Centuries ago in an unspecified rural location, a small village of farmers spot a mysterious cloud of smoke coming from the outskirts of their land. This occurrence might not seem extraordinary, and certainly not any cause for alarm, but to the villagers it signifies a change in the air. It means that outsiders are nearby, perhaps watching them. Are the owners of this smoke cloud friend or foe? No one can be sure at first, but when the village master’s dovecote is destroyed by a fire, the fearful community turns to the mysterious smoke cloud for answers. As they soon learn, the fire belongs to a small family – The Beldams – that has set up camp near the village, and though they may look harmless enough, someone must pay for the crime that has been committed.