Irid is a land inhabited by many strange creatures. Giants, fairies, snake-men, tree-people, and even humans claim the land as their own. They are neighbors, but not always friends. It is the job of The Ambassador, who speaks for every race, to keep Irid at peace. Many of these ambassadors have been successful. Some have not. Lewin lives at Castle Joten, awaiting his twentieth birthday. On that day he will become the next Ambassador. But that day is still far away; Lewin passes the time reading books in the castle garden. He has also made friends with an inhabitant of the castle who is an orphan like him, but is not a human. Then the day comes when a mercenary shows up at the castle, and Lewin is thrust out into the world, where everyone either expects great things from him or wants him dead.