March 1367. King Edward is impatient. He wants his privy councillor, William of Wykeham, confirmed as Biship of Winchester, but Pope Urban V is stalling, deterred by the man's wealth and political ambition. Owen Archer heads a deputation from York to Fountains Abbey to win support for Wykerham from the powerful Cistercian abbots. Trouble erupts as a friar and Ned Townley vanish, following news of a murder at Windsor. The King's mistress, Alice Perrers, becomes involved.