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 [NPC][Pilum] The Eyes of the Senate - The Frumentarii of the Ninth Circle

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PostSubject: [NPC][Pilum] The Eyes of the Senate - The Frumentarii of the Ninth Circle   Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:34 pm

The distant city state of Pilum, a little known and mysterious power, has many ties to Vale and the rest of the outside world. Some official and peaceful, like the occasional tense diplomatic exchange. Some unofficial and punctuated by gunshots, like the Frumentarii, Pilum's secret police and spy agency. It is a testament to Pilorum xenophobia and hostility that the Frumentarii are active within Vale.

Originally collectors of tribute, in the form of wheat, for the Great Houses that rule Pilum, the presence of the Frumentarii among the people resulted in their role as the Senate's Eyes. This origin reflects itself in the callsign of the Frumentarius, relating to wheat or farming. The Frumentarii do not officially have a leader, with all Frumentarii answering to the Senate and left to decide things amongst themselves, but loosely organized circles tend to form, and with their small numbers in comparison to other functions in Pilorum society, a single Frumentarius can rise to become defacto leader of the entire order. This leader, presently, is a Patrician-by-marriage of House Decimus who goes by the callsign Reaper.

All of the Frumentarii possess the same basic weapons and aura abilities, thanks to Pilum's use of aura manipulation and standardization of their metabolic and nervous system boosts. For all Frumentarii, save Reaper or other special cases that have received more specialized treatment than the standard Frumentarius. Assume the below for all Frumentarii.

Theme of the Pilorum
All Frumentarii are Pilorum, be they Patricians, Plebian citizens, or even special Servi.

Symbol
The symbol of the Frumentarii is a pair of swords crossed over a sheaf of wheat.


Uniform
As the Frumentarii rely more on leaving no witnesses rather than avoiding notice, they often work in uniform. The uniform of the Frumentarii appears to be a long white coat adorned with strips of blue that appear to hang from it, and well-tailored matching black pants and tunic under it. A hood and mask extend from the coat and tunic, though most of the time they are down, and they wear heavy-looking boots. It is merely styling, as all the components attach together to become the same unit, power systems attaching to artificial muscle fibers and responsive armor weave. At a thought, the hood and mask can deploy to provide head protection, and seal the suit's environment. These low profile power armor suits are keyed to their assigned user's aura signature and DNA, allowing a catastrophic self-destruct if stolen or the user killed.

Augmented Semblance
Fio Spacium
Within a sizable radius, Frumentarii are capable of detecting the rough disposition of matter and movement, this ability weakening as distance increases. Frumentarii whose fields intersect are capable of very crude communication, relaying basic concepts without words, such as pointing out what appears to be a person within a crate, or suggesting a direction of coordinated attack. This power is a side effect of the true effect, at-will instant translocation. This effect allows great maneuverability, and can be used reactively in response to an incoming attack. One does not hide from a Frumentarius, one does not run from a Frumentarius, and one does not get the drop on a Frumentarius, leading to their terrifying reputation within Pilum and those circles that earn a gaze from the Senate's Eyes.

STANDARD ISSUE WEAPON

Name
Scire Pacem
Dual-Mode Variable Fire Bladed Dust Carbine

Primary Form
The Scire Pacem is primarily in the form of a short sword, or rather two since the Frumentarii dual wield. When cutting, the blade is reinforced with a pulsating dust-powered field of energy, providing a progressive, functionally monomolecular cutting edge. This field can be expanded to block incoming fire.

Secondary Form
In fire mode, the blade splits and tilting forward, the inside providing focal rails to generate solid "darts" of shaped kinetic energy and project them at high velocity. A small camera at the hilt, tied to the cybernetics of the user, aids in pinpoint accuracy firing from the hip.

History
The Scire Pacem descends from many generations of swords made for the Frumentari. As even the Frumentarii occasionally need to blend in, the relatively small size of the sword makes it easy to conceal in loose clothing, and its full ceramic and fiberglass construction limits its detection profile without compromising gross physical integrity. Like all Pilorum equipment, these weapons are keyed to self-destruct if separated from their assigned user outside of a controlled environment.

Explosives
The Frumentarii make wide use of explosives of many varieties, particularly liking small bombs with a very short, aura-triggered timer that they leave behind after blinking away reactively. They also employ a large number of grenades, placed plastic explosives, and small scattered mines for combat, sabotage, and battlefield control.



REAPER, THE IMPERATOR

Name
Nonus Decimi Anguis

Callsign
Reaper

Gender
Male

Appearance
Nonus is tall, fairly well built, and has close cropped brown hair. He has a prominent nose, and piercing brown eyes. His lightly tanned skin bears numerous scars, and he has several metallic protrusions on his shoulders, access points for the low profile power armor.

Out of uniform and at rest, he favors a loose, short-sleeved tunic and pants.

History
Nonus, once a fourth seat to a minor Plebian family, showed considerable promise as a Frumentarius during education and testing as a child. He followed his given path, and took to it well. He went through the modification and conditioning process relatively unscathed, and his quick adaptation to his boosts, cybernetic augmentations, and altered Aura placed him at the head of his training group.

It was as a graduated Frumentarius that Nonus began working for the head of House Decimus, Marcus Decimi Regulus, directly, on the Senator's request. While it was almost unheard of for such a young Frumentarius to be employed under a single senator, but the poaching of the promising young Frumentarius for House Decimus proved another strategic upset by the Patriarch. Nonus proved instrumental to Mark's schemes, and was placed in an arranged marriage with Vita Decimi Anguis, heir to the Anguis family that held second seat in House Decimus. It was a surprisingly affectionate political marriage, and a genuine affection blossomed between the two.

After a break-in at the Astus Fortuna arcology, he and several Frumentarii who would become his inner circle routed and harassed a team of elite Hunters who had broken into the secret research facilities within. When Dux Celementia ordered them to be allowed to escape, it was Vita who calmed Nonus. And it was Nonus who calmed her when the disappearance and assumed death of Marcus threw House Decimus into disarray. Nonus was on the forefront of efforts to restablish order as an associate of Marcus.

In the six years since, Nonus has trained an apprentice out of his servant spent a fair amount of time in Vale. The team he fought, who had violated the sanctity of his homeland, were but a symptom. They were sent by someone, but vengeance against them would do little. Vale was his enemy. His wife now holding the House Decimus seat in the Senate after her father and the late Patriarch's wife died in the fire at the Decimus Villa, Nonus has been charged with keeping an eye on things in Vale. Bringing his closest supporters, the de facto leader of the Frumentarii has begun a campaign of terror in Vale's underground, an attempt to stir up the elements that had invaded his home those years ago.

The gaze of the Senate always brings wrath, after all, and the Frumentarii are the Senate's Eyes.

Personality
Proud. Cunning. Cruel. Reaper's humble past is well behind him, and he has embraced the poise of a Patrician and leader. As merciless as he can be in his functions as a Frumentarius, his family and those close to him are dear to him.

Strengths
His training, augments, and power armor grant him incredible speed and strength. He possesses a high degree of foresight and good predictive abilities, as well as the teamwork and coordination skills necessary to be a Frumentarius.

Weaknesses
None exploitable in combat. Defeating Nonus would require a coordinated group effort, and prior removal of his Inner Circle from the battle.

REAPER'S PERSONAL WEAPON

Name
Scire Pacem NDA Custom

Primary Form
The NDA Custom resembles a normal Scire Pacem in sword mode, but the blade is a bit longer and thicker, and the hilt a bit longer. Its cutting and blocking power is unchanged.

Secondary Form
Cast Mode is what separates the NDA Custom from a normal Scire Pacem. Rather than project barrages of quiet, high power energy "darts" the limiters of the NDA Custom are removed, and its focusing arrays geared toward generating a coherent lance of kinetic energy. This beam exists for only a fraction of a second, but cleanly lances through most obstacles and imparting tremendous destructive kinetic energy into anything not breached outright. It is not uncommon for well-armored guards hiding behind concrete barriers to be torn apart by the force of this beam. While this requires more power than the standard Scire Pacem, Nonus keeps many refill cartridges in his coat.

History
The original NDA Custom was designed for Nonus after the break-in at Astus Fortuna, when he expressed a desire for a weapon with significantly more punch in dealing with threats. Several prototypes were created, though none reached Reaper's hands until after his patron's death. The weapon has gone through numerous revisions since then, and there are whispers of the beam function of the weapon being integrated into the next Scire Pacem revision as an alt-fire mode.



HARVEST, THE SERVANT

Name
Pia Minimi Figula

Callsign
Harvest

Gender
Female

Appearance
Pia is small, standing just under five feet, and fairly lithe. Her bright blue eyes shine brightly, often peeking out from under unkempt bangs of her curly naturally pinkish hair. Her eyes are usually cast downward when not in battle, but she frequently has a cheery smile.

Even in uniform, she wears the thin black collar that denotes her status as a Servus, microscopic transponders in the collar denote her ownership, though the Pilorum give lip service to to their supposed abolition of slavery, by Nonus.

Out of uniform, she often wears little more than a long, sleeveless tunic. She always, however, keeps a Scire Pacem concealed within the tunic, unless other trusted Frumentarii stand watch over their leader, and her master.

History
Pia was one of many Servi who never knew their parents, having been raised from infancy in a communal creche. When in initial assessments, her aura showed compatibility with the Fio Spacium, and IQ testing placed her as a candidate for systems work. Neither of which were available to unplaced Servi, and neither of which was a problem when Nonus, having learned of the girl's potential, and Vita, finding her adorable, bought her contract.

She was just beginning her education, the neural interface implants for systems work still fresh and uncomfortable, when the break-in at Astus Fortuna, where she was being trained, happened, and she got to see Nonus work for the first time through camera feeds. The child watched with awestruck wonder as her Dominus struck, entraced by the terrible grace of his lightning quick harassment strikes.

She can trace the moment she swore herself to her new master to that point, and since graduating to field work, she is very rarely far from his side.

Personality
Pia has the humble and quiet nature often instilled in Servi from early childhood, taken to an extreme. Rarely does she speak above a whisper, and outside of battle often stands silently by her master's side, head bowed, face expressionless, unless he speaks to her, and even then in the presence of those other than Nonus, Vita, or their children, she will try to keep her responses short. Nonus, however, often sees another side of her, cheerfully humming as she attends to her Dominus or Domina, and happily entertaining the children for them when Nonus is home.

Toward enemies, particularly those outside of Pilum, the humility lessens. Pia is a believer in the principle that the lowest Servus is greater than the mightiest Barbarian kings. Those who are not Pilum are Barbarorum, and the Barbarorum will never have something that can compare to the Senate's Eyes. This is among the few things she openly takes pride in, that she, a mere Servus, is one of the elite secret police of the Senate. A fact she rarely forgets to quietly thank Nonus for, as she watches over his sleep.

When faced with the prospect of freedom, she rejects it wholeheartedly. Nonus is her master, her place is by his side, and even were she granted her ius libertas, she would remain there until death.

Strength
Pia requires very little sleep due to a quirk of her biology and what remains of her natural Aura. She is a systems specialist, trained in Pilorum and Barbarian computers, and has a neural interface linked to numerous wireless aura-linked plugs of various make that enable her establish a remote link she can use to hack into enemy systems so long as she keeps that plug within range of her Fio Spacium. In battle, she is extremely slippery, her small and flexible frame and quickened reflexes aiding in rapid, light strikes.

Weakness
Pia's focus on systems work in addition to training as a Frumentarius have rendered her less deadly than the other members of the Inner Circle, barely above the level of a Beacon first year student in offensive power. She is unable to fight and hack at the same time, but with a Frumentarius protecting her, and jumping about around the relevant plug, this weakness is negated. She is incapable of taking those hits that do land, often being forced to retreat, with the blessing of Nonus, after a few good hits.



STALK, THE UNSEEN

Name
Amatus Quieti Costa

Callsign
Stalk

Gender
Male

Appearance
Well-built, with dark skin, blonde hair, and bright golden eyes. Stalk has an intricate black tattoo running down his cheek from his right eye. His right arm is artificial from the shoulder down.

Out of armor, Amatus dresses in a flashy, gold-embroidered tunic and matching pants, with a red coat and boots. He tends to wear a good deal of jewelry.

History
Amatus, and his twin sister Amata, were born to a middle-class Plebian home, and both were selected for Frumentarius training when assessment revealed their inclination and compatibility with the augments. They stuck together, requesting assignments together and ending up being pulled by Nonus for a counter-incursion during the raid on Astus Fortuna. It was there that Amatus saw his sister get careless, and the enemy's sharpshooter took her left arm. Withdrawing with his wounded kin, he watched over her until she was stabilized by the Medica, catching her glances at where her arm once was.

It was in front of her that he took his Scire Pacem, changed it to caster mode, jammed the tip into his right shoulder, and blew his own arm off in solidarity.

After both had acclimated themselves to their new prosthetics, and worked with Nonus in several more operations, Reaper extended an invitation to his inner circle to them both.

Personality
Proud and boastful, and prone to decadence and violence. He and his sister enjoy the finer things in life, and Amatus frequently focuses on their status in Pilorum society, using his sister's parties to court favor. He has found association with someone so high in the Great House of Decimus quite a boon, association with a second seat Patrician family an enormous source of prestige. Presence in the Inner Circle also allows numerous opportunities to sate his bloodlust.

Strength
Amatus is fast, even without teleportation, and carries out flashy attacks from multiple angles to keep his opponents off guard. He has excellent teamwork with his sister, and the two often overwhelm entire groups as a pair, creating weaknesses for the other to exploit and interrupting retaliation attempts on the other.

Weakness
Stalk's weakness is his greatest strength. While Stalk and Sheaf are incredibly dangerous together, without their opposite number within Fio Spacium range, they grow distracted and careless looking for thier other half, becomming far less effective, and if one is removed from battle by injury the other invariably follows, either retreating or being similarly injured thanks to distraction.



SHEAF, THE FACE

Name
Amata Quieti Costa

Callsign
Sheaf

Gender
Female

Appearance
Well-built, with dark skin, blonde hair, and bright golden eyes. Sheaf has an intricate white tattoo running down her cheek from her left eye. Her left arm is artificial from the shoulder down.

Out of armor, Amata dresses in a flashy, gold-embroidered tunic and matching skirt, with a red coat and boots. She tends to wear a good deal of jewelry.

History
Amata, and her twin brother Amatus, were born to a middle-class Plebian home, and both were selected for Frumentarius training when assessment revealed their inclination and compatibility with the augments. They stuck together, requesting assignments together and ending up being pulled by Nonus for a counter-incursion during the raid on Astus Fortuna. During the raid, she lost track of her brother, and in her momentary confusion her Fio Spacium failed to activate and the enemy's sharpshooter managed to catch her arm with a shot, tearing it from her shoulder. In shock from the loss, she was barely aware of Stalk's presence watching with detached curiosity as the Medica cauterized the stump where her arm was, until it struck her she was no longer whole.

Before she could even ask Amatus what had happened, she saw him blow his own arm off, to match her, and she could only smile sadly, and tell her brother she loved him.

After both had acclimated themselves to their new prosthetics, and worked with Nonus in several more operations, Reaper extended an invitation to his inner circle to them both.

Personality
Energetic and passionate, and prone to decadence and violence. She and her brother enjoy the finer things in life, and Amata manages their funds to throw lavish parties for guests her brother selects. She has found association with someone so high in the Great House of Decimus quite a boon, particularly the connection to Patrician celebrations and the parties that accompany them. Presence in the Inner Circle also allows numerous opportunities to sate her bloodlust.

Strength
Amata is fast, even without teleportation, and carries out flashy attacks from multiple angles to keep her opponents off guard. She has excellent teamwork with her brother, and the two often overwhelm entire groups as a pair, creating weaknesses for the other to exploit and interrupting retaliation attempts on the other.

Weakness
Sheaf's weakness is her greatest strength. While Stalk and Sheaf are incredibly dangerous together, without their opposite number within Fio Spacium range, they grow distracted and careless looking for thier other half, becomming far less effective, and if one is removed from battle by injury the other invariably follows, either retreating or being similarly injured thanks to distraction.



SICKLE, THE ENFORCER

Name
Lucius Agricolae Crassipes

Callsign
Sickle

Gender
Male

Appearance
Sickle is a hulking brute of a man, standing a good seven and a half feet tall. He has an unkempt mop of red hair roughly chopped off around his neck, and a matching full beard barely kept short enough for power armor deployment. Irregular metal plates cover his arms and back, surrounded by scar tissue where he had wounds patched by merely adding more dermal plating. His eyes are both obviously artificial, cold pure silver spheres. He has wolf ears, and a long fluffy tail, with hair covering his lower back, chest, and shoulders. Sharp claws tip the fingers of his over-sized hands, and his teeth are sharp, with pronounced fangs, each tooth having a silvery cap.

His uniform's gloves match his claws.

He tends to wear just a very loose, baggy tunic out of uniform, given his tendency to lounge about and do nothing but read, and sometimes doesn't bother with even that. If pressured to leave wherever he has chosen to occupy, he'll put on some simple pants and wrap a plain white toga and cloak.

History
Sickle is the son of a pair of freed Servi, growing up in the lowest crust of Plebian society. He would have been consigned to a menial existence, or a life as a gladiator given his nat

Personality
Lucius, in mind, stands in defiance of his appearance, possessing a keen intellect and love of poetry and drama. His manners and personal hygeine are fully in line with his bestial nature, but he is a lazy beast, content to simply sit in a room and read. He has an appreciation for the art and cultural works of the Barbarians, if not necessarily their culture itself. In particularly, he holds their treatment of Faunus in disdain, but shows Barbarian Faunus no more mercy than Barbarian Humans. That is to say... none. After all, the sooner the operation is over, the sooner he can go back to reading philosophy. If he gets a meal, indulging his love of raw meat even, human or faunus, in battle, all the better. He eats a lot, and often seeks the newest cyberware and augments to enhance his body.

Yes, his tail wags when he's happy.

Strength
Incredibly strong, and only strengthened by his augments and power armor, Sickle can pick a full grown human male, strong of Aura, up by the throat and snap his neck in a single stroke, or tear his throat out with his claws. He is similarly capable of ripping flesh with his jaws, and will often blink into the middle of a group of enemies as a flurry of claw and fang before vanishing along with one of their number for them to find later half-eaten. Between worn and implanted armor, and other protections, Lucius can simply shrug off small arms fire and weaker attacks. His artificial eyes grant him the option of full thermographic vision.

Weakness
He's less profient at range than the other members of the Inner Circle. His tendency to partially eat his enemies requires he not seal his armor all the way, leading to several cases where he had to withdraw due to poisoning. He can be taken by surprise by high caliber fire when attempting to intimidate a group of people with pea shooters.



SCARECROW, THE OVERWATCH

Name
Fausta Gnaei Dentra

Callsign
Scarecrow

Gender
Female

Appearance
Fausta is thin and wiry, little fat, or even muscle, on her body. Her golden hair is cut straight at neck level and has streaks of grey. her cold green eyes constantly dart around, as if looking for a threat around every corner. She has a pronounced overbite, enlarged top teeth, and a perpetual frown.

As a member of a Great House, though from a rather new low-seat family, she tends to wear a black toga and black makeup at all times out of uniform, in the House Gnaeus tradition.

History
Fausta's father, Faustus, was second in line to a high-seat family of the house, but a violent squabble with his brother, the heir, lead to him being cast out. The Patriarch of their house had mercy, and granted Faustus the new family Cognomen of Dentra, for his overbite and unaddressed orthodontic issues that his eldest daughter inherited.

When Fausta's assessments as a child suggested the Frumentarii, Fausta's first concern was if she could still inherit, and second that she be able to train in safer elements of the job. Fausta ended up as an instructor for several years, and served as the personal Frumentarius for the Patriarch of House Gnaeus for several more years before his death. In these quieter times, she found a husband and had several children of her own. Her husband proved to be an excellent administrator, and she left management of her family's obligations to House Gnaeus in his hands to perform more field work for the Senate.

She met Nonus at a celebration in his honor when Marcus Decimi Regulus poached him, initially taking an intense disliking of the upstart and made her feelings known, but when Astus Fortuna was raided, she reviewed his records from training, and the footage, appearing personally before him to apologize for any rude words. It has since been a rocky path, but she was inducted into the Inner Circle shortly before it came to Vale for extended operations, and her experience and advice has been sought by her leader on several occasions.

Personality
Stern and disaproving, she knows her best years are behind her, and has turned her attention to those who have more time than she does. Her cowardice as a younger woman haunts her, and she frequently reflects on what could have been. The result is what the other members of the Inner Circle call her fretting mother nature, which she coldly denies. She is a believer in the Coniuratio Regis, the unification of the leadership of the Great Houses into a single Patriarch or Matriarch, but the controversy of the idea leads her to keep it quiet, even to Nonus. Among the Inner Circle, she is most often in contact with her family, catching up on news of her children who are starting families of their own and her husband's ailing health.

She has openly accepted a motherly role to Pia, as the youngest member of the Inner Circle has decided to come to her for advice.

Strength
Most enemies won't see a glimpse of Scarecrow. Her mastery of traps is well known among the Frumentarii and Pilum as a whole, and her decision to back Nonus contributed significantly to general recognition of his status as leader of the Frumentarii. She is also an immensely talented sniper, and with someone running interference to let her work uninterrupted she can rain sudden death from extreme range with pinpoint accuracy.

Weakness
Fausta's age has caught up with her years ago. She is weak, and power armor can only do so much. While her Aura is as strong as ever, and her experience works in her advantage, she is the weakest of the Inner Circle in direct combat, often withdrawing to sniping range as soon as she is located, and leaving a hefty explosive package in her wake.

Alternate Secondary Weapon
Scarecrow does not the Scire Pacem, but instead carries a long, telescoping pole strapped to her back. While fairly useless except as a walking stick, when activated the pole will extend small legs as a tripod, and act as an antenna for her use of the semblance, allowing her to accurately snipe targets being flagged by other Frumentarii at the cost of blink range. These high impact kinetic energy "darts" can also be overcharged into explosive anti-materiel shots or armor-piercing rounds that can punch through reinforced walls like paper. In a pinch, it can also be fired from the hip.

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[NPC][Pilum] The Eyes of the Senate - The Frumentarii of the Ninth Circle
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