Lockton Castle, a four day ride from Bayersby Manor, is in the grip of an epidemic. Concerned that the disease will spread if left unattended, Sir Edred sends young Apothecary Oric to administer to the sick.
Upon his arrival at the castle, Oric fears that something far more sinister than an epidemic is afoot. Determined to explore the castle, he waits until everyone retires to bed. The secret he unearths sends him racing back to Bayersby Manor before the inmates of Lockton Castle arise.
Mother Olive, soothsayer and troublemaker, chooses market day in the village of Kilterton to deliver a terrifying prophecy. Furious over the raucous disturbance the old woman causes, Sir Edred, Lord of Bayersby, instructs a notoriously zealous priest to nip Mother Olive’s dire warning in the bud. Father Chrispian delivers fire and brimstone sermons from his pulpit in St Griswald’s church; does he pacify the country folk or make the already volatile situation worse.
Aided by his mentor, Ichtheus, his friend, Dian, and Parzifal, the faithful wolfhound, Oric battles to save all that he holds most dear.