The story begins in the sacred city of Machu Picchu when a temple virgin is immaculately impregnated by Inti, the Sun God, during the June Solstice of 1511. Her child will become a prophet and will be a boy, because all children conceived in this manner are male. But for the first time in the history of The People, the child born nine months later is a female and carries a birthmark on her forehead in the shape of a condor, the sacred bird that delivers the souls of the deceased to the Celestial River. From an early age, Umiña’s clairvoyance and ability to communicate with animals and even plants become apparent. Seeking to improve upon her natural gifts as a healer, she convinces a shaman to take her on as his apprentice. With his help, she becomes aware of the strange details of her birth and of a secret prophecy – that one day her land will be invaded by tall, white strangers from across the sea who will tear down The People’s sacred sites and cause their gods to be forgotten. Knowing that everything happens for a reason, Umiña comes to believe that her destiny is to somehow prevent The Prophecy from occurring. Father Cigueña is a Spanish priest who has broken eight of the Ten Commandments. Fearful of condemnation to everlasting hell, he confesses his sins and is forced to travel to the New World where, as his penance, he is to convert the “soulless heathens” and build a church. Among the other Spaniards on the ship bound for Perú is Rodrigo de Cotero, a peace-loving atheist who finds himself surrounded by brutes looking forward to killing their first "savage". When the three meet in the land of the Incas, the clash of cultures and faiths results in a stunning conversion for one of them.