Once a seasoned gamer, Max has cheated fate, swapping his dying body for an immortal avatar in the world of sword and sorcery MMORPGs. He joins the ranks of a new race of people: perma players, forever stuck in the virtual castles and cities of AlterWorld. Now they have to obey the ever-changing rules of their new home while learning to live together in peace, love, and justice. But freedom and immortality are a poisoned chalice. Some of Max's new friends crave power; others become traitors and spies. Soon the first screams of pain fill the virtual world as its freshly minted slavedrivers and torturers indulge in the absence of law and order. Their crimes provide a constant flow of gold back to their real-world controllers: the power-happy governments plotting to take over AlterWorld's magic technologies and limitless resources. What would you do? Would you step aside and watch the magical world turn into the Earth's dark twin? Or are you strong enough to step in the virtual sharks' way?