Harald Stonearm, usurper of the throne in the Province of Swallows,
loves nothing more than a good story. So, in the seventh year of his
reign, he sets aside the summer for a storytelling contest.
Competitors come from all over the kingdom to take a seat in
Gravenwall Castle's amphitheater. Harald's patience is short, however,
and he dismisses one storyteller after another.
All that changes with the arrival of a mysterious foreigner, a young
traveler dressed as a holy man who carries the weapons of a soldier. A
man with many names, now called Dogman, because of the huge Bear
Dog at his side.
As the foreigner's tale unfolds, the crowd of listeners steadily grows,
carried along by a story of recklessness, great voyages, strange
encounters and magic, unaware that it all leads to two startling
There is much more to the tale than the foreigner is telling.