The year: 31 AD. The place: Rome, in the height of her empire. The greatest civilization the world has ever seen, which stretches from Spain to Jerusalem.
It is a time of art and beauty, of conquerors and slaves. The borders of her empire hungrily expand outward, forcing all to submit to its dominion or die.
You are Praetorius, a general in military forces of Emperor Tiberius. In your long military career, you have won numerous combats and slay many enemies.
At days you have been forced to perform ruthless and brutal acts, but all for the greater good of preserving the Pax Romana. The empires centuries of prosperity are only possible because of violent men like you, who are willing to shed blood and do whatever is necessary to maintain the peace. Although you take no joy in the death you have caused, you know that all your actions were justified.
Not a shred of doubt exists in your mind. You are the empires loyal sword, and your cause is righteous.
You are haunted by the lives you have taken and wonder whether you have acted nobly in the eyes of the gods. All that pain and suffering, and for what? To let the fat and slothful lords of the capital revel in luxury while millions toil under their cruel yoke?
However, your doubts are irrelevant. You are a servant to duty, and you will not shirk your responsibilities.
Tempus belli. Vade calcitrare aliquis asinus Germanic. Gratias tibi ago!
Your orders are to return to the northern front, mollify the Germanic lands, and subdue their cities in the name of Rome.
As you step outside, you run into your next-door neighbor Lucretius. Hes a good-natured fellow, but his witticisms have been dulled by years of wine and revelries. Personally, you find him a bit annoying, but you try to stay polite. He is your neighbor after all.
Praetorius, so good to see you! Lucretius says. Without doubt off to another one of your exciting wars.
He smiles at you with the blissful ignorance of one “whos never” savoured the aroma of blood nor heard the brooding clack of steel on bone.
When you return, you must accompany me to hear an incredible philosopher I have discovered. His name is Jesus of Nazareth, and he talks quite convincingly on a number of matters. According to him, wealth is sinful and “were supposed to” share what we have with the poor and needy. Also, he is the only route to redemption from eternal suffering.
Ah, what a pity. He had really opened my eyes.
Wonderful! Safe travels, my friend.
You swiftly grab Lucretius by his robes and execute him. He pleads for mercy, but an example must be made of those who turn their back on the gods.
Before you leave the city it would be wise to brush up on your battle educate. Its been a few weeks since you watched any combat and your sword arm feels a bit rusty.
Welcome to the battle training grounds. I am the combat trainer, says the combat trainer. I can teach you combat moves that will be useful in battle.
There are three basic combat moves: assault, block, and dodging. Attack allows you to assault foes. Block allows you to block foes. Dodge allows you to dodging enemies.
There are also three special moves that you will need to know to survive:
Centurion Slash allows you to ten-strike multiple foes at once. Its useful when facing large crowd of adversaries. To perform a Centurion Slash, you must assault twice and then block.
Dodge of Diana imbues you with the velocity and grace of the goddess of the hunt herself. It enables you to avoid powerful attacks that a normal block or dodging cant protect you from. To perform a Dodge of Diana, you must dodge left, dodge up, dodge down, then dodge right.
Stunning Blow unleashes a powerful assault that can addle the witticisms of your mightiest foes. Its useful against especially tough or strong foes that a normal assault cant damage. However, it merely runs against one opponent at a time. To perform a Stunning Blow, simply block twice, then assault. If “youd prefer” a more Roman-themed name for the attack, you can also call it Jupiters Blow or Vulcans Hammer.
Now, lets put your abilities to the test.
Your training complete, you hasten to the city walls to begin your trip-up north and reunite with your army.
Outside the city you rendezvous with Antonius, your second-in-command and romantic life partner. He will accompany you on your journey.
Hey babe, he says. The ponies are packed and ready to go. Give me a kiss before we leave.
You passionately espouse Antonius, giving him a deep, wet kiss that epitomizes your unending love. In his arms you feel safe and protected, knowing that no matter how bad things get in the world, you can always go running back to him when you need a shoulder to exclaim on.( You will be able to save your progress by kissing Antonius .)
Yes, you are a lesbian man. Why, is that a number of problems?
This Roman adventure is just as good whether youre lesbian or straight-out. Its a thrilling tale of blood and conquest, and your sexuality is entirely beside the point.
Sure, if thats what you want. Well simply replace that character with Antonia, and Praetorius is her straight devotee. Does that work for you?
Go fuck yourself, you bigoted fuck. Game over. You lose.
You climb onto your ponies and begin traveling to the contested northern lands.
You simply strolled right back through the gate into Rome. You have to go north.
The woods around you are lush and beautiful. Although the specter of war looms ahead, you cannot help but enjoy this time with Antonius. For a long while you ride through the forest mutely, simply appreciating one another company and listening to the quiet rustle of breeze through the leaves.
While distracted by nature, you are ambushed by bandits! They demand your fund, but instead you will give them a much-deserved death.
You scoop up a pine cone and peg a squirrel right in its dumb little face.
You depict your sword and ten-strike! Mars himself could not have landed a better jolt. You neatly cleave the bandits face in two.
However, as he falls, another brigand steps forward to avenge her comrade. She swings at you with her dagger!
They havent actually attacked you yet. You hold up your sword in a defensive pose while the bandits stare at you.
You maintain blocking.
You deflect her swinging and the bandit stumbles backwards. Youll be able to land a killing jolt now.
You and the bandit both assault at the same time, and you both hit each other and die. Your life ends in a brave death, but perhaps it was an avoidable one.
You stab the bandit in the stomach and kick her off the edge of a nearby ravine. An eagle swoops down and catches the body in midair, then flies away cawing its thanks to you.
This was more than the bandits had bargained for. The last three decide to team up and oppose you all together.
Normal attacks wont work against this many foes at once. Youll have to use one of your special moves. Merely a maneuver designed to be used against multiple foes can save you now. Hopefully you are able to recollect your training.
You swaying your sword in the air. This jolt wasnt actually aimed at anyone, but you have to assault as part of your combo.
Once again you chop at the air. The bandits are bewildered by what youre doing.
You hold up your sword and block nothing in particular. A few seconds pass. The bandits start to laugh at you, thinking your special move failed.
Your special move was super effective. When the smoking clears, all that remains of the bandits are bloody bones and dismembered gristle.
You messed up the combo! Merely a Centurion Slash could have saved you, but you did something else. The built-up combo energy runs haywire and rends apart your body from the inside.
As you put your sword away, Antonius comes up to congratulate you. Well done, my love! I would have helped, but I knew you could handle a bunch of common brigands on your own.
Antonius leans forward to kiss you. Once again, your lips connect and the outside world fades away. All that exists is this moment, simply you and him, two people clinging to one another in an uncertain world.
You pause to wistfully glance around your home. Who knows how long it will be until you see these dormitories again?
You examine your most treasured possession, a statue of the mythic founders of Rome. According to legend, after the newborn twins Romulus and Remus were abandoned in the wild, a she-wolf adopted them as her own and let them suckle from her breasts.
Your eye autumns upon your other statue of Romulus and Remus suckling from the she-wolfs breasts. Civic pride fills your heart as you recall your citys storied lineage.
You spot your other statue of the she-wolf letting Romulus and Remus suckle from her breasts. Her milk not only nurtured two sons, but an entire civilization. Today, Rome still requires nourishment, but instead of milk it suckles blood. The teat it sucks upon is your sword. That is why you named your blade Wolf Nipple.
It is quiet and serene in your garden. You will miss this place during the chaos of war.
Thats enough reminiscing, though. Its time to get started on your journey.
The level of patriotism youre feeling right now is off the charts. You feel endless pride as you stare at statue after statue of Romulus and Remus suckling on those wolf breasts.
While you wasted time admiring art, barbarian hordes overran the empire and burned Rome to the ground! Its the Dark Ages now. Great going.
The rest of your trip-up is uneventful, and before long you reach your armys camp. A joyful chant starts up among your soldiers when they see you: PRAETORIUS! THATS OUR GENERAL. WHAT A GOOD GENERAL! You let them repeat this for a few minutes before creating your limbs for quiet.
This would be a good time to make a rousing speech.
Telling your men they might lose wholly crushes their morale. When they later enter combat, they can scarcely swaying their swords or lift their shields because theyre too glum. You are killed to the last man, and soon afterwards Rome itself is burned to the ground. The Dark Ages begin and its all your faulting. Over a thousand years later, when the bubonic plague begins to ravage Europe, instead of calling it the Black Death its named Still Better Than Praetorius, The Worst General.
Your stirring speech raised your men morale. They spend five hours chanting Wow, Praetorius! Great general! then get your face tattooed on their limbs. After bandaging their sore tattoos, your army begins their march to the barbarian city of Teutonia. This stronghold defends all of the Rhineland, and if it falls there will be few obstacles remaining to your conquest.
Why dont you use a Stunning Blow against this pig? Remember that the combo for that is block, block, attack.
Great block! Youre one-third of the way there, calls the combat trainer. Now block again.