At a dinner party hosted by a wealthy New Yorker, a guest receives a gold adze, the coveted prize in a worm race. When the man dies the next day, he bequeaths, according to a stipulation in his will, the bulk of his fortune to the adze's possessor, provided he answer three mysterious questions relating to the artifact's history. In his search the owner encounters a menagerie of eccentric personalities: an ancient revolutionary in a Parisian prison, a ludicrous pair of gibberish-speaking brothers, and customs officials who spend their time reading contraband materials. He soon finds himself immersed in the centuries-long history of a persecuted religious sect and in an odyssey that begins in a forgotten fog-covered town in Scotland and ends on the ocean floor off the cost of an uncharted French island.
A wild goose chase through a remarkably unusual world, The Conversions invites both reader and protagonist to participate in a quest for answers to an elusive game.