I. It was my honor to serve under Titus as a member of the exploratores, the scouting troops, during the campaign in Judea. It was my fortune to have my commander and future emperor take notice of some novel tactics that I employed and name me Prime Exploratore, placing several soldiers(who had been deemed unfit for combat services) under my command. Titus, always wise and innovative, knew that they had value far beyond that of the traditional exploratores or spies(a word which I detest): they were to be different. I preferred the term Irregular Scout.
II. My small force numbered no more than twenty at any given time, with new recruits substituting for the many who had been captured or killed. They included three types of soldiers: those that were fleet of foot and agile, and thus able to scout large amounts of terrain in the distance; those who were able to blend into different social groups(which was very valuable in the Judea campaign) feigning other identities; and those who were able to impersonate noble personages for the purposes of gaining information. Personally, I had adopted all of these roles at different times and thus had a body of knowledge to share, and my Exploratores were quick to learn.
III. It was to my advantage that I was of average height and possibly mixed heritage. Possibly because, while my mother denies this, my features have always been undeniably different, and some have said that they belonged not to my father but to a gladiator from the east or perhaps Egypt with whom she dallied. My father, Marcus Atticus Tullius, was a merger of unfashionable but nonetheless well established republican families: Tullius being one of Marcus Tullius Cicero's relatives and Atticus being the famous statesman, also known as Cicero's correspondent. Atticus was quite possibly the most adroit politician of the age given that he died of natural causes in a treacherous political environment. As a youth I journeyed to Egypt, following a trail I thought might lead me to the truth of my parentage, but my own history remained oddly and irrevocably occluded. Whatever my lineage, I was gifted with the ability to appear to be the member of many tribes. With this gift, and the skills of both the traditional Exploratores and the Speculatores, I soon became something else altogether different.
IV. Raised in Judea, I spoke several languages and was familiar with the world of rough traders who traveled to distant and un-imagined lands. In fact, as a child, I snuck off with a caravan, pretending to be a stable boy and made it deep into Persia before my true identity was discovered. I immediately returned. My family was perceived as quite powerful and thus dangerous in the region. My father served as a member of the royal cavalry (known later as the Praetorian Guard) and was present for the murder of Caligula. He was on of the few who survived the barbarous and vengeful actions of the German Guard upon the death of the debauched emperor.
V. This is fortunate for me, because I was born two years later. Feeling it safer to be in the East, my father accepted a posting there, It afforded me an upbringing of provincial privilege and exposure to the most exotic elements of the East, West, South and North (as Judea had strategic importance as the trail-head of nearly all trading routes from the far Persian, Egyptian and African, the as well as Hellenic, Latin and Assyrian Regions). In short, I was exposed to the entire world. This gave me great knowledge to use later in life.
VI. I served Titus in Judea an attempted to serve those I'd grown up with as well. I credit myself in saving many lives in the Jewish Wars, but alas, there was no persuading some of them that attempts to flight the empire within force would not be successful. I suspect that the offshoot sect will be more effective in subverting the empire from within. After Judea I was sent north to battle with the German. I was an utterly new challenge. I had no experience in dealing with the Ice and Forest People. With no hope of blending in, I had to survive in the water. Few can sim in the north as id would be pointless for most months of the year.
VII. There, in the forest I was able to locate a well concealed enemy encampment. However, before I could return to share this information, I as captured, set to be executed and encountered a man who would change my life. His name was Valadian. He had achieved some status as a holy man or shaman or priest amongst the Barbarians. He came to me while I was caged in the rude forest outpost and asked one simple question: How had i discovered their hidden camp? What had led me there? I told him that I did not know. I had felt the pull of the Earth. I had followed an enemy.
VIII. He had me released from the cage and told me he wanted to follow the energy further. I saw no risk in doing as I had already been sentenced to dand finr the Oracle eath in a most ghastly manner (the Germanic Tribes excelled in this, frankly making our methods of execution look tame in comparison). I led him deep into the forest and we found ourselves standing amidst some ancient ruins. They were incredible to behold. Alive in some way that I cannot explain. After some silence, Valadian told me that I would be spared and that he would have great use for me inf I would agree to honor the debt of my life when I returned to Roman lands. Having little choice, I agreed. I was now bound by oath.
IX. In truth, I was as fascinated by Valadian as he was by me, most notably because he possessed a Roman name though he was clearly a German. He told me to find my way to North Africa amidst the ruins of Carthage and find the Oracle of those parts who would direct me to one known as The Magnus. There was no way I could reject this. My journey would take me not only to Rome, but to Egypt and North Africa. However, when I reached Rome again, I reported to Titus to tell him of my adventures in Germania, and upon the mention of Valadian, Titus dismissed this guards and secretary and asked to speak to me alone.
X. He told me to carry out the mission of Valadian and tell no-one of it and should meet the one known as Magnus, to send his regards. And then he, the son of the Now Emperor of Rome who would himself rule magnificently, if briefly, said something that would echo through the rest of my life: "For all of the blessings Jupiter has bestowed on me, I did not get yours. However, I did sense something and it was confirmed to me by Berenice on the one occasion when you were in her presence. Like you, she often traveled in disguise, for reasons we need not discuss here. What is more, she described you as 'Sensitiva'. Or that was the best translation to Latin that she could offer." He gave me a letter of transit through the Empire ans assigned a loyal Numidian guide by the name of SYPHAX, as well as bestowing a generous number of Sesterii.
XI. When I arrived in North Africa, I realized that no one knew the exact location of the Oracle, and that the Oracle could only be found by uncovering the hallowed sanctuary where she dwelled. My guide was of no use, save to keep me out of dangerous lands and provide some local knowledge. I realized that I would have to find the Oracle myself. The task proved to be quite simple. I realized that it was yet another test of my special skills.