Bio: Since time immemorial, the World of the Living and the World of the Dead have been inextricably linked, with both mirroring aspects of the other's culture, traditions, and most importantly, rule. Regimes rise and fall; this is a fact of history. And long before the current Shinigami hegemony was even a thought, it was the mighty Spirit Empire that held sway in the World of the Dead. A reflection of the Roman Empire, it was every bit as proud and strong. It is from this era that Lucius Marcius Magnus - later to be known as Lucius Marcius Invictus - hails.
However, no matter the time, there are some things that do not change. Lucius' childhood was very much like anyone else's: he played with his friends, he fought them. He learned from his elders, and he disobeyed them. His life was nothing out of the ordinary. He joined the First Spirit Legion, and in the Empire's name, cowed barbarian populations and beat back the never-ending tide of ravenous beasts that would come to be known as "Hollows." His strength, valour and commitment to the Empire saw him rise rapidly through the ranks, until at last he was promoted to the office of Primus pilus, or senior centurion, of the First Cohort. Adored by those below him and respected by those above, it seemed as if Lucius' star was destined for eternal ascension... that is, until he received "that" mission.
Among the many troubles that plagued the Spirit Empire, the constant incursion of Hollows was arguably the most serious. Rebellions could be quelled; however, these beasts remained undaunted by force of arms, being driven only by their mindless hunger for souls. Therefore, it was decided that a cohort should venture into the Realm of Night, the breeding ground of these foul creatures, and exterminate every last one. And so it was that Lucius found himself being called upon for this great duty, which he accepted with honour. The Emperor's magi then gathered and performed a ritual to open a doorway into the Realm of Night, through which Lucius and his loyal men stepped, each one already imagining the accolades and laurels they would receive upon their return.
But it was not to be. For although the Emperor was well aware that it might take decades to cleanse the plane, and had made provisions with his magi to signal the First Cohort to return at any point, he had not foreseen just how emboldened the Empire's enemies would be by the absence of the Cohort's legendary strength. For within a few very short decades, barbarians of every ilk had banded together and assailed the great capital. The Empire held on for as long as it could, but without the might of the First Cohort, the First Legion was but a shadow of itself. Worsening matters further was the active rebellion of the Empire's own people. Doomed to fight a losing battle on two fronts, the Empire was overthrown and ransacked before the magi had time to send the signal that could have saved them.
Meanwhile, in the Realm of Night, with no idea what was happening to their beloved homeland, Lucius and his men plumbed ever further into the devil's den, slaying all Hollows in their path. Some of their battles were easily won, others not so much; growing stronger and stronger, they remained committed to their duty. This continued for hundreds of years, which became millennia, until none of them knew exactly how much time had passed. All they knew was their duty. And as his men began to fall one by one, that was all Lucius had to hold on to, until at last even he suffered a wound too grievous to be tended to in such hostile territory. And with all of his men dead by this point, he had no choice but to retreat.
He reluctantly activated his centurion's badge and was instantly transported back to the Forum - or at least, to the place the Forum used to be. For instead of being greeted by familiar faces and glorious architecture, as he had expected - hoped - he saw nothing but ruins, with no faces at all in sight. With shock driving his wound from his mind, he ran desperately throughout the capital, searching for anyone that could tell him what had transpired. But he found no one. The Empire had fallen, it seemed, and he had not been here to defend it. And though it was on the order of the Emperor that he and his men had been absent in the first place, this thought would haunt him for the rest of time...
Appearance: Lucius cuts a solid, somewhat overbearing figure. His body is clad in armour typical of Roman infantry, which, despite being visibly battered by over a millennium of constant combat, is obviously well-cared for, with not a speck of rust in sight. Sheathed at his hip is his standard-issue spatha, and he carries a pilum and scutum. His face is often described as "hawkish", with piercing brown eyes, a large straight nose, and strong features. His face is lined with his countless years, and his hair, cut short in a military style, is white as snow.
Personality: Lucius is, first and foremost, a loyal soldier of the Empire. Everything it ever was - its strength, its pride, its glory, its honour - lives on in him. He is very conscious of his status as the last living remnant of the Empire, but despite this, and although he does not say it, he is unsure of his identity and purpose in light of its fall. Should he try to rebuild the Empire, and bring these barbarians back under the proper rule of law? Should he integrate into the new society, as strange as it is? Or should he just go back to the Realm of Night, and continue carrying out his duty until the world itself ends? These are just some of the questions that plague him.
Lucius' next most noticeable feature is his stoicism. Given that centurions were normally selected for their predisposition to action rather than speech in the first place, and accounting for the innumerable events he's witnessed and people he's dealt with in his vast number of years, his preference for silence is hardly surprising. He speaks when he needs to, and wastes no words. He is polite to those he perceives to be of his rank, deferent to those above, and genially patronizing to those below, as befits a proper centurion.
Name: as a standard-issue spatha, Lucius' sword has no name
Appearance: an ordinary spatha, which he normally keeps sheathed at his right hip
Nature/element: while Lucius' sword may appear to be nothing out of the ordinary, it, like others of its kind, was created with techniques "extracted" from barbarian slaves. Forged from the soul of a thief and quenched in the blood of the righteous, it is a weapon designed for one purpose only: to seal within itself the souls of those it slays, to be held under the wielder's eternal dominion and fated to serve them and the glory of the Empire. They were held by every commissioned officer of centurion rank and above, and it was considered an honour for lower-ranking soldiers to submit themselves for mercy killings when grievously wounded on the battlefield, so as to keep fighting.
Soul Absorption: any being killed by this sword - or the souls it manifests - be they human, Hollow, Shinigami or otherwise, will have their soul sealed within the sword.
Soul Manifestation: at the Lucius' whim, the sword can manifest any number of souls within it to fight on the user's behalf as wraiths, with full access to any or all of their abilities and strength they had when they were alive. However, because they no longer have their own bodies to sustain them, they draw their strength directly from Lucius himself. This drain on his reserves is proportional to not only the number of souls he chooses to summon, but the length of time he keeps them manifested, and whether or not he chooses to have them take a tangible form. Furthermore, the strength of their unique abilities is tied directly to the amount of reiatsu he possesses at any given point in time.
Name: as a standard-issue pilum, Lucius' spear has no name
Appearance: an ordinary pilum, which Lucius carries in his right hand
Nature/element: the shaft is forged from the strongest known spirit metal, making it nearly unbreakable, while the tip is carved from sekkiseki.
Name: as a standard-issue scutum, Lucius' shield has no name
Appearance: an ordinary scutum, semi-cylindrical, about as tall as Lucius' collarbone if stood directly on the ground. Has an outer layer made of sekkiseki, with a large blunt boss made of the same material. Normally carried in Lucius' left hand, or slung across his back when he uses his spatha
Powers and Abilities
Reiatsu: having been fighting non-stop for millennia, Lucius' reiatsu is undoubtedly great, but he does not care to compare it to anyone else's. In keeping with the traditions of the Spirit Legion, he does not express it outwardly very often, and instead keeps it focused within his own body
Strength: physically, Lucius is a very strong individual, able to clash with and overpower enemies in the very depths of the Realm of Night/Hueco Mundo. But, again, this is not something he cares to test against others
Stamina: arguably Lucius' most impressive attribute. Just like his every other physical attribute, it has been subject to constant conditioning in the course of his duties. It is great enough that he can manifest an entire cohort using his spatha and have them fight at their full strength, while still having enough in reserve to fight personally if need be (though he would rather avoid that.) As befits a senior officer of the First Spirit Legion, he is a very hard man to take down
Durability: it is difficult to gauge Lucius' durability directly, for he is never seen in combat without his armour and shield, which were designed to withstand almost any attack imaginable. However, given the extra stress the considerable weight of these items puts on him, and the sheer length of time he has carried them, it is likely that his durability is impressive without them
Speed: in his own time, Lucius' reaction speed was considered nearly peerless, and it has only improved after millennia of battle. While he cannot travel over a distance nearly as quickly as a shunpou user would, within melee distance he could best be described as "lightning fast"
Shunpou/footwork: owing to the fact that shunpou was developed long after his time, Lucius has zero knowledge of this art. However, his skill in footwork - a critical element in the combat style of the Legion - more than makes up for it in melee distance
Zanjutsu/weapons handling: again, Zanjutsu as a style is only a recent development; therefore, he has very little knowledge of its workings and techniques. However, the core fundamentals of Zanjutsu are the same as any martial art, so he can adapt his own style to deal with it. His skill with sword and spear are so fearsome, that they are largely responsible for his cognomen "Invictus" ("Undefeated")
Hakuda/hand to hand: as above. Lucius rarely employs anything other than his weapons, but when he does, he does not do so in any refined fashion - he simply uses the most pragmatic approach, which could be kicking in the knees of his opponent, bashing them with his shield, or tripping them up to deliver a sword thrust through their chest
Kido/spiritual arts: again, kidou did not exist when Lucius learned to fight. However, that does not mean the Empire was bereft of any spiritual abilities whatsoever, just that they took a very different form. The abilities particular to Lucius are as follows:
- Blessing of Mars: a blessing given to Lucius by the Priests of Mars, it acts as a constant buff that gives him heightened perception in battle, as well as allowing him to more easily comprehend unfamiliar fighting styles, tactics and strategies.
- Blessing of Apollo: a blessing given to Lucius by the Priests of Apollo, it acts as a constant buff that grants him regeneration, with the speed depending on the severity of the wound. It also prolongs his stamina, particularly in sunlight. Finally, it allows him to expel a blinding light periodically, which has no physical effects but is useful for a distraction.
- Blood Oath: a technique garnered from a barbarian tribe, the Blood Oath is a ritual that ensures the participants' complicity to a set of agreed terms. If either party breaks their side of the oath, their soul is instantly destroyed.