In the chaos of 14th-century England and France, wine is the nectar of angels - a valuable commodity buttressing kingdoms and vaulting vast fortunes. A mysterious old archer named David Arrowsmith recounts his tale to an eager French chronicler, Jean Créton, when the latter learns that his mission to Scotland seems a failure. The burden of Arrowsmith's story rests with Créton, who suddenly finds himself writing about a seemingly cursed infant that barely escapes the grip of the Black Death in rural Wales when his family dies.
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In the second segment of David Arrowsmith's dramatic narrative, nectar - the wine that flows between England and France during the 14th century - truly turns to venom as Jean Créton continues to record the man's scintillating account. This as they nervously await Hugh Lawrence of Colchester to reveal himself at the Scottish friary and reclaim the panel of saints in David's possession. The story resumes in the year 1370, when David has married the ravishing Eleanor, taken over the Pelican Tavern Inn in London, and recommenced his apprenticeship in the wine trade.