The story takes us to the town of Pytlov at the foot of Pervidle Hill. The locals, who live the normal life of craftsmen or peasants, may not even know that all their misdeeds and misdemeanours are carefully monitored by the local branch of hell. Sins are recorded fairly and unerringly by the magical Devil's Quill.
But one day, it stops working. Lucifer decides to entrust the delivery of a new Devil's Quill to the Pervidle branch to the slightly confused devil Boniface. It's the best assignment to give the young devil a taste of the world. Boniface sets off for Pytlov and his very first experience is to have his magic quill stolen by a local con artist. This sets off a chain of events that sees Pytlov taken over by the local cunning, lazy and deceitful people, who eventually manage to imprison the ruler of hell himself.