The Stone and the MaidenBook - 1999
The myths name it the Signata: the place that contains all places, the moment that contains all moments. As enigmatic to the gods as to mortals, the sacred treasure is said to have appeared but thrice in forty centuries, always in a different form, and each time to vanish as suddenly as it came. Its purpose and powers, no one knows. Yet in a world threatened by an ancient and merciless evil, it seems the only hope--if it can be found.
The barbarian Tathars cut a scarlet swath across the lands of the Ascendancy, led by Erkai the Chain, a master of the dreaded Black Craft. However, there exists a power that dwarfs even Erkai's sorcery: the force known as Deep Magic, long ago banished from the world. But now Erkai has found a way to break the ban, and seize that terrible power for his own.
Defeating Erkai and the Tathar horde falls to Mandine Dascaris, heiress to the throne of the Ascendancy, and to the young soldier Key Mec Brander, an outlander from the distant lands of the Elthame. Together they embark on a secret, desperate search for the Signata. To fail means the ruin of their world--but the price of success may be no less than their lives.