December 18, 2017 at 12:35 am #3825
Requiem for Britannia
The year is 58 AD and Rome stands astride the world like a colossus, ruling the greatest empire the world would see for centuries. In the past century, Rome has climbed to ascendancy triumphing through bloodshed and upheavals that would have toppled lesser civilizations. In 49 BC, Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon, pushing the faltering Republic to the point of no return. Two civil wars later, there was a victor and Augustus Caesar was Princeps of Rome and, in 27 AD: the Empire was born.
Now it is the golden age of Rome and the world trembles under the heel of the Empire. Armies fall, kings beg to be servants while slaves and riches pour into the capital. While Rome worships and venerates the statues of Augustus, his grand legacy has begun to show cracks. With the death of Claudius four years ago, his nephew Nero now holds the throne and some whispers the decadence and debauchery in the streets and once noble houses has penetrated the palace walls.
And as above so below. In the dark places beneath Rome, the Kindred of the Julii, the dark offspring of Remus and the dark magic of the abyss, have fashioned an empire the likes of which the undead have never seen and never will again: The Camarilla. As Rome has grown fat on the wealth and slaves of the conquered, so too, the Kindred of eternal city have hoarded the finest treasure, occult secrets and stolen blood. And like the slaves above, the childer of Rome hold up their fattened elders hoping only for the scraps from their tables.
In this chronicle, you will play some of these young kindred, carving our your own piece of the world of darkness beyond the gates of Rome—or die trying.
Even as Rome’s wealth and reach expands, the wealth and territory is increasingly in the hands of the fattened elders who have ruled the Camarilla since the nights of Remus. Indeed, Rome has become so fat with undead that even the squalid mobs of the Peregrine Collegia spit on the young. With few prospects, you serve your masters in your chosen wings, hoping for scraps when one night, rumors begin to circle of dark threats in the untamed lands to the north. Battered and mutilated soldiers have returned from the front telling strange tales. Some whisper of the feared nemeses, the Strix. Even the lupines in hushed tones growl tales of stranger entities still…hosts, ridden…Idigam.
As the elders cower in their lairs clutching their treasures and relics, the call goes out: Britannia must be brought to heel. As the living must serve the Empire, so must the dead observe the sacred Traditions. Those who bring order to the fierce wild will see rewards and all debts owed will be paid in full. Few have the courage, fanaticism or desperation to risk such a campaign. You and your coterie are those Kindred. And you will return to Rome though the triumphal arch with a crown of laurels, or your ashes will paint the wild lands.
Players will take on the role of Camarilla Kindred or their ghouls between 50 – 100 years of age. To reflect this age, players will begin at Blood Potency 2 and may increase through merit dots to a maximum of 3. Players will begin character creation with an additional 5 XP.
The chronicle will use Vampire the Requiem 2nd Edition rules. Please use the following character sheet:
Characters can be from any clan detailed in Requiem for Rome including: Daeva, Gangrel, Julii, Mekhet and Nosferatu. Bloodlines are subject to storyteller approval.
Characters may serve in the following Wings of the Camarilla:
These four Wings are as follows: the legislative Wing of Ancients (known colloquially as the Senex), the militaristic Legio Mortuum or Legion of the Dead, the religious Wing of Prophets (known colloquially as the Cult of Augurs) and the catch-all Wing of Strangers, known to its members as the Peregrine Collegia.
Characters may not be Unbound.
Character Creation notes:
The purpose of your coterie is to impose Camarilla order on the province of Brittania, the conquest of which was begun a decade ago under Claudius and continues to this night. There are many dangers in the wild lands of the north but there are many ways of dealing with them. Diplomacy, seduction, military conquest and good old fashioned blood and circuses will be more effective than a single neonate coterie marauding the countryside with brute force.
What does your character want out of the conquest of Britain?
This may change over the course of the story, but before making the treacherous journey to an island in the untamed wilds, it will likely help to design a character with an eye to why a vampire would take such risks. Following are a few goals that may give you some inspiration.
The Senex: The Senex is firmly under the control of the Julii elders and significant advancement is nigh unthinkable for decades. The few opportunities to demonstrate one’s usefulness to the august body are as likely to mark an ambitious neonate as a liability to jealous elders as an asset. However, a kindred who had brought order to so wild and dangerous a province as Britannia is undoubtedly capable of managing a prime territory like the Suburra or the Aventine. Especially if the population of elders were to swiftly drop in the unlikely event of say a great fire later in Nero’s reign. Due to the elder stranglehold on the body, player characters will not be able to purchase more than a single dot of Senex status at the beginning of the chronicle.
The Cult of Augurs: The Cult trades in forbidden knowledge and the names and rituals of dark gods. New rituals and deities to call upon are always in high demand. The Camarilla knows precious little of the bloody rites and divine geometries of the Druids and would be willing to pay a high price in status and wealth for those who could bring the powers of their dark gods to service the Empire. And of course, every Augur knows the power of a good old fashioned blood cult. The great cults in the eternal city, once small gatherings in the Cloaca Maxima now boast grand temples and are run by monsters of exceptional power and magnetism. Such monsters do not like competition. Britain, by contrast, is an island crowded with untapped blood, ripe for the taking.
The Legion Mortuum: The Dead Legion thrives on glory, and while victories over untamed barbarian Kindred brings such glory, victories against the dread nemeses the Strix rumored to run wild in Britannia bring near god-hood. Of course, if there’s no one there to see the victories, they can be exaggerated as you please. And the legion has first claim to the spoils of war: flesh, blood and occult.
The Peregrine Collegia: The dregs of the Collegia, ground under the heel of their own elders and those of every other wing have nowhere to go but up. Not only could fine service in Britain lead to a career in a more fashionable wing, but the upper echelons of the wing of Strangers grows as wealthy and fat as any other. While the togaed Patricians sneer at commerce, the Strangers have no such taboos. And the markets lay largely unexploited. Southern Britain already has a brink trade relationship with the Empire, and there are percentages to be extracted from gold and pottery as readily as blood, slaves and exotic occult relics. They may call you the Strangers, but everybody knows a guy who knows a guy, and you control the product and you set the price.
Other reasons to go:
Freedom: No Patron demanding and raising blood rent at will, no Senex regulations (beyond the Traditions of course), no grovelling for feeding rights, no permission to sire and no percentage owed to anybody. Sounds like paradise, if you can survive.
Praetorship (Princedom): The cities in the south of Britain are bustling as the old forts become urban centers and build Roman style baths and amphitheaters. And for now, they are unclaimed. Why go back to Rome to serve a few rungs up the ladder when can rule in wilds and answer to no one?
Human Resources: It may seem counter intuitive, but the provinces are probably one of the most under-utilized paths to power in Rome. Young Roman Patrician men must serve as officers before they may enter politics. And the young ambitious officers and generals here who survive will return to become governors, senators, priests and even emperors. Many common soldiers will die or go to farms, but others will return to Rome to become Tribunes of the people, bodyguards to the wealthy and more than one returning legionnaire has risen to the top of the criminal collegia. Even slaves can be well placed in the highest or lowest of Rome. Identify talent early, get the blood in now.
Diablerie: Of course its a flagrant violation of the sacred traditions, but then again, the Camarilla’s not here. And if the stories are true, there are powerful, old vampires here.
More to come…
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