AD 400. Rome and its Empire are failing . . . Veteran cavalry commander Marcus Flavius Victor sets out with his regiment to make what may be his final tour of the forts along Hadrian’s Wall. Through a combination of military prowess, brutality and bribery, Marcus has spent twenty years keeping the savage Picts at bay. Feared by his enemies and hated by his superiors, his strength of will is the only thing that has held the disgruntled, poorly paid garrisons of the Wall in place as the failing Roman Empire’s grip on Britannia weakened. Yet as this tour of the wall progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that this is much more than a routine inspection. Why is Marcus stripping the defences of cavalry to strengthen his own force? Is he negotiating with the Picts or conspiring with them? And who is the mysterious 'blood-father’ who lurks in the shadows? Segeduno, Cilurno, Brocolitia, Vindolanda: each fort holds a memory, an old friend, hides a rival, or an outright enemy, and it now seems Marcus will betray or cheat any of them to achieve his goal. But what is Marcus Flavius Victor’s ultimate objective? Is he building an army to save Britannia. Or is he willing to risk a bloody civil war to seize the province for himself?