Sergeant Jacob Knox leads the Head Knockers, a unit of scout-saboteurs in the war against the Dread Duke and his armies. They are the favorite squad among Captain Brighton's Stormwalkers, until an ambush by shapeshifters kills the Captain, half the company, and Knox's best men. Now the new Captain has new orders: he's sending the Head Knockers to investigate an abandoned village, the possible source of the attack. It's just Knox, his sword, and a handful of boys barely old enough to shave against an evil force burrowed deep beneath the dirt streets of an empty town. Waiting for them there is the Prince of Luster and Decay - the demonic embodiment of greed - and it'll take more than a sword to defeat it.