Chaucer's pilgrims are sheltering in a friary as they slowly wind their way towards Canterbury. As they settle for the night, away from the darkness outside and the shadowy figures that haunt the lanes and byways of medieval England, the Franklin narrates a mysterious, bloody tale - a true story, he suggests, which not only affects his own life, but the lives of some of his fellow pilgrims... In 1356 the Black Prince has won his resounding victory at Poitiers. However, in that bloody fight, the impoverished knight Gilbert Savage received his death wound. As Gilbert lies dying in a ditch he tells his squire, Richard Greenele, that the story of his parents perishing during the plague is untrue. Richard, if he wishes to uncover what really happened, must travel to Colchester and seek out the lawyer Hugo Coticol who holds a sealed letter telling the truth of Richard's parentage and the dreadful secrets surrounding his father's disgraceful death. This document contains a most macabre confession and Richard finds himself a small step closer to discovering the truth, and compelled to avenge his father's name.