Dhong Xiang is an island ready for rebellion. Shi is a country ready for revolution. Archibald Wincaster finds himself in the middle of it all; the only problem is his addiction to opium. Suddenly, he finds himself in the midst of a rebellion as those known as the Black Dragon rise up against his people and the rulers of their homeland, Shi. With the aid of a revolutionary, he finds himself thrust into the heart of the mysterious country that borders it.
Despite being an outsider, Archibald finds himself to be key in helping the downtrodden people of Shi in their hopes of overthrowing their Emperor. What is the mythical Army of Clay? To find out, he must leave the comfort of the opium houses of Dhong Xiang to travel along the wide waterways to the karst-ridden valleys of Shi, making the journey to Earth and Fire Mountain to meet the Shi’s Eternal Goddess – his only companion – the Black Dragon revolutionary, Snow Flower.
All the time he is being chased by his own countrymen and the imperial agents of Shi who will stop at nothing to see the Black Dragon destroyed in order for their iron rule to continue.