Orestes was a cruel, cold and inhospitable world.  Its first colonists were survivors from a crash landing, clinging to survival via strict socio-political controls.  Over the generations life grew somewhat easier but the code remained – misdeeds and errors were paid for with blood. At one time, all miscreants were executed.  Now a social death is imposed.  Every Oresteian city has a colony of ‘ghosts’ – ostracised citizens who must survive somehow without help from the ‘living’. But galactic civilisation is spreading.  The old ways are under scrutiny.  The Oresteian aristocracy will fight for the status quo, but they have not reckoned on the power of a thousand ‘ghosts’.