Name: Marcus Claudius Sabinus Aquila
Nickname: Marcus, Mark, Acks, Sabbie.
Birthplace: Londinium, Republica Alba
Skin: English Pale
Chosen by: The Book (to Lady Ink's Chagrin)
Themesong: Desperado, by the Eagles
Lux Aeterna – London Ensemble, from Requiem for a Dream
Marcus Claudius Sabinus Aquila's grandfather (Marcus Claudius Sabinus Triarus) was the son of a cattle drover, and was proud of his roots-as attested to by the naming convention going back generations and confounding each one with having to come up with a distinguishing nickname. The family had been respectable upper middle class for generations, with routes supposedly going back to Sabine origins. He rose to prominence in the military, attaining the rank of general in the Gaulish and Francian campaigns, before returning to Alba and standing for election as a Tribune of the People, and as a Representative in the Plebean House. He was proud of his accomplishments, although he was shocked when, after several long terms during which he found a good marriage, an outgoing Consul raised the popular General to Patrician rank.
His son, born after the Senatorial raise, was as grounded as his father. Marcus Claudius Sabinus Scaevola (so named because of his left handedness) grew up as a politician and an inventor. In the same year he made Consul, at the first year he was available and the first novus homme in many years to stand for the rank. For many years, including the years of his son's birth, they were rising stars. Awarded the rank of Count for his term as Comes, he nevertheless made many enemies. Whether they were unhappy at his status despite being a new man, or they disliked his reform policies giving more power to the House of the Plebes, they conspired against him.
When Aquila, named because he was a quiet boy who had the tendency to stare, was five years old the enemies of his family gained the upper hand and power in the government again, and manufactured evidence that he was selling secrets to a Frankish Duke. The family was stripped of its' title, although not its' patrician status, and Scaevola was executed. Their property was confiscated, and all land they had gained since Triarus' elevation to Patrician (which was most of it). All that was left to Aquila were his father's creations.
While his father had been politically brilliant his true brilliance lay in invention and tinkering with the steam powered devices and weaponry that ran the Empire. He was the personal gunsmith to the Imperator of Alba, which it was rumored was as responsible for his County as his service as Consul. He left his son his system. A three chambered pistol connected to a personal Boiler. He had improved on the old designs for personal boilers that had made them prohibitively large for sustained use. With the improved pressure system they could be a smaller design, as less water gave more pressure. There was still the issue that a direct hit could explosively scatter the person, which was assited by adding a boiled leather outer shell, but for the first time the system could be concealed under a coat/cloak or greatcoat.
Marcus, now almost the sole survivor of his family, never believed what had been said, and spent his time looking for the truth; but as a young man with few remaining connections, there was little he could do. Knowing he needed further training and connections, he did what every young man did in order to forge connections since the time of Caesar: He joined the military.
With his tour done at 20 he left the legions older, better trained and slightly more scarred. But more importantly he had made some of the headway he would need to start finding information.
Skills and Abilities:
Marcus, as he goes by, is from a family of soldiers. His grandfather was a brilliant general, and even though his father was a pacifist he still was trained and served as a quartermaster in the Legions. He was given the training as befits a young patrician in the sword and shield, the spear and bow, and the fist and gun-a skill he showed particular talent with. He further honed these skills with a five year enlistment in Legio XXXIV Victoria, the unit that his grandfather had lead. He saw combat action against the Franks at Agraqua and served as part of a crack rifle unit that still carries his grandfather's name.
In addition his father taught him mechanical knowledge, and left behind notebooks that helped him teach himself more. He isn't nearly at his father's level yet, but he can improvise a great many mechanical devices.
Boiler: A personal boiler designed by his father using a more efficient design. It is capable of firing over twenty shots worth of steam before it needs to be refilled. It is worn on the back, covered in a hard leather shell to keep from accidentally puncturing and grievous injuries to the wearer. Can be worn under a coat.
Tribune: His father's gun, a three chambered revolver that can either fire standard Alban rounds or fire steam powered slugs when plugged in to the Boiler, through a cord that runs through the sleeve to the gun. Is normally loaded with the equivalent of bean bag rounds, designed to incapacitate rather than kill. Can also use attachments (designed or impromptu) with the steam technology: harpoon, grappling gun, net, smoke grenade. Can also be used to blow out locks by putting the barrel to the lock and firing without a round, among other uses. In honor of his father he normally uses the bean bag rounds, and carries the most of them.
Tools: In his coat he carries several small pouches of tools. Small screwdrivers, small knives, wrenches, lock picks, and other general tools required for the repair and creation of mechanical and steampowered devices.
In private more charming and sarcastic, he can get a little bit overwhelmed by unexpected social situations. He has something of a temper where his family is concerned, and his normal reserve can be quickly thrown to the wind if he has a chance to prove their worth, defend their honor or advance his cause of redeeming their name. It isn't that he is anti-social,. Just that he likes to prepare so that he can make sure to present the image he feels he has to as the last scion of the Claudii Sabini; unexpectedly having to switch roles from jumping rooftop to rooftop to charming noblewomen is difficult for him.
His arrogance is one born of his confidence in his abilities, and consequently he is better to Plebeans than most nobles, seeing how he came from them; in fact many times he has a better rapport with common Centurions than he does with noble Legates, since he doesn't feel the need to pretend as much.
He reacts with extreme anxiety to combatants behind him, as the boiler he wears is still vulnerable despite the best efforts of his father and himself, and gets panicky when things are on fire around him due to an accident in a legion camp.
Marcus is from a steampunk world, in a Romano/British culture. In his world instead of destroying Archimedes' book On Sphere-Making, they took him and the book back and consequently became the world's first super power. So while he is from what would be Victorian England (1880s), he knows it as 2663 Anno Urbis Conditiae (from the Founding of the City; i.e. Rome).
The society, therefore, is a blend. There is still a Senate, but now it is the equivalent of the House of Lords, with the House of the Plebeans functioning as the House of Commons. However since there has not been Lords' Reform, the Upper House is still incredibly much more important. Rome is not one contiguous empire any more and has not been for a long time, but not because of outside forces; simply because with the awesome power Archimedes developed they conquered so much of the world that the far flung provinces simply grew to be self governing, and surpassed Mater Romana (Mother Rome) in importance.
There will be some anachronisms, there will be some things I throw in just because I think it is funny. I've already thrown in a reference to Waterloo, after a fact, just because ;)