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Aberrant RPG - Nova Rome: Rule Brittania


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Time to return to an old favorite:


719 A.U.C. Brittania:

Unbelievable! Ceasar must be warned! thought Flavius Marcellus, loyal Praetorian and shapeshifting spy as he joined the throngs of people going to the gathering at the center of what was once a Roman colony.

The crowds of peasants and warriors had been gathering in Camulodunon for two weeks to hear the words of the Bear King of Eire, who had been busily conquering all of Britannia with his cadre of Novi, called the Fianna, since the Ides of March in 709 A.U.C.

Before he could leave, Flavius Marcellus needed to know the nature of the Bear King’s greatest weapon, which had decisively turned the tide of many of the battles the Fianna had with other Novi. They called it “The Sword” or “The Steel-Cutter”

As the crowds neared the area set aside for the gathering, one of the Novi bards attached to the Bear King’s entourage called out to them, his voice carrying with supernatural clarity “Welcome to the noble warriors and loyal subjects of Breatain Mhór! The Bear King bids you welcome! Come now so that you may hear of the greatness and glory that the Lord of Breatain Mhór prepares to shower upon us all!”

As the bard continued to “warm up” the crowd Flavius Marcellus took in the scene, the formerly rather primitive settlement was now a city in truth, the powers of the Bear King’s followers had re-made Camulodunon into a shining metropolis that could soon rival Rome itself. The powers of the Novi druids kept the lands surrounding it extremely fertile and insured that inconvenient rain only fell between the hours of midnight and dawn.

These people are a strange blend of civilized and savage mused Flavius Marcellus as his eyes swept over the city, pausing briefly at a row severed heads along the outer wall of the King’s Palace.

Flavius Marcellus was pulled from his musings and a hush fell over the crowd as a gateway of light opened up on the platform they all were gathered in front of. Swiftly, the nine most loyal of the Fianna swept out of the gateway to take up positions of honor around the emerging king.

Flanked by a druid on each side, the Bear King emerged from the gateway of light, he cut an impressive figure, bedecked with gold, armor and weapons he looked every inch the warrior king. Eschewing a crown, The Bear King wore instead a filigreed helm that concealed his eyes and hair from view and complimented it all with a bear-fur cloak.

“People of Camulodunon! warriors of Breatain Mhór! Rejoice!” The King spoke, his voice amplified by the powers of one of his Fianna. “Where once we were many peoples, we are now one people with many voices! Where once we were poor, and made the most of little, now we are wealthy and make more of great plenty! And where we once lived under constant threat of the Roman sword, we now make ready to end that threat forever!” The combined powers of the King and his Fianna held the assembled people spellbound, all but one spy…

“With the strong arms of our warriors and my Fianna, combined with the powers of the druids and my Sword, we shall strike out as never before and bring glory to our people!” As the Bear King spoke, one of the druids flanking him turned his head toward the king and whispered something too low to be heard even by those close to them. “Even now,” the King continued “the Roman vipers send a spy among us to find what weaknesses they may to aid them in taking our new kingdom from us!”

Flavius Marcellus suddenly realized that he could not move and as he did, he noticed that the crowd was moving away from him as if by some unspoken command. When the crowd had separated themselves from the spy, the Bear King and his retinue descended from the stage to confront him.

“So…” The King said in perfect Latin as he approached “At last the Ceasar turns his eye back toward our part of the world.”

The Bear king stopped before the paralyzed spy and regarded him coolly from beneath his helm. “Dafyd, my advisor, has pulled from your mind that you have been here for many months, and have gathered immense knowledge of my lands and their conditions in that time, why have you lingered so long and risked your death in coming here among the strongest of us?” The Bear King inclined his head for a moment as though listening to an unheard voice, and then he started laughing.

“Oh ho! You wished to know of the Sword, of Steel Cutter?” The Bear King laughed “Very well, you brave Roman viper! You shall!”

With that, the Bear King took off his helm and pulled back his hair, revealing that his left eye was covered by a gold adorned leather patch. As this happened, Flavius Marcellus realized that his paralysis had suddenly ended and he was now only frozen by his own fear of these terrible men.

“I will show you the Sword, spy, and I will tell you that the greatest druid in Eire has given a prophecy that the Sword of the Bear King will destroy the invincible Roman dictator!” The Bear King roared as he reached up and removed the patch over his left eye, revealing a baleful red radiance in place of a human orb.


As the Roman spy turned to run, a bolt of fearful red light leapt from the left eye of the King, spearing him through the middle, causing his body to be consumed from the waist down by unnatural red and black fires. Through the pain of his onrushing death, Flavius Marcellus saw the King of Breatain Mhór come to stand over him, that red eye glaring down in fury.

“Thus shall be the fate of all who stand against us” he proclaimed “Thus shall be the fate of all who stand against King Balor of Breatain Mhór! Whose sword of devouring fire strikes down all enemies!”

As Flavius Marcellus felt the last of his life ebb away, he heard the battle cries of the Fianna and felt a great dread for what was to come for the family he was leaving behind in Rome.

“Diord Fionn!”

"Breatain Mhór go Brách!"


This is my newest idea for expanding the Nova Rome setting described here

The problem is that I'm not too up on Celtic culture. I have some ideas though, such as the druids being the masters of Quantum gadgetry instead of regular science and the Celts making an alliance with the ancestors of the Norse to face down the Romans.

This was going to be the big, epic finale of my original test run of the setting, but the game fell apart before it reached that point.

Which is a good thing, because I actually have little more than a few ideas.

So, who knows Celts and would be willing to throw a few ideas into the setting?

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Ok... My idea for the Celts was that they were explicitly not the good guys in this, nor were they irredeemable Black Hats, King Balor and some of his cronies are not in it "for the people" of course, but the real problem with the Celts is that despite their shiny city and druid-created Quantum gadgetry, they are stuck in the past, in superstition and darkness. While the Romans are hardly cold, atheistic men of science, they have the worldview needed to advance as a culture. Roman steamtech is world-building, culture expanding stuff, Celtic "magitech" is neat, but it won't advance a culture.

Truthfully, whether or not Balor kills Ceasar or not, the Kingdom of Breatain Mhór is doomed. Despite the legendary Celtic ferocity and the scary powers Balor and the boys bring to bear, the Romans are just better. Rome has more novas, better armies, better supply lines and less dependence on Quantum powers for their infrastructure maintenance.

The stories from this have some serious potential though either as Romans either defending the Empire or profiting from the chaos in one way or another, as doomed Celtic heroes attempting to win glory or save their people from the warmongering of their power-mad King (Balor is an early carrier of Taint, could ya tell?), or even as secret Novi of the Black Order attempting to profit from the war with Britannia to overthrow Ceasar.

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Truthfully, whether or not Balor kills Ceasar or not, the Kingdom of Breatain Mhór is doomed. Despite the legendary Celtic ferocity and the scary powers Balor and the boys bring to bear, the Romans are just better. Rome has more novas, better armies, better supply lines and less dependence on Quantum powers for their infrastructure maintenance.

Very well thought out. There's a real temptation to introduce new factions much stronger than the current ones (i.e. the 'can you top this' issue) and I'm glad to see you're avoiding that.

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