Actually, Staubner's just trying to avoid all trouble.
When the mercenary prince Fausto finds him because of an old story, he takes the first chance to escape. He is promptly confused with a stranger and lands in a place high above the clouds: in the realm of the Dead King.
But Staubner's place of refuge grants him only a short respite. Peace is deceptive, for an undiscovered danger smoulders in the City of Eternal Heaven. Together with the water harvester Tau, who considers him her father's murderer, and the priest devotion, who lost his faith, Staubner looks for a way down from the plateau before the downfall of all inhabitants is sealed.