So begins a great adventure, and a great friendship as well: Shalm, a sullen hay baler / corn desheather / warrior, fleeing deadly secrets from her past seeks a mysterious penance: a single drink of mead.
It will be harder than she imagines. The Lich of Lichigan and his servants have forced the city of Firestone to drink poisoned waters. Now, the desperate residents have consumed every potable drop of cider, wine, beer, and yes, mead. In her honey-driven quest, Shalm stumbles upon Jayn, a mischievous scrollmaster who speaks of a legend: a silver sieve that can purify the most polluted waters.
This is a treasure that could be traded for the finest mead in the realm (and maybe help the poor people of Firestone along the way); but the Sieve has been lost, and Firestone is full of enemies, from jealous magistrates to murderous managers to vast terrors without name and beyond time. Shalm and Jayn have but one night to seize the Sieve and claim their reward… but much may happen before dawn.