Eight hundred years ago, the Witch Queen unleashes the Black Plague to wipe out humanity. A band of knights, including a widowed Kaulder, whose family had died in the plague, storms her lair and in the ensuing battle, Kaulder manages to defeat her. Before dying, the Witch Queen curses Kaulder with eternal life.
In the present day, Kaulder prevents a teenage witch, Bronwyn, from unintentionally destroying an airplane with weather-controlling runes stored in her luggage. Kaulder is revealed to be working as a witch hunter for the Order of the Axe and Cross, an organization which aims to keep the truce between humans and witches (allowing witches to live freely providing they do not use magic on humans) and either executes or imprisons the witches who break the law. He is aided by a priest called “Dolan”, a tradition carried from the first priest who fought in the battle to destroy the Witch Queen.
The 36th Dolan tells Kaulder that he is retiring from his duties and has chosen a new Dolan for him. The former apparently dies in his sleep that night. Kaulder and the 37th Dolan deduce that 36 was murdered by a witch. While tracking down the witch, Kaulder finds traces of old dark magic, not seen since before he killed the Queen. It is revealed that 36 is not dead but, rather, under a dark magic spell that can only be broken if the witch that cast it is killed.