Face ClaimGugu Mbatha-Raw
Sosia merely smiled warmly as Cynane stated she didn't have the night off. She remembered those days, when her time was not her own and she salvaged a few spare minutes here and there for her own interests and entertainment. It was a hard life, although perhaps Cynane's situation was better? Sosia would never have considered simply...not turning up for work of an evening because she wanted to, her dominus would have punished her bloody. "Well...I'm glad you're pandering to me," She chuckled, "And I won't tell if you won't but...I don't want to get you into trouble...so best not to get you steaming drunk." She chuckled, "Just slightly tipsy?"
She listened to Cynane's story with the expression of a woman who'd seen almost no excitement in her life; wonderment. "I..." She blinked, "Gods that must have been terrifying!" She said after a pause, trying to gather her thoughts. She drunk deeply from her cup and exhaled, trying to imagine what it must have felt like. Her own escape to Carthage and then across the sea seemed positively banal compared to that!
"Do you...not get afraid?" She asked gently with a little bite of her lip, "Or maybe I'm just a coward..."
Sosia beamed and raised her cup, tapping it against Cynane's. "To a joyful night." She moved the cup back down and sipped the sweet wine - too much water (she supposed it was how they turned a profit), but otherwise perfectly palatable. Better than the lora she was used to back in Africa.
"Does your dominus let you have many nights off?" Sosia enquired gently. She couldn't remember having a single not off, besides at Saturnalia and precious few other festivals, back in her old life but then she'd heard some masters and mistresses were more lenient. She blinked, trying to push such memories and such thoughts from her head. She was a citizen now, apparently, and an equite lady. She had to snap out of her reveries! But being in the city, surrounded by people but utterly alone, it made the thoughts all the more persistent.
"I suppose it must be terribly exciting, being a bodyguard, although I don't think I could stand it...have you...have you had to use your skills much? My husband told me the empire is peaceful now, or Rome is at least..."
Sosia grinned a warm and infectious smile. "Good!" She beamed. When was the last time somebody had voluntarily sought out her company? Months ago, surely? Her slaves didn't count and for a brief moment she wondered if Cynane was doing it to be polite. Even if she shouldn't legally be, Sosia was her social superior in Rome. She cautioned the other woman with a hand on her hand, "You don't have to though, if you'd rather not...I'm not ordering you to stay." She wanted to be sure.
Yet the other woman raised her cup for a refill and Sosia removed her hand, snaking it back to her lap and then inclined her head at her own cup - sat mostly dry on the table. "And one for me please." Not that Cynane would know, but she had the same realisation about the slave. So young. Ha she been born here? To a mother in shackles like her own? Or had he been shipped halfway across the sea like she suspected her own family had, by now, been? She hurriedly took a deep sip of the replenished cup to drown out that thought. When she had swallowed, she leant to get a coin from her own purse and set it down on the table for the boy to pick up later. "You shouldn't have to pay, I'm cajoling you into this!" She chuckled, "I don't remember the last time I enjoyed a drink out..." She frowned trying to recall, "Probably before I left for Rome..." Which was so long ago now. Or it felt like it at least. "All the ladies don't want to socialise with new money like my family you see..."
Sosia's mood lifted as Cynane spoke. She had thought, for a long pause, that the woman might just pass her off, finish her drink and be on her way. It had happened time and time again. She found that everybody in Rome was so...insular. They already had their friends and didn't need another, especially not some oddball from Carthage with dark skin and a questionable accent. She swallowed the nerves that ate away at her. No. She was here - Cynane was talking to her and she was fine.
"No! No, not bad at all." She smiled. Gods, she really was depressingly lonely. She wondered if the other woman could sense it, and that was why she was humouring her.
"I...I don't mind," She responded with a blink. "Everybody always says there's so much going on in Rome, always something to do...but I think that's just for the men." She chuckled and sipped her drink, "After they've drank they can go and visit the..." She wrinkled her nose, "Ladies of the night or go to a party or something. It's not quite the same for us, is it?" She pondered the question and then swallowed her reply. She was going to suggest that her new friend visit her home, but that would be far too forward for a new acquaintance wouldn't it? Instead, she shook her head and smiled. "I suggest, once our drinks are empty..." She tilted her head to the side and studied the blonde with a mischievous smile on her face, "...we get another one? And...perhaps one more after that?"
Oh. North. Well done Antia1, you idiot. She didn't know much about the North besides some vague memory that there had been a conquest, or some sort of war. She also knew that its inhabitants were fierce and pale skinned, which would explain her company! She chose not to say anything further on it, deciding that she'd embarrass herself at best and at worst, out herself as a good for nothing simpleton at worst, if she continued to ask questions. She suspected most equite ladies, and even plebs, had a better grasp of geography than her which wasn't surprising given she'd lived as a slave in a villa, isolated from the world, in Africa, for most of her life.
"I meant it," She offered about the compliment she had given over Cynane in a dress, worrying that it had seemed like a joke. "Cold and wet?" She smiled a little, pleased that her company began to talk so she didn't have to ask the questions herself. It was as if the blonde was reading her mind! "I wouldn't like that I think. I woke up freezing this morning and it's only September in Rome." She laughed a little. "But the rest of it sounds...beautiful. I hope," She winced a little, "That you can get some peace here." It was a platitude, but well meant. People had to come to terms with their lives. In retrospect, Sosia herself half-wished she'd done just that rather than put on this facade. It certainly would have been simpler, and likely much less lonely.
"Not that you can get much peace here I suppose," She added as a joke, "It's so busy...everybody rushing everywhere, all at once, but nobody to talk to, everybody seems so...wrapped up in their own little world." She sighed and sipped her drink, feeling the melancholy seep back in.
1 Sosia's real name (and slave name) is Antia.
"Britannia," Sosia frowned, "Is that...near Parthia?" Her knowledge of geography was about as good as one might expect from a woman who had lived her whole life as a slave in a small hamlet outside of Carthage. Which was to say, it was dreadful. "In the East? Or is it near Da-cia?" She asked, mispronouncing the name.
"I'm from Carthage, Africa." She smiled at the woman. "So I understand not belonging. Everybody here is so..." She tried to find the right word, "So...perfect. Do you know what I mean?" She didn't really know what she meant herself. "I mean, they all know the rules and where to go and the city inside and out. I must get lost every time I leave our domus, and always seem to make a mistake..." She winced, a pink hue coming to her cheeks.
"But...for what it's worth, I think you would look very nice in a skirt." She grinned and sipped her wine. She was so lonely, so desperate for friends or anybody she didn't really care or consider that she shouldn't be talking to Cynane, a slave with such familiarity. "What was your home like?"
"Men are awful," Sosia said with a conspiratorial grin, forgetting herself and all the niceties she had strived so hard to learn as she blurted it out, before she corrected herself with a little chuckle, "N-not all of them, but that man, with you, he was. And I think you're right," She nodded, "If we stick together nobody should bother us." It never occurred to her that this might be odd and not the done thing with equite ladies. She'd grown up a slave, around slaves and freedmen. Why would she take offence to socialising with one? It demonstrated just how far she still had to go, to blend in.
She couldn't help the face that she pulled when her company mentioned the arena. She'd seen them, although of course on a much smaller scale, in Carthage. But she'd never been a fan of blood and never wished to watch a game. She remembered friends of hers, in her youth, being sold off for the same purpose as Cynane - exotic entertainment in the heart of the Empire. It made her feel sick. She tried to swallow such thoughts though as she looked on the woman, and attempted to school her face back into a neutral expression (although she wasn't particularly successful).
"Well then...I'm glad it's better now." She nodded a bit and smiled, sipping her wine, "And you like Rome?" She arched a brow, "Your accent...you are not from here? Neither am I s-so there's no judgement, I promise." She smiled a little, "We must look a right pair..." And they did; one with dark skin and eyes, beautifully coiled hair and fancy clothes - the other pale skinned and paler eyes, wearing mens breeches!
"Oh." Sosia blinked, suddenly anxious. She had tried so hard to mimic the habits of those above her in station, but things still eluded her. This was just another example. As a slave, and even when pretending to be a pleb, she had thought nothing off late night trips out (besides the obvious caution that came with being a woman alone). But she supposed equite women had more to lose than a slave who'd already been abused and she inwardly cursed that she'd slipped up. "Oh well, I had better organise one for myself I've...I've not been in Rome long, I'm unused to some of the customs." She swallowed and tried to explain.
But as the blonde woman confirmed her job, Sosia managed a smile and let out a little laugh. "Or maybe I don't need a guard, If I have you as company!" She tucked a curl behind her ear and leant in a little, genuinely fascinated. "I've never met a female bodyguard before..." She said as she sipped her wine, "It's so interesting! How did you end up, doing what you do?"
Sosia blinked and must have looked startled. "The palace?" She frowned quizzically, "The imperial palace? Or...another sort?" It was not beyond the realm of possibility that there was a brothel or popina out there, somewhere in Rome, with a play-on-words or a name of 'the palace'. Surely that was far more likely than Sosia stumbling across an imperial slave? She swallowed and dug her nails into her thighs under the table - out of view of Cynane.
She glanced down at her stola and then back to Cynane, her earrings jangling along with the bangles on her wrist as she laughed a little. "It's not that fine, not really...a lot is second hand." She admitted with no trace of guilt. She didn't understand women's needs for frivolous purchases. Who needed a brand new palla when there was a perfectly pretty one at a dressmakers stall, handed back by a widower? She frowned a little though at the woman's second point and swallowed, trying not o sound naive as she asked; "Do...most women not go out so late?" This life - married into an equite family - was still so new to her. She was conscious of making gaffes and errors, but was desperately trying not to. "He is...fairly relaxed," because he's not bloody in Rome, "And I get so...restless at home." So lonely, more like, but she wasn't about to bare her soul for all to see.
"But you still haven't said what you do at the palace?" She said with a coy smile as she sipped the wine that had been set down at their table.
Sosia's grin widened as Cynane herself offered a smile and agreed. The hopeful glint in her eyes was replaced with enthusiasm and she gestured her head at the wine shop with seats spilling over the pavement. "Good! Good." Good because it was far too early to return to the house. If she did she'd only spend the evening rattling around, trying to find something to occupy her time with before having a little too much wine and falling into bed alone. It was such a routine now that anything to stave it off was welcome, even a slightly awkward conversation with a stranger.
She quickened her pace a little and drew to the shop. Slaves darted around, serving patrons and lugging jugs and amphorae of wine on their hips. She slunk into a spare seat and gestured for Cynane to take the one next to her. It was busy, but not heaving and seemed to be serving a mix of clientele - enough that she didn't feel out of place in her fine stola and palla. She dropped the latter from her hair to reveal the buoyant tight curls of her natural hair. Her earrings jangled as she tossed some over her shoulder and she tried to catch the eye of one of the slaves. Silence settled between the two women as she did, until Sosia finally managed to order some drinks and then turned back to Cynane with an embarrassed smile. "I...know this is a little odd," She said with a warm chuckle and tucked a curl behind her ear, "But I figured my litter could drop you at your home so you don't have to walk, in case that man is still lurking around, and...I need to kill some time before my slave will join me so...wine seemed sensible." She smiled softly. "Where is it you live?" It was a more polite way of asking 'who owns you?'.
Topics I Participated In
Evening in Rome. She wasn’t even sure what she was doing out this late, honestly she ought to head home to the palace – but Claudia was probably already sleeping and Volusa lay there too somewhere and the praetorians guarded her door. Cynane wasn’t in a hurry yet. She’d been visiting a bath house and was taking a long way back to the palace. The sun went down as she walked and people came out in the streets. Some had finished the day’s work, others were just beginning.
In an open square where a few streets met, a stage had been set up and actors were getting ready to perform some kind of play. Benches had been set up in front of it and Cynane stopped, curious. It was rare she got to see these things. Some wealthy senators squeezed their way past her and sat down on the front rows and Cynane took a seat in one of the back rows, by the end of a bench so she could easily get up and walk away.
The play began. A fisherman’s wife was waiting for her husband to come home from the sea, but he didn’t come and what was a lonely woman to do then, when higher ranked men wanted her attention? Cynane rolled her eyes, well, that woman was to kick their crotch and tell them to go find someone else, she thought to herself. But people around her were amused and she thought she better be on her way. That’s when a man came to her side, pushing his way in to set next to her by the end of the bench. He was larger than her. Much larger.
Cynane stared at the stage, lifting her chin as she did it, “Well well, a barbarian woman!” The man said, looking at her. She was dressed in her preferred clothes, breeches and a thigh-long tunica, not very feminine at all. The most feminine was probably her long braid down the back. Meanwhile the man... was clearly drunk, “I never had a barbarian before… not one who actually looks like one…” He said with a grin and placed a hand on her thigh. Cynane inhaled a breath, glaring at him, “Get your hand off me!” She bit back, pushing at his hand with hers, but he didn’t stop there. Instead he caught her wrist and held it tight… “Uh she talks! And fights!” He laughed and stood, “I like it…” He said while attempting to drag Cynane with him. Fuck! She tried to jerk her hand away from his, thinking she could probably easily use some kind of attack to get him away, but the square was crowded and she was, after all, just a slave.
27 | August 1st 58AD | 'Equite' (really a slave) | Professional Pretender | Bisexual | Original | Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Out of her depth, sums up Sosia at present. She has lived a life in the background; quietly and diligently working away and never in the spotlight. Now she's in Rome and a respectable married woman, she's having to adapt and figure out her new role and keep up the pretence. Because of her history, she is naturally reserved but is trying her best to be the outgoing equite that she now 'is'. She has an easy laugh, and an easier smile, and makes friendships quickly. She doesn't generally enjoy flattery, finding it difficult to deal with and is relieved that her husband is abroad. Whilst she has never been in love, she enjoys the flirtation of women more than men - with several negative associations with her relationships with the latter. She suffers with anxiety and is deeply concerned about the consequences of being 'found out', and lives her life on edge as a result.
Sosia has the complexion of many of her contemporaries of Africa Proconsularis; with darker skin and dark brown eyes. Her heritage is unknown, but her mother had told her previously that she had some Italian blood from the various owners the family had over the years, although she can't see much of the product of this. Her hair is tightly curled and now she finds herself in her new station, she oscillates between leaving it natural and trying to straighten it with hot irons. She has a few small scars on her person from her years as a slave, but these are fortunately concealed by her clothes. Her figure is well-maintained, with a good curve between her hip and her waist and a full chest, and unmarked from childbirth or rearing. She wears fine colours that compliment her complexion, but her years under slavery have made her frugal and she doesn't spend her money flippantly.
Father: Cronus (alive, 54 years old, born 21AD)
Mother: Labellia (alive, 50 years old, born 25AD)
Siblings: 3 brothers - Plutus (alive, 30 years old, born 40AD), Opiter (alive, 29 years old, born 41AD) and Herius (alive, 25 years old, born 50AD).
Spouse: Sextus Fadius Pennus (alive - 42 years old, born 33AD).
Extended family: Several cousins, aunts and uncles in slavery.
48AD (August) - Sosia is born, and named Antia, to a slave woman and her slave 'husband' in the household of an old equite, a famous recluse who lives on his modest estate two days outside of Carthage. She is the third child between them, with two older brothers.
50AD (May) - Antia's younger, and final sibling is born - a brother.
63AD (July) - Antia's dominus takes her to bed for the first time. It was not a pleasant affair, but his attentions occur frequently over the years as he cycles through the female slaves in his house.
74AD (April) - Antia's dominus dies a natural death, and the villa is thrown into chaos. With no natural or designated heir, or any free people on the estate, the slaves oscillate between doing their 'duty' and alerting the authorities, and keeping quiet. They know that to admit the death would mean their own sale, but to conceal the death could be eventually found out and punished. They take a vote, and decide on a majority - to quietly cremate the dominus and keep quiet. The man had received no visitors (at his insistence) for over a year, and they feel secure that they can continue the ruse - at least until they can get their affairs in order.
74AD (March) - Antia cannot continue the ruse any longer, finding the deceit and anxiety difficult to bare. She decides to leave, even understanding that this will lead to her being considered a runaway. She leaves with the blessing of her parents, and intends to head to Carthage, disguising herself as a pleb and to seek employment. She renames herself Sosia Sabellia, and leaves for her new life.
74AD (June) - Sosia finds herself embroiled in a relationship with an equite, Sextus Fadius Pannus - the heir to an incredibly successful textile merchant - as his mistress, in a desperate attempt to keep afloat. She has no love for the man, but without any transferable skills and unwilling to fall into prostitution, he was an easy option. She moves into his domus in Carthage, where his wife tolerates her as a necessary evil.
74AD (September) - For once, fortune smiles on Sosia (or so she thought) and the man's wife dies of miasma fever. Apathetic to social convention, Sextus proposes marriage to his mistress. She tries to refuse his suit, but knowing it'd be her ruin (where else could she go?) she reluctantly agrees and Sosia somehow finds herself married to an equite, whereas she should be in a slave market or crucified after what happened with her dominus.
74AD (October - December) - Rumours, however, are quick to circulate (and still stick to her name to this day) that Sextus' first wife didn't die of miasma fever, but of poisoning. They frustrate Sextus, but he is unwilling to openly defend his new young wife. Discord festers in the union but Sosia clings on, to ensure her future.
75AD (February) - Sextus is called away on business to Gallia Aquitania for the spring, leaving Sosia alone. The rumours increase in force, and the family of Sextus' first wife place increasing pressure on her. Finding it impossible to live in such a situation; with vandals ruining her walls, thugs following her in the streets and threatening letters and curses being left in her path, she plans to leave. She writes to Sextus and informs him of her situation. He muses on his options given he has no desire to have her in Gallia Aquitania, given his new mistress was in residence with him there, he sends her a stipend and instructions to travel to Rome - where he'd meet her in July, when his work in Gallia finishes.
75AD (March) - Sosia arrives in Rome, terrified at being in the 'heart of the beast', but she quickly sets up her home with a few slaves. Despite the business of the city, and the fear she feels fluttering in her chest, she enjoys the peace it affords her and hopes her days of looking over her shoulder are over. She still keeps in contact with her family - she has learned to write in her years of 'freedom' and sends missives to her old villa, in the hope that all is well.
Sara | GMT | Discord
Basically reply with your character responding to the one above with a gif of their reaction to the person above.
. slave to tertius quinctilius varus .
. finished .
. back in time .
How to Train Your Dragon - September 71AD - Charis (Erea) & Ambrosius (Turi)
Charis spends quality time with her brother in Britannia.
Trading Words - Winter 71AD - Charis (Erea) & Aia (Aius)
Charis trades blows with the interprex of the occupying legion.
Brothers and Sisters, Sons and Daughters - December 72AD - Charis (Erea), Ambrosius (Turi) & Nymphias (Ardra)
In Britannia, Charis spends time with her family.
. seventy-four AD .
Little Bird Caged - Late March 74AD - Charis & Rufus
Now enslaved, Charis meets Rufus in the market.
The Meat Market - Late March 74AD - (NPC Charis), Tertius & Spurius
Charis is sold to Tertius Quinctilius Varus.
An Introduction - Late March 74AD - Charis & Teutus
Charis is shown the ropes by fellow-slave Teutus.
Great Expectations - Late March 74AD - Charis, Tertius & Teutus
Charis is formally introduced to her dominus.
Lost and Found - Late April 74AD - Charis & Cynane
Lost in Rome, Charis stumbles across a fellow Briton.
Respite - Late April 74AD - Charis & Gaius
Charis tells her story to an old Equite.
In Dreams - Early May 74AD - Charis & Tertius
In the garden, passion and tension flares between Charis and her dominus.
Years Apart - Early May 74AD - Charis & Airs
Charis chances across the interprex again.
Carpe Diem - Early May 74AD - Charis, Cynane & Helios
In the gardens, a drunk Charis is too loose with her words about her dominus.
Garden Games - Mid May 74AD - Charis, Teutus & Antonia
Spending time with fellow-slave Teutus and his half sister, their domina, Antonia.
The Bridge is Crossed - Mid May 74AD - Charis & Tertius [M - S]
Having found out about her gossip, Tertius punishes Charis and forces her into his bed.
Under the Morning Sun - Mid May 74AD - Charis & Teutus
The next morning, Charis reflects with Teutus.
What goes around... - Early June 74AD - Charis, Alexius & Helios
Charis confronts gossip Helios, and is saved by Alexius.
Daggers After Dark - Mid June 74AD - Charis & Thessala
Charis is attacked and injured, only to be saved by a Gladiatrix.
The Show Must Go On - Mid June 74AD - Charis & Tertius
Charis reveals her injuries to Tertius, who takes pity on her.
Life is a Lemon - Late June 74AD - Charis & Cynane
Charis and Cynane catch-up.
Work and Play - Early July 74AD - Charis & Helenus
Charis chances across a thermae slave.
Special Treatment - Mid July July 74AD - Charis & Tertius
Charis and Tertius reconnect and take their relationship further.
New Beginnings? - Mid July 74AD - Charis, Teutus, Tertius & Hector
Charis is informed of her new position, officially becoming Tertius' bed slave.
Summer Showers - Late July 74AD - Charis & Rufus
Charis runs into Rufus and spends the afternoon with him.
Reginus Georgus - Late July 74AD - Charis & Hector
Bitter and jealous, Hector needles Charis.
Lost in the Moment - Early September 74AD - Charis & Alexius
Charis reconnects with Alexius, who faces the sting of a slap.
A Visit - Mid September 74AD - Charis & Alexius
Charis apologises to Alexius.
I'm not your errand boy - Early December 74AD - Charis & Teutus
Charis and Teutus make up after their vicious argument.
A Trojan and a Goddess - Early December 74AD - Charis & Aeneas
Charis stumbles across a face from her past.
A Proposal - Mid December 74AD - Charis, Tertius, Titus & Longinus
Charis serves at a meal of her dominus' and finds out about her sister.
About Time - Late December 74AD - Charis, Tertius, Teutus & Hector
Charis witnesses Teutus' freedom ceremony.
Festivities - Late December 74AD - Charis & Tertius
Charis and Tertius celebrate Saturnalia.
. seventy-five AD .
Unhappy News - Late February 75AD - Charis
Charis finds out she's pregnant.
Agony Aunt - Late February 75AD - Charis & Cynane
Alone and scared, Charis seeks advice from her friend.
A Favour- Late February 75AD - Charis & Teutus
Charis borrows money from Teutus for an abortion.
Revelations - Late February 75AD - Charis & Tertius
Tertius finds out Charis is pregnant after she botches her abortion. He imprisons her in her room and they argue.
Broken Conversations - Early May 75AD - Charis & Tertius
Charis, broken, submits to Tertius and they talk.
Time for Miracles- Late May 75AD - Charis & Alexius
Alexius tries to fix Charis.
Awakening - Mid June 75AD - Charis
Charis feels conflicted over her struggles.
Blue Sky - Late June 75AD - Charis & Tertius
Charis and Tertius reconnect as they discuss their child.
Evening Shade - Late June 75AD - Charis & Gaius
Charis meets a soldier in the Gardens of Sullust.
The Equality of Man - Late June 75AD - Charis, Tertius, Teutus & Hector
As an earthquake strikes rome, the domus is cast into chaos.
No Boundaries - Early July 75AD - Charis & Cynane
Charis finally reunites with her best friend after five months apart.
Exotic Finds - Early July 75AD - Charis & Aia
Charis meets Aia by chance.
A New Beginning - Late August 75AD - Charis, Tertius & Cynane
Charis gives birth to her child.
. current .
God Help the Outcasts - Late June 75AD - Charis & Aglaea
Charis commiserates with another Varus slave and learns a secret.
Transformation - Late August 75AD - Charis, Tertius & Teutus
Charis' child is recognised as freeborn.
Just One Night - Mid December 75AD - Charis & Alexius
Charis lets loose for one night.
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