The Red Court Murders


These were considered some of the most infamous murders that ever shook the empire with three royals left dead in the very heart of the imperial palace.

Historical Basis

The Discovery

  In 850 CA, during the reign of emperor Dorian VI, a tragic incident turned the empire upside down. It happened one fateful night in the Palace of Lux Aeterna as the guards were making their daily patrols, one of them saw something out of the ordinary in the throne room. It only took a few moments to realize that blood was on the floor and a trail leading to the throne. What they saw behind it was shocking. They found the bodies of the emperor’s brother, Varus. Along with his wife and son dead and covered in their own blood. The alarm was rung and the entire palace was put on lockdown. The Royal guard was scattered all around the building to find the intruders. But none of them were found. The highest officials were alerted to the startling news, including the emperor himself as he was awakened from his chamber. He took it the hardest as he had a close bond with his brother. He order an emergency session of the Imperial Senate and quickly gathered his most trusted allies for council. The news was kept hidden until all the details were known and secrecy was needed as news like this could create massive ripples in the empire and the neighboring kingdoms.  

The Hunt Begins

  By the time the bodies were removed to be examined by the royal practitioner, many members of the state were gathered in the palace. They were all still shocked to believe this happened in one of the most secure places in the empire. Paranoia spread as well as many thought that it was an inside job and a traitor was amongst them. The emperor who was frantic at this point wanted to know who did it and the city was closed off and every nick and cranny searched in the city. Along with the Imperious Oculus sent out to gather information on how this happened in the first place. Many agreed with them and a few didn’t, since they believed that the killer left already and was long gone. But they did not wish to disagree with the emperor in his current state. The orders were given and the city was closed tight and the city guards began searching for enemies of the emperor's brother and their associates were brought in for questioning. Crackdowns on criminal organizations were done as well as Prince Varus was a strong supporter of ending organized crime and many wished him silenced.   Several days past and the entire capital was turned upside down in search of the culprits leaving a few hundred dead and serval dozen imprisoned, but still no official suspects. Even the Imperious Oculus used their information network to see if they could find the killer. But the lack of information on the case made it all but impossible to find. All hopes seem to fade until by accident a chilling discovery was made by a mason working in the palace. He was sent to repair a wall that seemed to be deteriorating and discovered something was off about the wall itself. It was in fact a secret entrance that was recently used. After learning of this the royal guard was sent in to investigate. Finding a series of hidden rooms and doorways that seemed to date back to the Kingdom of Vatia. They found a note nailed to one of the walls. It had a detailed list of all of the conspirators that all wanted Varus killed and a payment sheet written out to a person using the alias, S. They were quickly rounded up and were all sentenced to death after a speedy trial. Many of them confessed that Varus had to die as he was investigating them on the crimes of corruption, they did not say who the killer was through as they never meet with him in person. The case was officially closed by the emperor and only a few tried to find this S character but found only dead ends. Making him one of the mysterious killers in the history of the empire.  


  Though the conspirators were arrested, the killer was not as no one knew who he was at all. Not even his employers or who left that note in the secret passageways. All that was certain was that the killer escaped and ran free without being tried by the empire. It has since haunted he memories of future generations of Vatians as a form of a Spector that seems to have gained some traction with younger generations who simply call him "Mr. Sinister" due to the only letter they know of was the letter s. He considered the equivalent to a monster that prowls at night to kill his victims when they are left alone.    

The Victims

  • Prince Varus Octas Aurelius
- 37 years old, cause of death: Stabbing in vital organs  
  • Princess Julia Aurelius
- 36 years old, cause of death: slit throat  
  • Prince Hector Alius Aurelius
- 20 years old, cause of death: blunt force trauma to the head


The story of the killer S is told by many throughout the empire and has been used in many stories.

Variations & Mutation

There is a small number of people who believe that this S character was none other than the emperor Dorian who killed his brother and used it as an excuse to seize more power for himself as Varus had more support from Imperial Senate and the noble houses of the empire. Not to mention he had no children during that time, so Varus was next in line for succession if he were to suddenly die. Not to mention his middle name is Septimius, making him a prime candidate as the mysterious killer S.   It was already suspicious enough that they were in the throne room when they died as well since it seemed that they were waiting for someone in secret. A friendly face would have made them relaxed and made it easier for them to be killed. It would explain how they died as well with Varus' son Hector being killed as he was a strong man and his wife soon after to stop her from screaming. Leaving Varus stunned and confused making him unable to fight. Everyone knew that Varus was an expert wrestler and hold his own in a fight.   It would only take a matter of time to hide the bodies and use the hidden passageway to return to his bed chambers. Creating the list of conspirators would be easy as well Varus made enemies on his crusades for justice. In the end, a cleansing of the politicians and criminals would create a more prosperous empire in the process. As for why his family was with him, it might as well be cleaning up any loose ends.

Cultural Reception

House Aurelius

  House Aurelius still fears this story even though it had happened so long ago as death came to them long ago and that it might happen again. The passageways were kept secret and well hidden in the palace where only a select few people would know about it. But some only members never travel alone in the palace at the dead of night and always with an armed escort. Fearing that the phantom killer could come after them.

In Literature

The story inspired several writers to write conspiracy theories about how this person was and the fate that he met after the murder. He was flushed out the most in a book in the famous historical mystery series " Inquisitor Antonius" in the book "Murder in the Court."
Date of First Recording
850 CA
Date of Setting
850 CA
Related Ethnicities
Related Species
Related Locations
Related Organizations

A deadly mystery

Many people tried to this murder years after it happened, but often end up short and some end up missing all together. The records of the case have long since been missing form the imperial records as well, making it near impossblie to solve at any rate. All that is remebered about it know is that the kill remains in the minds of all who listen to it.  
How could no one know who this killer is and how could he leave no traces as if never existed to begin with. - Captain Gaius of the Imperial guard
Some things are best left to the imagination, I rather not know who this killer was at all. - Sentor Quintus acting invetigator on the Red Court Murders.


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Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Oct, 2019 08:00

OK so, now it is time for a critique! so excited. i saw Romans, and immediately rushed over. so to start, id recommend some bbcode work. there is A LOT of text in these sections and as small as it is, it could use some space.   now content.   "The news was keep hidden until all the details were known and secrecy was need as news like this could create massive ripples in the empire and the neighboring kingdoms." kept and needed i think is what you meant. minor typos. The murder itself is intriguing. its such a high profile crime that its hard to imagine anyone getting away with it. well done on that.     "Many people of them still shocked" you can remove the word "people" and it would be a correct sentence. or you could remove of them perhaps.   "want to know who did it and want the city" Wanted in place of both instances of Want       Thats a lovely twist with the secret corridors and the list of conspirators. i like that.     "All that was certain was the killer escaped and ran free without being tried by the empire. All that is certain is " You use "all that was certain" twice, id just use it one time here to keep it from repeating and to ensure that what is listed is in fact all that was certain. not a big deal but wanted to point it out.     Loved the article as a whole. its an interesting idea that seems to tie and play into the roman aesthetic. The impact of the murder is clearly expressed and the twists and turns along the way are engaging and keep the reader interested. Excellent work my friend! good luck!