Time goes by and the young gods grow in influence. Alia’s Venus temple grows in popularity, her and Cassius head back to Sicily to prepare for Alia taking Sarah’s bloodline. She takes Cassius as her child after he swears a lifelong oath to serve her, protect her, and keep her a maiden. Kanosh continues to prove himself despite the harshness of the other Furies. He puts his harem girls to work, and takes on a bigger role at the opium den while Cassius adjusts to a life of godhood. Kanosh meets a freelance gangrel who says he belongs to a bloodline of mercenary grel. He teaches Kanosh things about the gangrel the furies never could. Guinevere continues to collect wins in the debate circle and proves to be the more liberal and approachable half of the coin compared to Antonius’ conservative iron fisted political style. Harsh treatment of the low clans, all clans except the Julii, starts to lead to political unrest. As the empire grows many new cities have been encompassed. Those cities have low clan princes, mainly the daeva, who don’t wish to be second class citizens under Roman rule. The senex is divided between traditionalists and low clan sympathizers. This division pits Antonius against Guinevere in a debate. Her victory ensures rights for the low clans and representation in the senex, a position taken by a daeva named Martel.
This reduces the animosity between the factions for a time but now that the low clans have a representative, they begin to push back against the Julii. A rift that some of the invictus counsel want to exploit for their own ends as a way to remove Etrius from the throne. All Janus and his plotters need is an opportunity to get Etrius in a vulnerable position, so they plan and bide their time.