Three-Rivers possesses the power to command the thunderbirds and slip through the folds in Time. When he tricked Burnt Man and stole his thunder-hoop, he promised to make this up to his estranged benefactor by bringing the picture maker called Leonardo out of the past. Since Leonardo is just a Whiteman, Three-Rivers is not so concerned about his rights, and means to steal him into the future.
Bruco fought with DaVilla and Cortez, and now serves the red-skinned sorcerer Three-Rivers in a quest through Time that will bring him uncomfortably close to his own past.
Hyacinth is a twice widowed Dine` [Navaho] in service to a time-bending Iroquois prophet whose judgment and mental health seem erratic at best.
Leonardo is a toiling apprentice to Maestro Verrocchio, who—being a poor student of Latin—despairs of ever winning the patronage of the leading Florentine families. What kind of devil’s bargain would he be willing to make to fulfill his artistic ambitions?