Beware the woman who does not exist, yet is everywhere. Paymaster Stenstrom and his Countess-in-Waiting, Lady Gwendolyn of Prentiss, are paid a bounty of riches to perform a simple task, and then everything changes. The weight of the Universe comes down upon them. Paymaster Stenstrom learns he is in the gaze of the destroyer of universes, the Shadow tech Goddess, and also that he is in a race with sinister forces hoping to curry her favor and bring about the end of all things. It is a race he and Gwendolyn must win. They will investigate ancient places hidden in plain sight and travel to long lost worlds unseen in ages. They will feel fear such as they have never known and walk in a Garden of Horrors where all is revealed and Stenstrom comes to know the truth of his place in the universe. The Shadow tech Goddess silently watches the doings from her throne in the Hall of Mirrors, seeing all, collecting information, and her verdict might finally be cast one way or the other.