Thessala aimed a hit at the girl's wrist, and Rana jumped back, just out of reach. Well, at least her reflexes were not bad. If she could react this fast, maybe she had more than two seconds of a future in the arena. Even if it only lasted till someone chased her down. She seemed pleased with herself at not getting hit, which annoyed Thessala.
“Again. Who is Pluto?”
"What?" she blinked, pausing before her next attack "Where did you say they got you from again?..."
If the girl worshipped different gods, and didn't even know the Roman ones, she had to have come a long way. Thessala considered her next attack before she moved forward again, quicker this time, aiming the same king of tap at Rana's wrist... followed up by coming in closer and swinging for her sides a couple more times without letting up. Little frog could only keep jumping out of the way until her back hit a wall, after all...
The new girl looked angry at the punch. She would learn in time. And if she didn't, that was on her. Thessala did not give a shit either way. Right now she looked like a puppy that got kicked. Did she think she was here to make friends? Green little frog.
“I am not learn… moves… first? No skill, just fight?”
"I need to see what I am working with. Pretend you are fighting for your life. You will be, eventually." wooden swords were safe, but they hurt well enough when someone did not know how to defend herself. There was no better way to learn than by actually doing things. Rana, however, looked at her warily and did not move forward.
“You attack me first.”
"Oh, for Pluto's sake" Thessala sighed, and then swiftly lunged forward, aiming a hit with the point of the wooden sword at the wrist of Rana's sword hand. It was a sharp tap, aimed to be painful enough to make the girl drop the sword that she was not holding very well to begin with.
There was a spray of blood that made Thessala's hand feel warm and sticky as Rana's lip burst under the punch. She shook her fingers out, wiping the back of her hand on her tunic. A little blood never hurt anyone.
“Why?! This not training. This…”
"This is what happens in the arena. You get hit." Thessala noted, taking up two wooden swords, and tossing one to the ground at Rana's feet. "You will get hit a lot. You will have bruises, broken bones, and if you are not good, you will die." she shrugged. Honestly, female gladiators died a lot less often than the men, mostly because their fights were a different kind of show. But that did not mean a death did not make the perfect ending every once in a while. "None of it is personal, unless you make it so. And if you make it personal... well. You get bruises, broken bones, and if you are not good, you die." she repeated the last part with a smirk. Gladiators had enemies for show, but only the stupid ones made real ones behind the scenes.
"Come on. Attack me."
“Ran in my language is steal… so thief.”
Thessala tilted her head. She was named thief, and she was alright with it? Well, that sounded like the most interesting story she did not want to hear. Maybe it was the reason why the girl ended up as a slave in the first place.
“I held knife. But only for work. Never fight. But you teach me fight. Now.”
She was determined, that had to count for something. It would have, with most people. Thessala just rolled her eyes.
"Eager, are we?" she smirked, turning on her heel and walking out to the training field. "From where in the Hyperborean ass end of nowhere did they drag you here anyway? Or did you come by your own will, little frog?"
Thessala walked up to the racks where the wooden swords and other training weapons were lined up. She took a look at them, considering options for a moment, then, as Rana caught up behind her, she turned around, and threw a hard punch right at her face.
Might as well get straight down to work.
“Rana was given to me. Not birth name, not choose name. Is who I am.”
If it was not given and not kept, then it was not who she was. Yet. It must have been a slave name, Thessala thought idly, not really caring enough to ask about the details.
“Thessala nice name. It part of your… show?”
"You bet it is" Thessala grinned. "I'm a downright witch in the arena. If there is anything men like to see more than two attractive women fighting is two attractive women who are also crazy."
That was not first-day stuff, though. First, the girl would have to learn to handle a sword, and other weapons. She could muse about her character later on.
"Rana in Latin, it's a water animal. Green, jumps, it goes croak?" she added, for clarification. The girl might as well be in on the joke about her given name. "You can worry about that later. Now, have you held a weapon before?"
Gods be merciful, this girl was greener than grass. Thessala sighed as the newcomer smiled at her. She was either fresh off the boat, or a special kind of foolish, smiling at complete strangers like that.
“I am sure. I not have many experience fight yet. But you teach me. I am Rana.”
Thessala arched an eyebrow, and let out a little snort of laughter.
"Did you choose that for yourself, or is that your birth name? Either way, you might want to change it, unless it is going to be a part of your show." she noted, taking a bite from the bread "I'm Thessala. At least that's what I'm called now."
Green as a frog, apparently.
The girl did not look scared, or confused, or any of the dozens of other things newcomers tended to exhibit when arriving to the ludus, except maybe curiosity. She had an accent, but who didn't, really. It's not like the ludus was full of purebred Roman citizens. Thessala kept her accent for performance purposes. Roman men had a hard-on for barbarian women.
"I will. You not having any?"
Thessala smirked, picking up a freshly baked bun from the table.
"I can eat and fight you at the same time, don't worry."
Sex was explicitly forbidden to gladiatrices at the ludus - that is, with men. No one wanted their prime champions to suddenly get with child. The upside? Rules about sex between women were mostly up for interpretation, and if the doctore liked you, he could be... somewhat flexible about them. Case in point: Thessala entering the dining hall of the ludus with bed-messy hair, and the look on her face reminiscent of a cat that had just licked out all the cream from the jar. As long as she was on time in the morning, she could arrive straight from bed.
The satisfied look, however, did not last long. Thessala was intercepted in the doorway by the doctore, a short conversation ensued (which was clearly not to her liking), and a new girl was pointed out. Thessala looked over, eyes narrowing, but gave the doctore a short, dutiful nod. Her day had just had a turn for the worse.
She walked over to the girl. She was very new, no defined muscles yet, but looked promising under the metaphorical baby fat. Of course, she did not need to know that. Muscles were the least part of the art.
"You. I'm training you today. Finish your porrige and meet me outside."
23 | May 15th, 51CE | Slave | Gladiatrix | Bisexual | Original | Eva Green
Thessala puts on the personality of a fierce, almost feral barbarian warrior, but on the inside, she is a performer through and through. She basks in attention, she likes to be noticed, seen, appreciated. She enjoys pleasing a crowd, and hyping up spectators for the games. Even though she was sold to the Ludus as a slave, and her life is in the hands of her owners, she fully embraces the thrill of the fight, and takes enjoyment in every match, combining the cruelty of swordplay with the erotic excitement that is expected of gladiatrices. Since she brings in a lot of attention (and money), she is allowed certain freedoms, even as a slave, that she takes full advantage of: she enjoys good food, good parties (that she gets invited to as a curiosity), and seducing both men and women.
For all the show and the flamboyance, however, Thessala is not a shallow person, neither is she cruel. She kills if she has to, because it is part of the games, but to her, it is performance rather than savagery. She is capable of forming true friendship with the few people she deems truly worthy, and once she has befriended someone, she can be fiercely loyal and selfless with them. She is easy to entertain, and capable of taking a joke as much as she is ready to give one. If one finds a way through her facade to the private person, she can be genuinely caring.
Thessala is not muscular, but tall and wiry, due to constant exercise. She has black hair that she intentionally wears long (down to her waist), and blue eyes that she likes to highlight with kohl. She is fair-skinned like most Thracians, and while she left her homeland too young to be tattooed in their old tradition, she has some new tattoos, done in blue ink, that she's had made since she moved into the Ludus. They form geometric patterns and concentric circles around her arms and legs. She also sports quite a few scars from her fights, due to the fact that she does not use a shield, and rarely wears more armor than necessary. She has a signature, proud smirk and a loud, somewhat raspy voice to go with it, which she makes good use of when she punctuates her fights with shrill cries to intimidate her opponents. Her movements are fluid and graceful (the fact that she is ambidextrous adding to her balance), and she is flexible enough to add some acrobatic elements to her performances. In the arena she prefers practical clothes and leather armor that allow her a lot of movement; outside the arena she enjoys the finer things like colorful dresses and scandalously short tunics that show off her tattoos. She generally carries herself with dignity and a touch of flamboyance. She is easy to pick out in a crowd.
Extended family: None
Other: Owned by the Ludus Magnus
51CE - A little girl is born into a dirt poor Thracian family. She has several older siblings, and on the edge of starvation no one really believes the baby will live to see her first year. They name her Saba. Saba defies the odds, surviving her first years, although she is just as malnourished as the rest of her older (and, eventually, younger) siblings. She is nonetheless a fierce, lively child, a bit too wild for her struggling parents to handle.
56CE - The family, in crippling debt and with no funds left to survive, decides to sell one of the smaller (therefore less useful) children into slavery. Saba is deemed least likely to grow up into a decent woman, but she fetches a good price for being fairly pretty and young enough to be teachable. The family struggles with the decision, but the girl is excited to see places beyond the dirt of their farm. She is purchased by a slave merchant who takes her to Delos, and sells her to another merchant who is procuring household slaves for a wealthy Roman family.
57-70CE - Saba is a household slave in a villa just outside of Rome. She is taught Latin, household chores, and her domina has plans of having her trained as a cosmetic slave. Saba, however, is still more than a little wild - louder, bolder, more curious than a slave is expected to be. The first time one of the stable boys tries to grope her, she bites him in the face. This causes a bit of a scandal in the household, but things take an unexpected turn shortly after: when Saba is 16 years old, robbers creep into the house at night, and she fights them off with weapons improvised from the kitchens. Her domina, grateful for her help and loyalty, decides to let her behavior slide, and Saba becomes a body slave and unofficial bodyguard to the lady.
70CE - The old domina passes away, and her son inherits her slaves. Falling on hard times, he decides to rent Saba out to the Ludus, where she can turn her skills into a profession. The girl takes to fighting like a fish to water, and soon becomes a favorite among (male) spectators. She takes on the name Thessala, as a reference to the fearsome witches of Thessaly. Since she is ambidextrous, she usually fights with two swords, adding flashy stunts to her fighting style. She enjoys the attention, and brings in decent money.
71CE - Thessala's owner's financials keep sinking, and eventually they are forced to sell the girl permanently to the Ludus Magnus (driving a hard bargain for a high price, given that she is becoming a crowd favorite). Thessala does not mind at all. She enjoys the attention, she enjoys the thrill and the appreciation, and enjoys being seen for the first time in her life. She hones her fighting skills, but spends even more time honing her skills in pleasing a crowd. Given her popularity, she gains a certain amount of freedom among the Ludus slaves, and hypes up interest in Rome with her surprise appearances outside the arena (and her alleged romantic conquests).
74CE - Present time. Thessala is still a gladiatrix, one of the most notorious at the Ludus Magnus. He is setting money aside, hoping to eventually be given her freedom, but she is in no hurry to put her weapons down anytime soon.
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