Five years after the events of Ironclad, the de Vesci family struggles with Pict raiders along the English-Scottish border. In one of these raids, the patriarch of the family loses his arm to the chieftain’s son, who is killed by the family manservant and hung on the wall. While resting in bed, the father commands his son Hubert to seek out his cousin to assist in defending the castle from the Picts. Hubert leaves in silence the next night.
Hubert discovers Guy in Kingstown at an underground brawl with his friend Berenger. Guy tells Hubert that he will help if he is paid. While they leave, they barter with the executioner, Pierrepoint, to let a prisoner, Mary, live. Even though he insists on her death because of her brutal murdering spree, he relents and eventually joins the group. Upon their return, they see that the castle is once more under siege, so they enter through the sallyport. Guy, Berenger, Mary, and Pierrepoint demonstrate their fighting capability as the successfully repel the assault.