Sal's life has been thrown into turmoil and he is on the run, from more than one pursuer, it appears. He is accompanied by his new-found friend Shilly and he's not entirely sure where he wants to go-but Shilly is. She wants to find her teacher Lodo's old teacher, the Mage Van Haasteren, which means they must head north to the Interior, where Sal's mother was born. The journey is over rugged, mountainous country on the Old Line and it's dangerous. The Sky Warden Shom Behenna is after them and they must risk all top reach the Divide and get across to the other side, not even knowing if the Stone Mages will help them.