Maerad(pronounced My-red) is a sixteen-year-old girl living as a slave in Gilman's Cot, where everyone is worked to the bone and rewarded with barely enough food and less-than-tolerable living conditions. Maerad was always the strange one at the Cot, having pale skin and dark hair, unlike the rest of her. As well as her appearance, she also is revered as a witch, for over the years strange things have happened around her. One day a stranger appears in the barn while Maerad is milking cows. Though he has has an invisibility spell working for him, Maerad is able to see him. The stranger, later found out as Cadvan of Lirigon, thinks Maerad is a bard(like a mage) because she can see through his spell. After a long talk Maerad decides to follow this stranger out of Gilman's Cot as her only chance of freedom. Once out, the pair travel through perilous country and battle creatures of the dark such as Wers and Dark Bards sent by the Ruler of the Dark, Sharma, in pursuit of Cadvan. Through the journey Cadvan begins to suspect Maerad is the one fated by great bards many centuries ago. So long, in fact, that many have forgotten the prophecy altogether.