Blood of Rome
The Templum Remi (“Temple of Remus”) is the holiest place in Necropolis, and of central importance to the Kindred College of Augurs. For most Kindred, the name indicates that Remus founded and constructed the temple, but some believe that the temple also pays reverence to the departed shade of the first Kindred.
The temple is carved from solid rock, deep beneath the Capitoline Hill of Rome. Some Kindred claim that its position and orientation correspond precisely to that of the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus on the hill; that may be true, but the Templum Remi is undoubtedly smaller.
It consists of at least three chambers, and although the space in the rock is ancient, the fittings, including the facing stones, of the temple have been changed several times, most recently a little over a century ago. The first chamber recreates an atrium, in front of the temple proper. White columns, in the Corinthian style, run around all four sides of a square chamber. The space between the columns and the walls is faced with white stone, and statues of notable Kindred stand in niches in the walls. The whole area is paved in white stone, and the ceiling in the center of the atrium is decorated with a mosaic of the night sky. The sky depicted is that of three in the morning on May 15th, 761 BCE; this has been faithfully copied in every restoration, and some believe that it records the time of Remus’s Embrace.
The main altar stands in the atrium, directly in front of the door to the next chamber. The room is illuminated by two lamps in gold stands, one to either side of the altar. An augur is in attendance here at all times, and any Kindred who wishes may make a sacrifice to the gods of the Propinqui.
The second chamber, the cella, contains the images of the gods. The walls are all clad in white marble, and a double line of columns splits the space into three lengthwise. The floor is paved in porphyry, and the ceiling gilded. At the far end, illuminated by five lamps, each on a different, ancient stand, are the statues of the gods.
The oldest, and holiest, is of sandstone, and time has made it hard to discern details. It depicted a man, apparently naked apart from a cap or helmet, and carrying what was probably a spear. It is conventionally described as a statue of night. Those who believe that the temple enshrines Remus say that it is a portrait of that vampire. A few even believe that it is Remus, transformed to stone to wait out a long torpor.
The others are much more easy to understand. There are fine bronze statues of Mercury and Dis, and marble statues of Proserpina, Pluto, Roma and Diana. These are arranged in niches around the statue of night, and, thanks to the most recent rebuilding, the effect is elegant and impressive, rather than crowded.
Another altar stands immediately in front of the statues. This is used by the Augurs for certain ceremonies, and when it is in use, admission to the main temple is by invitation only.
There is at least one further chamber, accessed through two doors in the rear wall, behind the statues of Proserpina and Mercury. Only ranking members of the College of Augurs are permitted to enter this room, and even they may only enter to perform the most important rituals. None have ever so much as hinted as to what might be in there; predictably, one popular rumor is that Remus is there, another that Senex is.
Equipment Bonus: The atrium gives +1 to all Augur rituals, while the main cella gives +3. However, this only applies if the ritual is properly authorized; if not, the bonus becomes a penalty.