Six weeks have elapsed since the Alur Meriki were defeated outside of the Orak’s new wall, and the village has been renamed the City of Akkad. Eskkar and Trella now rule, but difficulties surround them at every hand. After the desperate and frightful siege ended, many thought peace and prosperity would soon return. But the old ways die hard, and problems both old and new return to plague the city and its new rulers. Some inhabitants already fret under the new laws established to protect them.
Outside the walls, the countryside still seethes with bandits and worse. Food is scarce, trade non-existent, and refugees flood the city seeking relief and protections. Eskkar and Trella have a dozen problems facing them at every turn. For Eskkar, the transition is especially difficult, as he is forced to deal with the petty problems of Akkad’s people.
Now from outside comes a new threat. An Egyptian leader, Korthac, has been driven from his native land. Arriving in the Land Between the Rivers with a band of loyal and hightly trained soldiers, Korthac sees opportunity in the chaos besetting Akkad and the countryside. He decides to establish himself as the new ruler of Akkad, and use its men and resources to conquer the entire land between the rivers.
Korthac is cunning as well as fierce. No wild barbarian attacks against Akkad’s walls for him. He intends to take the city from within. He bides his time, waiting until he can strike one fatal blow that will kill his enemies and make him undisputed ruler of the city. He moves into the city, gathers his forces, and ingratiates himself with Trella.
Meanwhile, Eskkar spends his days away from Akkad, pacifying the countryside, and enjoying the dubious pleasures that are offered to him. In the city, Trella rules in his name, busy in her efforts to build a new and prosperous society.
It’s the perfect time for Korthac to strike. In one night of blood, he seizes Akkad. Trella and the entire city are forced to prostrate themselves at his feet.
Korthac may have captured the city, but can he keep it?