Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi 372
Western Roman Empire
Rhine River: Roman-German Border
It was a fairly cold night along the frontier as Marcus Attalus Scipio emerges from his officers quarters and begins to climb the rough wooden stairs to the top of the battlements of the fortress Antionia. Marcus silently surveys the brooding dark forests of Germania, then sighs. "I don't see why more people didn't want this position, It's not like many Barbarian raiders attack here anymore." The Ripiania stationed here had truly been blessed. Along this section of the Rhine were few raiders since the construction of the Roman fort, preferring the easier pickings of the border town. Marcus turns to head back down when something catches his eye. Most men would dismiss it as just a trick of the light,
But Marcus is not one of those men.
He jerks back around to behold a horrifying sight. A creature that walks like a man, but possesses the appearance of a viper emerges from the wood, an arrow resting upon the bowstring of his weapon. The monstrosity raises its bow an looses the arrow while letting out an ear curdling shriek, as if on cue more demons rush toward the fort. Before Marcus has any time to react, an arrow pierces through his chain mail and the Cohort Centurion falls from the wall, dead before he struck the ground.
Marcus jerks awake in the middle of what appears to be a fog. Looking about at his surrounding, he says silently to himself "Where am I?"
"You are between the Earth and Heaven."
Marcus jumps up in a panic as St. Paul the Apostle strode into the Centurion's view.
"Marcus Attalus Scipio, I have a message for you. As we speak, Hell is being prepared to invade the earth. A fallen Angel named Plutriarch is amassing a massive army to cross into the mortal realm and create a kingdom of demons that will rule over all the world."
"What!" was Marcus' stunned reply.
"Yes, and The Lord God has chosen you to destroy Plutriarch and save all mankind."
"But I am but a lowly soldier of the Border Garrison! I'm not suited to engage the demons of Hell!" Marcus protested.
"But the Lord has called you by name, declaring you as the only man alive who can defeat Plutriarch."
At this the Centurion sank to his knees and said "What would God have me do?"
Paul spoke " No weapon of man can harm Plutriarch, but in the world is one divine weapon that can, The Spear of Cassius. The Spear was the weapon that had been driven into our Lord's side while He hung dead upon the cross. As It had been drenched in the holy blood of Christ, it has the power to defeat Plutriarch. Unfortunatly, It had been broken into seven pieces to protect it in the great persecutions and has since been scattered across creation. But fear not!You will not have to search without help. Your friend Ptolomy and a woman of the Goths shall aid you in this journey. Now, Arise Centurion!"
Marcus rose to his feet as Paul made the sign of the cross and chanted " In this sign, conquer." In a flash of white, a cross was engraved on Marcus' right hand." This sign will lead you to the pieces. I will be praying for you" The Apostle said as he embraced Marcus, then he turned and walked back into the swirling white mist.
For the second time Marcus jerked awake, but this time not to Saints, but to slaughter. The walls and buildings of Fortress Antonia was burned and the entire garrison had been killed. Thankfully no demons were in sight. Marcus stepped over the corpses of his brothers-in-arms towards the horse stables. To his shock, All the horses had been spared. Swapping his arms and armor for that of a cavalryman, Marcus held up his cross. A beam shot out that made the horse jump, But Marcus now knew where to go. He urged his mount, who he had deiced to call Vipsania south to the port of Ostia, and a ship to Sicily.