Shadow of a Horned God
Rowena, “The Artisan Queen”, is the Toreador ruler of Dubris. She is a Scion of great accomplishments as well as a bitter rival to Servilius. She is currently the eldest active cainite in Britannia, with almost a millennium of experience in her veins.
Rowena was born in the lands of southern Germania in the early 4th century BC. She was the daughter of a great warrior, and was remarkably beautiful. At the age of 14, she was already wed to a lesser chieftain in her clan, but he died in battle against the Celts within days of their wedding. After their clan had made remarkable winnings during the war, she was again wed to a chieftain of another clan, in a political marriage. Bad luck followed her though, and her new husband was bitten by an asp and died a week after their wedding. People started calling her the “Cursed Widow” and “Bride of Death”, leaving her alone and sad. At the age of 18, she met a young warrior and fell in love, her feelings returned with rare intense. Set on disproving her “curse”, the man asked her to marry him, and she agreed. Exactly 2 months after the wedding, he stepped through the ice on a lake in deep winter and drowned.
This time her clan began hating her, even going so far as to give her beatings and avoiding her completely. A few months later, she fled her tribe, heartbroken and suicidal. It was just past sunset when she arrived at a ledge looking down into a fierce river 50 yards down. Just when she was about to jump, a stranger suddenly appeared in front of her. Shocked and frightened, she started running, until she realized the man didn’t follow her. Curiosity took overhand, and she approached the handsome stranger. He proved to be both kind and interesting. After hearing her story, he was deeply touched, and took her in, and having her as his follower. A few years later, after learning quite a lot about vampires, she asked her companion to turn her into a cainite, who refused. After several nights of begging and pleading, he reluctantly agreed. Crimson tears poured from his eyes as he drained her blood and brought her into death. He disappeared and she hasn’t seen him since then.
Rowena arrived in the city of Rome in the early 3rd century BC, and quickly began appreciating the fine details of cainite politics. She became known as shrewd politician, always plotting and scheming against her rivals and improving her status. She made powerful friends and contacts among several courts in Europe, building a vast network of alliances, debts, passions and deceit. In the year of 97 BC, her intricate web of intrigue collapsed and she was forced to flee after the declaration of a Blood Hunt by Camilla, the Prince of Rome.
She fled back to Germania, where she settled among her former people and contemplated. She fought off several attempts on her unlife during the following century, perhaps not by martial prowess, but by cunning and sheer force of personality. In the early 2nd century she took interest in the island of Britannia, settling in the city of Londinium. She didn’t stay for long. Her sense of politics and intrigue wasn’t well received by Mithras, who banished her from the island in AD 197. She settled on Jutland, where she began influencing the “barbarian” tribes, building a vast domain of primitive culture and fierce warriors. In AD 218, she encountered the Nosferatu Lucilla, who had fled the island following a Blood Hunt declared by Mithras (for the crime of murdering her sire, Fawros). Rowena didn’t miss the opportunity to welcome her as her follower.
For two centuries she built her domain, and with the help of Lucilla (and her childe, Abrachoz) she also was kept informed of the happenings throughout the continent, and also Britannia. In AD 407, during the chaos following Constantine III:s attempt at usurpation (rumors suggest that she helped organize the treason of Lucius Varro), she set her plans to motion. Her plan suffered a setback when the forces of Constantine met their demise (according to popular belief, through the guidance of the Warlord Methuselah Alexander), but weren’t completely halted. Lucius Varro eventually ascended the throne and managed to organize the war against the werewolves, while Rowena was licking her wounds.
In AD 448, Rowena returned to Britannia, at first settling in Londinium at the invitation of Varro. In AD 450, she helped Valerius Marcon fight off the attempted coup by Marcus Verus, an event forming the Triat Axis between them and Varro. As the mortal tense between Vortigern and Horsa grew over the decade, she realized war was inevitable. She organized the killing of the Briton elders by the Jutes in AD 461, the event which started the war, and framed the Nosferatu Symeon in the process, which gave her time to prepare her forces.
The war didn’t turn out in favor for Rowena. As the combined forces of Londinium and Deva surrounded her own in Dubris, she disappeared (according to her childer, she entered the Sleep of Ages) in AD 469. Her childe and heir Lucas the Elder, was forced to surrender the following year.
In AD 571, Rowena returned to the scene of politics in Britannia. She hasn’t claimed the throne of Dubris from her childe formally (although everyone knows her to be the real ruler), instead claiming the title of Empress of Britannia. Her political enemies (in accordance to their opinions of the Elder Artisan suffering from hubris), have begun referring to her title as the Empress of Barbarians instead. After the disappearance of Lucilla in AD 468, Abrachoz now serves as her foremost informant. She has had a few of her followers ascend the Throne of Londinium, but each have either disappeared or met Final Death. Rowena is currently involved in a political war against the childe of Varro, Servilius, as well as trying to coax both of the other two political leaders of the south (the Salubri Gilash and the Brujah Lancius) to her side. The future is highly uncertain.