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Sic erit; haeserunt tenues in corde sagittae

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Geraldus, the young dux and Supreme Commander of the Roman Army, the Caesar’s nephew, was so named because he was born in Alemania, where his mother, the Caesar’s devoted sister, followed him on his campaigns. The Caesar calls him Bas, blessed, because he thinks Geraldus’s birth brought good fortune and victory over the Germanic tribes to him. Though young, Geraldus is already famed for his innovative military tactics and calm nature, and is widely expected to rule Rome after his uncle dies.

One rainy overcast day in the month of Quintilis, Geraldus, overseeing the exercises of his soldiers, suddenly finds his eyes arrested by a man practicing pilum-throws. His motion is unorthodox, but his speed and accuracy are deadly. He walks over when the man finishes his session, shaking his long dark hair out of his eyes, taking a drink of water from his friend. This close, he is slight, and a head shorter than Geraldus. He looks up when Geraldus’s shadow falls across him. His eyes are a strange brown-green, wide and clear in his face.

Geraldus experiences an odd sensation in his chest, a momentary shortening of his breath. “Iaculator”, he asks, and his voice comes out deeper, softer than usual, “What is your name?” The man inhales sharply when he registers the royal Tyrian purple edging Geraldus’s simple cotton tunic, and drops on one knee. “Timotheus, my Lord”, he says, husky and clear, takes Geraldus’s right hand to kiss his signet ring. A fine tremor overtakes Geraldus then, in his own camp, on his own exercise field, under a gray sky, as he thinks with a kind of calm, detached astonishment, “This one was fated for me, this one, and the Moirai have bound us together in unbreakable chains .”