Stercus was an Aquilonian count who caused a scandal in Tarantia by openly taking underage lovers. To eliminate the stain, King Numedides sent Stercus to command one of the prime armies invading Cimmeria; while couched as an honor, the assignment was understood to be a sentence of exile to remove the proverbial thorn from Numedides' side.
Stercus had a lean, hawk-nosed, pallid face, with a weak chin imperfectly concealed by a fringe of beard. His high, thin voice was unsuitable for a military commander. He was about 30 at the time of the invasion.