Amethyst Dirgensa, a village girl living a peaceful, rural life in a distant province under Aure’s rule of the far future, travels to the palatial home of a secluded UP family. The UP are never seen by those of the lower classes and are among the few to fraternize with the Emperor Aure himself. After quite a time getting to the residence called Temmark Osteraith, renovated from an ancient country house, Amethyst finds herself embroiled in the midst of a large crowd. More important, though, is the question of why all these practically innumerable people have been asked here at all to visit a Prince who goes by the absurd name of The Elevated UP Temmark. . .