Having fled a battlefield in his youth, Owen Vander knew himself a coward, yet he went on to study law, rising from county advocate to magistrate at a young age. Dedicated, honest and just, he served his office well, but when Good King Tarten died and the crown prince was murdered, the medieval kingdom of Northwaye fell into chaos. With his family dead, Owen abandoned his home in despair, wandering the southern plains as a hunter and farmer, living only to lose himself in a bottle. Then one day two young daughters are kidnapped by slavers, taken to cities in the north. Though Owen thinks their rescue best accomplished by bounty hunters, their distraught fathers beg him for help, and so begins an adventure where Owen will encounter bold mercenaries, merciless freebooters, fierce warrior women, and corrupt government officials. And in the course of this journey, Owen will discover he is searching for more than two lost innocents.