Pater familias: Marcus Valerius (deceased), currently lead by his widow, Gaia Valeria Tyrania
The Gens Valerii has existed within the Empire for as long as anybody cares to discuss. Family legends hold that the Valerii were once powerful statesmen and leaders across the civilized Empire. However, whatever grand title of leadership they claim to have once held, very little remains today. Until recently, the Valerii rarely distinguished themselves beyond a well told streak of stubbornness.
The past one hundred years has seen the Valerii become more frequently associated with the plight of the plebian. Much to the detriment of the family as a whole, the past leaders of the family have emphasized rights of all citizens to an extent that has made them extremely unpopular with the other noble houses of Bael Turath.
One of the more peculiar (yet rarely noted) aspects of the Valerii is a distinct lack of Tiefling heritage. Although there have been a handful of Tieflings throughout the family, the Valerii seemed to have avoided the “Curse of Leadership” that plagued so many other families within the Empire. In general, when Tiefling blood found its way into the family, it ended within a generation from early death and disgrace.
The Fall of Marcus Valerius
Marcus Valerius was the previous head of the Gens Valerii. Early in his career, hoping to succeed where his father and grand-father had failed, he married into a family with wealth and power. His hope had been to utilize their influence to further his own agenda while not become to embroiled in their political struggles. His wife, a Tiefling, soon became pregnant and gave birth to a son, Gaius Valerius.
As a youth, Gaius Valerius was trained in all of the classical arts: the ways of war and words. For many years of his childhood, Gaius was tutored by a noted orator and musician, the Bard Lucius Scipius Quintus. Unfortunately, Gaius never took well to musical talents, taking better to the martial arts.
When Gaius Valerius left home and joined the Legion, strange political machinations began to unfold within the Gens Valerii. Marcus Valerius’ wife, Gaia Valeria, became entwined in a vast conspiracy that spread throughout the many families of Bael Turath. As part of her bid for power, she found the leadership of her new family lacking and murdered her husband. With Marcus Valerius out of the way, it was easy for Gaia to unify the power structures of the Valerii with those of her corrupt allies.
The Rite of Vengeance
When Gaius returned home from the front to visit his family, he was horrified to find his father murdered. It did not take him long to discover that the murderer of his father was actually his mother; she readily admitted it to him in an effort to sway him to her corrupt cause. Gaius, finding himself bound by the familial vengeance rite, knew that the only way to avenge his father was to kill his murderer. However, he also knew that to commit matricide was too heinous an act to ever justify. Facing a damned fate no matter which choice he made, he chose to flee the vile world that his mother had created. Gaius ran as far as he could, taking a post in the most distant Legion in an effort to hide from the truth.