The chapter begins with the Emperor Nero running frantically through the halls of his crumbling palace as Rome is besieged by barbarian invaders. Nero reaches his throne room and falls to his knees before a great statue of himself, which then begins to shed tears of blood, terrifying Nero as he cries out for help.
Nero runs out onto a veranda overlooking a great battle as Roman soldiers are overtaken by the barbarian horde, and Nero calls out commanding the soldiers to defend him. General Marius Titus hears the emperor's cries, then hands a blood-stained sack to one of his Centurions, telling him "Display this in the highest place you can find. When the barbarians see it they'll run, and the battle will be ours." Marius then fights his way across the causeway leading to the palace and rallies the remaining troops on the far side, ordering them into battle formations to repel the next wave of attackers while he provides support from a nearby scorpio.
After the wave is repelled, one of Marius' men states that afew barbarians managed to get past them and enter the palace, and at that Marius follows inside and meets Nero in the entrance hall. Although Nero is panicked by fear, Marius is level-headed and states that they must reach somewhere the emperor will be safe, and they set off to reach the vault under Nero's throne. They then encounter several barbarians attacking Roman soldiers and Marius joins the melle, killing all of the barbarians and clearing the way for the emperor. Marius and his few soldiers proceed into the throne room and a barbarian warlord appears with a torch in hand, and ignites pitch spread across the floor, burning the Roman soldiers alive and trapping Marius within the confines of the flames. The warlord then attacks Marius, but the general quickly kills him. As the pitch burns off and the flames clear, Nero is able to continue and reaches his thrown, rotating a decale in the center which functions as a trigger that lowers the throne into the floor, revealing a secret passage down into the vault.
Marius accompanies Nero as the emperor and he exchange words about the gods, and Marius claims that the gods may guide them, but they do not interfere in the affairs of mortals. They then reach the vault and Marius seals the door as Nero assures himself that they will be safe here. Marius agrees, and goes about circling the room, lighting braziers to illuminate the vault. Marius then introduces himself to the emperor, then resigns that his name is not important, but his story is.
There are 6 collectibles in total in Chapter I: