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Aeterna Roma RPG

Járnviðr

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  1. Secundus started at Aglaea in undisguised shock for a brief moment- then pure rage, at having been addressed that way- and then, a mask of stoic calm. He crossed his arms; they looked tense: coiled and ready for action. He listened to Aglaea's outburst with no further sign of emotion at all, because there wasn't much of one beneath the surface. She had clearly lost her faculties, and he would ignore her until she had recovered them. His wife's tone was less surprising, but he bristled at it. He did not want her diffidence. He wanted her anger. "Livia, I am happy to leave your slave to her
  2. Secundus fixed Rufus with a stern, level gaze. He had dealt with many a liar in politics. If a slave tried to lie to him- firstly, it would be easier to detect due to the rightful fear slaves felt in the presence of their betters, but secondly, if the answers disappointed him, Secundus could reach out to Rufus' master to request assistance. A crime against a patrician could not simply be ignored. "My wife's slave, Aglaea, told me that when she was conducting some shopping for her mistress, her purse was stolen. Now, shortly after this unidentified pickpocket stole her purse without her no
  3. Secundus smiled, his eyes glinting dangerously. He needed to do something to get Livia's attention. She had been distant lately, an unwelcome return to the earliest days of their marriage. He wanted to provoke a reaction- and the only way to do that was to make her temper flare. He had learned that lesson a long time ago. Perhaps showing off Vibia would offend her into speaking to him with something other than downcast eyes and false deference. He was growing weary of her games. Secundus pulled back, finger tickling Vibia's chin. He had places to go, and things to do. This had been a plea
  4. May, 75 AD After discovering that his money had been stolen under Aglaea's inattentive eye, Secundus had been looking for a way to find the culprit. Secundus happily seized on her mention of a male slave, Rufus, that she had spoken with shortly before she noticed the purse missing. Now, Secundus had elected to investigate the matter personally. Although they were due back in Tibur soon, he could not let this matter rest. No one could steal from the Varus family without some action being taken. It did not take long to arrange the meeting. Rufus served a master who moved in much the same ci
  5. Secundus only smiled wider at Livia's comments. Hurled invective: that was exactly what he had come to expect from her. Well, he would simply have to remind her that he was the man of this house. He could allow her to speak to her slave, first, as he was interested in learning more about the situation. What had her so disappointed? But he found that he did not much want to leave the running of his household to his bitter, spiteful wife when he could simply ask the girl himself. Secundus stepped forward, placing a hand on Livia's shoulder, as if to stay her fury- unlikely to work, he reali
  6. Secundus initially tried to ignore the conversation happening in his wife's chambers. Livia needed time to cool off after her tantrum at the party, and the harsh things they had both said to one another. He would give her some space. He needed to, in order to stay calm. Then, his wife raised her voice. She sounded angry- with Aglaea, an uncommon nonoccurence. She often snapped at their other slaves, but not her precious body slave. This, he had to hear. Secundus got up, walking over to the room. He strode in confidently, ignoring any protest on Livia's face or on her tongue. Secundus smiled at
  7. Secundus had spent the past days avoiding being in the house with just Livia. After the events of the party, their relationship had soured. Livia spat bitterly at him, as though anything had changed. He had only revealed her for what she truly was. She hated him? No, he hated her, and increasingly his marriage felt like a trap he had eagerly taken the bait from. It was his own doing that brought him to his undoing. Misery loved company, after all. Eventually, though, one had to come home, or else one’s colleagues began to spread rumors. Secundus arrived home in a bit of a foul mood (when
  8. "Rome is my true home, though it may no longer have all of my heart. Dinner will be fine," he added, though he couldn't muster up more enthusiasm than that. Gaius was perfectly pleasant company, in that he did not demand anything that Secundus could not give. He was not given to prattling on about tiresome subjects that Secundus did not wish to hear about- they were as likely as not to punctuate long periods of silence with the barest of pleasantries. It was exactly the kind of socialization he preferred on a night like tonight. Secundus led Gaius to their seats. It was simply natural for
  9. Secundus smiled knowingly. Vibia's blend of false modesty and false confidence only made her more attractive. She knew exactly how to draw men in. He wondered if any of her clients had convinced themselves they loved her. It was a tempting preoccupation among young men, to decide that they were in love. He had never held any such romantic notions, for he had grown up suddenly- after years of revelry and fun, he had been thrown straight into adulthood without much warning. He wondered if there was much reward in pretending romantic interest. Perhaps he should have tried it. Now it was a bit lat
  10. Secundus watched her move with lithe grace. She knew exactly what to do to entice him. Despite his exhaustion, he felt renewed vigor at just the possibility of another round. He resisted the urge to end the conversation, though. He was no longer a young man, and needed the time to recuperate. Some light teasing and conversation filled a different need, no less important. “You are talented,” he mused. Secundus had only heard Vibia play outside, during his first visit. Venus paraded their girls around displaying their most unique assets- in Vibia’s case, this included her skill with music,
  11. He laughed heartily, eyes flitting shut. Secundus did know about the power of money- more than money, status. Status clung to a family long after the purse-strings tightened. He had turned attention away from his own failings, and so few suspected that anything might be amiss. Vibia knew his blood coursed with darker, harsher, barbaric impulses, but she never shied away from fulfilling his desires. The rest of Rome could imagine that he resembled every other stuffy, proper senator, who had his own private interests, simple to satisfy yet nonetheless embarrassing to admit existed. Somehow, men
  12. Since the earthquake, Secundus had remained in Rome for longer than his previous return trips. Livia seemed to prefer it here, a fact which stoked the fires of his jealousy, but for now, he was happy to be distracted. There was still business for him to complete. Politics intruded on his self-pity and anger, channeling those dark thoughts and feelings to productive ends. On this night, he was enjoying a reprieve from the stressful concerns of the day. Looking for a place to drink away his troubles, Secundus slipped into the poppina silently. Ignoring the jovial atmosphere, Secundus found
  13. Secundus inclined his head at Livia's words. He was glad of her cooperation in this matter. He was used to a wife who spent her days listlessly floating through life, but in recent months, Livia had seemed almost like any other woman. He wondered if Aglaea had been right all along; perhaps she would be ready soon to discuss the prospect of children. They still slept together rarely. Livia was so rarely in the right frame of mind to tolerate his advances, and so he did not ask when he did not want to ruin his mood. He put the thought out of his mind; focusing on this pickpocket gave him renewed
  14. Secundus rubbed his temples. He preferred to leave disciplining Aglaea to her mistress; despite their marriage, he often thought of Aglaea as Livia's slave, and not his. Livia had treated this matter with the appropriate gravity, something which surprised him. The woman knew how to be deferential, but very rarely was she practical or helpful. This was a welcome exception, he thought gratefully. Perhaps he had been wrong about her relationship with Aglaea; the two improved each other. "I will make inquiries. I will visit both the jeweler and this slave, and we will do what we can to find y
  15. Secundus turned away. He heard Aglaea defend her mistress, yes, but he also heard that her grief was greater still than he had imagined. He had married someone who could perhaps never give him what he needed, and there was nothing he could do now to change that. Aglaea promised him that it might change one day- and she knew Livia better than he knew her, a fact which stung deeply. He was the master of the house. He should have every right to know his wife, to lie with her, and to sire her children. Instead, her miasma of despair held his rights and responsibilities as paterfamilias hostage. Li
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