Face ClaimAaron Jakubenko
Lucius didn't attempt to hold in the laughter that burst from him as Caecina balked at the thought of being comparable to a solider. "You've obviously never seen the screamers of the Celtic tribes.. they're all women and very formidable." Lucius had seen green recruits and veterans of the eastern frontiers alike stopped in their tracks when facing a charge from the female warriors of the Britannic tribes. Caecina wasn't so terrifying in her present state, but he held no doubts she could be ferocious if the need arose.
"Being an officer is..." he paused, thinking of how to best answer her question. "A great many things, I suppose," he continued, still searching for the right words. "But if I had to choose any one word to describe it, it would be balance. There is a struggle between doing what feels morally right, and what can achieve the goal. There is the balance between your personal goals and success, and those of the men beneath you, and the men above you. And there is some fear," he admitted. "Not for my life necessarily, but that I might make a decision that will pointlessly take the lives of my men."
He paused to look Caecina over. "That is where your confidence would make you a good soldier, or leader, dear Caecina. You have enough to drown your fears."
A genuine smile crossed Lucius' face as the warmth of Caecina's hand touched upon his arm. He looked squarely at her, directly into the heart of her eyes and deepened the lines of his smile against his cheeks. He truthfully did not like to hear laments for the losses, only because they reinforced the idea that something had been taken from him. He brushed aside the thought and gave thanks to Caecina for her compassion.
Quiet briefly fell around them, though it wasn't so unpleasant as it might have been considering the location and the company. He looked to her as she energetically proclaimed that she was ready for her quiz.
A chuckle left him. "Such confidence," he teased. "If you were a soldier beneath me, I would not allow for any leniency. Seeing as how you're quite the opposite, I can permit a mistake.. perhaps two if you can convince me."
He looked around, trying to guess at the plants around them. If she truly expected an impromptu quiz on plants and animals, he would be a poor excuse for an instructor.
Lucius was listening, while also trying to not overthink about how awkward it felt to purposefully slow his strides to match Caecina's pace. He remained quiet as she professed she hadn't travelled recently. It seemed, to him, that her more recent memories of travel beyond Rome were tied to some sort of tragedy or lament - something they shared. At the mention of her 'mother', Lucius pondered for a moment whether she referred to her birth mother or Juliana... though the quick frown that fell on her lips answered that question for him. He didn't pry on that subject, but made a mental note to remember it.
"It is," he said, approving of Caecina's choice in destination. He took a moment to simply stand in silence and look over the enclosure. For as many times as he had visited the villa, he seldom took much time to actually enjoy the beauty of the land. "And yes I have," he said, picking up on her question. "Though, most of the travel I've done has been more of a requirement than a desire."
He decided to reveal a bit more about himself. "I was born in Rome, though my first memories of life are from Asia when my family travelled with my father on his assignment to the province. He unfortunately became very ill and passed when I was just three." He paused, thinking of the death mask that had been made of his father's face, that was destroyed when the family home was engulfed in fire during the riots. "Truthfully I have no memories of him."
He took in a breath. "My father's death drove my mother to insanity, and she lost all ability to care for my sister and I, so we were taken in by my aunt Lepdia - my father's sister - and uncle Longinus in Syrian Antioch. My birth mother passed while I was in Syria, and some time later I returned to Rome with my aunt and uncle where I was then formally adopted by my uncle Decimus.
"From there, I more or less went wherever Decimus went. I spent some time in Britannia - where Juliana became my mother - and then Rome, to Africa, and back. And then there's the long list of places I've fought." He chuckled.
Throughout all his speech, Lucius maintained an even, almost detached tone. He had turned off his emotions in regards to the loss of his family the day he learned of Decimus' death. At this point, it was more a recital of historical events than devastating events that had occurred in his own life.
"I'm sorry for the autobiography," he grinned. "But yes, I have been around."
Lucius let his legs take him around the villa of his mother-in-law Juliana as he thought about what he should do. Eventually he found his way to the stables where he came to his trusted steed. He decided then to travel into the city proper. The farther he got from the villa, the more his thinking drove him to frustration. He spurred his horse to a swift charge, as if he were preparing to run down an enemy. His body charged with adrenaline and he knew what he needed to do.
"I'm going to burn it to the ground."
Lucius found his characteristic grin sticking to his face as Caecina admitted test-taking might not be her strongest skill. He followed her lead in handing off his wine to the nearby servant, and then nodded as she suggested they travel to a particularly pleasant enclosed area that she enjoyed.
Though he typically walked a brisk pace - habit after years of marching in the legions - Lucius let his legs fall in step with Caecina. He racked his brain, thinking back on previous encounters they had had. Truthfully, Lucius had always seen Caecina as a child. She had clearly grown, and though he had no real prior reference point, he found himself enjoying her jubilant energy.
"Have you travelled much beyond the villa and the city?" He asked, putting his voice to the first pondering thought that came into his head.
Lucius took in the sight of his younger, still more innocent brother. He still had a boyishness about his face. In that moment he realized that Marcus looked more like their true father while Lucius had a more narrowed face like their grandfather and uncle Decimus. He gave a quick, soft smile when Marcus asked whether he should tag along.
"I think I'll go it alone this time, brother," Lucius said. He walked closer to his brother and set a hand on his shoulder. "Rest up, and I'll call upon you in the morning. We'll get our home back."
With that Lucius set down his goblet and left. His mind was clouded, unbalanced and fighting between revenge and patience. He thought the stroll might help him keep his focus...
Lucius chuckled at her tease and kept his smile as she responded quite well to his compliment. He nodded as Caecina mentioned that the two of them hadn't really spoken to one another much in the past. That, too, was understandable considering their age difference - that mattered more when they were younger than it did in that moment - and Lucius' activity in the legions.
"That we should, Caecina," he said in agreement, watching her pick at something on her dress. "Why don't you show me around more of the garden?" He suggested, looking away from her and scanning his eyes around the area. "I'll test whether you've paid attention in your lessons about flora and fauna."
Lucius couldn't help but grin at Alexia's not so well hidden reactions to Longinus' rather frank speech. The grin remained etched into Lucius face even as Alexia spoke to him of what they had been able to accomplish. The grin faded with each word Longinus added. Though Lucius' suspicions that Proculinus was a fraud at best were confirmed, it also sent his mind racing to contemplate an added dimension to this plot he was uncovering. Was Juliana's husband Tuscus a part of it?
Lucius was quiet for a moment as he considered the information relayed to him, and what that meant for his case and beyond. It wasn't until Alexia dipped her head so that her eyes met his that Lucius snapped back into reality.
"Yes... it confirms my suspicions at least. But if Proculinus is a fraud, who put him up to it? What's he have to gain? And what's his connection to Vitellia?" He was thinking aloud now. "I mentioned," he started in a lower, rougher voice, "that Juliana's husband Tuscus was the man to recommend Proculinus to me. Was his suggestion merely him acting on a favor, or is there more to it..."
Answers had only unlocked more questions.
Lucius only nodded at his brother's suggestion for them to move into the kitchens and then pulled away from the desk where he had been leaning and let his younger sibling lead the way. It wasn't long before he had a drink in his hand, and not long after that before the cup was empty. After some time drinking and speaking more of their plans to restore their family's position, Lucius felt a sudden urge to see the domus from a new angle. How would it look from the eyes of someone who no longer owned it?
"I might take a stroll," he said, rather abruptly. "I need some fresh air, and... to walk off some of this wine," he smirked.
Lucius grinned ever so slightly at Caecina's comments on her father's secrecy when it came to finding suitors. He supposed it was part of the process fathers went through. Though he hadn't lived through it himself, his logic told him it was simply to avoid having their daughters fall for the looks of a man before the father was convinced of his merit and dignitas. Also considering just exactly who her father was, and his place within the greater Roman political world, he certainly had plenty of options... and likely Caesar's input as well.
"I'm afraid my luck in that department has dried up as of late," he said, as cooly as he could muster. There had been the encounter with Claudia Corinthia, and a few others, but the majority of his time had been spent abroad or fighting for his legacy at home. "What with being away in Britannia... and I'm not overly fond of the Briton shape," he jested, "and matters here at home. It's been a while since I've had a sunny afternoon to sit and chat with an attractive lady." He grinned, and then took a sip from his goblet.
Topics I Participated In
JULY 74 CE
Lucius was seething. Where others might turn to wine or other distractions in times of stress or frustration, Lucius had no such desires. Typically a calm and collected man outwardly, he was a man who battled his temper inwardly. More than a few times in his life had he wrestled with an utterly overwhelming surge of rage. This time was set to boil over anything that had come before.
The trial was lost. He could not fathom it. He could not understand, or even bring himself to think of the minute details that brought his case crashing down. Was it particular wording he had used? Flawed logic in one of his arguments? He knew he should have paid more attention to lessons in law and legal recourse.
As always, he had returned to the home of his mother-in-law, Flavia Juliana. The place he had spent all of his fortune to leave behind (not that he particularly disliked it). He was leaning over a table, his hands gripping firmly onto the sides and all of his weight pressing down on it. He was consciously telling himself to breathe slowly, to feel the air come in and attempt to exhale the poison building up inside of him.
He needed a calm voice to speak with his brother.
It was a beautiful day at the villa, and as such, Caecina was doing just what she liked to do. She had arisen that morning and put on an older chiton and palla and, accompanied by a guard or two, had ridden out into the countryside to enjoy the fresh air and cool breeze. After an hour of riding, she returned to the villa and bathed, dressing this time in a pale blue chiton with a darker blue palla. Afterward, she helped herself to an informal lunch in the kitchen and then advanced into the garden.
The girl was in an expansive good mood. Only a few weeks ago, she had turned seventeen and all the cares in the world were far from her mind that day. All she wanted to do was to enjoy the day, exploring the gardens and avoiding her lessons for the day. She felt that she had had quite enough of book learning for the week, anyway. She was not the kind of girl to enjoy reading overmuch, but rather enjoyed her freedom and ability to twist her tutor's arm into letting her out of a lesson early. After a few minutes of walking around the gardens, examining the variety of plants and flowers, Caecina found a bench and sat, soaking up the sun. What a day to be alive!
July 73 CE - the Tullianum in the Forum Romanum
For most of his life, Lucius Silanus hadn't really had a home to call his own. He was raised in Asia in his youngest years, and after the death of his father and then mother, he moved on from place to place - living with his uncle Gaius Longinus and aunt Lepida in Syria, and then to Rome where he was taken in by his uncle Decimus, who was for all intents and purposes his father. He travelled with Decimus to Britannia for the man's proconsulship, and lived in the governor's palace there, only to return to Rome after Decimus' death. When he returned, he again took residence in the home of the Junii-Silani, where - at that time - his aunt Calvina was the caretaker of what was left of their family. Though she had been the oldest, she had only just returned to Rome from exile. Then came the riots and Clemens' rise to power, when Lucius, his siblings, and mother-and-law Juliana all escaped Rome to live in Africa. Calvina refused to leave Rome again, and was killed during the destruction of the family home.
After Quintus Caesar brought peace, Lucius returned to Rome with Flavia Juliana - the widow of Lucius' uncle Decimus, and the woman he considered to be his mother. With her help he managed to rebuild the family domus on the same land, almost to the exact same specifications as the original. What a shock it had been, then, when Lucius returned from months of service in the east to find that a cousin he hadn't even realized existed - Vitellia Calvina - had laid legal claim to his home during his absence, and using his absence as an advantage, had created a very strong case against him. With what wealth he had tied up into the home itself, Lucius was left only with what Juliana could lend him, and in the end, the case had settled in favor of Vitellia, stating that though Decimus had lived in the home, it had always belonged to Junia Calvina, and thus was the inheritance of her daughter.
Outrage. Disbelief. Two of the strongest emotions that coursed through Lucius. Two emotions that led him to set fire to the home he had exhausted himself to rebuild. Just when he'd thought he had a home, it was by his own hands that it had to be destroyed. Vitellia was quick to have Lucius arrested, and he went willingly to the Tullianum in the center of the Forum where he was held with others, nobles and common plebs alike, waiting for his trial. Though some had lost hope, Lucius was determined, despite his destitution. He still had connections. He still had allies. He still had friends...
The travel to Greece had been an interesting journey, and one she was happy to take without her mother's presence. Corinthia had informed her mother that she was traveling to Greece to ensure her future. While a place of culture, she had never felt any personal attachment to the place and instead preferred to spend time in the company of her social equals. One thing she noticed was that she thought that her mother was a little too relieved to see her travel to the provinces. While Corinthia did not wish to admit it. It hurt. The voyage had gone relatively smoothly, and soon she settled in. Sent messages to all the important people and was determined to network with people. Aeneas, her gladiator came with her.
The young man she had met at the Imperial Banquet would also be there. Lucius Junius Silanus. She was not going to be like her mother and slowly she was understanding how important marriage would be. The connections were necessary, and no doubt Caesar would wish to control the families. She would leave the asking to her mother. The dimwitted fool had her uses and being harmless was one of them. This was all if everything went according to plan. Otherwise? She would need to seek out another who would be worthwhile. A messenger informed him that he would be arriving.
Corinthia reclined on a sofa and twisted grapes before placing them into her mouth while being fanned by servants. Her thoughts continued to race and slow. There were many possibilities for the future.
Continued from Before it Begins...
QUOTE Corinthia was not sure what she thought of him. Warily her gaze moved up and down, her posture was at ease and she could see her mother peeking behind the plant to observe them. She sighed and gestured with an open palm out to the gathered crowd of people.
"It seems she may be hiding from you," She replied tartly. The reality of her situation was that she would need to marry. The sooner the better. Gods.. the better ranked, the better. Without it she would not be able to rise in the world.
Now if only her mother's name would not hinder her.
"Claudia Corinthia, and... may I ask your name?" She asked politely. It could not hurt to train when it came to mingling with people. There were others here who would be far less interesting. Around them there was the commotion of the arrival of the Imperial family. Corinthia glanced upwards in their direction with a frown. Her mother thought highly of them yet she did not. They had power and position. Both things that should have been hers by right.
Claudia Corinthia was a name Lucius knew, and he knew it made her the daughter of Claudia Gaia, the widow of Manius Glabrio, nephew to Claudius Caesar and at one time marked for imperial prominence. Which meant that, in her own way, Claudia Corinthia was a part of the greater imperial family. Before he could respond with his own self-introduction, the arrival of Caesar and his immediate family demanded the attention of all the guests. Caesar was direct in his approach - waving to those gathered and giving them thanks for attending before the minglers once again mingled.
Lucius returned his attention to the young Claudia Corinthia. "I am Lucius Junius Silanus, son of Marcus, nephew to the late Decimus, and head of the Junii-Silani."
Set before the Imperial Banquet
The afternoon had finally arrived. Claudia had been assisting Drusilla with the decorations and the preparations for the Imperial banquet. It was the first time she could remember being in Naples, it had not been an overly exciting journey to get to the villa, and she awkwardly dozed most of the way. The city was beautiful. Slaves had assisted her when it came to bathing herself in the ornate baths and relaxed in the water. Once or twice she nearly nodded off being being awoken by one of the slaves. Her body was dried, perfumed, and her hair began to be decorated and styled. Claudia was not oblivious to the fact that as a young, unmarried woman that she would be on show for the supporters of the family. Marriage, it was something all women had to go through. She was well beyond the accepted age of the Vestals nor did she wish to be as restricted as they were.
Her chiton was a pale blue, decorated with semi-precious stones and clung around her waist with a decorated belt. Her sandals were made of lambskin, soft and delicate. Also decorated with semi-precious stones. Casually she chose the jewelry she would wear as it was placed on her body. She stared into her reflection and had to wonder what this night would bring. Claudia stood, drew her gold trimmed palla around her and wondered whether or not she would lose it by the end of the night.
There was a little time before the guests would arrive, and Claudia did not wish to be the first one at the banquet. She wanted to be fashionably late yet not excessively so. In truth, her mind raced with a variety of thoughts about what the night would eventually bring.
Slowly she walked towards the decorated gardens and saw a person. "Salve?" She greeted them questioningly, not yet able to see their face.
Other Characters by this Player
- 6 posts
- Player: Chris
- Face Claim: Brett Tucker
- Location: Rome