The Emperor Julian is slain and the Coterie is the first in Rome to learn of it. They present the news to the Senex. Chaos erupts and someone suggests a nobody Julii to lead the Senate. Somehow he gains support and nobody has a good time. Some of the coterie follow the speaker who caused the disruption and find that it is a Strix in a Legio Mortuum corpse. The Strix escapes due to the coterie’s growing madness and lack of perception (can anyone say ‘earthmeld’). They report this news to the war crow who seems greatly concerned. Julia Sabina suggests they keep an eye on the new upstart Julii and they witness his assassination and clear Victrix of the act.
Medicus, Servius and Avitus are invited to a meeting with the Warcrow. There they witness an alliance between him and Hostilinus of the Lancea Sanctum. They help defeat an assassination attempt at the meeting and win favour of two of the most powerful vampires in Necropolis. Selling out begins as Avitus finally joins the Legio Mortuum and Medicus joins the Lancea et Sanctum. Servius stays true to his principles or perhaps was just too distracted by all the blood Avitus drank.
It is apparent that the Warcrow has written off the Julii as either being ineffective at maintaining order or as future victims of the Strix. He makes his position firm that he will do anything to stabilize Necropolis. The characters are sworn to secrecy.