Through the centuries since the Greath Death, Kazi the Undying has been a feared legend throughout the Middle East. Now he is emperor and conqueror, an emperor as mad as Caligula 2,800 years ago.
In the dark forests of Sweden and Norway, where a new ice age is beginning, the neoviking tribes have their own legend—of an Yngling, a youth who once saved them from destruction and will come again in time of threat.
But they do not understand where the real threat lies.
"Now suppose there was a land where all men were thralls. No, less than thralls, because thralls at least have some rights and protection in law. Suppose all men were slaves except for one master and his soldiers. And suppose that master had the worst kind of madness, finding his greatest pleasure in the misery and degradation, the torture, of his slaves. An emperor who conquered only to enjoy the cries, the whimpers, the begging for mercy of those he ruled. A man who had lived very long and has a great army." Raadgiver leaned toward Nils. "What would you do if you lived in a land like that?"
"I have never thought of such a thing," Nils answered. "Where is that land?"
"Right now it is far to the southeast," Raadgiver answered. "But someday, perhaps soon, it may include all of Europe, even Denmark.
"And what we want you to do is kill that man."