On the remote world of Tarvuli, the Graaven Empire has fallen into ruin, destroyed by an alien invader it is powerless to resist.
Menkh ab Dur, deposed Emperor, last and greatest Zaltec (Supreme Commander) flees the capital by command of his sister Pershiva the ‘Pohlan Kar’ (Empress) with the Imperial Guard and those citizens who join with him.
Through Menkh’s cunning, but at great cost in lives, the Graaven’s stay ahead of the relentless pursuers they call the ‘Dorath Mar’ (Black Devils). Crossing the ‘Plains of Clarist’, a feat no Graaven has achieved before, the survivors reach the banks of the immense river Caxaphalc which they are unable to cross.
Menkh, dying from a malignant tumour, is visited by Crixac, a symbiote from the Cordelian system who offers to aid the Graavens in their plight. Crixac’s assistance is not without a price however. Menkh must promise that once the Graavens are safely across the river he will travel to Crixac’s location and consider a proposition that Crixac will make to him. Menkh, discerning no evil intent and with no other options left, agrees. Crixac then cures Menkh’s tumour and causes the waters of the Caxaphalc to diminish. Crossing safely, the Graavens mount a defence on the further bank and finally defeat their pursuers, free now to venture into new and unexplored lands.
With their Empire lost to them the Graavens enter the strange lands beyond the Caxaphalc in search of a new home. In a further visitation Crixac tells Menkh that to honour his promise he must come to the forgotten City of Kareem Vastar. Then and only then will he reveal his proposition.
Menkh agrees and acting on cryptic advice from Crixac befriends ‘Fendrax’ and her litter, a breed of highly intelligent and fierce predators the ‘Gonverdeem’ who shield the Graavens from danger as they continue their travels. After crossing an ancient bridge spanning a huge chasm the Gonverdeem part company and the Graavens establish a well-protected camp to rest and recuperate.
Leaving his people to fulfil his pledge to Crixac, Menkh, following the directions provided by Crixac travels to the symbiote’s home. On the way he encounters the ‘Benshin’ a semi nomadic tribe of humanoids. Assisting one of their elders ‘Draachnull’ of the Shadow Hunter Clan, Menkh is befriended by the Benshin.
Upon his arrival in Kareem Vastar Menkh learns that Crixac’s physical form is failing. Crixac persuades Menkh to allow him to transfer into Menkh’s body thereby re vitalising the symbiote and increasing Menkh’s knowledge of the City and the technology of the Kareems.
Partially destroyed in a cataclysmic war hundreds of years ago, Kareem Vastar is powered by a crystal shard which itself is failing in potency. The advanced technology of the City is a source of wonder and seemingly magical power to Menkh. To Crixac’s horror, Menkh lays his hands on the crystal and is drawn into another dimension. Here he meets the strange force of the ‘Intelligence’ learning a fundamental truth regarding the nature of the alien presence on his home world and the disruption to cosmic balance that has occurred as a result.
The Intelligence charges Menkh with two missions. First, he must journey to the ‘Balancepoint’ and locate a replacement crystal for the dying shard in the City. Then, with the power of the new crystal he must defeat the alien presence and set about restoring ‘cosmic balance’.
Returning, Crixac is astonished at the revelations Menkh has learned. Menkh sends a projection of himself to ‘Tishan Dar’ his second in command and orders her to bring the surviving Graavens to Kareem Vastar.
As the Graavens settle into their new home, Menkh embarks on his quest accompanied by two of his most trusted guards the siblings Horven and Mareen Var. Guided by two Benshin of the Shadow Hunter Clan they traverse Benshin lands before crossing the ‘Sharana Nek’ the Mother Water reaching the territory of the Xotic the ‘People of the Wind’ - friends and allies of the Benshin.
After traversing the great plains beyond the Mother Water in Xotic sail craft, Menkh learns of a strange phenomenon in the ‘Gap of Crethic’ which may lead him to the replacement crystal.
Along with Shashn and Tlkcha of the Xotic, Menkh discovers an ancient portal and is transported to the ‘Balancepoint’. Here he meets the Adepts of the Crystal and Keepers of the Balancepoint. Travelling ‘beyond’ into the place ‘between’ Menkh bonds with a red crystal shard. Conveying this back to Kareem Vastar the full power of the City is unleashed. His return however presages the imminent arrival of a new threat.
The might of the ‘Talixit Ven’ the Eaters of Light, masters of the Dorath Mar and the true power behind the destruction of the Graaven Empire attack the City. Menkh, aided by a mighty force long dormant, defeats the armies sent against him. Transporting to the location of the alien presence responsible for the calamity that has befallen his people, Menkh captures its essence and confines it within a crystal shard for all eternity.
Finally triumphant, the City and its Graaven inhabitants prosper until they become aware of the arrival of a force sent by the Talixit Ven to destroy them. Now Menkh and Crixac must once again renew their quest pursuing their destiny in aiding the ‘Intelligence’ to restore balance to the cosmos.