Earl Dumarest, trans-galactic soldier of fortune, is still seeking his birthplace, the fabled planet Earth. On the distant, decadent planet Dradea, he meets the mysterious, mutant woman Veruchia. She selected him from the gladiators' arena to become her servant. . . and more. Soon, Dumarest discovers that she too is engaged in a quest - and that the fate of her planet hangs in the balance. Fascinated, compelled, he agrees to help her. But then he must face bizarre perils which make the gladiatorial arena seem a haven of safety. . .