Dateline Rome, 263 A.D.

Rumor has come to Rome the our former Emperor Valerian has passed away while a prisoner of the Sassanians. We say, good riddance. The source of Rome's greatest shame has passed from human vision and perhaps we can now begin to repair our reputation and our empire. Ever since Valerian was treacherously captured during negotiations three years ago Shapur has used him as a means to humiliate and demean the Roman people. Keeping him in a cage, parading him in front of foreign ambassadors like a paid dancing boy - never was Rome's pride brought so low. Hopefully now Rome's shame can be properly buried.

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Dateline Antioch, 264 A.D.

Well, it looks like you can't keep a mediocre man down. Reports from friendly envoys to Ctesiphon report the Valerian hasn't completely dropped from sight. It seems that Shapur has decided to prolong Rome's humiliation by preserving the body of our deceased Emperor. Conflicting reports have Valerian either skinned and hanging on a wall or stuffed and turned into a footstool to assist Shapur in mounting his horse. No official report has come from the palace but insiders have relayed that Rome has warned Ctesiphon that when it comes to interior decorating, purple clashes with everything.