The threat in the shadows of the second empire, the House of Romulus is the most known but least obvious of the Renegades. It is the dark mirror of the Remii philosophy, and the threat that keeps the Scarlet Brotherhood in power. Mysterious and well-hidden, the House of Romulus is the greatest threat to the Atlantean way of life—to those that believe they exist at all…
Ironically, the gravest threat to Ramius’s empire came from his own older brother. Lord Romulus, like this brother, was known for his courage and skill in the socio-political battlefields that was the Senate of the First Atlantean Empire. It was their mental fortitude and indomitable will to survive against all odds that endeared these two brothers to Lilith and later to the Cult of Lilith.
It was the immortality that Lilith gave Lord Romulus and his brother that gave the Atlantean Senate of the First Empire pause, and cautious in allowing either brother into a position of power within Atlantis itself. Rather than deal with the possibility of Lord Romulus taking over his father’s seat on the Senate, and being that much closer to the Atlantean Throne; the fearful Senators of the First Atlantean Empire decided it was easier to send Lord Romulus to the province of Italia (modern day Italy). In those barbaric lands Lord Romulus would rule over the barbaric humans as a vassal king under the control of the Atlantean Senate and the Emperor. Fearing retaliation on the part of Lord Ramius, the Atlantean Senate gave him command of the Phoenix Legion and sent him and his legion to Italia to join his brother as a protector of the province. In this one action, both brothers of the House of Italus were removed from Atlantis and the threat of a Lilan Emperor was removed. This action on the part of the Atlantean Senate saved the two brothers from the cataclysmic fate that awaited Atlantis millennia later.
How does a man survive when his entire culture has been destroyed? Lord Romulus and Lord Ramius both watched in horror as the Atlantean Dark Ages fell upon the globe, and all the wonders of their age were torn asunder. The loss of Atlantis affected both brothers deeply. To Lord Ramius, watching the humans destroy the relics of his great race showed him that they were mere children, needing the guiding hand of an older and wiser people; Lord Romulus, however, saw the sinking of Atlantis as a sign that their time as rulers of the world was over. Like all things and civilizations, Atlantis had had its time and it was now time for the humans to begin ruling over the world. This is where the philosophies of the two brothers diverged. In the aftermath of Atlantis and its terrible fate, Lord Romulus attempted to rule over Italia with his brother acting has his trusted military adviser.
In the beginning of their joint rule of Italia, all seemed well, Lord Romulus would handle all of the decisions that affected the kingdom as a whole and Lord Ramius would step in only when military force was required.
Under the reign of King Romulus, the small farming village of Alba Longa became the central power in Italia, and the dominion of Romulus prospered during his long reign. Throughout his reign, Romulus gave the humans the cultural secrets that he believed personified the greatness that was the First Atlantean Empire. Lord Ramius during this era sat back and watched with great discomfort as his brother began teaching the lesser race of humanity secrets that he truly felt that they did not deserve the right to ever possess. Lord Ramius sat in the shadows manipulating humanity as if they were but pawns to be used in his quest for greater power and influence.
Because of Romulus’ connection with humanity, both brothers began spending less and less time together and their relationship began to fray. But finally in 717 BC, Romulus decided it was time to step down from the throne and allow a human successor; Numa Pompilius to take up the reins of power. This one decision was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back, finally the two brothers clashed with one another.
Because Romulus chose to name a human as his successor rather than turning the throne over to his brother Ramius, Lord Ramius conspired with the eastern Atlantean Sorcerers of the House of Draco an attempted to murder his brother. A terrible storm of supernatural power and ferocity descended on the Villa of Lord Romulus, during the course of the storm many of Romulus’ most trusted allies were slain and the next morning when Lord Ramius’ servitors went to identify the casualties, all of the bodies were so badly mutilated that no definitive identification of Lord Romulus’ remains could be made. All assumed that he was dead along with his advisors.
One night later, Lord Ramius was looking over his new dominion from the top of Palatine Hill and that was where Romulus finally caught up with him. Enraged, Romulus accused his brother of trying to have him killed and attempting to undermine the power of the new king of Italia; Numa Pompilius. Ramius scoffed at Romulus and drew his gladius; the two fought a great and terrible battle and in the end, Lord Ramius sank his sword into his own brother’s flesh. Thinking his brother dead, Lord Ramius took Romulus’ body to the River Tiber of let the river remove the evidence of his fratricide.
It was perhaps the murder of Romulus that personified Ramius’ belief that Atlanteans must work together or risk destroying everything that they had left of Lost Atlantis. Through the subtitle manipulations of Lord Ramius and his pawns, the Roman Kingdom began its long era of decline. In just under three centuries, Lord Ramius was able to erode the legacy of Romulus. And in a single night of bloody carnage, the last of the Roman Kings; Lucius Tarquinius Superbus met his end and shortly therefore the Republic of Rome was established.
Through the Roman Republic, Lord Ramius was able to manipulate its people in a way he could never have before. Humanity at its core was a child raise that could be bought and sold with but a few shiny coins and kind or threatening words. Fearing possible retribution by the former supporters of Romulus, Lord Ramius set about on a crusade to rid Italia of any Atlantean families that would not support him as the one dominant power in Italia and in Rome.
From the shadows, Romulus watched in horror as the kingdom that he had built was torn asunder by his brother. He could only stand by in silence as his former supporters were run to ground and murdered by his brother and the evil Atlanteans and humans that were willing to sell their souls for the power that Ramius offered them.
In 151 AD, Lord Ramius finished his crusade to unite the Atlantean families in Italia under his banner. Lord Ramius proclaimed that he would establish a Second Atlantean Empire and it would be greater than the one that came before it. It was at this time that Lord Romulus finally made contact with his remaining supporters, if he could not help humanity out in the open, then he would do it from the shadows of the Second Atlantean Empire.
In 185 AD, Lord Romulus was able to unite those Atlantean families in Northern Italy that were loyal to him under the banner of Theodocius Scavario. In the begins of Second Atlantean Empire, Lord Ramius was looking for any Atlantean Houses that would be willing to join his newborn empire; and so House Scavario was born.
Over the years since its founding, House Scavario was an advocate for expansion of the Second Atlantean Empire into the lands previously held by the First Atlantean Empire. This urging of expansion by House Scavario led to a number of crushing and (with hindsight) obviously mistaken and poorly managed excursions into Southern Gaul.
Just because a man or Atlantean is a charismatic leader does not automatically make them an intellect leader, and this was the case with Theodocius Scavario. All throughout his reign as the Patriarch of House Scavario he ignored his mentor; Romulus’ attempts to temper his quest for justice against the House of Ramius with patience. Romulus always counseled his student that only through patience would House Scavario gain the throne of the Second Atlantean Empire and through that throne, would they gain justice and help humanity into their golden age.
In 235 AD, it all came to a head when against the wishes of Lord Romulus, Theodocius Scavario proclaimed himself Emperor of the Second Atlantean Empire and with his supporters within the Atlantean Senate, he was able to split the empire in half. For six dark months the Legions of House Scavario and House Ramius battled throughout Italy, until at the end Emperor Ramius and his forces descended upon the city of Ravenna in Northern Italy. It was at the Battle of Ravenna that the entirety of House Scavario was put to the sword and the Second Atlantean Empire was finally whole again. Upon entering the former home of Theodocius Scavario, Emperor Ramius found a single note with elegantly scrawled words in old form Atlantean on the desk of the dead Patriarch "This vendetta never ends. – Romulus." Upon seeing the note, Emperor Ramius ordered that the Scavario villabe burned to the ground.
It is said that Emperor Ramius became paranoid of everyone around him from that day forward, to the point that he would not even meet with his most trusted allies without a squad of Centurions in the room with them. To Ramius, everyone and everything could be connected to this vendetta of his Brother’s. During a dinner celebration after House McCullen had joined the Second Atlantean Empire, Lord Lucius of House Draconis was poisoned to death by a poison that none of his most trusted House Draconis sorcerers could identify. No one ever found out who poisoned Lucius, but Emperor Ramius knew. He knew that Lord Romulus was behind it and that there would be no end to the vendetta against his House.
From that date forward, the House of Romulus became a near constant threat to the very survival of the Second Atlantean Empire. From the moment that House Scavario met its end, whispers began circulating throughout the empire that the House of Ramius was cursed by memory of Romulus. Anyone that even uttered Romulus’ name in any context that was not a curse was labeled a traitor to the empire and summarily executed by the Praetorian Order.
In 623 AD, a scroll began circulating throughout the Second Atlantean Empire; it was a treasonous work known as the "Decrees of Romulus". It stated that the time of Atlantis was over and that it was humanity’s time to be the next great race. It stated in no uncertain terms that humanity must be allowed the freedom of self-determination from those machinations of the Second Atlantean Empire and that eventually humanity would have its own golden age. It stated that the House of Romulus would undertake any action that would end with the final dissolution of the Second Atlantean Empire.
From the moment that the Decrees of Romulus became known, Emperor Ramius ordered that all copies of the treasonous work be burned and that anyone that openly advocated the views in the work be executed immediately.
The House of Romulus since that day in 623 AD became an enemy to all that wanted the Second Atlantean Empire to remain in power.
Instead of legions of Centurions, the House of Romulus uses a network of Spies and unwitting and sometimes unwilling agents to achieve its goals. Its agents are known as "Ravens", and wherever they go they sow the seeds of discontent among the Second Atlantean Empire. Their information networks appear to be simply terrifying in how much they know and in their ability to infiltrate even the most loyal and secure of Houses. Major Lords of Houses to Centurions to even Antiquarians have been punished for their unwitting connections to Spies that were eventually uncovered.
It is said that when discovered, the information networks of the House of Romulus seem to be so detailed and intricate that it hints at the notion that the House of Romulus has succeeded in infiltrating and manipulating almost every House in the Empire.
The House of Romulus believes that assassination is the most appropriate modus operandi, given how Emperor Ramius attempted to end Lord Romulus himself. It is whispered that the House of Romulus has guided both Brutus’ dagger and Booth’s bullet alike, and that multiple outbreaks of chaos and fallen kings can be laid at this House’s feet. The Scarlet Brotherhood states that the House of Romulus as a cadre of warriors known only as the Celeres; that act as the personal guard of Lord Romulus. This House has used poisons, gas, and sorcery to achieve their ends without regard for honor or pause.
The Scarlet Brotherhood continues to circulate rumors of this House’s connections to the most dark and twisted sorceries, creating dark and venomous weapons similar to the Praetorian Gladius and worse items. The Scarlet Brotherhood says that assassins from this House has killed targets that were believed invincible or undefeatable.
Those that look for this Renegade House clan that its agents have been involved with such historic uprisings such as the Muhammed’s smashing of the idols, the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the death of the Romanovs, to even the collapse of the Soviet Union. Some say that Sorcerers of this House played a hand in the destruction of the Spanish Amada in 1585. However it is 1939 that most remember as the darkest deed of the House of Romulus.
It is said by members of the Scarlet Brotherhood and even the Centurion Order that the agents of the House of Romulus were vital in driving the Atlantean Highlanders of Clan MacKlintoc to rebellion in the British Isles. With their help the Highlanders were able to strike a fatal blow against Imperium forces in England, causing confusion among the ranks of the Praetorian and Centurion Orders and stopping any chance at countering their advance. While unconfirmed, many believe that his House had at least some dealing with both of the Families Fallcourt and Halloran before their turning to the aide to the Renegade Houses.It is perhaps these families that are the source of the Gladius blades that made it into the hands of the blood thirsty Highlanders. Some say that the Renegade House of Halloran still resides in the England of its birth, and that the House of Fallcourt chose to return to Europe, but no one is quite sure about these rumors.
To the Elders and Patriarchs, however, the most worrisome fact is that to many of the young, the House of Romulus is seen more as a boogeyman than a real threat to the stability of the Second Atlantean Empire. To many, it appears that that Scarlet Brotherhood simply storms into a town or city, makes claims that an upstanding citizen is in league with the House of Romulus and arrests them. Those that disappear go without trial or explanation, but it is assumed that all that are taken are executed for their perceived crimes against the Second Atlantean Empire. To many, this could be less of peace keeping and more of witch hunting and tyranny.
The House of Romulus seems to be tied to every failure of the Second Atlantean Empire in some way or fashion, even if there is little hard evidence to support their involvement –are they really such a threat, or simply a shipping boy for incompetent rulers? To the newborns of the past three centuries, raised on the ideals of democracy and free will, these events seem more like signs of a dictator than a healthy empire.
Are the excesses of the Scarlet Brotherhood really for security, or more to keep the peace at any cost? Even worse, are those that speak up against the hunt for the House of Romulus simply champions for democracy, or are they secret against rallying support for the decay of law and order within the Imperium. And them most terrifying question of all…is all this chaos being guided by the sinister hand of the House of Romulus?