Five hundred years before the birth of Aleksandor, the wizard Tai-Sung duelled with Vanmur in the demon-wizard's first emergence since his corporate death. The contest took place near Mt. Orduin in the midst of a battle between marauding Surks led by their merciless leader, the warlock Khazantuim and the defenders of Dar-Kursk. Vanmur was on the verge of destroying Tai-Sung when he mysteriously broke off the attack and retreated to his refuge in the netherworld of Vahashkur. His powers all but eliminated as a result of the sorcery duel, Tai-Sung returned to his homeland of Tsu-Mon and remained a recluse until called by Aramine to come back to Dar-Kursk and rescue the infant Aleksandor from the possibility


Born a mage, Shima's talents were so potent that he eventually transcended the limits to a mage's power and was recognized as the first wizard in Llandwellyn. Gentle and self effacing, he changed when challenged by the ruthless mad wizard Vanmur . Witnessing and ednduring unspeakable atrocities embittered Shima and started him down the road to madness himself. Knowing that he would not survive a final duel with Vanmur, he created a shirna, an embryonic trait, of wizardry so he could ensure his legacy. He then made a "leap through time" to find a worthy recipient. One thousand years into the future he found one in Aleksandor. Shima perished during his last duel with Vanmur, but his influence lives on in Aleksandor.


For two and a half thousand years the seer Aramine has witnessed and participated in much of Llandwellyn's history. Her unique skills allow her to project herself to wherever she wishes, and her observations have have either saved or toppled many an empire and kingdom. Tempestuous by nature, she will be either one's closest ally or most implacable enemy. In the novel, she has sworn to guide Aleksandor in his bequeathed quest to thwart the warlock led war and ultimately destroy the specter of the demon-wizard Vanmur . Though she always remains the wizard's teacher, her feelings for him grow quickly until they are deeply in love. Imperiling her plans is the mage Elsaer , who although professing special knowledge that will enable him, with Aleksandor's assistance, to stop the threats to Llandwellyn, arrouses suspicion as to his true intents.