The battles are over, and the enemy reels in defeat. Without hesitation, Arian visits his wounded warriors. While planning for the return home, he deliberates on justice for the vanquished who are now his captives. Despite his directive for honorable treatment of prisoners, he takes steps to ensure the Nehemian code is upheld. After returning to Kalazar's estates where everyone is assembled, he stuns enemies, friends, and monarchs alike with his dispensation of justice to the surviving children of Zebarka. This elevates him in their already high esteem. Once back home, Arian embraces his duties and seems more distant, solitary, and introspective than usual. When he reports to Kannars in response to a summon, the king orders him to take a leave of absence. On his way to Persidia, he encounters Anika whom he spends time with before returning to Nehemia with her. Meanwhile, Parsifal visits Kilani and stumbles on Glenore-now a married woman and Kalazar and Drobeda's adopted daughter. He hastens to Nehemia and tries to set the stage for a meeting between Arian and Glenore. However, Glenore's illness and memory loss render his attempts futile and result in crushing desolation for Arian.
Realizing that Glenore was beyond reach, Arian crashes into melancholy and finds scant comfort in the emergence of his children: a boy and a girl. To distract his grief, his monarchs assigns him the task of completing all plans for the looming Feast of the Sephracals where the mighty of their known world are expected to assemble. But Arian the Magnificent, now General of the Hosts of Nehemia and Zennara, is not alone in his torment, for friends of old rally around him, hearing his silent cry for help. While fulfilling his duties, Arian draws closer to Anika and eventually rises beyond sorrows when ancient curses that have withered the lives of others finally abate. And he turns his life around-his long journey into light-the only way he knows: Arian's way.