It is Palm Sunday 1461 and the bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil is about to take place outside the village of Towton. It is one of a series of engagements between the houses of York and Lancaster. The world when younger was more brightly coloured and its ecstasies and tortures more fiercely endured. But, ever since the Dolorous Stroke and the Showing of the Grail in the days of King Arthur, England has lain under a curse. So many have died that Hell is now full and consequently the dead stalk the land.
Anthony Woodville, Lord Scales, having been killed at Towton, is vouchsafed the first of many strange visions before being resurrected. From then on adventures come running after him like hungry dogs and he will encounter the Swordsman's Pentacle, the Draug, the Miraculous Cauldron, the Curse of the Roasted Goose, the Talking Head and the Museum of Skulls.
The real world is a poor thing compared to the stories that are told about it. Anthony hears or takes part in many stories, and those stories are porous, so that men and monsters move easily in and out of them. The stories that Anthony encounters have only one purpose and it is not a good one.