On September 27, 1810, the French troops commanded by Marshal Massena, were defeated in the Serra do Buçaco by the Anglo-Portuguese army of general Wellington.Despite the victory, Portuguese and British are forced to retreat from the enemy, numerically superior, in order to attract them to Torres Vedras, where Wellington had built fortified lines hardly surmountable.Simultaneously, the Anglo-Portuguese command organizes the evacuation of the entire territory between the battlefield and the lines of Torres Vedras, a gigantic burned land operation, which prevents the French from collecting supplies.
This is the setting for the adventures of a multitude of characters from all social backgrounds - soldiers and civilians, men, women and children, young and old - to the daily routine torn by war and dragged through hills and valleys, between ruined villages, charred forests and devastated crops.
Highly persecuted by the French, already tormented by an unmerciful weather, the mass of fugitives continues to move forward clenching the teeth, just to save their skin, loaded with tenacious will to resist the invaders and retreat them from their country. Or even hoping to take advantage of the disarray to satisfy their basic instincts.
All of them, whatever nature or motivations - the idealistic young lieutenant Pedro de Alencar, Clarissa Warren, the malicious little english girl, the shady dealer Penabranca, the vindictive Sergeant Francisco Xavier or the lusty prostitute Martírio -, all gather by different paths to the lines of Torres, where the final battle will decide the fate of each one of them.