At the beginning of the book, Halt and Crowley learned that Prince Duncan, heir to the throne, was raiding across the border into Picta with his men, ransacking and plundering food and drink and brutally terrorizing the people. Shocked but doubtful and suspicious of Duncan's sudden change of heart, the two Rangers head to where Duncan currently is, discovering that Duncan was being impersonated by a man called Tiller. Their suspicions of Morgarath being behind all of these events was further confirmed when they intercepted several messages from the baron, one of them declaring a list of 12 Rangers to be dismissed from the Corps, and another stating that the real Duncan was imprisoned in Castle Wildriver and that Morgarath plans to force King Oswald (current king of that time) to disinherit his son and name the baron as his heir.
Finally knowing what Morgarath is secretly planning to do to grab the throne, Halt and Crowley developed a plan to assemble a group of all the dismissed 12 Rangers, rescue the real Prince Duncan while capturing the Tiller( Duncan's impersonator), and get the King (currently imprisoned in Castle Gorlan) all in order to publicly confront Morgarath at the Tournament of Gorlan.
Assembling the Rangers Edit
First, Halt and Crowley retrieve Rangers Leander, Berrigan, and Egon from their fiefs before putting their plan to action. Their group grows when Norris, Samdash, Jurgen, Lewin, and Berwick join. They also managed to get Baron Arald on their side, as well as Ranger Farrel and Mistress DuLacy from Redmont, and old Ranger Pritchard.
|Books in the Ranger's Apprentice Early Years Series|