Princeps Lucas Rayden Pierce
Lucas Rayden Pierce, Rayden to his friends, was born at 7:38am on a bright summer morning 1834. Born in a military camp during the Campain to crush the Second Rising of the Scarlua he was the first born of Tribune Vibius Calventius Pierce and his wife Ausonia Pierce. A strong and healthy boy, Rayden spent his first years in the traveling military camp as his father marched the imperial army to victory.
By age 5 Rayden, already an accomplished horseman, and proficient with most small arm, was near top of his class in all subjects. Though he did have an affinity for things Science.
He would often ride next to his father in the parades and celebrations that accompanied the significant victories that that marked the Scarlua Campaign.
Rayden’s father Tribune Vibius Calventius Pierce was by all accounts a good man, father and military commander. Loved by his men and idolized by his son and wife. Life for young Rayden was regimented but idealistic.
When Rayden was nine his mother sat him down and told him he would soon be a brother. Ausonia Pierce was pregnant. It was clear very early into the pregnancy that something was not right. Ausonia spent most of the next months in bed. During this time Rayden would spend hours with his mother as she would read stories of the travel and exploration and instill in him lessons of humanity and deep commitment to social values.
In 1844, five days before his 10th birthday Ausonia Pierce went in to labor. Rayden stood next to the bed and watched as his sister Junia was born and as his mother Ausonia died. Rayden never cried. She had prepared him well and he knew what to expect. He also knew what he needed to do. In Junia’s face he saw his mother’s eyes.
Life in the camp changed little for Rayden though his father started to become distant. A team of Scarlua Slaves were always on hand to care for Junia and his needs. At night his father would come home, open an amphora and fill his glass of wine. Since his mother’s death his father’s glass was always full. As days turned to months Rayden watched as the once proud and accomplished Tribune Vibius Calventius Pierce slowly melted into his drink.
It came as no great surprise to anyone, Rayden included, when one night drunk and passed out Vibius Calventius Pierce was killed by Scarlua assassin. The assassin was quickly captured and put to death. But the event had a profound impact on the 13 year old man Rayden. Wine and Tears are a waste of time. Structure and respect bring reward.
Left with title, a healthy inheritance, and pension from his father, Rayden now a man of 13, took Junia and left the camp headed for the Military Academy in Juvavum. Not rich, but not lacking for anything. Rayden set up a modest home and with the assistance of two of the slaves who had raised him since his mothers death (now free and paid members of his household) to raise Junia.
Rayden excelled in the Juvavum Military Academy. In his first year he took, as his totem the goddess Napeyar. The goddess of the moon, night and travel. He formed a deep friendship with Paullus Lucceius Crispian. Together they spent many nights enjoying all society had to offer.
Raydens focus was always on his future. Strength and commitment brought honor and respect. His main teacher, and in many ways replacement for his father, Caelus Lucceius Turpilinus always provided a stable hand and clear perspective on most problems.
At 19 Rayden graduated with honors from Juvavum and entered service in the imperial army. His keen mind, honed body and skills with weapons and horse propelled him above his peers. On his first engagement with the enemy he took charge of his cohort when his Centurian was killed and held the unit together. He found his calling among the Exploratores.
He would end every day with a letter to Junia. He would tell her of his day, the glory, the future… he would tell her of their parents.
It came as no surprise to anyone when Junia, on her 13th birthday announced she was following in her brothers foot steps and entering the Juvavum Military Academy.