As two continents prepare for a world-wide war, a small group of Alceans plot to free the Dielderal elves from the grip of the Federation. The goal is to make the elves simply disappear, but over a thousand elven children are held captive in the four major cities of the Federation, and the Dielderal elves will not flee while their children are endangered.
Complicating matters are the 'births' of a new breed of demonkin, the Claws of Alutar. While the K'san demonkin are charged with crushing Alcea, the Claws of Alutar are singular in purpose. Their goal is to assassinate the heroes of the Mage, and their victory would spell far more than defeat for Alcea, as the world would crumble into a decaying ball of misery.