In the Shadows of Rome

Guide to the Roman World

Requiem for Rome has a number of excellent resources and background for players and Storytellers but there's obviously more. Below you can find resources for making a more complete and detailed character.

  • Gladiators: Own the arena, make it your home. Whether creating a gladiator character or designing a whole chronicle set on the blood and sand of Rome's most famous past time, there's more to think about than how many opponents to fight at once.
  • The Legion: "Ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant," said Tacitus, "where they make a desert, they call it peace." Rome's massive military machine was what drove it forwards and creating characters and campaigns based around this body provides plenty of inspiration.
  • Weapons and Armor: Outfitting a character in the 3rd century? Instead of "sword" and "helmet," why not make things a little interesting?

The Awakened in the Roman World

Character Creation Template

Hereditates

Not all mages follow the same traditions and the invocatores of Rome recognize six different hereditates or "inheritances" which mages across Europe fall into. The Roman mages claim that these all come ultimately from the lost kingdom of Atlantis through the Greek scholars of past ages and they actively try to reduce new traditions into these terms. Other peoples don't always appreciate this dismissal of their customs, of course, and the Awakened of Rome are just as imperial in their enforcement of tradition as their Soporati countrymen.
The hereditates are defined by Roman virtues which each magical tradition inherits from their progenitors. A master arcanist possesses all twenty of the virtues, usually starting with the three that come most naturally based on his hereditas. The more a mage represents the perfect man, the closer he is to Ascension.

Aside from these common hereditates, there are a number of smaller or more localized groups that also claim members.

  • Cult of Sol Invictus: The imperial cult popularized by the emperor Aurelian has drawn a few willworkers, eager for power and intolerant of other hereditates. They may be few in number but many have high positions within the Roman imperial machine and pose a threat to other mages.
  • Sons of Sabazios:
  • Warriors of Cernunnos:

Legata

"Legacies" but also "Embassies" or "Deputations." Often simply how a group presents itself to the mages of the Empire.

Lexicon

Evocos: One of the Awakened, a mage. Plural Evocotes.
Invocator: A mage, one who "speaks into being" magical effects. Plural invocatores.
Regna Superna: A Supernal Realm, one of the higher planes of being which mages strive to reach. Plural Regnae Supernae.
Soporatus: A Sleeper, one who is not Awake to magic. Plural Soporati.
Thiasarius: A mage of the Path of Thistle, a member of the inebriated retinue (thiasos) of Bacchus. Plural thiasarii.
Venenarius: Barbarian wizard traditions, as opposed to the invocatores of civilized lands and the herediatates. The name is related to veneficus or drug-making and foreign mages are stigmatized as purveyors of trance drugs and simple halucinations. Plural venenarii.

The Created in the Roman World

Prometheans

The Forsaken in the Roman World

The Empire of Rome has spread over Europe like a choking mass of ivy. Their hard stone roads crisscross the landscape, allowing their armies to march like lines of ants from battle to battle. The hunger of the Empire is insatiable and for centuries it has been hungry for new conquests and new peoples to tax. Long ago, there are free areas and small kingdoms which the Uratha lived amongst, both the Forsaken and the Pure. As Rome has grown to control more and more of the world, however, free lands have become smaller. The Pure Tribes have struck back but even they are dismayed by the war machine that is Rome. The Forsaken Tribes generally choose to live among the Romans, striving to fix the wounds wrought by this unprecedented control in the veils between the physical world and the Shadow.
Perhaps things may have been different if some of the People had been among the Latins all those centuries ago. They lived among the neighboring tribes, the Etruscans, the Sabines, the Volsci, but the Latins knew no Uratha. As they expanded, they turned the peoples from the old ways to the high temples and golden statues of Rome.

Tribus Indiligentes

The Forsaken Tribes live mostly within the limits of Roman influence or just beyond it. They are determined to work within the bounds of the Empire's laws, having seen the chaos and destruction of both lands and human life that can happen when that power fails. The Forsaken remember the fires and genocides that followed civil wars and are not eager to see those again, though in these troubled times war and political strife seem all but inevitable. Many Forsaken packs have turned away from Rome and actively seek to bring down the Empire, tearing at its foundations in the hopes of building anew. Others cry out that they are aiding the Pure Tribes, their blood enemies, and that the darkness that will follow Rome's fall will benefit no one. The tide is not in the favor of pro-Roman tribes, however.

  • Blood Talons: The aggressive Blood Talons live especially among the peoples of Africa and the Near East. The Berbers of Numidia, the Jewish tribes of Judaea, and the sea raiders of Cilicia all have many of the Suthar Anzuth in their villages. Blood Talons also frequently find themselves hired as auxiliaries assisting the legions, traveling far and facing new enemies.
  • Bone Shadows: Keeping the ancient rites alive as Christianity sweeps through the Empire, the Bone Shadows are oracles and seers who garner respect and fear from the tribes they live among. In Gaul, in Greece, and even in the former Etruscan lands of Italy, Bone Seer packs watch and wait for the fiery future they see awaiting Rome.
  • Hunters in Darkness: In the rocky valleys of Hispania, the forbidding peaks of the Alps, and the distant frontier of Britannia, there are wild places where even the order of Rome has not made much of an impact. Here the Meninna run free, keeping alive sacred groves and beautiful springs too precious to be entrusted to humans. They were left behind as primitive worshippers generations ago and now they watch with trepidation as the Roman Empire becomes Christian.
  • Iron Masters: The rock-spirits of the Seven Hills of Rome, the Nile's soul in Alexandria, the ocean's splashing children in Athens. All of these spirits are shepherded by the Farsil Luhal, werewolves willing to live not just among the Romans but as part of their great machine of Empire. They protect land by influencing the bureaucracy of Rome, preventing devastating wars and pushing for tolerance of ancient traditions. The new capital of Constantinople, however, has turned into a dangerous ground even for the Iron Masters so comfortable with cities; the Christian emperors have no need for old ways there.
  • Storm Lords: Rome is built on the achievements of many peoples, and the Storm Lords have been behind many of those civilizations. The noble philosopher-kings of Greece, the mighty Etruscan and Sabine lords who ruled alongside the Roman kings of old, and the powerful chieftains of Gaul all had Iminir among their numbers. The Romans are no longer interested in pedigree, however, and now rule goes to whoever has the largest army. Try as they might, the Storm Lords find their advantages slipping away and watch in frustration as the Empire slips slowly into petty fighting.

Tribus Intermerati

The Pure Tribes have no interest in working within Roman society. They hate it and, if they are honest, fear the change it brings. No longer do humans seem bound to their cities and farms, these Romans have marched across the face of the world like a gathering storm and scatter other peoples in front of them. For the first several centuries they were underestimated and dismissed by both the Forsaken and the Pure tribes. Then the Pure found themselves displaced and killed by the vampires' Legio Mortuum and the powerful Roman sorcerers. They pulled back behind the arbitrary "frontiers" set up by the Romans and regrouped to teach them a lesson. The Anshega are not a patient people and their fractious packs could not push back the Romans, only keep them at bay.
Now, however, things are different. The Pure have a new ethos, a Confederacy, which binds them all to a common purpose. They work together to reestablish the old order, when humans were afraid and the world was vast and terrifying. The three tribes of the Anshega, scattered throughout the frontier regions, tear down civilization and watch the remains burn with the light of purity.

Lexicon

Many of these terms are taken from the Forsaken by Rome setting presented in Dark Ages Companion.
Indiligens: One of the Forsaken. The Indiligentes live with the shame of having betrayed their forefather, the
Magna Mater: The Great Mother. Associated with many Roman deities, though Roman werewolves usually mean the earth goddess Gaia.
Ancile (pl. Ancilia): One of the twelve Saturi members of the Council of Eagles and Lightning. Named for the sacred
shields of Rome.
Aquila (pl. Aquilae): Hybrid wolf, eagle, lightning magath that function as legion Totems linked to the Magna Mater;
legion standards after the Marian reforms.
Brekan Protectorate: The alliance of Blood Talons that hunted Skadin in the second millennium BCE.
Council of Eagles and Lightning: A.k.a. the Council of Jupiter, and in later years the Lodge of Seven Hills; the Romulan Protectorate’s guiding council of Ancilia and Salii. Membership in this prestigious lodge is for life. When a seat is vacant, the respective family decides upon the replacement. The Council arbitrates disputes between Urdeshga and claims authority over all Uratha within the Protectorate. Led by dual Augurs: the Augur of Eagles and the Augur of Lightning.
Evocatio: Roman rite to sacrifice foreign gods to Rome, performed by the legions.
Fa-ninnalu: Vampires living in Rome; the descendants of Remus.
Foederati: Conquered allies bound to support Rome with troops but who are not Roman citizens themselves. Used by Roman Uratha to describe allied werewolves who refuse to vow allegiance to the Council of Jupiter but remain willing to fight with or for the Romulan Protectorate.
Lares: The inhabitants of the Roman Hisil.
Lupi Album: The name of the Saturi before Hathis-Ur adopted them.
Magna Mater: The Spirit of Rome; the Great Mother.
Marisi: The Roman Farsil Luhal families, including Wolf-Blooded and human members. Originating in Etruria, they have only plebeian status in Rome.
Paeon: The Greek Izidakh who claim descent from Apollo.
Romulan Protectorate: The combined territories of all packs that identify as Roman. Note that this area is not necessarily contiguous, and is not perfectly synonymous with the borders of Roman territory.
Salius (pl. Salii): One of the twelve Marisi members of the Council of Eagles and Lightning, named after the leaping
priests of Mars.
Sangghullu: Lightning spirits used in the Rite of Shackled Lightning.
Saturi: The Roman Tzuumfin families, including Wolf-Blooded and human members. Every patrician family descends
from the original Saturi families.
Skadin: Southern Scandinavian lands, including the islands of the Baltic Sea.
Teresh: One of the seafaring peoples that raided across the Mediterranean four centuries before Rome’s founding.
Urdeshga: The First Tongue term for the Roman Uratha. Encompasses all Saturi and Marisi families. By the time of the Roman Empire, it also includes those Uratha who swear allegiance to the Protectorate.

The Lost in the Roman World

The Sin-Eaters in the Roman World

The Vigil in the Roman World

Nobilis Orders

  • Birds of Minerva:
  • Egabalites:
  • Legion Argentum:
  • Malleus Maleficarum:
  • Omada Cheironos:

Plebian Orders

  • Aegis Kai Doru:
  • Arval Brotherhood:
  • Ascending Ones:
  • Circle of Three:
  • Sons of Viriathus:
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