As head of the Guild of the Black Mages, Guildmaster Ponsoby knows that you have to move with the times, and thats what hes trying to do. Hes opened negotiations with Titus Handcarte, the First Speaker of East Castellian and not only has he won two enormously profitable research contracts, but also has got Handcarte to repeal the age-old prohibition that barred occult professionals from practising in East Castellian. So everything in the garden should be lovely. And it would be except for Montmorency. Mage Montmorency, the most expert and powerful of the Black Mages, is dead set against Ponsonbys plan. But to the creative manager, such opposition is an opportunity, not a problem. With the enthusiastic support of his other colleagues, Ponsonby binds Montorency imprisons him behind countless tons of solid rock. So now everything in the garden is lovely. Well, not exactly, no. Just as the rock closed about him, Montmorency managed to get a message off to Mission Implausible, the scruffiest bunch of anarchical heroes ever to disgrace the pages of a fantasy novel. Never mind their addiction to beer and gratuitous violence. Never mind their cavalier attitude to property that isnt bolted down. And never mind the fact that Andrew Cruickshank, their mercurial magic user, combines the reliability of the weather forecast with the destructive potential of Chernobyl. The big question is whether Mission Implausible can get their production of Blood on the Rooftops, Blood on the Tiles into workable shape by opening night. And get the Guild of the Black Mages sorted out too, of course. Ponsonby doesnt know anything about their play, but he does know Cruickshank and his band of hooligans are on the way, and so does Titus Handcarte. Ponsonby can call upon the awesome occult forces of the Guild, and Handcarte has at his beck and call the economic and military might of East Castellian, so theyre confident. Playing at home, they should be able to send Mission Implausible down to a four-nil defeat, at the very least. But there are a number of things theyve left out of their calculations. They havent reckoned on the power of an aroused student body. They havent understood the influence of thousands of years of theatrical tradition. They havent the faintest idea of just how implacably devious, disruptive, and destructive Mission Implausible can be. And theyve totally neglected air defence. Mission Implausible doesnt bother with calculation. When theyre not in rehearsals or instigating disgraceful scenes at disreputable taverns, they get to work fomenting student unrest and bombarding the Guild precincts with surplus theatrical equipment while Andrew Cruickshank infiltrates the Guild itself in search of Montmorency. All the ingredients are there for one of the most shambolic episodes ever to be expunged from Guild records.