A man wakes with amnesia to find that he had bested five swordsmen and that he carried a strange object. Saved from his grave injury by a healer of unique abilities and remarkable beauty, they learn that others of power and station are willing to kill for the object he carries. On the road to rescue his ransomed family, whom he does not remember, Imar’s mutual attraction to Dalla grows and he learns that the eight sided object in his pouch is a key to a faraway underground fortress containing advanced knowledge and technology from the forgotten past. Others would have the octagon key because it also unlocks access to powerful weapons unimaginable in this Medieval Age of Sail. Imar must find the self he cannot remember, keep the key from falling into the hands of evil, and decide whether to use or destroy the fortress.
The story takes place on the North American continent roughly 10,000 years from now. Continental shifting, geographical and climatic changes have occurred. Human kind is evolving a second history, several millennia after coming out a self-induced stone age. Technology, not too distant from now, happened too rapidly and the byproducts were pollution, famine, disease, and war—less than one percent of humankind survived. People went underground to survive and emerged with next to no memory or recorded history of the past, until a key was found that could unlock the technological marvels of that advanced age. A few genetically enhanced people with very high intelligence, survived the destruction in cryogenic chambers. Though they wish to help guide this feudal and quickly advancing world, they do not agree because of one’s lust for power and that one’s goal to seize the knowledge and weapons from the age of technology. Many want the octagon key for the great historical, medical, and industrial good it can unlock—others would destroy it—but some would have the power for world domination.