England, 1400. Winter. Blood in the snow. Henry IV has usurped the throne, and deposed King Richard II languishes in Pomfret Castle. Meanwhile the Doctor and his companions preside over New Year revels at Sonning Palace. But Sonning is a prison, treachery is in the air and murderous Archbishop Thomas Arundel will stop at nothing to crush the rebellion. As the Doctor and Barbara take the road to Canterbury, Vicki finds a royal friend, and Ian is dragged into a dark web of conspiracy at whose heart sits that teller of tales, Geoffrey Chaucer.