Hush little baby don’t say a word
The Darkness hides in an ivory bird
But if that ivory bird can’t sing
That’s when the Witches’ Hammer swings.
-- Nursery rhyme
A year ago Sarah Petty could not dream of the life she now lived. In those days she was one of the downtrodden masses; an unremarkable body upon which the upper caste built their castles of gold. Luckier than most, she at least had her blacksmithing skills to keep a roof over her head, though she went hungry more often than not. All of that changed with one fatal decision.
She said yes.
Lady Raven Chandlish, a sorceress with a smile that lit up the night and enough magical power to level a city, asked Sarah to open a shop with her in a different duchy. After moving things felt like they were on a definite upswing. There was food in the cupboard, money in the bank, and someone she might be falling in love with. Sarah didn’t dare pinch herself just in case it was all a dream. Like all dreams, this sunlit world was a feeble defense against the encroaching darkness.
Buried deep within Raven’s soul was Malleus Maleficarum, an ancient demon that nearly destroyed the world twice before. Drawing on feelings stronger than the weapons she forged, Sarah learned to trust Raven could contain the demon. Malleus had other plans.
When enemies of the Chandlish family attacked, Malleus used a momentary distraction to take over Raven’s body. While hundreds of soldiers battled for the fate of cities, a terrified blacksmith battled for the fate of a world. With no hope of rescue, Sarah whispered into the leering face of madness, praying love would save her.