From the introduction:
The year is 1984, in the Third Age of the Sun. It is early spring and the uplands and hills of Rhudaur lie cloaked in a fresh, unexpected fall of snow. As the days grow slowly longer and the winds loose their cutting edge, the first of the melt waters swell the Mitheithel as it flows past the Inn at the Last Bridge on the Great East Road. Soon, the road will be passable with ease and trade will pick up in the small hamlet that has grown up around the bridge, the Inn and the watch tower that guards them. Haldon the innkeeper looks forward to the coming months when his bar will be packed with thirsty drinkers and the rooms host to weary travellers from far afield. The winter is a lean time for all the folk of the North, and coin is hard to come by and even less willingly spent. The local farmers, trappers and traders are running up hefty slates they hope they will be able to clear in the short spell that passes for summer in these high places, and the season for planting and rearing is about to begin.