Richard and Kahlan are finally married and enjoying their wedding night back in the Spirit house in the Village of the Mud People. Soon, sudden and unexplainable deaths begin to occur, and Richard comes to the conclusion that when Kahlan called forth the Chimes in order to save him, they remained free, causing havoc. Zedd sends Richard and Kahlan off to the Wizard's Keep in Aydindril to get a special bottle that contains a spell that will stop the threat.
While en-route, Richard, Kahlan, and their Mord-Sith protector Cara are sidetracked into dealing with the people of Anderith, who have a powerful weapon of mass destruction called the Dominie Dirtch. They find that the leadership of Anderith wishes to surrender to the Imperial Order rather than surrender to the D'Haran Empire. As Richard tries his best to convince the people of Anderith of the danger the Imperial Order poses, he becomes firmly convinced that the Chimes are loose.