Etruscan civilization reached its zenith around 280 BCE. Etruria's neighbor, the small, upstart Republic of Rome, is fighting for its survival. The Romans, who are the descendants of the Etruscans, are locked in a bitter struggle against the Greeks in the South. Faced with the fears of fighting on two fronts, and confronted with dwindling resources, the Senate sends the Centurio Lucius (who has Etruscan roots) on an unusual mission. His goal is to negotiate a peace agreement with the twelve Etruscan cities that will secure the survival of Rome. His difficult journey is colored by magical and sensual impressions. Whereas at the outset, the signs seem to point to success, in the end everything turns out much different than the ambassador had planned, as intrigue, murder and blasphemy abound signaling what might be the beginning of the end of Etruscan civilization.