Rome 83 AD


Emperor Domitian (Titus Flavius Domitianus) is a 39 year old grim, able administrator and a competent general who conducts intelligent campaigns. The son of Emperor Vespasian, Domitian may have had a hand in the death of his brother, Titus, Emperor after Vespasian.

Domitian is popular with troops in the field as he is improving the lot of soldiers. He wears military costume, is tall with a ruddy complexion, and is going bald. Treacherous and secretive, he has an extreme nervous condition, is generally regarded as lazy and likes to trap and kill flies with his stylus. Domitian is very suspicious of plots.

Senators, freedmen and others have been arrested, tortured and executed on charges of conspiracy. This massacre of the nobles and the Senate has Rome afraid of him. Domitian has ordered several Vestal Virgins be put to death for impurity. He orders strict supervision of public morals and persecutes the Jews and the Christians. His niece Flavia Domitilla supports Christianity and helps Christians escape persecution.

The Colosseum – originally called the Flavian Amphitheatre, stands on a marshy site between the Caelian and Esquiline hills near the lake of Stagnum Neronis.

Day One, Prison Beneath the Colosseum

Imprisoned are Jews, Christians, Senators, nobles and freedmen. Also imprisoned is Tribune Aquila Sabinus Tatianus, knight of the Praetorian Guard (Equestrian Order) who has been wrongly accused of conspiracy against the Emperor.

Tatianus has been tortured (beaten by rods) into confessing his involvement in an assassination attempt on Domitian. He is grievously injured and will die soon. Sharing his cell is a Praetorian Guard foot soldier, a tourist named Monico from a Roman Province, two Christians, a Senator and a Jew.

Preparation for tomorrow’s festival and their deaths in the arena.

Night One

Seven Vestal Virgins are imprisoned in cells across the hall from Tatianus. He recognises one as his sister, Julia. The Vestals have been accused of impurity by Domitian and sentenced to be executed.

Visit by Livillia (Lillane) to convert Tatianus into a ghoul so that he will survive in the arena. She arrives with the guard bringing the evening meal, having willed all in the immediate area not to notice her. She merges with the dark then appears to the group in the cell.

Tatianus calls her a Daughter of Proserpine (Goddess of the Underworld). Livillia corrects him – she is a Daughter of Lilith. The Jew is horrified as he now knows that she is a vampire.

Livillia succeeds in convincing Tatianus to accept her by telling him he can save his sister. If he protects Julia until dusk then the Emperor will grant them freedom. Livillia takes a small silver dagger and cuts open the vein in her wrist, then offers her wrist to Tatianus, who drinks her blood. His wounds begin to heal.

Livillia leaves by “stepping into the dark”, then accompanying the guard who has returned to collect the plates.

Day Two, The Games

Begins with a parade of participants (prisoners in chains and guarded by Gladiators – some few women warriors), beasts and their handlers, performers, etc. Domitian and his entourage arrive mid-morning.

In the mid-afternoon Tatianus, his cell mates and the Vestals are taken to the arena. Blood, sand, beasts then gladiators. Three of the Vestals are killed by lions, as are both the Christians, the Jew and the Senator. Finally, at dusk, Tatianus combats some gladiators over Julia and the three other surviving Vestals. The crowd wants Tatianus to die (thumbs up).

Livillia enters minutes after dusk to “persuade” Domitian to spare the survivors, including Tatianus and his sister. She influences 55,000 people to give the thumbs down, signal of mercy, and Domitian has no choice but to agree.

Night Two

Livillia heals Tatianus by giving him more of her blood. Tatianus says farewell to his sister, Julia, as he is now Livillia’s, body and soul, a “creature of Lilith”. Tatianus leaves Julia in the care of the Praetorian Guard foot soldier who also survived the arena. Livillia and Tatianus then escape from Rome to the villa of Flavia, the Emperor’s niece.