The planet Tracto has produced some of the greatest warriors in the Spineward Sectors, but few outsiders know the truth of living in the brutal, often barbaric, yet also strangely civilized society—a society which seems perpetually frozen in the iron age.
This is the tale of one of Tracto's greatest heroes, Nikomedes, and shows how he was forged into a peerless weapon of Men by the hellishly inhospitable world of his birth. For a native of Tracto, life is nothing if not a seemingly endless series of conflicts—and no statement could be truer of Nikomedes' own life.
Few have ever accomplished as much as he managed to do at a mere fourteen years of age, and fewer still would learn the true meaning of the words 'honor' and 'tradition.' Those are words which Nikomedes eventually comes to understand mean so much more than most will ever comprehend—and, if used correctly, can even become weapons when wielded by one with the skill to do so and the character to abide by them.
He will be tried and he will be tested at seemingly every turn, but throughout his incessant tribulations he will discover an incontrovertible truth: