Professor Edward Johnston leads an archaeological study of the village of Castlegard, near LaRoque Castle in Dordogne, France, the site of the 1357 hanging of Lady Claire, sister to Arnaut de Cervole. Her martyrdom led France to win the Hundred Years War against the English. Johnston's team includes Scottish archaeologist André Marek; Johnston's students Kate Erickson, Josh Stern, and François Dontelle; and his son Chris who is infatuated with Kate. While excavating a nearby monastery, they find a sarcophagus containing the remains of a French knight with a lopped ear, holding the hand of his lady, an unheard-of practice for the time.