A time of reckoning has begun. For 10 years the Free Ports held their own against the despotic empire of Mann—but the empire is now poised to destroy them. The crucial fortress city of Bar-Khos is under attack and its freedom depends on a few unsteady hands. Betrayal could come from any side, at any moment. While chaos reigns, Nico will search for his captive mother and attempt to defend his people. And Shard the Dreamer will hunt for legendary charts, which could yet save the city. However, a Red Guard officer gone rogue could bring about the end, and a visitor from another world has a hidden agenda. With the war entering its darkest hours, will any of them survive?