Major Story Arcs
Benjamin Martel was a political analyst for the Grendel Khan, Orion Assante. When Assante died, Martel became disillusioned with the rule of the Regent, Laurel Kennedy, and left to become a hermit in Alaska.
Years later, Crystal Kennedy, the step-daughter of Orion Assante, and her guard and lover Susan Veraghen wander near his cabin in their own political self-exile. Martel invites them to stay with him.
Over the ensuing ten years, the three of them engage in a mutual romantic and sexual relationship, although the bond between Crystal and Susan becomes weaker.
Finally, Jupiter, the heir to Orion and step-brother to Crystal, also happens by the cabin on his way to take back his throne. Susan and Crystal join Jupiter, but Martel stays on alone in his cabin.