Balsa, spearwoman and bodyguard, is a wandering warrior who has vowed to atone for eight deaths in her past by saving an equivalent number of lives. On her journey, she saves Prince Chagum, and is tasked with becoming his bodyguard. His own father, the emperor, has ordered his assassination. The two begin a perilous journey to ensure the survival of the prince. Balsa's complicated past begins to come to light and they uncover Chagum's mysterious connection to a legendary water spirit with the power to destroy the kingdom. At a time when nature still holds the civilizations of mankind in thrall, a single drought can spell the end of a society and doom its inhabitants to piteous deaths. Chagum has the power to stave off drought and bring new life to his empire. However, he is accused of being possessed by an evil spirit, and must be put to death by his own father's hand.