A tale of the far future -- in high fantasy. (indeed the far future is read between the lines.)
Our hero Ashok, a Protector, is fighting a demon, using his ancestral black sword to good effect, and dealing even with there being two of them. The warriors have fled; the only one standing against hem is a casteless old man with a spear (which, as a casteless, he is forbidden to hold). But then he is summoned back to meet with the dying master of his Order. Not, as a friend of his believes, to be named the next master, but to learn the terrible secret of his past.
This has consequences.
The tale involves wizards who can take hawk form and replace a multilated tongue; giving two children things and rescuing from those who think they are thieves; the name Ashok was born with; a prisoner sparring with the man in charge of a prison; damaged documents with certain information suppressed; a barge used by smugglers; and more.