From the depths of a valley rises the city of Mahala. It's a city built upwards, not across - where streets are built upon streets, buildings upon buildings. A city that the Ministry rules from the sunlit summit, and where the forsaken lurk in the darkness of Under. Rojan Dizon doesn't mind staying in the shadows, because he's got things to hide. Things like being a pain-mage, with the forbidden power to draw magic from pain. But he can't hide forever. Because when Rojan stumbles upon the secrets lurking in the depths of the Pit, the fate of Mahala will depend on him using his magic.
Rojan Dizon just wants to keep his head down. But his worst nightmare is around the corner. With the destruction of their power source, his city is in crisis: Riots are breaking out, mages are being murdered, and the city is divided. But Rojan's hunt for the killers will make him responsible for all-out anarchy. Either that, or an all-out war. And there's nothing Rojan hates more than being responsible.