The Many Worlds of Loneclaw

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Loneclaw
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The Heirs of Lucius

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:34 pm

Lucius wanted to follow Caesar and Augustus’ example by having a capable and young successor. He saw potential in one of his biological nephews, Gaius Septimus Lepidus, and adopted him to groom as his heir.

Around this time, Lucius divorced his first wife for adultery and married Fabia, and her son from a previous marriage, Decimus Livius Maro, became his step-son.

Rome invaded Albion in 819 AUC (66 AD). Most of the lowlands had been conquered by 824 AUC (71 AD), establishing the province of Britannia.

Following a political scandal involving public crossdressing, Lucius no longer considered his adopted son Gaius to be fit to be his heir in 835 AUC (82 AD) and had him exiled to an island.

Lucius then adopted his step-son Decimus, but intended to find a more suitable heir. Shortly after this, Lucius was poisoned by his wife, who hoped that Decimus would inherit the Empire with his death. Thanks to the timely intervention of the Praetorian Guard and Lucius’ physicians, he survived, but this had left him permanently scarred both physically and emotionally.

Lucius had Fabia and Decimus executed, and from then on he didn’t let anyone but the Sagatlae or his most trusted physicians get close to him. He never remarried, and over time Lucius grew increasingly paranoid and distant.

Distrusting everyone, Lucius decided to break with tradition and had his physicians create a clone son of himself. The boy, Lucius Secundus, didn’t enjoy a normal or healthy childhood; his father isolated him from everyone save from himself and their slaves.

Eventually, Lucius came to believe that his physicians were conspiring with his enemies around 839 AUC (86 AD). He had some of them executed for this perceived plot, and he didn’t let the rest anywhere near him or his son unless it was an emergency.

In 845 AUC (92 AD), Lucius died of a heart-attack. His son Lucius Secundus thus became the most powerful person in the known world, and he was only 8 years old.

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The Boy Imperator

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:36 pm

The Senate pushed for Lucius’s exiled, adopted son to be made Imperator, but the ever loyal Sagatlae were adamant on honoring Lucius’s will and serving his clone. The Senate were outraged and horrified, but there was nothing they could do since the Sagatlae controlled the city and the legions.

Being surrounded by slaves and guards who obeyed his every whim, it didn’t take long for Lucius Secundus to become spoiled and mad with power. He spent most of his time indulging himself at the expense of everyone else. It was only thanks to Rome’s bureaucracy and provincial autonomy that kept the Empire from crumbling. Additionally, the Praetorian Guard stepped up and became more involved with governing, as the young Imperator frequently asked them to handle his duties.

When Lucius Secundus reached his teens, he came to understand that the Senate and people of Rome saw every member of his family as being more legitimate and deserving of ruling the Empire than him. He had himself never met anyone in his family, other than his father, so his solution to this problem was simple: he ordered that his entire family was to be killed. While most of them perished, some were able to escape the city and went on to live in hiding.

As the Imperator reached adulthood, he became more infatuated with the games. He organized extravagant spectacles and even fought as a gladiator himself. He made arrangements to make sure that he always won, of course, but Lucius Secundus had severely underestimated just how far his enemies were willing to go to kill him.

In 863 AUC (110 AD), the gladiator Pernix killed the Imperator in the Colosseum, and did it so quickly and unexpectedly that the Praetorian Guard were unable to intervene. While Pernix was executed for this, all of Rome collectively breathed a sigh of relief at the death of Lucius Secundus. But this was followed by the horrifying realization that there was no one to succeed him.

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The Sagatla Imperatrix

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:38 pm

Septima, the Praetorian Prefect, stepped up and grabbed the reins of the Empire as Imperatrix. She assured the people of Rome that this was only a temporary measure and that it was done in the best interest of the Empire. The populace was not convinced, however, and viewed this apparent power-grab as the beginning of a new tyrannical reign. To their surprise, the peace, prosperity, and stability Rome had enjoyed prior to Lucius Secundus was restored.

While she was a capable administrator, Septima had no idea who to pass the reins of the Empire to. If they went ahead and reared a child to serve as a future Imperator, they would likely end up with either another power-mad ruler or a puppet of whoever raised and educated him.

Septima asked the Senate for advice, who, naturally, suggested that she either return power to them or choose a senator as the new Imperator. She didn’t like these ideas, since every one of the senators were self-serving, and restoring the republic to the way it was before Augustus would have likely only led to the same kind of instability and unending civil wars that had facilitated his rise to power.

Septima ruled the Empire for five years and spent most of her free time reading works on history, politics, and philosophy. Over the course of her rule, the Sagatlae developed a stronger sense of civic duty.

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The Rebirth of the Roman Republic

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:40 pm

In 868 AUC (115 AD), Septima reformed the republic and returned some of the power back to the Senate, but in this new republic someone from the Praetorian Guard would always hold the position of Imperatrix, and with it came the ability to completely overrule the Senate if it was deemed to be in the best interest of Rome. Naturally, the power of imperium (the power to command the military) would rest solely in the hands of the Imperatrix. Once the Senate and the Imperatrix had gotten used to this arrangement, the now restored Roman Republic rose to greater heights.

Under Septima’s guidance, Rome conquered the rich lands of India through a series of military campaigns that lasted a little over twenty years, ending in 891 AUC (138 AD).

The influx of spoils stimulated the Roman economy, which was already booming thanks to the growing population. Between the Atlantean farming techniques, genetically engineered crops, and the adoption of the Seresian seed drill, agriculture became much less labor-intensive. This in turn allowed a large segment of the population to specialize, further enriching the economy.

When Septima died in 895 AUC (142 AD), she was deified and joined the Roman pantheon - the last Roman to ever receive such an honor.

Large outbreaks of disease hadn’t bothered Rome since its adoption of Atlantean medicine. The only notable incident was the Plague of Yuval, which appeared in the eastern part of the empire in 916 AUC (163 AD), but it was halted in its tracks within four months by an effective vaccine, and the disease never struck the empire ever again.

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The Barbarian Menace

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:43 pm

A large minority of the Roman population (about 16%) had come to consist entirely of asexual female creati. This was because the slave market and medical profession had made it far more profitable to create these, rather than male-dependent creati, who were not only costly to produce but even more expensive to simply facilitate healthy reproduction. This all-female minority wasn’t just large, but kept growing even larger.

While the barbarians on the northern borders were unable to produce their own creati, many propagated to their lands, which made them a greater threat. The asexual female creati had daughters who grew up among these tribes and usually, due to their greater physical capabilities, rose to high positions. The Sarmatians in particular became quite powerful, due to already having a long tradition of warrior women, which allowed them to expand westwards.

As the number of asexual female creati grew in the barbarian lands, the tribes in which they could more easily dominate the warrior class conquered their weaker neighbors, leading to a radical change in the political and cultural landscape outside the empire.

Although Rome’s legions consisted of a mix of immutati and creati citizens, the barbarian armies attacking her borders came to consist entirely of creati using similar warbeasts as the Roman army, making them much more dangerous. While Rome was able to retain its frontiers, the push from the northern barbarians ground their expansion to a halt.

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The Discovery of Terra Nova

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:45 pm

Rome discovered Hesperia (Hispaniola) in 964 AUC (211 AD), and when they later realized that it was a group of islands around 967 AUC (214 AD), they named the region the Hesperides. The native people were easy to conquer and it didn’t take long before the Republic established a few colonies in those distant lands. They soon came into contact with traders from the surrounding mainland, which they simply referred to as Terra Nova.

The Romans were surprised to find that the land of Mutulia in the west possessed technology similar to their own. What they didn’t know was that many Atlanteans had fled westward when Rome conquered their homeland, and had then been assimilated by the locals. Since then, the city of Mutul (Tikal) had carved out an empire of its own, but still had rivals in the north, such as the Be’ena’a Kingdom (Zapotecs).

Over time, maize, tomatoes, tobacco, cocoa beans, vanilla, and peppers spread to the Roman Republic and beyond, while grapes, olives, horses, elephants, rhinoceroses, donkeys, mules, pigs, pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, large dogs, cats, and honey bees spread to the Hesperides and Terra Nova. The horse, in particular, revolutionized the lives of many Terra Novan peoples in the mountains. They abandoned sedentary agriculture in favor of a nomadic lifestyle based on hunting bison on horseback and moved down to the plains.

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A New Millennium

Post by Loneclaw » Wed May 30, 2018 1:49 pm

It is now a thousand years since the founding of the city of Rome and Imperatrix Tiberia rules the vast empire alongside the Senate. In the west, Romans are colonizing the Hesperides, trading with the mainland, and fighting pirates, while in the east they are working to fully integrate India into the empire, and struggling to keep the silk road secure against steppe nomads so that Roman envoys and traders may safely travel to the exotic land of Serica.

Meanwhile, Rome is working to overcome the barbarian threat on its northern border. Although the northern barbarians have developed impressive armies, the spread of roman technology and ideas into their lands is beginning to change them, Romanizing them.

The southern border is either flanked by a natural barrier of sea and desert, providing some security for Rome. Nevertheless, the number of chimaerae and mutati adapted to these environments are growing, and they are beginning to cause trouble for the empire.

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