Surrounded by enemies, Prefect Marcus Venandus launches a bold stroke to eliminate one opponent in the coming war. The key to his plan is the fortified border town of Centinela—the Sentinel of Southern Morganita. Its fortified walls are strong enough to delay conventional forces for weeks, giving the other enemy city-states plenty of time to invade Amatista from the east. Yet, one thing Marcus has learned in the Jeweled Hills is that the locals do not understand the full capabilities of legion-style infantry. Can he take advantage of their ignorance to neutralize Centinela? Or will his risky gambit cost Marcus and his allies the war?