It’s the day of the Gathering and the future of the Shieldlands is to be decided, as the various leaders gather in the great hall of Herot to choose their new leader. But having lost some of her closest allies, Rheda’s chances—and any hope of preventing civil war—are bleak and she may have to fight to preserve her power. Meanwhile, a furious Slean must also make a sacrifice for his mother’s campaign and play his part, but in doing so, his loyalties become deeply conflicted. Beowulf and his gang are tasked with a mission to help cement Rheda’s position as Jarl of the Shieldlands, and they must make a significant journey. En route, Beowulf’s party is ambushed and their mission compromised, with Rheda’s leadership hanging in the balance.