A mysterious band of pirates plunders the Mediterranean coast - leaving destruction in its wake. Empires fall, but out of the chaos, we discover iron. Armed with this wonder metal, ordinary folk can overthrow tyrants and build a new world order.
Genghis Khan, the bloodiest warlord in history, sweeps south from Mongolia into China and creates a mighty empire. He leaves 40 million dead bodies in his wake. But a greater killer stalks Mankind - the Plague.
Gold from Africa kickstarts the rebirth of Europe. Money flows into Venice, creating new opportunities for entrepreneurs willing to take risks. In China, a new weapon, the gun, allows a peasant uprising to unify the country.
The Aztecs have built a mighty empire that dominates Central America. But it will be destroyed because of a domino effect. 7,000 miles away in modern-day Turkey, the great trading center of Constantinople is overrun by an Islamic army.
In the Andes, the Spanish open up the largest silver mine in the world and mint millions of pesos de ocho (pieces of eight). These coins transform the global economy. They fill the treasure chests of pirates.
Two great revolutions entwine. The American Revolution inspires dreams of political and personal liberty. The Industrial Revolution replaces muscle power with machines, freeing Mankind from nature's limits.