It is the fifth century AD, in the former Roman colony of Britannia, where civilization has all but disappeared. Some vestiges of the old infrastructure remain in the urban south, but the west and rth are wild and lawless. Plague sweeps through the entire country, leaving thousands dead in its wake. Eiteol, a cloddish and apathetic bleman, saves the dictator Vertigern from an assassination attempt. The two go on the run, and as time goes on Eiteol finds himself called upon to do things he finds more and more morally repugnant. Deep down he kws that Vertigern is a monster, and that he should walk away, but for reasons he does t understand he finds himself bound to the man whose life he has saved. Their flight takes them into the barbarous west-where money has value, the law has power and murder is a daily reality-and they are forced to look for shelter in a country that is falling apart around them.