Synopsis by Thomas Doran

Scotland. The year is 1617. Duncan Hamilton and his two Highland warrior companions, Angus and Ranald, are just back from wars on the continent. Their respite is short however as they soon find themselves on a new quest - to locate Duncan's missing foster brother who vanished in the remote south west districts - a land ruled by a ruthless magistrate, notorious for his deceitful and violent nature - Lord Lovat.

Their search brings them to the isolated, though well fortified village of Auchencairn. There have been a large number of disappearances over the years near this small place, but Lovat's judicial methods in dealing with these inexplicable events appear to be cruel even in the face of such a mystery. Innkeepers, strangers, men of property, malcontents all seem to end up being charged with the strange crimes -- and their land and property seized with alarming regularity by Lovat. Clearly he is the undisputed ruler over this part of Scotland, enforcing his laws with fire and sword as he sees fit.

Along a desolate shore is a horrible secret hidden deep away in a cavern. An aberration of a pre-history culture -- a strange, abnormal multigenerational family. There is a total of 45: sons, daughters, grandchildren -- incestuously bred, and all brought up to be relentless hunters and killers by their criminal outcast sire, Sawney Bean. Worse than killers now. Cannibals. Driven mad by hate for society and its callous maltreatment of him, Sawney and his wife fled to these desert wastes 25 years previous. And now their years of stealthy warfare against civilized man speaks for their skills. The evidence -- a mountain of human bones.

After much searching, numerous setbacks, and even more disappearances, Duncan becomes convinced that his youthful missing friend is indeed dead, though still not suspecting the true reason. A local priest, half-mad and haunting the ruins of a destroyed abbey convinces him that all who vanish here, never return. Swept away by the phantoms who rule the night -- the Lords of Darkness.

Ultimately, with the help of the Scottish king and a battalion of soldiers, Duncan strikes out for the uncovered lair of the cannibals, intent on bringing the clan of killers to a terrible retribution.


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