The Estate belongs to the Lady Dreanna and Gath leads the men who make up the Defenders who protect her and her goods from all who might seek to rob her.
These Defenders are men who have come from many lands to serve her because she promises them anonymity and safety from the lives they sought to leave behind them - for whatever reason. Those reasons are many and some are revealed as the influence of the man, Gath, is felt by them.
There are others there, however, who did not come of their own free will; these are men - and women - who have been snatched from their safe and civilised lives into another, and more brutal world, where they will learn, painfully, that there is no way back to that other life and that they must resign themselves to it because they have no choice - and in time they forget what was. Gath is called to serve in the Prince’s Guard and when he has to leave, against his will, there are scenes of great grief as he rides away for he was adored by the men on the Estate as he had been when he served the Grand Duke. With him go his servants and close friends, Oda and Zar, and others will follow.