The birth of Christ never occurred. It should have, the elders insist. But it didn't. Some say old Jupiter prevented it the night he descended to seize power in Rome. Others whisper of the Dark Prince, whose minions have grown even as God the Creator's ancient voice has been silenced. Now, after 1500 years of dark ages, Europe's only hope is a sect of divinely gifted warriors known as the Order of the Ash. Their champion is torn between forbidden love and the path to truth and absolution. Little does he know that both will lead him to the same terrible place, where an ancient secret will either destroy mankind...or redeem it.