On the 15th day of Franklin, Year of Descent 1008, in the Kralate of Vizantia Planet Kforri.
A young teacher, Marko Prokopiu, is convicted and jailed. His heinous crime: preaching the false and unholy belief that Kforri was originally settled by men arriving from Earth in flying machines – a dangerous heresy against the official doctrine of divine evolution.
Goaded into jail-break by his wife’s desertion and mightily armed with his father’s great ax, Markorushes to avenge his marital honour. With an eminent philosopher, Dr. Halran, inventor of the incredible hot-air balloon, Marko journeys perilously to exotic lands – to decadent Anglonia, hostile Afka, civilised Eropia and, at last, the all-female Isle of Mnaenn. There, by clever ruse and uncommon physical daring, he must recover the Great Fetish and solve the riddle of planet Kforri’s ancient history, or meet a fate more complicated than death!