Xar, Lord of the Nexus, has traveled to the fiery world of Abarrach to learn the secret art of necromancy, hoping to raise an army of the dead to conquer the four worlds. But he discovers an easier way. One of the undead tells the lord about the Seventh Gate, the magical chamber used by the Sartan to sunder the world. The Seventh Gate still exists and whoever enters it can either create worlds - or destroy them. Only one person knows the location of this gate, although he doesn't know he knows it. That person is Haplo. Xar sends a Patryn assassin to kill Haplo and bring back his corpse. The lord plans to use his necromancy to bring Haplo back to life and turn him into a mindless slave who will reveal the location of the Gate. Xar is certain of success, for the assassin is someone from Haplos past, someone whom Haplo trusts with his life. Another assssin is also after Haplo. Hugh the Hand has been hired by the Kenkari to kill the Patryn, and the Brotherhood has provided an ancient Sartan weapon - the Accursed Blade - to help him in his task. Wounded and weakened, Haplo nearly falls victim to his killers. But when the Accursed Blade runs amok, all of them, including a terrified and extremely reluctant Alfred, find themselves fighting for their lives in the most dreaded place of all - the deadly prison maze called the Labyrinth. Betrayed by the one he loves, Haplo is imprisoned by his own people, forced to watch helplessly as an army of evil prepares to march on the Labyrinth, dooming all inside to death.