At the beginning of this fantasy from horror writer TIm Waggoner, everyone in the country of Athymar suddenly falls asleep. On awakening, most people have gained a minor magical ability (e.g., one man can change his eye color). "The Change" has a more significant effect on others, including Tarian Ambrus, a former soldier. Tarian is now a healer, but he can no longer hold a weapon. Tarian's wife, Lowri, suffers an even more unpleasant change. For Lowri's sake, Tarian. his son, Phelan, a royal wizard, a priestess-adviser to the queen of Athymar and an Eyslk (an elf type) go on a quest to find the source of the magic and somehow reverse it.