Death and Harlequin are trapped at the borderline of a living that can no longer laugh, and a dying that can no longer die.
The Emperor of Atlantis declares a holy war; there will be no survivors. Death, offended that his role has been usurped, protests by going on strike. From now on, he will allow no one to die.
The Emperor of Atlantis faces the total collapse of society brought about by Death's abdication. However, he may be able to convince Death to return. For a price.