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Aeterna Roma RPG

Paying Respects (Tib. Claudius)

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September 74CE

One of Quintus' first projects since assuming power in Rome a decade earlier had been to allot funds - where it could be spared - to restoring public buildings, and especially temples. Rome itself had taken her fair share of damage in the chaos of the political uprest that saw several riots, and near warfare in the streets of the city. One building that had received special attention was the Mausoleum Augusti - where the ashes of the family of Caesar were interred.

From Divus Julius to Claudius, including all their children and wives (those so honored at least), the Mausoleum held within it the remains of some of Rome's finest (and most villainous) leaders. Quintus had ensured that the ashes of his late sister, Lucilla, were interred. He had also had an urn created for the mostly detested Caligula, as he was the father of his wife, and set it as a reminder of the power each Caesar held, and what could come as a result of its misuse.

On that very day, 136 years earlier, Divus Augustus had been born. Quintus saw it as an opportune time to speak with the young men whom - at that time - were on paths to inherit the stewardship of Rome. Having already spoken with his son earlier in the day, Quintus had invited his nephew Tiberius to meet him at the mausoleum after his day of meetings had been concluded.

If he was entirely honest with himself, there was something about his nephew that Quintus liked. He of course cherished his own children, and though they had not been born into the purple (save for Drusus) they had taken to the spoils of their increased statuses with gusto. In Tiberius, Quintus saw pieces of himself. Born a mix of two houses - one ancient and decorated, the other coming into its fame; born the shadow of his father, and forced to live up to - or over - such expectations. Yet, Tiberius had faced even more. Had things gone as Claudius undoubtedly planned them, Tiberius would be emperor... perhaps with Quintus or another uncle as his adviser or protector.

Yet, he had instead given up his Caesarian name and remained a Claudian. Quintus intended to test his resolve on that matter.

"Ave, nephew," he said, when Tiberius came into sight.



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"Ave Caesar." Tiberius greeted his uncle formally, showing respect for the position he held in the empire and bowing in acknowledgement before meeting Quintus' gaze squarely. He was a youth on the cusp of manhood, still showing the occasional flashed of youthful impetuousness or mischief, but already viewing the challenges and burdens of adulthood with a seriousness and intelligence that belied his bloodline. Even so, he still had much to learn, and Quintus, Caesar, Uncle and adoptive father, was one of his primary role models.

The location that Quintus had chosen for their meeting could not be idle, and Tiberius looked around, noting the urns of Caesars past and their families, many their own family but some not. Some loved, some loathed, but all treated with respect at the end, as their role deserved. There was a lesson here, in the solemnity of the mausoleum, even as there was in the foolishness of Saturnalia; they were all as equals before the gods, and if nothing else, deserving of dignity and respect. Approaching the shrine to the Gods near the entrance, Tiberius carefully placed the offering of incence that he had brought into the bronze bowl, next to a piece which was already smouldering, so that it would catch and fill the mausoleum with the scents of resin and spices.

Offering placed, Tiberius looked across at Quintus, blue gaze solemn. "You asked for me, Uncle?" No doubt with good reason; Quintus was a busy man, though not too busy to ensure that his nephew had the appropriate care and upbringing. Tiberius counted himself lucky, he had lost much in the purge, but there were those who had lost more. At least he still had family.


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Quintus looked to his nephew wearing a small grin on the corners of his lips. Age had softened some of his features, though his eyes remained as piercing as ever - a trait he shared with Tiberius.

"I did," Quintus responded. He began to walk around the Mausoleum, taking in the likeness of all the former rulers of the empire, noting how they had all chosen to be likened to Augustus. He had always favored his mother, and therefore was more Cornelian - more of a pointed face than the rounded foreheads of the Julians and squared jaws of the Claudians. He assumed the artisans would liken him to Augustus as well, when the time came.

"I've always been a man to get right to the point, so I'll spare you small talk about your studies and the like." The truth was, Quintus was terrible at holding such conversations. He knew all he needed to know about Tiberius, and if there was something he found himself curious about, he'd ask the boy's tutors to get an unbiased opinion. "I believe it's time you see the greater empire, Tiberius. I've been planning, or considering, various diplomatic missions that need the attention of the men in our family. I need your uncle Octavius in Rome. Jullus is in Germania. And Lepidus' new name carries a different sort of weight than what is needed." He spoke, of course, of his youngest brother whom had been adopted into the Aemilii-Scauri as Marcus Aemilius Scaurus Alexander.

"Tell me, what have you heard of the situation in the east?"



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