In the days of the first spring flood in the Year of the Gryphon the Lords of High Hallack made their covenant with the Were Riders of the Waste. Those who came to speak with the lords wore the bodies of men but they were not of humankind. They were dour fighters...men—or creatures—of power who ranged the wilderness and were greatly feared. How many there were no man knew but that they had a force beyond human knowledge was certain. Shape-changers, warlocks, sorcerers...rumour had it they were all that and more.
Exiles from afar in space and time, who had opened doors on forbidden things and loosed that which could not be controlled, they wandered until the stars moved into new patterns and they might again seek the gate into their homeland and ask admittance.
Now, in the Year of the Unicorn, they took brides from among men, according to the bargain, and rode eastwards. And among them rode Gillan, the waif, the nameless, who seemed to see beyond the shape of things that were.