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Gil last won the day on July 28 2019

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  1. I hope this will reach all the people I have open threads with. I apologize but work and life leave me without muse at the moment. This has been going on all summer and now we're heading into Fall. So I wanted to let everyone know (again) I'm alive and well but stressed and kind of blah. So whatever my characters are up to with yours, I give you my permission to move along and do whatever works best for your character(s) plot wise. Again, apologies for the inconvenience.
  2. I just finished reading an Inspector Lynley crime/murder mystery - "This Body of Death" - which happened to turn around the discovery of some Roman loot in the New Forest of England. So that was kind of fun! I've never watched the TV show (BBC?) made from the books. But I can HIGHLY recommend the entire series of books by Elizabeth George. (If you like contemporary "murder mysteries")
  3. Gil


    Caia Lupa - 20 - Gil Tamm (Apius A.L. Ursus) - 55 - Gil
  4. Gil

    Get out of me burgers

    In her father's wake, Caia had moved, noiselessly at first, trying hard to avoid the notice of any malevolent spirits. She had risen when he had, and as he had washed and prepared himself for the ritual, she had fetched a pot of hot water, kept ready for just this purpose since when they had gone to sleep earlier. As Caius moved from room to room, Caia took the pot and a spoon and spun about in his wake, cleansing each room with the water, casting it about in a circle. By the time her father was done, her sister and the slaves who slept in the apartment with them were all awake and ready, and they each began to beat upon metal pots or cups or plates - whatever was available, doled out between them. Caia joined in, beathing her spoon against the now empty pot she carried, as they all began to howl and make a great noise, to scare away any last remaining spirits who might have lingered. Then they all fell to, with more water and soap, and began to wash every nook and corner, every surface and piece of furnishing, missing nothing until the sun was well risen and the house was pure and clean from top to bottom. Then it was the time to pay homage to their ancestors with offerings set before the lalarium. It would be a bittersweet day for Caia, as the loss of her mother was brought home in such a marked way. Yet knowing too that her spirit watched over them brought great comfort to the young woman. With this in mind, she approached her father and laid a gentle hand on his arm. "Alright, father?" she asked quietly, looking into his familiar face. She was certainly old enough to note how it had aged, as she had grown. It was lined with hard work and toil, cares and setbacks, not the least of which was the loss of his wife. But it was rugged, and strong, and inspired a great deal of faith and certainty in Caia. She always believed her father would be there for her, and take care of her, and her sister. When it came to family, Caius was in every sense of the word a good Roman family man. @Gothic
  5. Tamm, otherwise known as "Ursus" to most in Rome, looked up as a shadow fell across the open doorway. "You're the medicus?" he asked expectantly, a clear note of hope in his voice. His gaze dropped back to the inert form stretched on the table before him. The gladiator, brought fresh from the arena, lay without movement, eyes closed, his chest rising and falling with a definite hitch in each and every breath taken. The back of his head, well, it was a bloody mess, and blood had already soaked into the stained surface of the table which had seen the same scene repeat itself many times over, in the few years it had been in service as the de facto operating table. Some of the patients laid there had risen of their own accord. Others had been carried off to mend and heal successfully. A fair few had been carted off to be buried, their life extinguished by the severity of what Roman medicine could not ameliorate. "An unlucky blow," Tamm said, probably unnecessarily, for what blow that landed to affect was ever anything other than unlucky, to the recipient? "Our man said there was nothing to be done. But..." The doctore, old by Roman standards, sighed and for a moment looked almost... saddened. But surely death was as much a part of his days as life was? "He's a good lad. One of my best. I just wanted....to be sure." No, it wouldn't do to get too emotionally attached to these men who went out to face their own death whenever called upon to do so. It was always there, hovering, like a jackal - ready to rush in and snatch a soul away. He should be used to this tableau. Yet for whatever reason, this one hurt, more than the others. Maybe he really was just getting old. @Chevi
  6. Looking perhaps as drawn and fatigued as he felt, Titus entered the baths with no smile and a heavy heart. Working hard to forget his pain, he was beginning to wear himself out. But he wouldn't have admitted it. A "desk job" in Rome could hardly be as taxing on a man as life in the frontiers, with the constant threat of hostilities and the lack of creature comforts. This was Rome, a city of marvels, such as these opulent public thermae! Even though he felt more exhausted than ever he could recall, under the most arduous of assignments, he refused to allow himself to see the toll Caesennia's death was taking on him, both emotionally and physically. He wore a month's worth of beard that was a sign of mourning, and he had a thought to have it removed. It was yet just another reminder of the grief he kept bottled inside, and it was itchy now that the weather grew warmer. A good soak and a massage seemed to be in order, a way to cleanse himself of mental distress as well as what little actual dirt and perspiration might now adorn his body since he had bathed the day before, in his own home. Every such banal activity served as a reminder of the domestic bliss that had been, and which now seemed to have been rent, leaving a large, gaping hole in the fabric of his daily existence. It was better, easier, to do as much as he could away from his home, despite knowing that really, he should be there for more hours of the day than he was. Attia at least needed him, needed to be comforted by him. The twin boys were only infants and knew only their nursemaid's comforts. But, for now, he would bathe here, and as he entered and moved to the vestibule where he could pay the small fee and expect to be taken in hand by one of the slaves. @Atrice
  7. Gil

    Rainbow Unicorns

    Gaius was content to watch affably as the stable boy calmed the mare, patting her. He had no place to go and was in absolutely no hurry. When Azarion finally came back out of the stall, Gaius moved, to take a peek in the adjecent one. "And who do we have here?" he asked, rhetorically. Once again, he stretched out his hand, the apple on his palm, hoping to coax this other resident of the stable to come partake of the offering the mare had disdained to accept. He turned his head to glance at the other boy - perhaps not wisely - and said with a sigh, "I wish you could tell me their names." @Chevi
  8. Calvunus shot the other two a look and asked with a grin, "Delos? Isn't that where they have all those statues of gigantic pricks?" He snorted in amusement as he stuffed some bread in his gob. @Chevi
  9. Phaedo listened with rapt attention, as Calvunus began attacking his food with gusto, and a good amount of lip smacking, chewing and slurping at the wine that had been delivered to them. Against this backdrop of noise, the slave murmured appreciatively, "...But when I saw the house of Artemis that mounted to the clouds, those other marvels lost their brilliancy, and I said, 'Lo, apart from Olympus, the Sun never looked on aught so grand'."* He smiled, bemused, at Theodorus. "You are fortunate. I was close to Ephesus, once. When I was brought from the northern shores of the Euxeinos Pontus, and then by ship to Delos, where my first master bought me. But, I was only a small child. Even if I had the good fortune to see the temple, I would not have known it for what it was. My master had seen it though. He told me of its wonder and taught me those words." *from Antipater of Sidon, a Greek poet of the second century BC, found in the Greek Anthology IX.58 @Chevi
  10. Gil

    Aeternum vale

    That hug...lingered, longer than a more normal, every day, commonplace greeting type hug. Titus was not given to much in the way of outward displays of emotion. But for a moment, he clung to Octavius, his older cousin, a man who was like a brother to him, really. Their bond was one of family, but it ran deeper than just that, much deeper. Men who serve together, fight together, face death together, form ties that tether soul to soul. He clung to Octavius, his fingers briefly twisting in the dark fabric of his tunic. It was not over long. But it was telling, and as he pulled back out of that embrace, the lines on his face deepened. He nodded, in acknowledgment of Octavius' words - words that never could say enough - but Titus had been there himself. Offering condolences where pain was deep and palpable always seemed so inadequate. But words, and the comfort or presence, was all one could offer. He knew too that Octavius himself had once, years ago, gone through what he must now endure, and he knew, Octavius really understood, and was sincere in his sentiments. "Yes, you are right," he replied, as he gestured for Octavius to sit. "Life remains. Precious life. That must be the focus now." His words were not empty. His children were the reason for moving on, moving forward, trying not to dwell on the past. Like so many in his family, he had lost so much, a decade before. All a man could do was to keep his eyes turned towards the future, and do what he could to make sure his children, and grandchildren, and their children, would have what they needed to carry the hopes and dreams of their ancestors forward into time. He took his seat again and smiled wearily. "Twin sons. I have indeed been blessed." It didn't quite feel that way, but he supposed he should be feeling that way. Perhaps in time, when the pain of loss eased (if it ever did) he would find more joy in his boys. "Titus Flavius Alexander Minor and Lucius Flavius Alexander Caesennius." He had a bemused look on his face. "Another Titus for the family," he said with a tiny smirk. "I think I shall call him Flavius, otherwise we'll never know which Titus we're talking about." @Gothic
  11. "Africa," he had replied briefly. "And from there I came to Syria with Jullus, to support Quintus." His tone reflected the somber feeling such memories evoked. He left them there, to return to dust as the bones of his family had, all those years ago. For a moment, he caught an image of Caesennia, as she had stood, bidding him good bye, no more than a girl then. It would be several years before he'd been able to return to her, marry her, bring her back to Rome with him. And now... "I do believe a drink is in order," Titus said, changing the subject to something less painful. "I'm sure you must owe me one or two. Come. I can't remember when last I ate. It might be a good thing to put some food in me as well." And it was true - he would lose himself so thoroughly in his work that he would forget to eat, or ignore the food brought to him by the slaves, either at his house - which he was avoiding - or here at the Basilica. He had risen and clapped Aulus on the shoulder, smiling, working through emotions he chose not to show. "And so how is Horatia? And the children...?" he asked as he let his friend precede him out of the office he too had once occupied. @Sharpie
  12. The suggestion had Phaedo's eyebrows rising with mild surprise. He wasn't at all sure his own mistress would be pleased for one of her slave's to be quite so free as to stay out all night, somewhere else. Yet it was Saturnalia - a festival when roles reversed and slaves could act as masters, for one night. Lexus was not his master, so Phaedo was not quite sure it applied in the same way to the two of them. They were friends, or so he liked to believe, whilst burying any realization that their status was worlds apart. But it had seemed like the domina of the Venus had pretty much given them all liberty, to go out and enjoy themselves. So perhaps...it would be alright if he stayed away, just this one night. Besides, the offer made by Lexus would still have to be approved by his mother too. So in response, Phaedo said, quite truthfully, "I would enjoy that. But come, first we must get there." He grinned and with his arm about his friend, they continued to make their way through the dark streets, heading towards Lexus' dwelling. It seemed to Phaedo that were coming close to their destination, although he wasn't entirely sure that the alley they had chosen would empty out into the street they needed to be on, when a dark shape loomed up out of the shadows, joined by another right beside it. A gruff voice sounded. "Here, now. Who are you?" @Atrice
  13. Life was a bastard sometimes, and Calvunus had not been a happy man these last few weeks. Oh, yes, he should have been grateful that damn bitch hadn't ripped his balls off - there was that. But the bite wound had been painful and its placement on his inner thigh had been the source of both extreme inconvenience and amusement - the amusement of his friend Marcus, that is. Calvunus had been in a right terrible mood for too long, and even as the wound continued to heal as it should - without complication - he still felt abused by fate and the gods and dogs and his fellow man in general. Possibly the worse part of his ordeal had been being forced to spend far more time at his own domicile than he'd ever wanted to. His wife was a nag and she'd shown him no sympathy. Of course, he'd not told her the details of how the dog had happened to come upon him, and Helios, in that alley - or more precisely, what they'd been in the middle of when the protective mother canine had attacked. But even without such information, she had been able to disparage and scold, and he was thoroughly sick of her voice, and the sound of his many young children running in and out of the insula constantly. So he was at least a shade more pleased than he had been when he could quit his home and return to mostly hanging out at the Venus and finding any excuse to sleep there as well. Thus it was that early morning found him in need of relieving himself and then hunger prompted him to go poke about in the kitchen to see what he could find to still the rumbling in his belly. What he found was Helios, the golden haired minx that was now so interwoven into that tale of woe. Yet Calvunus laid no blame at the whore's feet for what had happened. In fact, Helios had been the hero that night, getting him back to the brothel and attended to by their drunken quack of a medicus. Calvunus was indebted to the man. He acknowledged that. And upon seeing him, he grinned in response to the teasing greeting. "And such a beautiful sight to behold so early in the morning!" he said, clapping Helios on the back and then sliding his arm around his shoulders as he sat down beside him. He gave him a squeeze, looking at him. "Our lovely ray of sunshine," he quipped, a play on the slave's name. "How have you been keeping? I've seen little of you these past few weeks," he asked in a genial tone, his mood improving already, for that was Calvunus' way - he wasn't a man to stay down and bitter for too long. He reached past Helios for a slightly blighted pear that someone had abandoned in a wooden bowl, and brought it to his lips, biting into it heartily, the juice wetting his lips. @Atrice
  14. Gil

    Roman baking!

    https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/exhibit-spotlights-roman-delicacies-baked-dormouse-carbonized-bread-180972731/?utm_source=smithsoniandaily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20190726-daily-responsive&spMailingID=40294090&spUserID=ODgzMDkwNjQxMzY2S0&spJobID=1562216600&spReportId=MTU2MjIxNjYwMAS2 So I'm dropping this here because I didn't want to have 15 different places for Roman cooking/baking/eating links - I hope you don't mind! Is there a thread on the site for things like this???
  15. Like granite. Yes, an apt comparison, for granite does not float. Had it not been for the spare spar that his desperate fingertips had - at literally the very last moment - managed to just only brush against, and then somehow claw themselves into, Tamm would have sunk to the bottom of whatever part of the mare nostrum they had been blown to. Of the three possible explanations - serendipity, fate or punishment - he was definitely feeling the latter. As he clung to the piece of wood, plunging up and down in the high seas, a plague of memories of times past, wherein he had perhaps stepped over the line of what a decent man might have hesitated to dare, in the face of the gods, had him whispering inaudible prayers of promised repentance and mending of ways. Such is the way of humankind, where, when death draws close, vows come easily. In the end, though, this human chunk of rock did find his way to safety - whether through the further intervention of gods who seemed always to be as capricious as a pretty maid, or simply due to the set of the current and the storm blown winds, Tamm could not have possibly said. But it seemed prudent to acknowledge the possibility of the former, and so as he lay, like his two companions, soaked and battered on some bit of the shoreline, he gave thanks first, that he was alive. But crowded right to that realization was the same fear that had gripped him throughout the ordeal, from the time he and Ario and Turia had awoken to the sense of a rising wind, to the moment he had lost his grip on his erstwhile niece's wrist as she had slipped from his grasp. Worse than even the dread of his own descent into a watery grave, he had shrunk from the idea that anything had happened to her, or his life long friend, her father. For Ario he held less concern. If Tamm was granite, Ario was built like a bit of straw - all wiry limbs, and still lithe and nimble. Perhaps he'd float to shore like a gull's feather, or so Tamm desperately hoped. The girl though... As he lay in the sand, a sound came to him on the wind. Was it a bird cry? Some realization that it was not forced him to lift his head and listen, hard. There! It came again, faint, but upwind, such that it was carried to his water filled ears. "Turia!" he mumbled, as he forced himself upright. Then, "Turia!" more loudly, in his deep bass. "Turia! Here! I'm coming, lass!" and he was - making his legs work, regardless of fatigue, blinking sea water and sand out of his eyelashes, plowing his way across the beach towards her voice. @Kit @Gothic
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