Few Changing Breeds dwell in close vicinity to the Eternal City. The blight radiating from its stinking insulae apartments drives away the sensitive, and the close crush of humanity tests the fortitude of the mildest of them. Remaining in Rome for any period of time requires discipline and tolerance to endure the constant tests against a shapeshifter's mettle. Nevertheless, the tribes of Bastet have a modest if persistent presence.
Nearly two hundred years ago, the Bubasti struck a damnable bargain with the vampires of the Eternal Senate to free their feline kin from slavery, inadvertently binding the Bastet's destiny to the Rome. Bastet warriors rode in the legions' vanguard against Carthage, and their mystics participated in the great ritual to bind the destroyed, corrupted city for all time. Alas, nothing lasts forever. The Changing Breeds make their unhappy contributions to keep nightmares imprisoned under the earth, and many young and rebellious shapeshifters wonder whether the sacrifice is much worth it.
Bastet: The feline shapeshifters of the Roman Empire.
Supernatural forces exist in the Nights of Antiquity and these are widely known to the Kindred of Rome.
Faithful: Rome is a city of seven hills and a thousand holy places littered within its walls. Holy offices provide a means of social advancement. Pragmatic Romans pay lip service to the gods and wholly believe in the god-touched. A rare few devotees occasionally display powers and abilities associated with the divine. Cainites dread anyone who truly serves the gods, even if they have no belief in them. A priestess speaking invocations delivers unbreakable curses. The captive Gaulish druid forces the earth to open and swallow an offending jailer. A man on the road forces a hunter to his knees in absolute terror. Holy manifestations are regular enough to be the stuff of story and song in the Nights of Antiquity. Any vampire learns swiftly to mind the faithful or end up ash for tampering with godlings' playtoys.
Ghosts: The unquiet dead throng throughout Rome. The city of one million people possesses more than a few poltergeists and vindictive haunts in places high and low. Sensitive mortals and rare Cainite mediums avoid the Esquiline district altogether. For centuries, the Esquiline served as the only legal burial grounds in the whole of the city. Vaults entomb generations of dead and bitter memories with unfathomable, ancient drives. The catacombs whisper with unknown spirits, while the murdered seek revenge in the back alleys in the Subura slums. In Rome, ghosts do not sleep quietly and the living and Kindred alike walk with care. Priests of many faiths, from Egyptian Isis to Olympian Apollo, profess many methods to exorcise and put the restless to sleep once more.
Spirits: Superstitious Romans largely accept the existence of spirits, particularly ancestors, deified mortals, nature and place spirits. Rich mythologies, both Greco-Roman and more exotic, classify entire troves of spirits, but educated men put little stock in stories about actual encounters. Still, they are equally as careful as the meanest peasant. Genius loci, spirits of places, are widely thought to be self-aware. The populace performs rites at household altars and sacrifice at important shrines in groves, glades, and other holy places. State cults include Roma and Italia, the embodiment of the city and the country in particular, in authorized worship.