In the year A.D. 9, three Roman Legions under Quintilius Varus were betrayed by the Germanic war chief, Arminius, and destroyed in the forest known as Teutoburger Wald. Six years later Rome is finally ready to unleash her vengeance on the barbarians. The Emperor Tiberius has sent his adopted son, Germanicus Caesar, into Germania with an army of forty-thousand legionaries. The come not on a mission of conquest, but one of annihilation. With them is a young legionary named Artorius.
"My new favorite. Where's the rest of the series?!"
It is December 1878, and war looms on the horizon in South Africa. British high commissioner Sir Henry Bartle-Frere seeks to dismantle the powerful neighboring kingdom of the Zulus and uses an incursion along the disputed border as his justification for war. He issues an impossible ultimatum to the Zulu king, Cetshwayo, demanding he disband his armies and pay massive reparations. With a heavy heart, the king prepares his nation for war against their former allies.
In the spring of 1812, the British army under Sir Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Wellington, has driven the French from Portugal. With Napoleon obsessed by the invasion of Russia, Wellington turns toward Spain. The way is barred by two fortresses, Ciudad Rodrigo and Badajoz. When Ciudad Rodrigo collapses after a short siege, Wellington prepares to break the fortress of Badajoz, the most formidable stronghold in Europe and commanded by the seasoned warrior, Baron Armand Philippon.
"The horrors of war"
It has been three years since the wars against Arminius and the Cherusci. Gaius Silius, legate of the 20th Legion, is concerned that the barbarians - though shattered by the war - may be stirring once again. He also seeks to confirm the rumors regarding Arminius' death. What Silius does not realize is that there is a new threat to the empire, but it does not come from beyond the frontier; it is coming from within, where a disenchanted nobleman looks to sow the seeds of rebellion in Gaul.
In June of 1815, Napoleon Bonaparte's attempts at reclaiming the French Empire are destroyed on the field of Waterloo. With the Bourbon monarchy restored to the throne of France, King Louis XVIII seeks his revenge against many of Napoleon's former generals. While many are sent into exile, the fanatical royalists demand that one in particular pay with his life. That man is Michel Ney, Marshal of France; called by both friend an enemy as "The Bravest of the Brave".
In February, 1815, after nine months in exile, Napoleon Bonaparte, the deposed Emperor of the French, escaped from the Isle of Elba. Seizing the initiative while the European powers bicker amongst themselves at the Congress of Vienna, Napoleon advances towards Belgium with an enormous army, where the combined forces of Prussia and England are cantoned. In Belgium, Captain James Henry Webster has finally returned to a line regiment after being terribly wounded at the Siege of Badajoz three years prior.