Alternate History

Praetorian Guard (Superpowers)

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Praetorian Guard
Timeline : Superpowers
Generalissimus Aulus Leo Soera
Headquarters Castra Italia
  • 88,000 Praetorian Guards
  • 40,000 to 70,000 Agents

Praetoriani (the Praetorian Guard) were once the organization which protected the Caesar and members of the Senate. Ironically, these guards had been a thorn in the side of the emperors for the first two centuries of the empire, several emperors being attacked or even assassinated by a member or leader of the Guard. The last attack of this kind occurred in 207 AD during the Plautianian Reforms under Caesar Sulla I. On the death of Plautianus, the position of Praefectus Praetoriani, captain of the Guard, was split into three equal positions. This was the final nail in the coffin for the danger posed to emperors by the Praetorian Guard.

After 1833, Alexander XIV reformed the Guard once more. His desire was for Rome to discretely exercise power in foreign lands and within the limites of the empire. Such discretion required a dedicated organization but needed to be under his complete control. For these reasons, he saw fit to expand the Praetorian Guard by a second branch, the Munus Indicius Romanus (Roman Intelligence Service), for national espionage and intelligence gathering.


Since 1834, there have been two types of Praetorian Guard. Members of the Roman Guard are highly trained bodyguards for the most important magistrates and the Caesar. Depending on the situation, they are either wearing slightly hidden body armor under a non-flowing toga or a bright red cloak and helmet which completely conceals their identity, under which is an advanced piece of armor for protection and surveillance. The latter costume comes into use for ceremonial purposes or excursions into foreign countries. This allows the Guard to serve as a psychological instrument, giving the emperor and his companions an imposing presence.

Members of the Roman Intelligence Service are skilled infiltrators and gatherers of information. Their purpose is to discover illegal operations within the Imperium and rout foreign activities dangerous to Roman security. In this function of the Praetorian Guard, it answers solely to the emperor himself. Except where their actions violate the constitution, Agents of the RIS are beyond legal reproach.

Among the general populace, the RIS (Munus Indicius Romanus) goes under many names: Auctorinus (the Agency), MIR, and Michael (after the archangel). These titles reflects the public perception of MIR as an extension of the emperor's will, another limb so to speak. Yet there are no widespread or popular conspiracy theories about the Agency. Most citizens accept that actions need to be taken for the good of the empire without the luxury of transparency. This is simply another facet of fascisma, an unshakeable loyalty and devotion to the Imperium.

Foreigners are less forgiving. There is some degree of paranoia in other governments that Rome has an eye on their activities and, in some cases, great measures are taken to prevent Roman espionage.


Each branch of the Praetorian Guard has its own command structure and operates under its own set of rules.


Approximately 0.1% of the national GDP is expended on the Praetorian Guard, equivalent to about 5 billion Dn (~$250 billion). While a significant portion goes toward agent and guardsmen salary (3600 Dn and 2900 Dn respectively), the majority is spent on Agency facilities, counter-espionage and information gathering. Some of the most highly decorated guards have five figure salaries, the Praefectorum each making 21000 Dn ($1,050,000) a year.

Praefectus Praetoriani

A Praetorian Prefect is a chief officer within the Praetorian Guard. One prefect is always present in the city of Constantinopolis in Thrace, while the other two travel the empire going wherever a man of their standing is needed.

In general, a prefect is part of the equestrian order of society, often an evocatus from the Legion; perhaps a former legate or general. They are essentially men with whom the emperor places immense trust as their offices requires them to be privy of Rome's most closely guarded secrets.

One prefect is designated the Rector Custodie, highest authority within the Roman Guard. He directly manages the movement of guardsmen and authorizes their use in any unusual circumstances, like visiting a foreign country. Another of the prefects is the Rector Indicius, the Director of the Roman Intelligence Service. With his office in the Castra Italia, the Director is positioned within Rome's foremost military facility but knows no superior other than the Caesar. In practice, he is above all members of the Senate or Legion, much to people's frustration. Should he arrive in someone's office then start issuing orders, he must be obeyed unless contradicting prior imperial decrees.

The third prefect is liaison with the Senate and the public face of the Praetorian Guard. He sits at the Caetus Legati, attends major assemblies of the Curia, and speaks to the media when the public needs to be informed of his organization's activities. The cooperaton between these three chiefs is key to the operation of the Guard.

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