Despite the mishaps and danger of her previous term, Merryn has again signed on with the airship crew, the Lady Ansa. She needs the money for her dying mother, so the promise of adventure is a bonus. It’s only after signing on, and Captain Tanim’s theft of a disc-like relic, that she discovers she’s signed on with a crew of pirates. A dead body wearing an iron mask drops on the deck during their escape; it’s the body of the Chosen One.
Captain Tanim was tasked with aiding a boy of prophecy who would defeat the Witches, primal forces of destruction and decay. The meeting was interrupted by Captain Granger, and a lightning strike killed the Chosen One. Now neither Tanim nor Granger want to be caught with the boy’s body. This is a secondary concern, as Tanim is cursed by the Witches themselves. The disc he stole appears to be a null relic, and his hope is that it will relieve him of his curses.
They discover the disc was found by Pallos, a caster driven mad after a conflict with a Witch. They search a nearby kingdom for Pallos, but it’s only Merryn’s tampering—aided by the Chosen One’s journal—that leads them in the right direction. Tanim discovers the disc’s origin, the Witches’ Palace in the tainted content of Rayar. After a dramatic airship battle with Granger, both ships crash in Rayar. With the King’s Fist, Captain Granger, and the Adiron Navy on their heels, Tanim takes the Chosen One’s body into the Witches’ Palace. Tanim faces off against a Witch, and is losing, until he realizes that the disc is part of the floor. With the burden of his curses temporarily lifted the tide of battle turns. The Witch’s spell reflects off the Chosen One’s mask that she is defeated.
Tanim claims the Chosen One sacrificed himself to defeat the Witch, and returns to his ship. He then discovers that one of his curses is gone. He offers his crew the choice to stay on or leave: they aren’t pirates any longer, they’re Witch Hunters.