The Stranger only appears when the lake's inhabitants have sinned
Charanzin is a normal farmer living on the lake. He harvests the water-wheat with his sickle oars and wishes The Stranger of the Lake had graced him and his wife Wema the chance to have a baby.
So, when he finds a baby left abandoned on the shore, while out harvesting his water-wheat, he can't find a way to let it go. Even if the Stranger won't allow it and the Enforcers will hunt him down. Particularly since the baby is wild-skinned, a race hated by those who dwell on the lake.
Enter a world of a simple people who live on the water and in fear of The Stranger that haunts their dreams.