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Claudius Seneca

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Caesarius Claudius Seneca is the main antagonist in the first two novels in the Camulod Chronicles, The Skystone and The Singing Sword. He is a member of the Seneca family, an old Roman family known for its corruption. Claudius is a homosexual and very vain about his handsome appearance. His friends call him "Deus," a short form of his real name and also the Latin word for God. He inherits an old feud with the Britannici, an equally old and wealthy family. Claudius gains the camaraderie of the Emperor Honorius and is sent on a diplomatic mission to Britain. While there, he antagonizes a man at a local tavern, unaware that he is Publius Varrus, a retired soldier and friend of Caius Britannicus, the current head of the Britannicus family. Varrus, also unaware of his assailant's identity, fights him off. He breaks Seneca's nose and carves a letter V on his chest. This marring of his handsome face enrages Seneca, who uses all of his connections to find the man who assaulted him. This forces Varrus to flee his home in Camulodunum and head for Britannicus's villa in the west of Britain. Seneca uses all of his resources to locate him, and even has Varrus's friend Phoebe murdered.. All of his efforts prove in vain, however, and he leaves the province for Rome. Years later, Seneca returns to Britain as the new procurator, or governor. In the meantime, Varrus and Britannicus have set up the Colony, a community designed to preserve their way of life after the empire withdraws from Britain. Realizing that Seneca will never stop hunting for him, Varrus plans to rid himself of the threat forever. In AD 387, a rebellion led by a Roman general stationed in Britian breaks out, and Seneca supports it. In order to conceal his complicity if the rebellion goes badly, he hides himself in the town of Aquae Sulis, a short journey from the Colony. Varrus learns of his location and has him kidnapped and brought to a clearing in the forest. He makes Seneca sign a confession of all the crimes he has commited, and stabs him in the chest. Varrus tucks the document under Seneca's arm and leaves him for dead. He has a scout sent to the garrison in Aquae Sulis and give the location of Seneca's body to them. The patrol sent out to retrieve the body is led by Seneca's nephew Jacobus. When they arrive at the clearing, they find that Seneca is not quite dead, and Jacobus covers up the kidnapping to avoid the disgrace it would bring to the Seneca family. About five years later, Seneca accompanies a patrol sent by Britain's new governor Stilicho to investigate the Colony's activities. While en route, Seneca hears reports of Varrus's description, and realizes that he must be the assailant from so long ago. Varrus got wind of Seneca's whereabouts, and Britannicus decided to fool Seneca with a ruse: they arrested Varrus themselves, and told the patrol tha he may be a local robber and highwayman. The patrol accompanied Varrus back to Londinium, the provincial capital, where he was put on trial before Stilicho. Britannicus acted as a witness in Varrus's favor, as well as his son Picus Britannicus, who was one of Stilicho's personal advisors. Stilicho acquitted Varrus, granted legality to the Colony, and banished Seneca to an officer's position on Hadrian's Wall to the north. While, stationed on the wall, Seneca proved himself to be a truly good soldier, performing admirably in battle. However, something happened while in the north that drove him over the edge into insanity. The exact cause remained unknown, but in AD 400, Seneca and a few of his men infiltrated the Colony, where they Britannicus, Picus's wife Enid, and her newborn son, Caius Merlyn Britannicus. Britannicus, Enid, and a soldier named Plautus were all killed before Varrus killed Seneca with the newly forged sword Excalibur.

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