In 1086, a year of lightning strikes and storms, William the Conqueror launches the most ambitious project of his reign, sometimes called the Great Description of all England. He sends out Royal Commissioners to travel the realm for months on end, subjected to many dangers, collecting data for the survey that will become known to history as the Domesday Book. One night they come to the castle of Lord Robert and set in train a series of turbulent events.
But who are they and what do they really want? These questions are made more urgent when two dead bodies turn up on Robert's land. One person holds the key, but he is an outlaw with his own desperate gamble to play. Intrigues of treachery, love and revenge are set against a backdrop of ordinary village life in the few months leading up to the making of the most famous book in English history.