Zayne'is entered in the Dueling Duo Tandem Open, and he has had a special handicap forced on him by threat of death!'Aubin, the inexperienced, backward son of a veteran warrior-hero, will be his partner in the preliminary battles! Zayne must make sure his partner survives the duels until the last round, but he can't figure out what is behind Aubin's entrance in the battles. That is, until'Jarael'discovers that what drives the duel sports is a slavery-based "farm system" that provides the warriors. Jarael, Gryph, Rohlan, and Zayne must save Aubin and bring exposure to what horrors lie beneath the surface of the duels.