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Medenva and Rysa fell in love with an Athenque woman. She married Rysa, and their children were born with the gift of magic. They built a magnificent kingdom, but over the centuries, the children of Rysa grew arrogant and lazy. Their knowledge and wisdom failed but their pride did not. Under King Taelfa, the Rys enslaved the Med, and the decline of the kingdom continued. Recognizing their crime in the reign of Taelfa's grandson, the Rys surrendered to Med. For a hundred and fifty years, the Rys accepted virtual slavery as their just punishment. When a malicious attack seems to strike a blow for Rys freedom, Zheann Sevem is called away from teaching Rys children herbal magic to help the Med catch the killer. Together with Captain Garesherick Moln, commander of the Med forces in Jitherick, she discovers that the prime suspects have fled to the east. Zheann insists on going with the captain, to protect him from her people, and to stop them from finding an ally that will enslave the Med once again or kill them.