Life is not easy in 13th century England, especially if you are a cripple. Edric, our quasi-hero, is adept at begging and stealing for a living. He also has musical talent with a pipe and makes a few shillings that way as well. His whole life he has built up a defense against people, expecting rejection and getting it. All he can handle are his own needs and he has become self-centered in order to survive on the edges of society.