OF STAVES AND SIGMAS is a transworld phantasy tale that follows psychiatric patient James Wagner's mystically compelled break from contemporary earth to mediaevalesque Ergos, where through long and unremitting ordeal he is forced to consider the inconceivable: that his lifelong madness was less a psychological sickness than it was a visional prelude to the astonishingly palpable reality that has suddenly supplanted his earthly existence. Marooned on a backwater world of warring, of brutality and bondage and bloodshed, a world of multifarious creatures both human and bestial, it will take every bit of Wagner's courage, cunning, and perseverance to find his way, to find his freedom, and ultimately to find himself.
From his earliest recollection, James Wagner possessed his own ilk of second sight. Living in one world, he was occasionally meted a vision or two of another place, another realm, where life was a canvas painted by an entirely different brush. Unable to suppress or frustrate these often violent visitations, Wagner instead inured himself to them, even as they became gradually more invasive and disruptive with each passing year. By the age of twenty-seven, he'd already been long in downward spiral -- professionally, socially, holistically. Lost jobs, failed relationships, unfulfilled potential -- anything that had ever held promise in his life was inevitably sabotaged by an inner chaos that, in its burgeoning insidiousness, had actually somehow manifested an alter ego, a crazed Other, who usurped the reins of Wagner's livelihood for hours at a time, turning an already disastrous existence into a danger to Wagner and to those around him.
Finding some small comfort under the institutional roof and wing of Dr. Jonathon Mazzio, head of the Howsley Centre for Mental Health, both men soon become chagrined and astounded by a phenomenon that refuses to subside, and that indeed begins devouring Wagner's subsistence with ever greater voracity. Only an unexpected, eleventh-hour visit from a wayward prophet bearing odd, mystical insight seems to shed light on Wagner's malady -- and this, too late to affect or assuage it. From there, Wagner is well and unstoppably unto becoming Voknor; his earth, given up for Ergos, the world of his visions; and while the abandoned are left behind to ponder his fate, Wagner must contend with a severely archaic and draconian realm of strangely pre-gleaned convolution and culture, with denizens both multifarious and malfeasant, and a future already written in foresight, yet truly as ungraspable as the time he lost.