Trey of Herongarde is a disenchanted Prince. His world has been dark to him since the loss of his beloved wife and son in childbirth ten years earlier. It grew still darker when, soon after, his elder brother – the heir to the throne – was killed. For years, Lord Trey has moved through life, disinterested in everything except for a good duel at tournament and the unconscious hope for his own death. Though heir to the throne of Herongarde, Trey has done all possible to avoid the politics of the realm, preferring to ride wide and dangerous patrols. He refuses to be addressed as royalty. He wishes only to be acknowledged as a warrior and a Bearer of the sovereign Mark of Herongarde.