A member of the imperial court, and former favorite of Nero, Marcus Salvius Otho seeks to become the childless Galba's successor. When he is snubbed for another of the new emperor's favorites, Otho decides to take the mantle of Caesar by force. At the same time, the governor of Germania, Aulus Vitellius, is proclaimed emperor by his legions, leading Rome into civil war.
In the east, the empire's fiercest general, Flavius Vespasian, has been embroiled in suppressing the rebellion in Judea over the last two years. With nearly one third of the entire Roman Army under his command, he wields formidable power. At first attempting to stay above the fray, and with the empire fracturing into various alliances, Rome's most loyal soldier may soon be compelled to put an end to the Reign of the Tyrants.