When Falco was but a tyke, his family consisted of his father Marcus Didius Favonius (aka Geminus), his mother Junilla Tacita, and seven children: Festus, Vittorina, Maia, Falco, Junia, Allia and Galla. At the time of this novel his older brother Festus, late of the Legio XV Appolinaris, has been dead three years. We may hear more of how Festus came to his end in the Judean War. His older sister Vittorina died during December of AD71 whilst Falco was in Free Germany, serving the Emperor. Vittorina died of ‘womens troubles’; the remainder of his sisters are alive.