"Getorius, a physician, and Arcadia, his beautiful wife and medical apprentice, embark on a journey during a time shrouded in mystery.
Getorius and Arcadia are summoned to determine the monk's cause of death. Shortly after, the couple, along with several other colorful characters, are invited to the palace of Galla Placidia, a Gothic Empress and mother of Flavius Placidus, the Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
While on an impromptu tour of the palace's new mausoleum, an ancient papyrus is found in a booby-trapped wall niche.
One by one those present at the discovery of the papyrus begin to die.
Getorius and Arcadia know the contents of the papyrus could have a huge and devastating effect on not only the empire, but on the future of mankind as well. Wondering when they themselves could fall victim to the killer, they try to answer seemingly endless questions. Was the papyrus forged? Who hid it in the booby-trapped mausoleum? Who knows about it, and what will they do with its contents? And what is the meaning of the symbol of a cockerel or rooster that keeps appearing in unexpected places?"