A gunpowder fantasy of colonial ambition. Humans from several civilizations to the west of the Apsamian Ocean have settled on the coasts of the vast and unexplored continent to the east, home to non-human races: the primordial giants and peyri, and their mongrel creations, hybrid peoples who dwell in the wilderness of the eastern continent.
A newly elevated lord, Julius Blake, seeks to enhance his station by securing his governor’s trade routes through wilderness plagued by bear-men. He is confronted by a bear-man, Grigarius, raised from a cub among humans by the governor of Johannia colony.
The rogue Raf Arland, condemned to indenture for his crimes in the Old World, navigates colonial society to find a way to better his low station. He is joined by an unlikely ally, a seasoned sailor named Jefford Schank who is abandoned in the colonies by a brutal captain.
Lady Snow Bernes struggles to protect the ambitions of her father, the governor of the Royal Colony of Johannia, with the help of manservant Raymond Gamba. She is torn between her loyalty to her father, her admiration for Lord Blake, and her inexplicable attraction to Raf Arland. And, she has a magical secret that could determine the course of her schemes.