Julius Sempronius Dominus.
Being of noble birth one hears rumours of ones family. They earned their power through corruption, they make illicit dealings with unsavoury sorts, rumours of that ilk. In most cases these are fabrications of families envious of your position and power, upstarts seeking to usurp what is your families by right and where it may have some basis in truth it is mostly wildly exaggerated. In the case of my family the rumours don’t even come close to the true horror that lies behind my line, but I didn’t know that until recently.
Born a Julius to the house Julii I was born into a certain privilege. My family have always been influential politicians in the Republic of Rome, some even rumour that we may have some connection to either Romulus or Remus themselves, though exactly which one varies with the teller. So growing up I was given an education better than most common citizenry of Rome could expect to receive, I was being groomed for power from an early age. At the age of 10 I travelled with my uncle to see visit other great nations to see how they were governed and run. Visiting Greece, Egypt and Carthage as well as many other smaller but still great city states.
When I returned to Rome at the age of 18 what would become known as the second Samnite war had been on and off for the last 15 years and the Samnites were looking to restart the hostilities, this time joined by the Etruscan city states . So me and some of my friends and family enlisted in the legion. I know you may not believe it to look at me now but as a young man I had quite a good physique. So I was trained in how to use the gladius and pilum and even learnt some wrestling, though I’ll admit that was more for fun than military reason, taught basic tactics and we were sent out to war. We thought it would be fun, we thought it would be an adventure. It wasn’t the fun adventure any of us imagined but oh was it glorious! Within the first year we had won a series of victories against the Etruscans at Perusia and the victories again the Samnites followed too. After only 3 years of fighting the Etruscans sued for peace but in like weeds fighting to take place in a garden the Umbrians, Picentini, and Marsians decided to throw their lot in against Rome, not that it mattered four short years later the Samnites sued for peace and the war ended. After 7 years of serving in the legion the second Samnite war was over. I wish I could say I played a large part in contributing to the victory but unfortunately that just wouldn’t be true I was just a legionary who was there, part of the Roman war machine who was lucky enough to come out of it all alive. I’ve lost much of the little skill I had in combat back then in the years since too so don’t ask for a demonstration. I leave my fighting now to my man servant, he has been an able and loyal protector to me for the past decade or so.
So aged 25 fresh out of the legion I decided now was the time for me to join the family business and actually try my hand at politics. 6 years Later when what they insist on calling the third Samnite war broke out I was a respected up and coming Quaestor, and as such didn’t have much to do with the politics of the war other than some basic work ensuring the legion maintained its supplies . But everyone agreed it was a job well done, I refuse to take credit for something that was already put in place and so easy to manage though. I don’t think the third Samnite war can really be called a war. They attacked something that was rightly ours and the consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio Barbatus ended their threat and any further hope of them being a threat in only two years.
Rome enjoyed 10 years of relative peace after that other than some minor skirmishes to enforce our hold on the regions we had taken by right of conquest. My political career was blossoming I had left behind the ranks of Quaestor and was now a Praetor. When Thurii requested military assistance from Rome and the consul at the time decided to send a fleet into the bay of Tarentum to aid the city against its rival city. Tarentum however saw this as a breach of a longstanding treaty we had with them which forbade Rome from entering Tarentine waters. As such the city of Tarentum attacked our fleet sinking many ships and sending the rest away. I was sent with the diplomats to try and diffuse the situation however the terms that Tarentum were proposing were unacceptable and after consulting with the heads of the republic it was decided the only option we had left was war. So I probably played a large part in instigating the events that followed: Rome’s declaration of war Tarentums plea to the King of Epirus for help and Pyrrhus accepting and landing an army in Italy.
The five years it took to win the Pyrrhic war were busy for me and much of it passed in a blur but I was in the political arena earning renown and though I didn’t have much to do with the war effort as such I was one of the men who bought Carthage into the war on our side when they refused Pyrrhus’s offer of an alliance one of my proudest political moments.
In the eleven years since the end of the Pyrrhic war I went on to become a Tribune and was kept busy by the Plebeian council meetings both as the president and an observer of the other tribunes who had called a council meeting.
I retired from politics three four ago at the age of fifty five happy with what I had achieved in my thirty year political career, receiving the Cognomen Dominus in my final years and having a reputation enough to secure me for the rest of my life, I was looking to settle down. Not having a family of my own I had considered taking a young wife who might yet make me a father.
Those plans were scuppered last night. One of my ancestors came to me in my chambers, My great grandfather or great great grandfather he claims he lost count of the lineage. Either way a man of my ancestry who had no rights to be alive at the great age that would make him came to me and explained about our family secret, that members of our family were often chosen to become vampires and a large portion of our families’ success is due to this vampire heritage. He then told me of the necropolis and the goings on of the last year and of the families’ need of a successful, experienced politician to ensure our legacy amongst the undead. With that I wasn’t given much of a choice. He’d already explained about the Masquerade to me and in revealing himself to me as a vampire he had made it clear I had only two choices the embrace or perish. I am an old man but I am not ready to die yet so I chose the embrace. So here I am a 59 year old fledgling vampire and it’s time for me to step into a new political arena……………. I am actually quite excited.