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Art by Ken Meyer, Jr.
1st century AD
7th (originally), 12th (post-1998)
Valerius Maior was born as Valerius, a common soldier of the Roman Empire. He served under Marc Anthony and surrendered to Agrippa after the loss of the Battle of Actium. Along with his comrades, he was sent to the arena to fight to his death. Valerius, however, proved himself resourceful and lucky and was promoted to act as "Mercury" in the Arena - it was his duty to examine fallen gladiators in the arena with a hot iron rod to see if they could be used for another battle. As time progressed, Valerius began to see himself as an actual god who decided who would cross the Styx to go to the underworld.
His life changed completly when he was purchased by Varro, a member of the Cult of Mercury who dabbled in infernalism. He made Valerius his acolyte and taught him enough of the dark arts to be eventually of use to act as a host for the demon Nubara. To this end, he defiled Valerius several times, but during the final ritual, a tiny mistake proved to be his undoing. The demon devoured the life of any living creature within Varro's sanctuary, marking Valerius as his own and departed.
The acolyte lay in stasis for several centuries, before he awakened and left Italy behind. After acting as a street artist who performed minor miracles, the Tremere became interested in him and Embraced him after introducing him to the Orleans Chantry. His knowledge of the ancient practices of the Cult of Merury made him valuable for the Clan and even competed with Grimgoth for the Seat of Western Europe within the Council of Seven. At the same time, he watched with concern on how the Consensus shifted and made magick nearly impossible to practice.
At the end of the seventeenth century, however, his past finally claimed him. The shade of Varro came from the netherworlds, using the corruption bred into the Tremere as a vessel to dominate Valerius and claiming his body. This came to the attention of the Tremere Antediluvian, who demanded that Valerius would be brought before him. As Goratrix before him, Valerius/Varro fled to the Sabbat, becoming antitribu and calling himself Valerius Maior.
A follower of the Path of Evil Revelations, Valerius sought to undermine the Sabbat as a part of the Black Hand, only to find himself a target of the Inquisition. Seeking to ally himself with Kemintiri and forming a new sect of Anathema, Valerius hoped to create an alliance of powerful vampires under the control of his demonic patron. The Setite Methuselah, however, declined and Valerius became even more infested with demonic corruption, although sometimes, the spark of the soldier Valerius would resurface, merging the Valerius and the Varro persona into one completely new personality. He also had a personal vendetta against his Clan, disparaging and embarassing them whenever he could.
When the Tremere antritribu were destroyed in 1998, Valerius Maior was rumored to have been at the epicentre of the rite. As he had never undergone a Vaulderie, he was spared from the gros of the destructive power of the ritual, but the demon was ripped from his soul, reducing him to a Twelfth Generation vampire. Although his powers are greatly diminished, he has retained his vast knowledge and is rumored to have found shelter in Mayfair, London, in the companionship of George Hammond.
In The Kindred Most Wanted, Valerius sire is given as Varro, while Chaining the Beast states that his sire is unknown. As Varro was never reported to be a vampire and existed well before Clan Tremere was formed, it can be assumed that Varro's mention as his sire is metaphorical. V20 Dread Names Red List reveals that his sire was the Tremere Founder, Fanchon.
Demeanor: Bon Vivant
Apparent Age: 20
Physical: Strength 5, Dexterity 5, Stamina 5
Social: Charisma 5, Manipulation 5, Appearance 4
Mental: Perception 5, Intelligence 5, Wits 5
Talents: Brawl 3, Dodge 5, Empathy 3, Instruction 5, Intimidation 4, Intrigue 5, Leadership 4, Masquerade 4, Style 4, Subterfuge 5
Skills: Animal Ken 1, Etiquette 3, Herbalism 4, Research (Speed Reading) 5, Ride 2
Knowledges: Academics 3, Alchemy 4, Heraldry 3, History 5, Kindred Lore 5, Linguistics 5, Magus Lore 5, Military Science 1, Occult (Astrology) 5, Science 3, Spirit Lore 4
Disciplines: Auspex 5, Celerity 1, Daimoinon 5, Dominate 5, Fortitude 3, Necromancy 4, Obfuscate 2, Obtenebration 3, Presence 3, Thaumaturgy 5, Visceratika 2
Thaumaturgical Paths: Path of Blood 5, Path of Conjuring 5, Path of Corruption 4, Elemental Mastery 4, Lure of Flames 4, Movement of the Mind 4, Neptune’s Might 4, Spirit Manipulation 3
Necromantic Paths: Sepulchre Path 4
Backgrounds: Allies 2, Contacts 4, Resources 4
Virtues: Conviction 2, Instinct 5, Courage 4
Morality: Path of Revelations 3
- p. 123-124