Gnaeus was born in AD 430, the eldest son of a scion of the patrician Scipione branch of the Cornelii family and a mother of Visigoth abstraction. At eighteen, Gnaeus joined the imperial legions of Flavius Aetius. Gnaeus fought in the battle of the Catalaunian Plains in the Roman and Visigoth force that halted Attila’s advance into Italy. His valor was such that Flavius Aetius awarded him a rich prize of plunder and slaves. Clan Ventrue took an early interest in Gnaeus, when he was naught but a centurion. The Scipioness were integral to clan Ventrue’s success during Punic Wars. Tales of Gnaeus’s martial exploits reached the remnants of the Eternal Senate, and a veteran of the Punic Wars, the Ventrue Methuselah Gaius Marcellus.
Ultimately, the Eternal Senate chose to ghoul, rather than embrace, the young Gnaeus. For five years, Gnaeus served as a mouthpiece for his shadow regent Gaius Marcellus and the Eternal Senate. The Senate sought to stave off the dismemberment of the Western Empire via their mouthpiece Gnaeus and Flavius Aetius, the last great Roman General. Flavius Aetius named Gnaeus Primus Pilus of his First Legion, Reliable Flavian. Gnaeus was awarded honors in several campaigns. Notably, Gnaeus harassed Attila’s vast host with outriders during their rape of the Italian peninsula. After Flavius’s murder at that hands of Valentinian, Gnaeus lost his post as primus pilus, but continued to serve as a centurion under Flavius Petronius Maximus and fought the Vandals in the streets of Rome during their sack of the Imperial City in 455. The young Gnaeus became disgusted and disillusioned with the Eternal Senate’s ineffectiveness and indecisiveness, but continued to serve them as their mouthpiece and pawn; he was irrevocably addicted to Cainite vitae. Some months after his defense of the Imperial City, with naught but a handful of legionnaires, the Roman Ventrue decided to embrace young Gnaeus and begin his tutelage in the agoge. In 456, while Gnaeus was serving in Gaul, the Lasombra Sybil preempted the Roman Ventrue.
After embracing the young centurion, Sybil enjoined Gnaeus to slay those who had brought about the atrophy and dismemberment of his beloved Rome. Lacking the vast resources of the Roman Ventrue and Toreador, Gnaeus fought them from the shadows. He orchestrated the deaths of two promising neonates, children of Ventrue and Toreador elders. Gnaeus also gained some measure of influence over Aegidius’s Army in Northern Gaul, but his machinations did little to forestall the inevitable fall of the Western Empire or damage the nascent Inconnu. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Gnaeus travelled into the wilds of Germany; indeed, he became somewhat mad. Half Cainite, half beast, he spent nearly a century stalking Gangrel, Tzmisce, and worse in Germania and Dacia. Sometime during the sixth century, Gnaeus entered into a struggle with a Gangrel elder. He chased and hunted the beast for weeks and, at the end of a long battle, gorged upon the beast’s blood and soul. His hunger sated, Gnaeus sank into the earth of a Dacian meadow. He slept for many years until he awoke to hear singing in his mother tongue.
Gnaeus rose from the earth and saw a great encampment of soldiers. He surreptitiously inserted himself within their army and travelled south with the crusader host of Godfrey of Bouillon. Gnaeus assumed the manners and language of the Frankish knights. He assumed the name Guillaume, the Frankish equivalent of William, the given name of the 11th century’s greatest soldier. After the resultant slaughter of the Weeks of Blood, Gnaeus lingered in the Holy Land and attached himself to an embryonic Christian Military Order, the Knights of Saint John, or the Knights Hospitaller. He forged an, at times, uneasy alliance with the French Toreador Alphonse des Rosiers. The alliance endured, in part, because neither Alphonse de Rosiers, nor any of his fellows, ever discovered “Guillaume’s” Latin name, nor his deeds during the twilight of the Western Empire.
The Inconnu were not forgotten, but in the centuries since Gnaeus’s departure from Italy, they had become all the more powerful and inscruitable. He searched and plotted, but, ultimately, their sect proved impenetrable. Gnaeus sought to preserve the Crusader states in the selfsame manner he sought to stave off the destruction of the Western Empire. He ghouled two promising knights and extended his influence to Italy, France and Spain. In 1158, Gnaeus changed his tabard and became the shadow regent of the Knights of Calatrava. He ruled, and on more than one occasion, fought beside the Iberian Knights. In time, reports of his prowess in battle against an Assamite Ancilla reached the Courts of Love and, in short order, he was denounced by the Grandmaster of the order and. Gnaeus fled Iberia with with a good deal of plunder, and two faithful ghouls.
Gnaeus longed for the Rome of his youth. Thus, he fled to Constantinople, and, to the elder’s amaze, Michael offered him sanctuary within the city. Indeed, the Methuselah displayed a saintliness that Cainites should not possess. In 1195, Gnaeus received word of the Order of Calatrava’s disastrous defeat at Alarcos, and the elder entered a brief, dark rage. He adopted yet another language and set of customs; he took the name Aetios, a Hellenized version of his onetime General’s name. Aetios was also the name of a scheming eunuch and the irony was too acute to resist. Undeath makes a eunuch and a schemer of all men. During his short time in Constantinople, the tale of the Triumvirate’s Dream and the slow death of the same has made Gnaeus recall his years as a neonate, when he sought to save the Western Empire via Flavius Aetius. Michael and Dracon, and Caius’s treachery evoke memories of the treachery of Valentinus and his cronies, Petronius Maximus and Heraclius.
Gnaeus regards many of his Lasombra peers with distaste. He considers Magnus an ineffectual martinet and Peter an incompetent dullard. Sarah and Gabriella are both competent and capable. He shares a vision evocative of Gabriella’s vision of Constantinople. A strong city with connections to the Genoese Lasombra. Gnaeus reserves a profound contempt for Alfonzo and the Ventrue Caius. Alfonzo of Venice is no better than the rapacious Vandals who sacked the Imperial city, during Gnaeus’s mortal lifetime. Whereas Caius is guilty of a sin that recalls Valentinus’s treachery toward Flavius Aetius. Gnaeus’s attitude toward Constantine’s onetime lieutenant and the Venetian merchant is, at least outwardly, cordial. Although, Gnaeus would happily fillet the Patrician and the rapacious merchants if ever there were an opportune moment.
Gnaeus possesses his Visigoth mother’s dark hair and swarthy skin tone and his Latin father’s aquiline nose and patrician brow. During his mortal lifetime, he walked with a deadly martial grace. In the course of seven centuries, Gnaeus has refined his gait to a predatory, almost lupine bearing. The shadows about his eyes and face possess an unsettling and preternatural depth, a testament to his skill in Obtenebration. He is every inch the patrician and soldier.