Requiem for Rome
Vergilius Ambustus is a wiry, longhaired man with steel-blue eyes and a strange, hard look. He has a long scar running diagonally across his chest, from one shoulder to the bottom of his ribcage, and another, shorter one across his lower back. He wears the clothes of a lowly merchant – most likely stolen straight off the back of a hapless mortal. It’s clear that Ambustus is not of Roman stock. His features are foreign, his latin is accented, and his demeanor is savage. His native language is a Pictish tribal cant which sounds unbearably guttural to cultured Roman ears.
Vergilius Ambustus was once a tribesman of the Caledonian north named Talorc, a fierce little man
caught up in the endless battle along the walled front of Britannia. He fought in more than one campaign against the Roman invader, often applying his skills to sneak into enemy fortifications and slay soldiers in their sleep. If he’s to be believed, he cut the throats of thirty men with his own hand in those nights.
Whether his stories are true or not, Talorc was brought low by the blade of a surprised centurion late one night, and his unconscious body was thrown over the wall,
where it was assumed he would succumb to his (obviously mortal) wounds. A wolf emerged from the nearby brush, though, and dragged him under cover. The last thing that Talorc remembers of that night was the hot breath of the wolf as it looked into his eyes, as if searching for something.
The next night, he arose from the pitch, made Gangrel. The wolf became a man, and it told him that he was to face the monsters of the south in the name of his Gods and tribesmen. Talorc didn’t understand what was happening to him, but he was perfectly happy to take advantage of it to further harm the enemy. Only later, when he learned that he could never go back to his people and never again see the sun, did he realize that undeath was not the great blessing he had assumed. When attacking the Roman soldiers one night, Talorc noticed the Kindred of the Legio Mortuum at work, fighting off the Caledonian Gangrel. He saw them slay his sire and all of the Gangrel he had come to know, as well as most of his tribe, and he withdrew to the shadows rather
than die at their side. He trailed the soldiers of the Legion for some time, studying them and their ways, wondering if he could find a way to make them pay. Never quite finding the right opportunity, he ended up following them all the way back to Rome, where he found other Caledonian
Kindred like himself – former slaves or warriors – who were happy to bring him in and show him where the enemy’s command originated. He was named Vergilius Ambustus (for the rage that burns within him), and advised to keep to the Peregrine Collegia, where he was safe, while he grew in strength and experience, assured that the night for vengeance was sure to come.