This sweeping drama chronicles the foundation a Canadian institution: the Hudson's Bay Trading Company. Set in the 17th century when the fur trade was at its peak the story centers on Radisson, a far-sighted entrepreneurial fur trapper, and his sidekick who dream of establishing a major trading post on the title bay. Opportunity arises when they encounter an exiled British aristocrat and begin teaching him frontier ways. He in turn has them travel to England with him. There the determined Radisson, must first convince King Charles that the proposed post would be a lucrative venture. The king eventually agrees to fund the first post and Radisson, his partner and the aristocrat return to the Canadian frontier. The company gets off to a good start until the aristocrat's brother-in-law gets drunk and kills a native thereby nearly starting a war that Radisson averts by having the drunken killer killed. The nobleman is outraged and as soon as the three return to England to give a report to the King, he has the two trappers placed in prison. Fortunately, Radisson is able to appeal to the King's greed by telling him that the heretofore successful trading post will collapse without the two of them and they return to Canada to found a business empire that is still going strong today.