North Fotheringale is the destination that all cadets of the Kellis Academy yearn for upon graduation, for it is in the vast forests of the north that regular engagements take place against roving bands of bandits bent on robbing merchants and travellers along the North Road. Faren Kellis, Head of the Ruling Council and the Army of Fotheringale, travels there with a group of soldiers called the Wildhearts to take part in a battle against the most infamous of the bandit gangs led by a former street-fighter of Galeia named Roe Bander. The bandit and his gang are trapped and dispatched, and while returning to the capital city of Galeia, Faren learns that a group of Kellis troopers on a journey of exploration have been captured by slavers, and he must gather a force of Wildhearts and troopers to sail to a far-away land to free the captives. To gain permission to sail down the river to the city of Malday where his troopers are held, he must win the support of the Caliph of Balistan and his tribal chiefs, which he does with a demonstration of the swordfighting skill of one of the female troopers of the 13th Army. He and his force then sail down the river and attack Malday in the dead of night, freeing the troopers and destroying the slavers in their lair.