A reporter comes to Illmound Keep to get an interview with the Gaunt Man. He decides to grant her one and so tells of his origin. On the planet Geos which is similar to Earth with seventeenth century level technology. This planet has no gods or organized religion. Instead there are cults based on sorcery. The Gaunt Man was a normal man who was chosen as the leader of the Cult of the Nameless One. In a ceremony he actually sees the Nameless One. This changes him to the shriveled walking corpse that becomes the Gaunt Man. His new found power leads him to a trip far underground where he finds Heketon one of the darkness devices that the Nameless One has spread throughout the dimensions.
Using the device he lays waste to his home world and threatens that some time in the future he will return to finish the planet off. Then he invades his first world Kantovia. This world is filled with humans that are changelings. The Dire Wolves are the most powerful and this world also has a high lord that wields a darkness device. He makes friends with this high lord and slowly finds allies to turn to his darkness and eventually destroy Kantovia and drain it of it’s possibilities.
This book tells the origin of the Gaunt Man the leader of the High Lords in their invasion of Earth. Apparently he managed to get out of his predicament from the beginning trilogy and is back in power. An interesting story in it fills in some knowledge about him. How he became a High Lord. How the gospog, the evil plants that are reanimated corpses, came about. It is told as a narrative in the first person so it has a very intimate feel for this character. The only negative is the Gaunt Man is pure evil. He enjoys causing pain, terror and destruction and this book is him successfully doing this. It can be a downer to have a whole book dedicated to his campaign of evil. Not very uplifting. Still this is an interesting book and informative for those that enjoy the TORG universe.