All his life, Conn has trained to be a wizard for the Royal Court. Just months after graduating from the scholar-house, Conn has been granted a post on the King's own scientific staff, unheard of for one so young. And Conn's wife is pregnant with their first child. Conn's future is bright. But the night before his meeting with the King, Conn's wife has a dream. She dreams the King has tasked Conn with an evil task. Just the nerves of pregnancy, Conn tells himself. But when he at last meets with the aging monarch, Conn discovers his wife's dream told the truth. Will he do the horrible thing the King asks? Or stand alone against all the forces in his kingdom?