When a Germanii village is savagely decimated by the Nineteenth Legion of the Roman army, the young warrior Guntram is captured and bound for the gladiatorial school of 1st Century Pompeii. He has had to watch the horrific murders of his mother and sister, but he has also witnessed the survival and abduction of his sweetheart and young brother; if only for their sakes, he determines to channel his relentless fury and formidable strength into ensuring his own survival.
With time and several joyless victories, the tribesman and his Spanish sparring partner win the partial liberty of living outside the gladiatorial school, in between preparing for their next rounds of mortal combat. This affords Guntram the consolation of his love for the beautiful Judaen girl Chayna, yet his sights remain firmly set upon winning the ‘rudis’ – the traditional grant of complete liberty for those rare champions who survive long enough to win the heart of the mob.
Servannus, an enthusiastic sponsor of the games who is remembered by Guntram as the Tribune to the Nineteenth Legion, has not taken the fierce gladiator’s oaths of revenge lightly. Guntram's freedom is set to carry a higher price than he can have imagined, sending him on a harrowing journey that will lead him to the famous historical battle of the Teutoberger Forest, where he longs to settle old scores and pick up the pieces of his broken past.