This story takes place long after this collapse. The tiny remnant of mankind that survives has settled in to a more traditional tribal pattern. The hero of the tale lives in a monastic-like walled university, where the last books, and readers, preserve the tales of mankind's lost heritage. While browsing the in the ancient university library a young scholar finds a lost manuscript that tells of a "Place of Going to the Stars" far to the West. He then takes up his bow and his pack and leaves the safety of the universitiy walls to confirm the truth of the old myths and legends for himself. His travels are through a forgotten, wild, and savage America and read more like a tale of the frontier than of the far future.