It's 11th century Italy. The Byzantines rule the South, but do so in the face of constant revolt from their unwilling subjects. The Lombards, heirs to a northern tribe, are no exception and their leader, Arduin of Fassano, brings into the conflict the fearsome mercenary brothers, the de Hautevilles, to help him in his quest.
The sons of Tancred de Hauteville are following in their father's footsteps. As knights, they have but one true purpose: to fight. But denied service with their duke, they are forced to take employment as mercenaries: their unequalled battle skills are for hire to the highest bidder.