to fight destiny, but soon learns the Shadow will not relent until a terrible prophecy is fulfilled. As Marathana quails under the threat of 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 desert only the hardiest dare go, to find the Storyteller who can 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 those he loves, or sacrifice them to save Marathana.