The year is 1152 AD.
To the New Roman Empire, Cardea is nothing more than a farmer — just another faceless citizen feeding the hungry mouths of the nobility. But those peaceful days of anonymity and quiet oppression are long gone.
Both she and her mentor, Dominus, have been cast down to the Underground, a nightmarish abyss ridden with deathtraps for the broadcasted amusement of New Rome City, and the sadistic designs of its operator.
With nothing more than their wits and the strange devices on their arms, Cardea and Dominus must fight their way out of the bowels of New Rome to escape back to the surface with their lives—
and their sanity.
In 169 AD, Rome was united in celebration over the end of the Parthian War. In honor of the occasion, a Triumph was held in the Capital. The people's minds were bathed in wine, and the redness of bloodshed was overwrit by procession's end.
To further commemorate the day, Emperor Marcus Aurelius granted the title of 'Caesar' to his two sons, though only one would survive and later succeed him as emperor.
In our timeline, it was Commodus who ruled.
But history chose a different path. Commodus died and left the throne to his brother, Marcus Annius Verus. His rule was marked by prosperity, and it set in motion the centuries of growth and expansion that followed.
Thus was born a new grand empire, and at its center, the glorious Capital, rebuilt from the ground after a Hundred Years War saw its ultimate destruction: New Rome.
And buried deep beneath the shining city of hope and promise is a decrepit subway transformed into a dark coliseum, anointed with blood.
With the rapid advancement of technology, New Rome invented numerous implements with which to spread and solidify its presence. One of these, dubbed 'the Luminary,' was a high-end holographic device that could receive transmissions from the Capital and relay messages to subjugated territories. The information would come from a hologram of Caesar himself.
But what was once a tool for propaganda has since been re-purposed as a decoy device, capable of mimicking the bio-thermal signature of a human being. Dangerously unstable, the red device is Cardea's only chance of safely navigating the Underground.
Lightly scratched onto the bottom of the device is its name: 'Umbra.'