Searching for the beautiful witch Jemhara, the magician Thryfe at last finds her in the reinvented town of Kandexa, where a strange and passionate wooing begins. From this union a son is born - golden-skinned, red-haired, blue-eyed - and thus the Lionwolf returns to the world of men.
Unaware of this birth, his original mother the goddess Saftri has begun her own search for her lost love Athluan . . . while elsewhere the black and shining ones, the Children of Chillel, seek to establish claims on the ice-locked planet. Beyond, over, under all, the evil god Zzth rages and plans the ruin of these separate and immortal lives.
Strafed by the tumult of such conflicting powers, the be-wintered realm of mortals can only wait to learn its destiny.