Cornelius is a monster-trapping apprentice working under Professor Centaur and Emperor Helena. Orphaned as a child, Cornelius was raised alongside other ragamuffins at Little Wanderers Orphanage. After graduating the orphanage, Cornelius set out on his own and went into business as an animal control boy.
Summoned to the Emperor’s palace to remove a serpent stuck in the plumbing, Cornelius was confronted with a rare and dangerous opportunity—the chance to catch the world’s most dangerous beasts to fight in the Colosseum games.
Cornelius is resourceful and capable yet he often doubts himself and overthinks situations. He’s thoughtful and kind, but in a place as menacing as Rome, those traits rarely serve him well.
Cornelius is in love with a local theater girl, Mira, but he isn’t sure if she feels the same way. Their relationship consists mostly of Cornelius flailing around in the friend zone hoping to see a romantic light at the end of the tunnel.
Coming of age in the tumultuous metropolis is no stroll through the Pantheon, but it’s made a little easier with Cornelius’s lifelong friend, Cupid, and his trapping partner, Professor Centaur, by his side.
Professor Arthur Centaur is a 176-year-old (middle-aged for a centaur) scholar, scientist, and mythical monster-trapping master from the hills of Sardinia. As a young pony boy, he had an insatiable hunger for knowledge. He devoured many books and studied under the tutelage of brilliant intellectuals. Before he had a chance to truly blossom, one of his experiments went terribly awry and he was exiled for 115 years.
Professor Centaur fled Sardinia and stumbled into a 46-year-long odyssey, traveling across the seas and beyond the known empire. During this time, much of Professor Centaur's activities and exact whereabouts are unknown.
He washed up in Rome and was hired by Octavius and Helena Leonardo. After Octavius’s death, Professor Centaur advised Helena and helped her to seize the Emperorship. He greatly admires and respects her. He serves her as a mythical monster-trapper and general advisor.
Professor Centaur is a maverick. He’s calculated yet reckless. He has no patience for stupidity and is prone to outbursts. He’s stubborn and defiant, often to the point of being overly dramatic. He’s entangled in a tumultuous romantic relationship with Medusa.
Helena Leonardo was born of humble beginnings, but her intelligence and Machiavellian nature won her a seat in the Senate, where she caught the eye of her now deceased husband, the noble Senator Octavius Leonardo. After his untimely death, Helena’s rivals believed her house and its power would crumble. Instead, it rose to new heights under her rule, and then she seized the crown.
Helena understands that the most important aspect of staying in power is retaining the love of the common people. She utilizes the gladiator games, and the mythical creatures Professor Centaur and Cornelius trap to fight in them, to accomplish that objective.
Helena is focused, ambitious, and tough. She demands results. She’s authentic and doesn’t care for the charades and fake pleasantries of the elite class, but plays the game as needed. Being Emperor can be a dirty job, but Helena is always up to the task. She knows which palms to grease and which to check for daggers.
Flavius was born in the poorest slums of Rome. He was a common street swindler known as “The Ferret,” a name he now despises. As a young man, he was convicted of distributing watered down wine to nobles and was condemned to lifelong servitude.
Flavius bounced around from house to house being sold and traded until finally coming to work for Emperor Helena. Helena treated him fairly and he found purpose in life by serving her as an assistant and “fixer”.
Flavius is ruthlessly loyal, obedient, and will do anything asked of him, even if it requires cracking a few skulls. Empowered by the Emperor, he carries himself with a false sense of importance, operates on a never-ending power trip, and is disliked by most.
Mira is an ascending actor and the love interest of Cornelius. She was adopted at birth by Albert and Claude, owners of the Round Theater. Mira loves her fathers, but often feels burdened by their micromanagement and lofty expectations.
Mira is clever, playful, and confident. She’s generally sweet, but can be very pointed when annoyed and is not afraid to speak her mind. She’s a talented performer and often feels restless being stuck in Rome. She dreams of becoming a famous actor and traveling and performing in all of the fabled playhouses across the Empire.
Cornelius and Mira have something, Mira’s just not sure what it is. While she figures it out she relegates him to the friend zone, forcing Cornelius into a state of romantic limbo. She genuinely enjoys Cornelius’s company, but she has big dreams and doesn’t want to complicate her future plans.
Cupid is a sleazy, yet lovable troublemaker who sells his matchmaking services to the highest bidder. He rubs elbows with Rome’s more nefarious characters and is always involved in some mischievous, borderline unethical plot to make money. He’s street smart and cunning, but his fast and loose approach to life inevitably leads to turmoil.
Despite his wild schemes and questionable decisions, Cornelius and Professor Centaur know that Cupid has a good heart, and they consider him to be their best friend. The trio is often found drinking together at the local pub, Venus’s Gap.
Cupid desperately seeks his father’s approval, but because of his lifestyle, his father Mars, the God of War, considers him a total disappointment.
Hadriana is a former gladiatorial champion revered throughout the Empire. She is most noted for killing 12 men and a Hydra armed with nothing but a soup ladle. She achieved fame fighting on the sands of the Colosseum and soon thereafter was hired by Emperor Helena as head gladiator trainer.
She’s a fierce instructor with a drill sergeant mentality. Her fury is as vicious as her tongue. Her merciless training program has made Helena’s gladiators the best in the Empire.
Hadriana and Helena admire and respect one another and have developed a strong friendship. Helena appreciates Hadriana’s trustworthy and forthright manner and sees her as the only person in her court with whom she can confide.
Senator Gaius Antonio Amadeus "Good Amadeus," is the head of House Amadeus, the Speaker of the Senate, and Helena’s rival. Amadeus believes the Republic should be lead by the Senate and the people, and he’s always scheming ways to make Helena look bad. Helena feigns friendship with Amadeus, but is well aware of his ill-intentions.
Amadeus runs with Rome’s elites. He’s unapologetically smug and makes no effort to conceal his arrogance. He is married to the much younger Priscilla Amadeus. Together they form the most irritating couple in the Empire.
Priscilla is the wife of Good Amadeus and is as annoying as she is pretentious. Hailing from the wealthiest family in Pompeii, she was married off to Good Amadeus as part of a business deal. Despite their arranged marriage she loves and admires her obnoxious husband.
Priscilla uses veiled insults and slights to mask her insecurities and socially one-up her fellow noblewomen. She is a narcissist who commissions paintings and marble busts of herself.
In her human state, she is elegant, beautiful, and deeply caring, but in her Gorgon state, she’s a terrifying madwoman capable of inflicting mass death and destruction.
She’s involved in a passionate and turbulent on-again, off-again romantic relationship with Professor Centaur.
Medusa "Maddy" is a prominent mythical creatures’ rights activist. She is engaged in charitable efforts throughout Rome, but her altruistic nature instantly turns to fury if offended. She has the ability to turn men into stone if she chooses to do so.
Albert and Claude
Albert and Claude are notable improv actors, loving husbands, and Mira’s parents. They own The Round Theater Improv House and are obsessed with acting. They spend most of their time in character, being overbearing parents, and searching for more funding to keep their theater afloat.
They love their daughter dearly and want nothing but the best for her, but their expectations are often a burden on Mira. They look down upon Cornelius and believe that he’s not good enough for their precious Mira.
Old Senator is the oldest sitting senator in Rome. He is a veteran of the Second Satyr War and is one of only two survivors of the infamous Battle of Goat Ridge. He is influential and respected, but no longer involved in the day-to-day happenings in the Senate, only weighing in on crucial matters.
Old Senator has always been impressed by Helena. He’s seen many Emperors in his time and believes Helena to be the fairest of them all. He advises her and looks out for her best interests in the Senate.
Old Senator is light-spirited, but crude. He’s a classic schmoozer and heavy wine drinker, well-known for his impressive party tricks.
Pigeon is a delusional pigeon. Once tortured at the hands of Little Brian, Pigeon became obsessed with vigilante justice. He wrongfully believes that he is a detective and that Flavius is his partner. He investigates crimes in Rome and reports them to Flavius who never asked him to do so.