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Stop hand

For all that I have done wrong, I apologize.
~ Emperor Titus' last words

Emperor Titus is a major antagonist in the Mouseheart novel series. He is the emperor and founder of the rat colony Atlantia, as well as the father of Prince Zucker and husband of the late Queen Conselyea. 

History

Background

In the past, Titus was a nameless rat living in the cellars of the Brooklyn Public Library with his only companion being another rat, who would later be known as General Cassius. Meeting a female rat named Conselyea, Titus and Cassius were forced to abandon the library upon being chased away by its custodian. Prior to leaving, Titus read The Rise and Fall of the Toman Empire, giving him his thirst for power, as well as the idea to name himself Titus and christen the other rat Cassius. Later arriving in the Brooklyn tunnels, the three met a family of mice, with Titus forming a brief friendship with Ebbets, the patriarch. However, Queen Felina, the leader of the cats inhabiting the tunnels, killed Ebbets family and grievously wounded him. In an attempt to save his life, Titus took him to see the cockroach La Rocha, hoping he could heal him. However, Felina returned, intending on devouring one of the rodents. During the confrontation, Felina swiped at Conselyea and Titus took the blow, receiving a grisly scar across his snout. Knowing he was already dying, Ebbets offered his life in exchange for her sparing the rats. Felina agreed, and then offered to Titus that she would spare his life if he promised to regularly supply her with prey, an offer Titus turned down. As he fled, leaving Ebbets to his fate, Titus christened his tribe the Mūs, the Latin word for mouse, in his honor.

Some time later, Conselyea revealed to Titus that she was pregnant with his litter. Fearing that Felina would bring harm to his unborn children, Titus approached the queen to bargain with her. Felina agreed to spare him and his family, on the condition that he bring her rodents for her and the other ferals to hunt and kill, which Titus accepted. Thus, the peace accord between Titus and Felina was born, and the rodents inhabiting the tunnels, grateful towards Titus for brokering peace,made him their leader. Proclaiming himself emperor, Titus named the rat colony Atlantia, after the Atlantic Avenue, and opened up refugee camps for lost and downtrodden rodents to inhabit until they were sent off to colonize the tunnels. In reality, however, the refugees were sent to "hunting grounds", where they would be hunted and killed by Felina and the ferals. Dodger, Ebbets' only surviving son and the leader of the Mūs tribe, knew the truth of the refugee camps; to make sure his reign was secure, Titus vilified the peace-loving Mūs as bloodthirsty barbarians and forbid mice from entering Atlantia. 

All of Titus' litter ultimately died of natural causes, save for one, Prince Zucker. Though Titus withheld the truth of the peace accord from his son, Zucker eventually learned the truth during his adventures with Dodger. After Conselyea was killed by Felina for trying to convince her to put an end to the camps, Zucker became determined to put an end to his father's reign.

Mouseheart

When Prince Zucker brings Dodger's son, Hopper, to Titus' throne, the rat emperor immediately recognizes him as "the Chosen One" of the Mūs. Initially shocked, he is convinced by Zucker to keep Hopper as a potential hostage to deter the Mūs from attacking Atlantia, instating him as Zucker's ward. Zucker also convinces Titus to allow him to give Hopper a tour of the refugee camps, during which they are ambushed by rangers led by Zucker's lover, Firren, resulting in Hopper being separated from the others. When he is rescued by Atlantian troops and brought back to the kingdom, Titus reveals his true colors and orders that Hopper be detained and a message sent to the Mūs village with word that their "Chosen One" is in under Atlantian control. Shortly afterwards, he has a meeting with Felina regarding the next sacrifice, during which Felina demands that double the normal amount of refugees be sent to the hunting grounds. However, Hopper, with aid from the Mūs and Firren's rangers, manage to kill Felina's hunters before launching an assault on Titus' refugee camps, destroying them and exposing the truth behind the peace accord to Atlantia's citizens. Following this, Titus is placed under house arrest within his own castle.

Weeks later, Titus is brought out of his imprisonment to stand trial, now reduced to a meek shell of his former self. Forced to stand before his former subjects, Titus professes his guilt for upholding the peace accord for as long as he did, confessing that he first agreed to it out of desperation. He also admits to vilifying the Mūs to protect his rule. Following this, Titus is detained at a factory, but escapes after exterminators arrive to cull the rats in the tunnels, in the process destroying much of Atlantia. Titus remains on the run, but eventually arrives at Felina's lair just as the rest of the rodents have driven away the ferals, biting the feral queen in order to save his son. Felina forces Titus to confess to the circumstances of their bargain before musing over whether she should devour him or Zucker. Titus apologizes for his actions, seconds before being devoured by the feral queen in one bite.

Appearance

Titus is a massive rat who towers over his subjects. He has dull brown fur, black eyes, large, bushy white eyebrows, and a pink weltlike scar across his snout, an injury he received from Queen Felina. 

Personality

Fierce and formidable, Titus was an intelligent and capable ruler, but willing to stoop to apalling levels to ensure his rule was kept intact. His cruelty extended to sending countless numbers of rodents to a grisly demise at the claws of Felina and her underlings, and vilifying, and in some cases imprisoning, the members of the Mūs village. He wasn't completely heartless, though, as he felt intense guilt over his actions, but felt it necessary to ensure the safety of his subjects. He had a rocky relationship with his son, who resented him for sending rodents to their deaths, but he ultimately still cared for him. When Felina attempted to kill Zucker, Titus came to his rescue and even offered himself up in exchange for his son's life. 

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