During the first fifty pages of the novel, one of the Earth characters makes a discovery and takes his analysis of that discovery to consult with a member of his magic circle.
When he arrives at that member's house, the two magical adepts go off to a hospital nearby, where there is a person who has brought an extremely unusual energy to Earth, even though she doesn't appear to be from Earth herself. She has brought an urgent message to someone, but she's disoriented, horribly injured, and out of her head with pain and grief.
The two adepts are able to ease her pain and comfort her a little, but unfortunately she flatlines while they are visiting her. The two of them know that it will be several weeks until her transition after death will make it possible to contact her to see what she is trying to do, and what she might have to do with the discovery that opens the novel.
And she is part of the key to all the events of this remarkable novel.