Zerfall awakens in an alley, wounded and unable to remember her past. Chased by an assassin out into the endless wastes of the desert, she is caught, disfigured, and left for dead. Her scabbard is empty, but the need for answers-and the pull of her sword-will draw her back to the city-states.
When Jateko, a naive youth, accidentally kills a member of his own tribe, he finds himself outcast and pursued across the desert for his crimes. Crazed from dehydration, dying of thirst and hunger, he stumbles across Zerfall.
Hunted by assassins and bound by mutual need, both Zerfall and Jateko will confront the Tauschung, an ancient and deranged religion ruled by a broken fragment of Zerfall's mind. Swarm, the Tauschung hell, seethes with imprisoned souls, but where gods-real or imagined-meddle in the affairs of man, the cost is high.
In Swarm and Steel, the power of belief can manifest and shape reality, and for political and religious leaders, faith becomes a powerful tool. But the insane are capable of twisting reality with their delusions as well, turning increasingly dangerous as their sanity crumbles. It is here that a long prophesied evil will be born, an endless hunger. The All Consuming will rise.