Tour Through Time
Gladiators of Petros
Mortal Protectors of Custos Gnaritas
Originally within their stronghold at the Castellum Petros, the Gladiators broke away from the oppression of their kindred masters with the help of a mysterious stranger. Since then they joined the fight to protect knowledge through the centuries.
No longer confined to Rome, the Gladiators are of all races, colors and creeds and live all around the world and no longer wielding just a gladius, but adapting to time as it passes.
Using many types of training and mystical protections to ensure their line is not corrupted by others, they are ever vigilant. Over the millennial, they have fought everything from kindred to mages, werewolves, even mortal hunters. Their training, discipline and numbers have led to an astounding success rate in their duties, often working side by side with their supernatural allies.
To the modern day observer, a secret society of warriors guarding ancient knowledge sounds like something straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. To those few who have heard of the Gladiators, most treat it as nothing but a legend.
Most accounts of the Gladiators agree that it is named so because it began with a troop of freed gladiators in ancient Rome. What period of Rome is up for some debate. The name most associated with the early Gladiators is Victus. These confuses some occult scholars as there is also record of a kindred named Victus and Gladiators are supposedly a mortal-only organization. Other theories involve Nero starting a legendary band but seems less likely.
Originally endorsed by the Catholic Church, the Knights eventually found those ideals lacking and found other answers in the Middle East in the form of emissaries of the Custos Gnaritas. This caused an ideological shift in the Knights and eventually led to capture and torture of many of their members by Pope Clement V in 1307.
The incident in 1307 thinned the ranks of the Knights but not to the extent thought by Pope Clement V and he also failed to take over the Knights large financial capital, which was protected by the Custos Gnaritas.
While history records the Knights were dissolved after this time, they were in fact absorbed into the Gladiators and other into the Freemansons of the Collegium.
The Hashshashin, or Nizari, were a mysterious band of Muslim assassins that operated in the Middle East during the 13th century. The group was made up of Shia Muslims who broke off from a bigger sect and banded together in order to establish a utopian Shi’ite state. Because their number was small, the group used guerilla tactics in their battle against their enemies, including espionage, sabotage, and, most famously, political assassination. The Hashshashin would plant highly trained moles inside enemy strongholds, with instructions to only attack when the time was right. They were known for their extreme discretion in minimizing civilian casualties, as well as their penchant for using stealth to intimidate their targets. As the story goes, enemy leaders would often wake in the morning to find a Hashshashin dagger lying on their pillow, along with a note saying “you are in our grip.”
The library that contained all Nizari records was supposedly destroyed, so much of what is known about them today has taken on the status of myth. The true story of course is that their library was moved and taken into custody by the Custos Gnaritas and the Nizari who remained were absorbed into the Gladiators. The most enlightened of those have even found their way into the Custos Gnaritas as Protectors.
The most controversial legend centers of the group’s use of drugs and other intoxicants– “Hashshashin” translates roughly as “Hashish user”–which some have said were employed by the members in battle. This has been widely discredited, but the term “Hashshashin” as it refers to the Nizari is believed to be the origin of the modern word “assassin.”