All of Europe is under the control of the Khan, whose conquering armies swept across the West in 1244. Scotland, in addition, lies under the heel of England. Young Toby Strangerson, a half-English bastard, reared by a witchwife, wants only to shed his hated "Sassenach" blood and free his beloved highlands. Toby wields a sword as the outlaw Longdirk. The sword can cut down men like so many stalks of corn. But stranger winds are swirling and howling across the lochs, eldritch winds that are ridden by "hobs" and "wisps" and demons.
All of Europe is ruled by the Khan, whose Golden Horde swept its conquering way across Europe in 1244. The Scottish outlaw Toby Strangerson, known as Longdirk, is ruled by an even harsher master. He is possessed by a "hob", a demon spirit murderous as a child although inherently neither good nor evil. Toby wants his freedom - and the spirit of the tyrant-demon Nevil, ensorceled in amethyst, can be traded for the exorcism of the hob. In order to make the exchange, though, Toby and his friend and ally Hamish must face the hexer Oreste on his own ground.
The Scottish outlaw Toby Strangerson, known as Longdirk, has used gramarye, dark magic, to defeat the Fiend and save Europe from abject slavery - but he has also made himself the most feared and envied man in all of Italy. The hordes are reorganizing and plan top sweep over the Alps once more and retake their lost prize of power and conquest. Toby and his friend Hamish struggle to unite the quarreling city-states into a single, powerful force to resist the invasion in a world where no ally can be trusted and traitors lurk in every shadow.