A clash of civilizations Full of ambition an Eastern despot seeks to control all magical items in the world of the vel. These items include a magical falcon, a magical owl, and crystal orbs that allow their owners to pierce the veils of space and time. Created in the distant past the items have become scattered over time, some coming into the possession of the Khan, others into the possession of a primitive pastoral people, and yet others into the possession of the European-like community of Endylmyr, located in the far reaches of the western plains. When the Khan sends armies to seize the devices, the various peoples of the North and West band together to resist, using the magical devices themselves to defeat the Khan's schemes. Led by the retired mercenary, Gylfalin, and his cousin, Pendaran the Archer, the allies use the magical objects to move through space and time to rescue captives and mount a defense against the invading Easterners. After a few misguided attempts to use the entire collection of magical items, Angmere, the historian, discovers an ancient rhyme that suggests three women are the key to the puzzle. Gwynyr, Hellwydd, and Hilst, acting the part of the three witches of Endylmyr, become a storm that has been brewing over the rthern mountains and, drive his armies from the plains, defeating the Khan's attempt to conquer the city. For the present at least, the peoples and cultures of the woods, steppes and plains are free from threat of conquest.