Roland de Cremer is a young man who has just been assigned to the Center of Cartography in Sodrovno-Voldachia. It's a secluded place that is usually insulated from the outside world. But something is happening out there. Rumors swirl of attacks, assassinations, war, and rebellions bloodily put down. Meanwhile, Roland has fallen in love with a young woman named Shkodra, who the authorities have also shown an increased interest in. She has mysterious markings on her back, tattoos that look like a map. As the threat to her increases, the two flee through deserts, mountains, and swamps. They have only one option for escape: to cross the border. But will they be able to find their way through this land that bears no resemblance to the maps Roland is familiar with and will his desire to save her get them both killed?