Blood of Rome
The Mausoleum of Augustus
The Mausoleum of Augustus stands on the Campus Martius. The mausoleum was planned and built by Augustus for his dynasty, and he is interred there along with members of his family and a number of later Emperors of the first century.
The mausoleum is circular, about 300 feet in diameter, and clad in marble. The mausoleum has several tiers, with evergreen trees planted on the lowest tier and a mound of earth, recalling the archaic burial mounds of Latium, surmounted by a statue of Augustus at the top. On pillars outside hang gilded plates inscribed with the Res Gestae Divi Augusti: the Deeds of Divine Augustus. As far as the mortal inhabitants of Rome know, the mausoleum has been sealed and inviolate for more than 200 years.
However, an entrance to Necropolis was included in the original plans, and the Senex controls access to the structure. In its center is a large, circular chamber, domed, with niches in the walls. Each niche contains a funerary urn, containing the ashes of a member of the Imperial family, and a statue of the deceased. Trials of noble Kindred who are accused of treason are held here.
These trials are highly formal affairs, with careful rules of procedure. The accused is always present, and must not be in torpor, but he is normally staked. The rules of the court, however, allow him to make one final statement, after the case has been put on both sides and before the Senex passes sentence. Traditionally, the accused is allowed to stand free one last time, but if the Senex feels that he might try to abuse that privilege by running away or seeking revenge, he is bound in chains of gold and silver. This is by far the most common.
Although a guilty verdict is by far the most common, the Senex prides itself on republican fairness, and Kindred are, from time to time, acquitted.
The entrance from Necropolis is carefully guarded, and it is all but impossible for vampires to enter when there is no trial in progress. The central chamber is, however, large, and can accommodate many more vampires than the Camarilla, something that helps to maintain the dignity of trials and that may be part of the reason that they were moved here.