The year is 2454. Three centuries of peace and a hard-won golden age have come to an abrupt end. The once steadfast leadership of the seven Hives is crumbling, soured by corruption and deception. Savagery and bloodlust, three-centuries suppressed, have been unleashed. The terrible truth is that centuries of peace were bought with a trickle of secret murders. The killings were mathematically planned, meticulously organised to preserve the balance ? to ensure no faction could dominate. But now the secret is out, the balance has tipped, the Hives' utopian façade has slipped. Just days ago, humanity stood at the pinnacle of civilization. Now everyone ? Hives and Hiveless, Utopians and sensayers, emperors and convicts, warriors and saints ? is preparing for war.