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In the ancient mists of time, a ragged band of refugees takes to the icy sea to escape the war-torn Scythian plains of Indo-Europe. Although the Cruithne, named for their chief, find a new home in a distant and unfamiliar land, fewer than two hundred survive the perilous journey. In the solitude of the northern Scottish highlands, they build an isolated civilization on the ideals of freedom and peace. For thousands of years, they conceal their existence from a predatory world.

But now an insatiable thirst for conquest has brought the Romans to the shores of Britannia. After easily subduing the southern barbarian tribes, the Romans are astonished by the stuborn resistance of the Cruithne, whom they call the "Picts." Although the Picts have always been a loose affiliation of tribes, the extraordinary threat to their very survival now inspires them to unite under the leadership of one indomitable man: Calach.

Can Calach guide the new Pictish nation to victory over the inexorable Roman advance, or will the Empire that has swallowed so many before them determine the Pict history?

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