Licinia Furius Flaccus Valerius
Vestal Virgin turned Vampire Ninja
Licinia Furius Flaccus Valerius
I am Roman, I am Rome. I come from a noble and important line. My family were Patricians, part of the original aristocratic families of Ancient Rome. My father was Marcus Flaccus Valerius, Consul in the Roman Senate. My mother was Claudia Maxiumus Furius.
I was born in 135 BC in Rome. At the age of 6, it was a great honour to be sent to become a Vestal Virgin. I was there for 15 years. I was part of a new family. I was educated, much more than other females of the time. I learned to read and write in Greek and Latin and educated in other subjects such as religion, music, history, philosophy, rhetoric/public speaking, geography, literature, mythology and math/geometry.
Tasks of a vestal virgin included maintenance of the fire sacred to Vesta, the goddess of the hearth and home, collecting water from a sacred spring, preparation of food used in rituals and caring for sacred objects in the temple’s sanctuary. Vestals were also put in charge of keeping safe the wills and testaments of various people such Caesar and Mark Antony. And, they also guarded some sacred objects, including the Palladium, and made a special kind of flour called mola salsa which was sprinkled on all public offerings to a god.
We had so many more rights than other women of the day. We were free to own property, make a will and vote, we could give evidence without the customary oath, and our word being trusted without question; we could free condemned prisoners and slaves by touching them. At public games and performances and numerous public ceremonies our presence was required and we were transported in style and had reserved there places of honour.
At these events, I was able to meet and socialize with many important and high ranking Roman officials and politicians. That was to be my downfall. The most important rule of being a Vestal Virgin was to stay a virgin, to stay chaste. I took it very seriously. But, I am a woman, and what happened I couldn’t control, I fell in love. It was 114BC, I was 21. He was a Consul like my father; his name was Lucius Cassius Longinus Ravilla. Because Vestal Virgins attended all the important events, I was able to see him all the time. But our relationship developed into a forbidden and passionate one. I told him once my time as a Vestal Virgin was up, I was able to marry and have children. He seemed willing to wait. I became pregnant, and I was terrified. If I was found out, I would be buried alive, the punishment for breaking the vow of chastity. I managed to hide the pregnancy for several months, using the bulky, flowing robes to cover my shame. But when I was in my eighth month, I was found out by my own father. He found the two of us together and I begged and implored him to keep quiet. But I had shamed and dishonoured him, our family and the Vestal Virgins. I was captured and imprisoned. A special inquisitor was appointed to hear my case of unchastity. By some cruel twist of fate, the man appointed to be Special Inquisitor was my Lucius. He claimed to have never met me, that I was some twisted evil girl slut that had slept with many different men, slaves, servants, whomever, and she was trying to pass her spawn off as a high born child. I was crushed, dispirited, lovelorn and extremely upset. He passed the verdict of guilty and he sentenced me and my unborn child to be buried alive the next day. That night, due to all the stress and worry, I went into labour. With only the slave girls of the jail in attendance, I gave birth to a son, who I named Junius. One of the slave girls, Britannia, pledged to take care of the child and raise him as her own. I gave my son a gift, the only thing I had left on my person, my personal necklace bearing the likeness of the goddess Vesta with my initials on the back. She managed to sneak him out of the jail before I was grabbed and taken and sealed underground in the darkness with only a few days’ food and water.
I don’t really know what happened next. It was dark, I was bitten, I blacked out and I woke up and everything was different. I don’t know who sired me. No one was there to explain what had happened to me. I had to find out on my own. I managed to escape from underground but found I couldn’t go out in the sunlight. I covered myself in slaves robes and hid among the lower classes. I stayed underground as much as possible. I thirsted for two things, blood and revenge. I travelled back to my family estate. My father was hosting a wedding for my sister Lena. As luck would have it, there were many important guests at that event, including my “beloved” Lucius. I killed everyone, my family, Lucius, the guests, the slaves, everyone. My bloodlust knew no bounds. I covered my tracks as best I could, tried to make it seem like a slave uprising.
I eventually found a nest of vampires in the city. They took me into their coven and taught me a lot more about being a vampire. What was the best way to feed, where to find the best blood, that in a pinch, you could drink blood of animals to survive but that it was disgusting. I learned, sometimes the hard way, what my powers were, and what my limitations were. Garlic, naturally running water, sunlight, holy symbols, so much to learn about what affected me. I kept the funerary wrappings I was buried in, I had to sleep in them during the day and my form could return there. I eventually procured a coffin to travel in during the day. I was frustrated with not being able to go in direct sunlight. I asked my vampire friends if there was a way to build up a tolerance to the sunlight. They said there was no way, but I thought differently. I decided that each day for as long as I lived as a vampire, I would expose a small part of my skin to the sun, try to get a very very brief exposure to the sun to try to build up a tolerance. It didn’t start off well, it was extremely painful. I abandoned it for a while, but I planned to try in the future.
I found I was very adept at disguise and with my training and education; I was able to blend in with almost every segment of society. Although I had to work within my limitations including not being able to go in direct sunlight. Luckily, most of the great parties and events were held at night. I was able to compel whoever I wanted and attend any party. People got so drunk at these parties that I could feed almost whenever I wanted and blame their subsequent behavior on the drinking and other excesses. I learned to effectively hide my bites in inconspicuous places. I was able to exert so much power over people, especially men. They were my puppets, my playthings. I used them and then threw them away. They bought me presents, clothes, jewelry, property, pledged their undying love and loyalty to me. I would never allow myself to get as close to a man as I did Lucius, but that didn’t mean I couldn’t enjoy the ride.
I changed my name almost as often as I changed my clothes. I spent some time in Rome, but I grew tired of the scene. I wanted to travel and see the world that I had learned about in my studies, but had never been able to really explore. I was able to bluff my way onto a diplomatic mission to Petra in Arabia Petraea. It was built into the cliff rock and a lot of the city was underground so I thought that would be ideal. There were no trees so limited wood to be staked with. But it was civilized enough so I could continue to live with the niceties with which I had become accustomed. I lived there for a while, learning Arabic. I travelled around the Roman Empire, Judaea, Syria, Greece, Galatia, Mauretania, Lusitania, Aquitania. I settled in Alexandria for a long while. The library there was unparalled, and I found it was full of vampires. I met a group of vampires there and joined up with them for a while. They loved life and loved taking life, but they always managed to make it look like a failed uprising, or a plague or another sickness, or some kind of war. I learned a lot from them about how to find the populations that nobody wanted, that nobody would wonder what happened to them, the advantages of preying on the lower dregs of society, nobody important asked questions about where they went, and the local upper echelons of society, well, if they knew about us, they left us in peace, because we were doing a public service. I also learned to fight as a ninja, to use my hands and body as weapons.
But the rise of one known as Julius Caesar, well, he caused us numerous problems. He was a monster hunter. He travelled the Roman Empire, killing vampires, zombies and numerous other creatures. He used his military campaigns as a front for his monster killing activities. He found out about our nest of vampires in Alexandria. It is written by Plutarch that during Caesar’s visit to Alexandria in 48 BC, he “accidentally" burned the library down when he set fire to his own ships to frustrate Achillas’ attempt to limit his ability to communicate by sea. This is false. He was trying to kill numerous vampires that were trying to flee the city. A few of us managed to escape and make it back to Rome. We knew that Caesar must be stopped. We compelled several senators, and actually worked together with some other supernatural creatures in the city to make a plan to stop him. We compelled Brutus to kill Caesar in 44 BC, and to make it look like some political plot. Unfortunately, Caesar’s men captured several of us and we were staked and entombed below the city. I lay there unmoving for 150 years. I and others were freed by slave labourers in 100 AD quarrying stone for a nearby estate. Lucky for us, not so lucky for the poor labourers who made the mistake of unstaking us. Our thirst for blood overpowered us and the “disappearances and runway” of those slave labourers unfortunately delayed the building of the estate that year.
Things had changed a little bit. I kept hearing about a Jesus of Nazereth, who has supposedly died and risen again. Obviously a vampire, I mean really. I tried to find him, but I never could. But unfortunately, the religion that started up in his name became a thorn in my side. The Roman gods were starting to be cast aside in favour of Christianity. True believers with their holy symbols had power to hurt me. I tried to stay away from them. I decided to travel to a far off land that I thought would be free of Christianity and one that Caesar had actually invaded in the past, Britain.
Roman Britain was a bit more primitive but still had all the Roman niceties, inventions and innovations that I had always enjoyed. The weather was so much better here as well. Always dark, gloomy and overcast. I was able to go outside so much more. I learned Old English, but Latin always served me well there too. I was easily able to pass myself off as a Roman noble; they were so far off from Rome, that they would never know the difference. Good thing about the Romans, they were always fighting with their legions, so many people to conquer, so many victims to drain. I stayed in Roman Britain for a while. It actually was refreshing to be in such a place. My slave Britannia’s family had been from Britain. I wondered if my son, Junius, had ever managed to become free and make it back here. I had never looked for him. I thought it would be safer for him that way. But I often wondered if I had seen his face without realizing it was him? Maybe he became a Roman soldier and went on expeditions to the very places that I travelled?
I stayed in Roman Britain until the 4th century AD. I travelled throughout the Roman Empire but it was starting to wane somewhat. There were Germanic tribes that were starting to stir up trouble but I was confident that the Roman Empire would prevail. Unfortunately, monster hunters were starting to be quite numerous and rampant and I needed a place to hide out for a short time. I decided to hideout in a monastery, the last place that I thought they would look for a vampire. I compelled a monk to hide me for a few years in a crypt, without a large supply of blood and let me out when the coast was clear. Unfortunately, unbeknownst to be, he had died a few years later, and had never told anyone about me. I was entombed for almost 200 years this time; I ran out of blood after a few years and tried to put my body in a state of extreme hibernation. I was freed this time, by an invading Germanic tribe who was ransacking the monastery. I kind of killed most of them, but managed to stop before I had killed the remaining person, a young man, named Alaric who had been captured by this tribe. He told me of his tribe who was an enemy of the one I had killed and that for killing them, I would be able to join their tribe and given a place of honour. Well, I took the offer. The world had changed around me and I needed to learn more before I made my next move.
I had been freed from my tomb in 590 AD. The world had changed almost beyond my imagining. The world seemed to have regressed; it was an Age of Darkness. Education, knowledge, technology, bathing!! It seemed to have been almost lost. The Roman Empire had seemingly collapsed. I learned from the monstaries historical records that this slow decline had occurred over a period of four centuries, culminating on September 4, 476, when Romulus Augustus, the last Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was deposed by Odoacer, a Germanic chieftain. More “events” hastening the decline of my beloved Roman Empire: the Battle of Adrianople in 378, the death of Theodosius I in 395, the crossing of the Rhine in 406 by Germanic tribes, the execution of Stilicho in 408, the sack of Rome in 410, the death of Constantius III in 421, the death of Aetius in 454, and the death of Majorian in 461. There still seemed to be a flourishing Eastern Roman Empire, centered in Constantinople. Of course, Christianity was flourishing throughout Europe, even the Germanic tribes were converting.
People seemed to have gotten more stupid, but were more superstitious. Most of what they believed had no real effect on me, but sometimes, they got lucky. It was hard at first, the Germanic tribe being so primitive, but I was eventually able to blend in, becoming the wife of the tribe’s leader Wulfric. He found out my secret, but instead of killing me, used me as a weapon to help conquer their enemies. He asked me to turn him into a vampire as well so he could be stronger to conquer his enemies. We were able to feed from the people that we conquered. I continued to try to build up a tolerance to the sun. It seemed like it might be working but I couldn’t really tell if there was a lot of difference. They were a barbarous peoples but I managed to learn their Gothic/Germanic language. They were also conquering and fighting so many different peoples, it was so easy to find victims. It was very uncivilized, but a girl needed to eat.