The free city of Florin lies in the region known as the Marches, a buffer zone between the Iron Empire in the north, and the shadowed lands of Umbria to the south and east, where the Black Bishop of Ravensbridge rules.
Florinians lives comfortably on their export of wool and cloth, and their powerful banking empire built by the da Bardi family. Patriarch Piero da Bardi rules the city in name. But Piero is bedridden, ill with a mysterious wasting disease most believe was caused by a curse from the Black Bishop. He still takes as active a role as he can, and his mind remains as sharp as ever. But the real power in the city lies in the hands of Lorenzo, Piero’s son. Young and vital, intelligent and a skilled diplomat and mage, Lorenzo seeks knowledge. Lost classical knowledge from the long vanished Golden Empire, buried in ruins and catacombs in the West, and that which he can barter and steal from the crumbling East, and the decadent Silver Empire.
But The Black Bishop seeks it as well. A sorcerous war is brewing between Florin and the dark forces of Umbria. The city needs great heroes to challenge the faceless horde of wraith soldiers and their vampire commanders, and find the magical secrets of the Golden Mages before the evil necromancer uses them to envelop all the west in darkness.