Javi Holis, eldest son of a successful family of tapestry makers, joins a group of religious recluses. He discovers powers hidden in a collection of Mandala designs and spends his life learning how to use them in the service of the god called the Maker of All. When a technologically superior galactic empire invades the world of Javi Holis, the invaders are considered gods. The empire pacifies Archlea, unwittingly dispersing belief in “The Design” throughout the empire where that belief then flourishes. After six hundred years, the Empire of the Kadeki “gods” is collapsing. An Archlean fair witness (a notary public) goes to the slave auctions to buy a house slave and is manipulated into buying a particular slave. He has come to protect and preserve a book of Mandalai hidden by Javi Holis before his death. This is the Book of the Design, and it must be preserved at all costs.