A young merchant finds himself embroiled in the conspiracies and intrigues of Hadrian's Empire when he inherits his family's business after his father's murder.
Vibius Juventius Stolo is the youngest of three sons born to a Conductore in Massilia. The attack on his father's merchant boat and the murder of everyone on board leads him to take over his family's business while consumed by revenge. In his quest for justice, Stolo finds himself inducted into one of the most daring legions in the whole of the Empire as a Condoctore and takes advantage of a conflict against Parthia to pursue the pirates. Along the way, he is joined by a motley crew of ex-gladiators, soldiers, slaves and nobles to whom the promise of battle and recognition in Rome is more precious than gold itself. Stolo will find that true friendship and love are a rarity amongst the people of Rome, and that his quest will disturb the schemes of more powerful foes than mere pirates.