We fight, so the rest shall not have to.
This is the first verse of the Combat Codes, the mantra of Grievar-kin. They are the reason the world is at peace, the reason the Endless Wars have finally ceased.
Disputes between nations are now resolved solely within the steel circumference of the Circle, where Grievars square off in hand-to-hand combat, to the death. The surviving nation takes the dispute bounty: lands, resources, slaves, and pride.
But given the stakes, things are never so simple. Nations have developed Grievar Scout programs to produce the best fighters. Some round up prospective kids and pit them against each other in slave Circles to discover the strongest. And certain nations provide illicit "enhancements" to their Grievars to give them an edge - an act explicitly forbidden by the Combat Codes.
Murray is a washed up Grievar Scout who is sick of buying broken kids from the slave Circles. He’s sick of training them to become skilled combatants, only to watch them break again. He’s sick of reporting his failures as a Scout to men who don’t have the guts to stand in the Circles themselves.
Cego is a boy who doesn’t understand why he’s fighting. He doesn't understand the grueling training sessions he's forced to endure every day. He doesn’t understand why they scream for blood when he steps into the Circle. The one thing Cego does understand is hand-to-hand combat. He was born to fight.
Cego is sent down an unlikely path at Murray’s side, paved with fierce competition at the world’s most prestigious combat school along with the answers to his own mysterious past.