In the marketplace of Salaam Centaur, a city out of medieval fantasy, Kurt, a mercenary, strides toward a pre-arranged meeting. On the way, his coin purse is lifted by Sarah, a beggar. She repairs to her quarters, but soon finds the purse is missing, quietly retrieved by its owner.
Elsewhere in the city, Kit, an ambassador of the 'Phaerie' enters the domicile of Ororo, 'Goddess-of-the-Winds', pledging her services.
In a tavern, Kurt finds and meets Logan, a fellow mercenary. In synchronicity, Logan and Ororo each descibe to Kurt and Kit, respectively, the mission ahead of them: to eliminate a dark wizard who has been gathering and enslaving townsfolk, creating an army for himself.
As Logan and Kurt make their way out of the city, Sarah follows in the shadows, hoping to once again snatch the purse. Likewise, Ororo and Kit are trailed by a steel-skinned warrior. Outside the wizard's castle, the six come across each other, soon establishing they all share the same goal.
They enter the castle and face the wizard who invites them to join him. When they refuse, he orders his forces to attack. The battle is joined, but during the fray, Kurt catches a brief glimpse of the interior of a modern shopping mall. He tells the others what they are experiencing is an illusion. They quickly form a plan to take out the wizard.
Kurt approaches first, and becomes enthralled, but that allows Sarah to strike from behind, revealing the wizard is actually the X-Men's enemy, Mesmero. He quickly takes control of Sarah, and then the warrior, but Kit breaks though and knocks the villain unconscious.
The illusion fades, the mall reappears, and the customers come out of their hypnoses. Knowing they are likely to be blamed for what happened, Colossus scoops up Mesmero, and he, Marrow, Storm, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat and Wolverine make a hasty exit.