In third century Rome being a freedman doesn't exempt you from punishment, even when you've done nothing wrong. Here is the story of a gladiator granted his freedom by an Emperor, only to be caught up in the web of a treacherous patrician whose wife has been murdered. He abducts our hero, tortures him, but soon learns that some men will not talk whether they know the answers or not. Powerful forces are at work for both the good citizens of Rome and the evil. The only question is can one strong man hold out long enough for the good to put their plan into action.