Once there were Twelve Tribes, separated by a strange astrological religion and hundreds of miles of ancient California forests. "Unify or Die" was the final prophecy of Ulupi, the head of the shamanic order known as the Ruok. Thus begins the quest of Tumock, Ruok trickster, to unite the divided tribes. Joining him are some unlikely companions, including Este, an escaped neophyte from a Spanish mission, formerly known as Esther. Este's desperate search for her long lost family leads her and her people toward a dangerous confrontation with the Spanish. And Hamm, British adventurer, sent to the new world by an ancient brotherhood to search for the secrets of a missing brother who is the founder of the Twelve Tribes.