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About This Club

White team. One of the older teams, however, they have recently fallen into a lack of prominence. They are often favoured by the old school plebs and workers.

Leader

  1. What's new in this club
  2. It seemed his master could be trusted, at least this far. The boy seemed to instinctively know (or had been thoroughly taught) how to approach an unknown horse - allowing him to see and smell the tools and see the boy's approach. The touch to Celeritas' flank was gentle but sure, not rough nor uncertain and likely to spook him. Marcus could wish he'd been able to purchase the boy outright, despite the brand and the inability to speak. He would be a good investment even so, and Marcus caught himself wondering if he could be trained as a charioteer despite the obvious disadvantages he was labouring under. "I think you'll do all right, boy," he said, low enough that he wouldn't cause Celeritas to spook. @Chevi
  3. Azarion learned the hard way not to assume his masters' wishes unless he was certain about what they wanted. Right now, everything could be a test, and he was not exactly the picture of an obedient slave. And for the first time in his life, he wanted to at least appear like one. So, he lingered at the door of the stall, waiting for further instructions. "I think you'll do all right, you know. Celeritas likes you, I think. Let's see how you do with grooming him, though." So far, so good. Azarion opened the door, making sure not to spook Celeritas as he entered his space, ready to put the grooming tools to work. There was a chance Celeritas would bold. Horses, even well trained ones, were sometimes skittish around strangers, and even though Azarion knew how to keep an animal calm, it was just like with people - one could not be completely certain. Celeritas snorted and danced a little as Azarion walked into the stall, running his hand along the horse's side in a soothing motion... @Sharpie
  4. The boy came back a short while later, with a selection of implements, including a hoof-pick - which raised Marcus' opinion of him immediately; he had one or two slaves who confined themselves to brushing the horses down if they thought they could get away with it. He opened the half-door to let the boy into the stall. Very sensibly, the boy let the horse smell his hand again, and then the brush he was holding. Marcus nodded with approval. Yes, he'd do well here. It was early days, of course, but he wondered if he could train the boy to become a charioteer - he might be hampered by the loss of his tongue (barbaric, to have done that to a child, whoever the child was! Bloody Romans!) "I think you'll do all right, you know," he said to the boy. "Celeritas likes you, I think. Let's see how you do with grooming him, though." @Chevi
  5. Another slave appeared with an apple, and Azarion took it. He knew this was all a test, to see if he would actually be useful in the stables; Alucio must have said some good things about him, but Azarion was aware what he looked like with the brand and the scars and the tattoos. He didn't care anyway. Celeritas was a magnificent horse. He hummed again, offering the apple, which the stallion sniffed for a moment before accepting it. "How would you begin grooming him? Theseus here will show you where the tack and grooming equipment is, and I want you to select everything you need and come back here." Azarion nodded, following Theseus to where all the equipment was kept. Celeritas seemed like a horse that liked to be groomed, and groomed well. He carefully selected some brushes and hoof picks, and returned to the stall where Marcus was waiting. None of the equipment he picked was new - new tools always ran the risk of the horse not liking their feel - but he made sure to choose the ones that would fit Celeritas' hair and mane, and also the ones he could work best with. Arriving back to the stall, he offered his hand for Celeritas to sniff again, then held up one of the brushes too. The stallion sniffed and whinnied. Azarion glanced at Marcus before reaching for the door that was already unlatched. @Sharpie
  6. So far, so good. Marcus caught the eye of one of the other slaves, who came over to receive a brief instruction and disappeared, returning with an apple, which Marcus held out to the boy. He hadn't made any sudden move which might startle the horse, and Marcus hadn't heard him make any sort of sound, really, except a low sort of humming just now. He seemed sensible enough. Marcus gave the other slave a warning glance, a clear order to remain here, before reaching to the latch of the half-door, though he did not immediately open it. "How would you begin grooming him?" he asked. "Theseus here will show you where the tack and grooming equipment is, and I want you to select everything you need and come back here." @Chevi
  7. Azarion followed his new master into the stables. So far so good; it was the first place he would have gone on his own anyway. The smell was familiar, and something he felt comfortable in (more so than the people tended to be around him). Slaves and grooms hurried after their work all around, but the master led him to a particular stall with a particular horse. Azarion did not need to be a genius to know this was going to be a test. Celeritas. Speed. Romans were not the most creative people in the world when it came to names. Azarion tilted his head, looking at the horse as he poked his head over the door. Swift horses were often also skittish. This one was pretty, and lighter than the horses Azarion was used to from Alucio's household. He had to be treated with careful respect, the way a fussy lady would be (or so Azarion assumed, since he had more experience with horses than women). Azarion held out a hand for Celeritas to sniff at, a little apologetic since he did not have an apple to offer. He made a humming, soothing sound; the horse huffed and poked the hand with his nose. @Sharpie
  8. The boy's master had at least admitted that the boy was mute before Marcus had actually accepted the rental offer. There were enough people in Rome - in the Empire, even - who'd have kept that tiny but vital detail to themselves until after the agreement had been reached. caveat emptor, as the saying went. Mute, half-feral and with a brand marking him as a runaway (well, attempted runaway)... the only reason Marcus had agreed to this was that he'd been praised to the skies about his skill with horses. And he had some sort of basic grasp of writing. Time to put that skill to the test, he thought, aiming for one particular stall. There was nobody here but the horse; everyone seemed far to busy with other things, and other horses, which suited Marcus just fine, at least for the moment. "This is Celeritas," he said, as the horse put his head over the half-door to investigate them. @Chevi
  9. As far as being sold - again - went, this day was definitely working out in Azarion's favor. That was a first. Technically, from what he could make out from the conversation, he was not even being sold. He was being loaned. Alucio claimed it was a financial decision, a shrewd investment of giving the boy to someone who could make the most of his skills, and cashing in the money without putting in any work ,or bothering with Azarion and his mute resentment. A few months ago, the Sarmatian boy would have believed that. Now, knowing his master a lot better... he suspected it was only half true. Either the gods really, really liked his sorry ass, or Alucio did. Gods bless him. Azarion was being loaned to the Whites, one of the four racing teams that regularly competed in the Circus. Pure magic, that was. Not quite the wild horse-riding competitions of Sarmatia, but it did involve horses, competition, and a whole lot of danger. Azarion had not been in Rome for long, and he'd been pretty isolated as a stable boy, but even he had heard people talking about the Circus with excitement and enthusiasm. This first visit was already proving that those feeling were well founded. The smell of horses, the open space, the craftsmen working on chariots and reins, and... it just... smelled like home. Azarion took a deep breath as he looked out at the courtyard. Oh, he was going own this place. "Come along, I suppose you ought to see where you'll be working," And that stern voice belonged to his new master, for all intents and purposes. His name was Marcus Eppius Parthenicus. He seemed a tad tired of the negotiations, and wary of his new charge. Azarion hoped he'd be half the master Alucio had been. He nodded silently as he followed along. Alucio had told Parthenicus that the boy was mute, and that he had some rudimentary skills in writing letters. He did not elaborate beyond that. They would just have to work it out as they went along. Azarion walked behind the taller man, his gaze constantly distracted, staring at the horses in the courtyard. @Sharpie
  10. The Whites' stable complex was the usual bustling place it always was, with slaves exercising horses by walking them round the yard - one had been re-shod and a mare had recently foaled. The carpenter was busy fashioning a new chariot, and the wheelwright was shaving spokes for a new wheel for one damaged in the last race. Slaves were mucking out stalls and doing all the hundred and one other things that kept a chariot team ready and able to compete in the furious races that had made the Whites famous. Marcus had been closeted with a visitor for what felt like an eternity, talking about the opportunities that backing such a faction could provide, and had come out of the session the renter (not, strangely, outright owner) of one half-wild barbarian boy who seemingly had a magical touch with horses. Marcus had initially been put off by the FVG brand on the boy's arm, and the discussion over that had led to the final agreement, that the Whites would take the boy on to work in the stables for a fixed sum payable every eight days, and if not fully satisfied, the boy would be returned to his master, no harm, no foul. They had shaken on it and the boy's master had left, leaving Marcus in charge of a boy who looked still half-feral. At least the tunic he was wearing could pass as white, Marcus supposed. If you squinted. It was at least not blue, green or red. There was something to be said for small mercies. "Come along, I suppose you ought to see where you'll be working," he said, leading the boy out of his office and into the bustling yard. The Whites complex was formed of four separate wings around a central courtyard. There were stables along three sides, enough to house all the numerous horses (it was not unknown for them to put three teams into the same race), with various workshops, the kitchen and dining hall making up the fourth wing. Over the stables were hay-lofts and dormitories for the slaves, with living quarters for the free craftsmen situated over the workshops. Marcus' office was also on this second story, which had a shaded balcony overlooking the central yard, giving Marcus a good view of everything that went on, for which he was responsible. @Chevi
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