The main character is R. Kipling, a man who claims to be searching after Doors to the Empty City or the City of Empty Shadows. He says that his wife and son were taken by a Door and he wants to get them back.
Kipling soon reveals that he used to work for a group that was also looking for Doors, but to try and exploit them: the Gentlemen of the Dark. Kipling quit the Gentlemen of the Dark, but he is caught and tortured by them. After he escapes, he becomes hunted by two of their agents, Voss and Wolfcatcher. Kipling barely escapes them and decides that he must go underground and stop posting completely.
Months later, Kipling posts again about waking up in his old house and wondering how he got there. There, he meets a hallucination of his wife who tells him that he was running from his own shadow the whole time. There was no Gentlemen of the Dark, no Voss and Wolfcatcher, it was all in his mind, an enemy that he could blame for his loss. Finally accepting the fact that he will never see his wife or son again, he opens a Door and walks into the Empty City.