North of the river the Moon watches over the Winterlands and her people, the Ugaro. Its a harsh land but the nomadic tribes of the Ugaro are a tough people of strength and endurance. To the south live the tall slender Lau in the Summerlands where the Sun is stronger, the Moon weak, and the Stars are only a faint glimmer in the night. After four years of war things are not going well for the Ugaro. Each of their warriors is a match for three Lau but the Lau fight in shielded formations and have far greater numbers. After a devastating battle his tribe leaves Ryo inGara behind as a tuyo, a kind of sacrifice offered to the enemy in the hopes of appeasing their desire for further bloodshed. If a tuyo is accepted the enemy may kill them in any manner they wish and won't pursue the defeated warriors. In return the defeated tribe and their allies will no longer make war with them. Ryo expects to die horribly with no guarantee that the Lau will actually honor the custom of his people. Lord Aras, the Lau commander, sees in Ryo an opportunity to learn more about his people and why they started the war so he spares his life. Unfortunately, what he learns confirms his fears that a powerful sorcerer has been manipulating both sides and probably plans to seize power over both lands.