Orion is a Subpar, a sub-species of human adapted to survive in the deadly cirium mines. It is there she toils to mine her quota so that she might be allowed to live in the Utopian city of Alara. But, this is not a fairytale, so things can only go downhill from the day she approaches her quota.
Riverkeep tells the story of Wulliam, fifteen coming sixteen, and soon to take over the role of Riverkeep from his father. As Riverkeep, it is their job to tend it – they keep its guiding laterns lit, they stop it icing over and the they have the dubious pleasure of fishing out the corpses of the drowned.