Within the span of five years, Rome is shaken to its foundations, first with the slaughter of three Legions under the command of Publius Quinctilius Varus in the Teutoberg Forest, betrayed by the German prince Arminius, then with the death of Augustus coming five years later. Within this time period, the Legions on the Rhine are rocked, first with the turmoil created by this unprecedented disaster, which is exacerbated with Augustus' decision to rid Rome of troublemakers when he forces them to enlist in the Legions in response to the crisis posed by the German victory, then followed with the uncertainty caused by the death of Augustus, a man who has controlled Rome for four decades.
Titus Porcinianus Pullus, like his fellow Centurions, must cope with the difficulties presented by the uncertainty created by the cunning leadership of Arminius, and the agitation of men who had been forced into the ranks, but it is the addition of a haughty young equestrian who has purchased a posting in Titus' Century who presents the most personally vexing and disturbing challenge. Young Gnaeus Volusenus is one of the only men in the Legions whose size and strength rivals that of Titus, but there are other similarities between the two men that guarantee they will clash. Their personal differences, however, must be subordinated when the Legions in Germania and Pannonia revolt, sending Titus on a journey that will prove to be one of the most important and troubling of his life. Nevertheless, Titus has a duty to perform, not only to Rome, but to the spirit of his grandfather, the first and greatest Titus Pullus; both the outcome of the revolt of the Legions and the honor of the Pullus name depend on him