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The shadow of the Dark Ages lies over the western Roman Empire in A.D. 455, when Marcella Adriana, Roman aristocrat, is swept up in the disasters leading to the fall of the Eternal City. Two emperors are murdered, the city is sacked by the Vandal "King of Terrors," and Adriana's husband is kidnapped by the invaders and carried off to their stronghold at Carthage.

In a bold attempt to rescue him, Adriana escapes the ruined city and flees down the Italian peninsula, stalked by the agents of her enemy Faustinus. She must reach the palace of the Vandal king ahead of her pursuers if she is to finish her missionand save her life.
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