Year 17 AC
Ruins are unearthed by a winter storm near the coast where Brightwater will someday be. The monks from Ariella rush to the site in hopes of uncovering some ancient civilization. They are looking for labor, protection for the site and protection for the wagon train to east to the ports that will lead home. They are also looking for ships and crews to take the artifacts home to their monastery.
A sixteen year old Stephan Thunderhead appears outside the gates of Karoon with an army and demands the release of his father and the return of the city which should be his. He besieges the city as people join his cause. Both sides are looking for help, though the city is finding it harder to find help then Stephan.