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Malek and Elloch's village has not hungered since the gray men and their gray ships transformed the surrounding swamps into fields by planting the lom seed onto the land. Though a prevalent and hardy staple crop, the lom is also bitter. The lom attracts the terrible llungruel lizard, with its venom that turns its victims' minds wild. The llungruel multiplies in the fields and plagues the villagers depending upon the lom. Malek and Elloch vow to destroy the llungruel after they witness a brother succumb to the lizard's poison, and they promise to ignore any of the gray men's rules that prevent them from banishing that fearful creature. Their quest will unveil bitter truths, and demand further sacrifice, before a more delicate balance can be rediscovered to bring relief from the llungruel hissing in the field.