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The insectoid, bio-technologically advanced Heolo race had never known winter until one of their spaceships, "The Rayflower", makes contact with the planetary system of Polarica and crash-lands upon the planet itself. A scouting team lead by Heolo researcher Nujuka is sent out of the damaged spacecraft to explore the frozen wasteland of the nearly destituted ice world, in the hope of finding something that can get their ship off the planet. Their quest takes them to the Techno-Western settlement of "Shift Harbour" where they are to come across the world's dead frontier denizens of Powboys, prospectors, gunslingers, bandits, lawkeepers and industrialists, all desperately trying to survive the unforgiving cold, the mysterious plauge, called the Stag, and the horrific monsters prowling the tundra. The Heolos are going to have to help these people find a way to rise out of the coldness of their post-apocalyptic world, in order to have them help the Heolos do the same. The question is; can you really save a society that is as inescapably lost as this one? Lost in the never-ending ice age known by its denizens as "the Cold Cusp".