Estli is a professional bodyguard and fighter for hire who stumbles on a job that looks like easy money: escort a cursed magician named Maurin Stonechild from a remote mountain village to the bustling town of Plains City to investigate an offer of arranged marriage. Complications begin right away, of course. Maurin's curse is the stuff of legend. He is one of twelve people, referred to as the stone children, who were cursed at birth to carry a physical manifestation of their birthstone on their bodies. The stones give them enhanced but dangerous magical abilities, and many of them are feared and living in seclusion.
Maurin's identity alone would be enough to make Estli think twice about the job, but the identity of the man Maurin has been asked to marry is even more startling. Riven Glassweaver is an infamous underworld fixture with a reputation for acquiring powerful magical artifacts. Like, say, amethyst crystals harvested from the skin of a magician or, worse yet, the magician himself. Eventually convinced to take the job because he is unwilling to leave it to less capable hands, Estli runs across one final complication: Maurin is exactly his type, and the feeling is mutual.