Shadow of a Horned God
Cletia is a Toreador Elder, a Scion of considerable status in southern Britannia. He is a questionable ally of Rowena and a fierce opponent to the Ventrue faction, led by Servilius the Elder. He currently holds the position of Prince in the city of Venta Belgarum, where he is building up his strength.
Cletia was born in the Roman city of Verulamium in the mid-1st century, shortly after the town had been founded. He was the son of a legionnaire who had married a local woman of the Briton tribe of Trinovantes. He had a quiet upbringing, mostly spending time with his mother while his father were on almost constant war-campaign. At the age of 13, the event came which would change his life forever. The stronger Iceni tribe, led by the widow-queen Boudicca, started a rebellion against the oppressive Roman rule, gaining support from most other tribes, including the Trinovantes. Mostly ignorant of the politics and news, Cletia found himself in the middle of a war in which he couldn’t choose sides (as it would turn him against either his mother or his father). He remained in the city, hoping that the rebellion wouldn’t come that far. After burning Camulodunum and Londinium to the ground, Boudicca continued north, arriving in Cletias home-town and he was forced to flee the city.
He didn’t make it very far. That same night, in the woods surrounding the city, he was attacked by an unknown creature who drove him into the ground and feasted on his lifeblood. Left on the ground, helpless and dying, Cletia watched as his assailant was in turn assaulted by an Iceni warrior, moving faster than the eye could register. It was all over in a few seconds. The strange warrior locked gazes with the dying boy, as if watching in a trance, and then pressed his wounded arm unto Cletia’s lips without saying a word.
Cletia never learned the identity of his sire, but he realized quite soon that he belonged to the Clan of Artisans. He traveled the wilds of Britannia for a few decades, learning the concepts of his new existence and trying to find a meaning with it, until arriving in the city of Lindum Colonia. There he encountered his clanmate Cutullus, who recently had arrived in the city with his sire, Pompejus. The two young Cainites became close friends, even lovers according to popular rumors, studying the Via Regalis together with Pompejus, and traveled together for more than a century. When Cutullus assumed the mantle of Prince in Lindum in AD 201 (after his sire had entered the Sleep of Ages, they parted and Cletia found his way back to his hometown, which had long since been rebuilt after burning to the ground in a past long forgotten.
As the only Cainite in the city, Cletia naturally appointed himself Prince, with the blessing of the Prince of Londinium. He was a benevolent ruler, the city flourishing as merchants and priests made their home there. He engaged in the politics of Britannia, and frequently visited the nearby capital to indulge in the courtly affairs. He also sired two childer in AD 303, the Greek twins Hefaistios and Kyrophastos, both of who he tutored as successful Scions. Maybe the notoriously frequent distractions of his Clan clouded his sight, or maybe he was as ignorant as his later rivals would claim, but the fact remains that Cletia simply didn’t realize the extent to which Roman rule was declining in his country. He degenerated deeper into decadence each passing night, and remained largely unaware of the serious changes in politics and other events of the 5th century (the disappearance of Mithras and the ascendancy of Lucius Varro, the war against the Lupines, and the arrival of the Saxons).
In AD 491, the Ventrue Elder Servilius appeared in his city and claimed the support of Cletia while Londinium was sacked by Aelle. The elder Prince showed a great lack of disrespect towards this rude former Seneschal and threatened to destroy him unless leaving his city at once. Servilius grew silent, whispered “So be it” before leaving his court room. A few nights later he returned in the company of a dozen warriors and a handful of Cainites, most notably both of Cletia’s childer, which he had wooed to his side. Cletia was forced to leave, shocked by the hard-hitting hands of reality.
He wandered the lands for a few years, witnessing the extent of the downfall and his own ignorance, before discovering the fate of his old friend, Cutullus (suffering diablerie by his own childe during a barbarian siege). This revelation shocked him, and left him seriously determined, deciding not to let this failure consume him. Reinvigorated by this insight, Cletia claimed the newly “vacant” city of Venta Belgarum as his domain (it’s former Prince, Julia Atius Servilia, had perished in a fire during the countless conflicts of that time), and set about to start all over again.
During the sensitive political changes of the 6th century, Cletia have been careful not to gain more enemies, laying low and cooperating with anyone wishing his support. Having little to offer by military ways, very few have made any serious attempts to win him over. At the turn of the century, he was “officially” recognized as a vassal to Rowena without any real negotiations, and many still view him as politically weak and think it’s only a matter of time before someone takes his place or he leaves entirely. They are wrong, however. He has rediscovered the ambition and ideals of his youth and is determined not to fail again. His enmity towards Servilius is largely intact, but only Cletia himself knows his true feelings towards his enemy. At the moment, he bides his time, carefully observing the situation around him, waiting for the right moment to make his move.