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Aeterna Roma RPG

Sarah

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  1. She reached out, then hesitated for a moment. Would she just leave him there? Then she grabbed his hand and hauled him to his feet. The hand that pulled his feet was strong and calloused, with strength in that arm. He levered himself up with his staff and his good leg, his own strength good enough except for that injured leg. After a moment of uncertainty he was standing and balanced, and she was suddenly close, almost awkwardly so as she helped him adjust his grip on his staff. "Thank you." He said, meeting her blue eyes. Too damn tall. Maybe you should sit down. Good advice, but a bad location. There wasn't anywhere really convenient and he wanted to get away from the crowds that risked further injury. Settling the cloth bag over his shoulder more securely, there came the obvious clink of shattered pottery, and the slaver muttered a curse. Yes, he had somewhere else to be. Anywhere else for preference, but right now he could go back to his premises. "My warehouse." He gestured with his staff to one of the many buildings ringing the Emporium Magnum. The most successful merchants had premises right on the square itself. "If you would." The outsized barbarian would should be enough to scare anyone out of the way. "I'll use your shoulder." His left hand settled onto her shoulder, his grip firm, the muscles of his forearm well defined. He was limping badly because of his injured right leg, but between her and his staff, he would make it. @Atrice
  2. He listened, which was perhaps more than many Romans would have. But then he had asked. And was there bitterness there as she spoke of Eppitacus? Revealing that she had known him, that she had fought under him. And they had lost. So he supposed that bitterness was not unreasonable. Lost and ended up here. Lost her tribe and her freedom, perhaps in one fell swoop. He wondered what that would be like. Really wondered, perhaps for the first time. He'd lost family to the ambition of others. If some other peoples came to Rome, with a grand civilisation, knowledge and crafts beyond their abilities, and asked only that they bend the knee, would they do so? Some states had, others Rome had conquered. Sometimes the former meant more unrest than the latter, perhaps because their society remained more intact. Peoples seemed more manageable when the Romans broke up the previous societies and remade them. That was why there were so many Briton slaves, and why civilising that far, barbarian shore was so important. Even if they didn't want it. But it meant that people died. "You lost people you knew in that battle, didn't you?" He asked suddenly, looking at her keenly, one set of blue eyes to another as a very different point of view to his usual one suddenly crystalised before his mind's eye. "I'm sorry." He said, with surprising earnestness. Every lost warrior was someone's son - or daughter, someone's father or mother, someone's sister or brother. Every slave captured was a home lost, a family torn apart. He understood the necessity of a strong military, but in that moment the cost of violence was brought into even sharper relief, for a young man who already abhorred it. "He was sold to a Vestal; that's all I know." He said suddenly, assuming that she would want to know of her former King, then turned to leave. He needed to think. His encounter with the barbarian slave had suddenly made the blood, death and sorrow of conquest very real. @Atrice
  3. "Certainly it is plain that the Parthian government is not attempting to stop the raiders, if they are not directly supplying them." Which made a difference politically since there was such a think as plausible deniability, but none at all to the poor people being raided. And whilst Rome did not need to goad it's nearest neighbour, nor provide an excuse for war, it had a duty to protect it's citizens. It was complicated. Roman infantry, whilst incredibly well organised and efficient, could not move as fast as cavalry. Rome didn't have the number of horses needed to compete with the Parthians at their own game. Archers were effective but the Parthians were archers too, and the way that the Romans would normally gain the advantage would be to build fortifications, which as Aulus pointed out took time and cost money. And this was a problem now. Tiberius suggested targetting the horses, and Aulus pointed out that they would usually be well guarded. But Tiberius hadn't meant when they weren't in use. He paused, popping a date into his mouth as he thought about how to put into words what he was trying to say. What was he trying to say exactly? "I mean when they're in use." He said eventually, with care. "Can we equip the vulnerable settlements along the border with something to help turn the horses?" He worked the idea through in his mind. "When I was riding one day, my horse shied at a piece of clothing on a line, flapping in the breeze. Banners might scare them." He suggested, thinking aloud. Then what he'd been searching for became clear. "Or.. what about dogs? We have hunting dogs, and a few hunters with dogs can move quickly. Train the dogs to attack horses." Hunting dogs would attack boars, which were far more dangerous. Why not horses? If the raiders lost precious horses every attack, they might not be so keen to venture out. Especially if they weren't getting direct support from their government. "Send one of the dogs to the King of Parthia as a gift." He added with a small smirk. @Sharpie
  4. She hadn't been there very long - Spurius tended to move commodities on quickly, one way or another - but it still felt odd for a moment to be stepping from the organised warehouse that had been her most recent home, and out into the bustling chaos of the Emporium Magnum. The boy - Amandus - stayed close by her side, and she settled a hand on his shoulder, whilst Jennus and Olipor looked around them with more reserve. She supposed that they were a household now. All purchased by one man. And that man was her son. She looked up at him - when had he grown so tall? - and a single tear trailed down her cheek. "Teutus. I feared I'd never see you again." She reached out to put her hands on his shoulders, then paused, because whilst she was still a slave he was now free. Had he inherited the reserve of his father's family? He'd bought her, but would he want the affection of his now estranged mother? @Sharpie
  5. Their business completed, Spurius showed Teutus and his new acquisitions to the warehouse's door, with assurances that he was pleased to serve at any time. The he returned to his previous post just outside, watching the rest of the auction, leaving his customer and his new possessions to the afternoon in the bright Roman sunlight.
  6. Spurius gave a faint, amused smile when his unexpected companion asked what exactly he was referring to. "The horses." He clarified. "Though the chariots are impressive." He admitted. Certainly the charioteers on the circus were handling them with skill, especially given the speed, and they watched them round one end of the track. It was quite exciting, though he didn't feel the fervour that some of the less reserved members of the audience were expressing. Helping himself to another of the fresh fruit, he set the punnet between them where they could be shared. "I don't really follow the racing." He admitted, when asked if he had a favourite. "The lad driving the whites seems to be doing quite well; I heard someone say he's new." He pointed. The young man was indeed doing well, at least at the moment. But they had more circuits to complete yet and there were more experienced charioteers present. "Do you follow a particular team?" He asked, curious. Perhaps his new friend could tell him more about the racing, if he was a fan. "Spurius Antius." He introduced himself. "Though I'm called Claudus by many." He added. The cognomen meant 'the lame', and might explain the staff lying next to him, shaped like an overgrown shepherd's crook. @Chevi
  7. Somewhere in Pluto's domain there was a dead Briton on whose soul Spurius heaped yet another silent curse. His Gods-damned leg. He'd had dark moments where he'd wondered if it would have been better if he'd lost it entirely. He knew it wouldn't, but on the bad days when the pain was intense or the damaged muscles seized, or he thought of all the plans the injury had cut short, he wondered. And here he had collapsed whilst that bloody Britonic slave was watching him. Well, the philosophers did say that pride went before a fall. He wished the Gods wouldn't be quite so literal. Maybe you do need a hand, Domine? She was looking at him, with her odd attire and barbarian blonde hair in it's outlandish style. He didn't want help, but perhaps she was right. He might need it. After all, he didn't want to be sitting on the pavers of the Emporium Magnum for ever either. "I..." He drew a breath and sighed, letting his irritation fade to resignation, and gathered what little dignity he had left. "Yes, please." He nodded. "If you would." He reached out his left hand to her. @Atrice
  8. "I know of the Brigantes." Tiberius confirmed when Cynane revealed the name of her people. "Though not much besides the name, and that they are strong warriors." The battle between the legions and the Brigantes' warriors had been bloody and not simple. "There was another gladiator, Eppitacus I believe, who was said to have been a King of your people." But he'd been injured and then sold, and Tiberius wasn't certain what had happened to the man since. Presumably he served his new owner. And now here she was, a long way from her birth land, in the high civilisation of Rome, serving a Princess. That didn't mean that he wasn't curious about where she'd come from. Whilst obviously not as civilised and enlightened as the Romans, clearly their own culture and means had worked, for their people appeared to have grown well enough. Certainly there were now enough of them in Rome. @Atrice
  9. Tiberius listened with interest as Aulus described the situation along their Parthian border. "Do we know whether these are local raiders operating independently, or state sanctioned incursions?" He asked, thinking about the implications of both. The latter was serious of course. Few states appreciated their citizens operating outside the law, even if it was against a neighbour they didn't like. Who knew what they got up to within Parthian borders as well? "The Parthians are famous for their cavalry." Just as the Romans were famous for the number and discipline of their infantry. The Parthian skill on horseback made their military quick and light, able to undertake lightning strike incursions. "Fortifications are an investment, as you say, which may or may not pay off." A big investment, and not a movable one, so depending on where the incursions were ocuring, they might have to be extensive to be effective. Was there some other way to manage the Parthian incursions? "Could we target the horses?" He asked, almost rhetorically. "They are the Parthian strength." And without them they were no match for the Roman military, surely. @Sharpie
  10. "Certainly. I have two teams of labourers available for hire. The whole team or half, and they come with a handler." He gestured down the warehouse to where there were two big pens. One was currently empty but obviously in use, the other was occupied by several men of various ages, who looked fit, sun-worn and like they worked hard but were fed reasonably well. Spurius preferred to sell slaves outright as the teams required maintenance, but there was a huge demand for groups available for short-periods for exactly the purpose Teutus intended, and Freedman wanted paying so much more. They could talk specifics when Teutus had need of them. It was interesting that the younger man was getting into importing goods from across the sea. It was the kind of work that Spurius's family was in, though they tended towards the land route into Achaea and Aegyptus. He'd thought to go into that kind of trade like his father, but when the uprisings happened that strangled trade, he was encouraged to enter the legions like his uncle, whilst his father focused on his older brother. It had seemed like sound advice until that fateful day in Britannia. But that was the past. This was present. Still, he'd follow Teutus's business with interest. When the younger man read out his total Spurius silently turned his own wax tablet to show him; the same number was already scribed at the bottom. "We agree." Not surprising between two businessmen, and business arrangements for payment were fairly standard. "I trust that they will serve you well. If there's nothing more that I can do for you, may the Gods grant you a good afternoon." He inclined his head in a slight but polite bow. @Sharpie
  11. A gentle hand on the small of his back signalled Ru's arrival, and he glanced aside for a moment and smiled at her. His younger cousin and adoptive sister was flowering into a beautiful young woman, and he was glad she'd come. He'd just have to keep an eye on her with Marcus. But Marcus had his sights set elsewhere, at least at present. They joined the two women who'd arrived and clearly knew each other, whilst Tiberius only knew one, sweet Sosia. He asked for her name and she introduced herself without hesitation as Ovinia Camilla; so this was the young woman whom Marcus had told him about. She was certainly confident, even bold; no wonder she'd caught his eye. "Delighted." Tiberius assured her in return. "Your suspicions are correct, Marcus was kind enough to assist." He would always give credit where it was due. "Very memorable." He assured Sosia, though how could he say otherwise? But it was true. Ovinina seemed to take this all in her stride but Sosia seemed a little overwhelmed. Or nervous? She stumbled over her words and he really hoped that she would be able to relax enough to enjoy the evening. That she felt the need to compliment him was rather endearing; definitely no Rome-raised Senatorian lady. Her manner was almost a relief. "Thank you. You look enchanting." He said gently. Both women did, all three counting his sister; really, they were rather spoiled. But she asked about his friends. "Marcus Junius Silanus you now know, this is my sister Flavia Caesaris - we call her Rutiliana - and Marcus has just introduced me to Lucius Vipsanius Roscius." So now they all knew each other's names. Hopefully by the end of the evening they'd know each other better. Tiberius had been looking forward to talking to Lucius since Marcus mentioned him, and hoped he'd be able to spend some time with Sosia. Ovinia had that poised nature that made him think of the Consul's preference in women; she would be interesting to know better. But for the moment she and Sosia looked happy in each other's company. Tiberius turned to Marcus's friend. "Lucius, I've heard that you've taken an interest in the affairs of the plebs. I'm intrigued." He said, hoping the slightly older young man would tell him more. @Sara@Chevi@Eris@Atrice
  12. Tiberius looked forward to the prospect of a more relaxed, less formal event. Quintus might not approve, but Quintus wasn't in Rome, and Tiberius had to make his own decisions sometimes. Besides, socialising was an important part of networking. If he thought of it like that it almost sounded like a good idea. "Maybe Consul one day then." Tiberius grinned, still teasing gently. And who knew? Maybe Marcus would. There were many years before either would be eligible, and someone had to be. It might as well be a personable young man with close ties to the Imperial family. Ah, but Marcus had spoken with the current Consul. "I spoke with Calpurnius Praetextatus not long ago as well." He revealed. "He is very clever. Well worth learning from. A good ally and a very poor enemy, I would imagine." Fortunately Aulus was a strong ally of the Imperial family. Tiberius thought again to their conversation and, since they'd been talking about Ovinia and Sosia, to his advice on women. He'd cautioned Tiberius against hurrying into marriage, and it had only occured to the prince afterwards that Aulus had a daughter who would be of marriageable age around the time that Tiberius would normally be expected to look for a wife. The Consul was very clever indeed. As the pair climbed out of the bath they were met with towels and dried themselves off. "I think I know the one you mean. It should be nice and cool by the river." Though not high summer, the year hadn't really turned cold yet. In the apodyterium their slaves met them with their clothes. Tiberius's body slave served as his capsarius and helped his master dress. Once the imperial toga was arranged, he was ready to leave. "So you're entering the vigintiviri and planning parties." He summarised. "What else, my friend? Anything long term, other than Consul?" What other plans or wants did Marcus have in his life? Tiberius was enjoying the opportunity to catch up and wanted to know all he'd missed. @Atrice
  13. Judging by her expression, the outlandish woman didn't have a sense of humour. A few of the crowd did, but after a few chuckles no one was really interested. Good, the last thing he needed was some twit egging her on. Still, he might have laughed himself if he'd known she expected him to apologise. She was the slave who'd nearly knocked him down, and yet offered him nothing more save a dirty look. Stupid barbarian. At least until he asked after her welfare. She surprised him by returning the question. He return a nod. "Well enough." Which was a bit of a lie, but he'd live. Certainly he didn't think his old war injury was anything she could help with. He could have said something snide about watching where she was going, but he just wanted to get back to his warehouse, rest his leg and send someone out to see if there was any other food to be had. He wasn't in the mood for conversation. Having determined that neither were injured apart from their pride, he turned to go. Which was when the injured muscles in his thigh, now also strained, decided to give out. "Ungh." With an unseemly grunt, that step turned into a fall, the tall Roman going down on his left knee as his right leg buckled and slid out from under him, knuckles white as he gripped his staff to keep from landing on his bum or his back. He sucked in a ragged breath, teeth gritted and eyes scrunched shut as he waited for the pain to subside. Mercury, god of both merchants and deceit, was not favouring him today. @Atrice
  14. Cynane hadn't told him 'no', but she'd made it pretty clear that his sister had. It wasn't urgent, so he would respect that. Besides, his sister was not one to rile unnecessarily. Rather his attention turned to his sister's slave, the Amazon-like gladiatrix who was now her personal bodyguard, a thing the family were very glad of, since she'd saved her mistress's life. Uncle Octavius was a shrewed man. "You're called Cynane, aren't you?" He asked, though as a slave she should answer to anything. "Where are you from?" He asked, suspecting that the somewhat outlandish attire was a mixture of Cynane's original culture and whatever costume had been devised for the gladiatorial ring. He might not have been so interested, had this woman not been part of his sister's household. Or he might. Tiberius took an interest in far more than politics. @Atrice
  15. I know her - I knew her years ago. I'll take her. Her heart leapt. He was free then, and he had money. Teutus would buy her. Then they could leave and she could finally hold her boy again, even if he was a man grown now, and ask all the questions that had been held in her heart till it nearly burst. She prayed silently that this really was true, not some dream from which she would suddenly wake. Perhaps the fates had turned once again. It would not be before time. @Sharpie
  16. There was a pause as his customer viewed the suggested slave, and Spurius noticed the slight whitening of his knuckles where he gripped his tabula. As a good trader he had an eye for detail. Then there was the slave's response. A moment later Teutus gave the obvious explanation. I know her - I knew her years ago. The young man hadn't even asked the price. An unscrupulous trader might automatically increase it, knowing that his customer was keen to buy. But Spurius knew well that was a guaranteed way to earn an unwanted reputation. He played the long game, earning his place as a high-end slave trader and a hard-earned reputation as unusually trustworthy. So they knew each other. Perhaps even had been close, to judge by their reactions. That should mean a happy customer. "Excellent. Then she'll already be accustomed to working for you." He said simply, making a final note on his tablet and quoting Teutus the same price he would have given anyway. He did a quick tally in the wax, with a merchant's grasp of that very specialised branch of mathematics. "Will that be all?"
  17. The charioteers were making their final preparations when a late comer to the Circus made his way through the moderately full stands and paused at the space beside Spurius. Excuse me. May I sit? The slaver glanced up at him, noting an age similar to his own and a complexion that suggested he'd also spent time in the sun. A citizen by his attire, but no Senatore. A peer. Spurius gave the man a faint smile. "By all means." He gestured to the empty stone steps beside him. There was plenty of space and he was in an amiable mood. Below them the horn sounded and the charioteers snapped their reins on the horses' backs, causing them to leap ahead and tear down the length of the track at high speed. Magical things really, their movement was almost like a cat's and their grace quite something to behold. It was almost a shame about the contraptions pulled behind them, yet there was a certain marvel in those too, that man had tamed these beasts and ordered them to his purpose. "Marvelous, aren't they?" He observed to his new companion. "Fig?" He offered the punnet of fresh fruit. @Chevi@Atrice@Sharpie@Járnviðr
  18. "It has been fifteen years since the non-aggression pact." Tiberius observed on the subject of the Parthian Empire. Fifteen years of peace that his adoptive father had negotiated whilst Consul. "Let us hope that we can continue my father's good work." There was always a risk, where two Empires rubbed shoulders, that one might decide it needed a little more room. War with the Parthians would be costly, they were no small kingdom to be easily overwhelmed by organised Roman legions. Previous wars with them had last years, most over the disputed territory of Armenia, which acted as a buffer zone. But now the Consul had concerns, and where a man so experienced in both military and politics had concerns, they were to be taken seriously. "What are the developments on the Armenian border?" He asked, interested. The nature of the unrest might give them some idea as to how things might progress, and even what they could do to stop them doing so. Could they stop the situation, before it boiled over? Diplomacy was always preferable to war, in Tiberius's mind. It cost far fewer lives. @Sharpie
  19. It was boring in the slave warehouse, but she was acutely aware that it could be far worse. Tedium was pleasant enough, in this stall with three other women. They had cots, they had food, they had clothing and blankets. It was all that they needed and nothing more. Sometimes one or other of them was let out to sweep or clean or cook or serve the food. Except for the girl who could do hair; their master was clearly trying to keep her hands soft. So she wiled away her time practicing her skills on the other women, including Varinia, who also learned what she could from the ornatrix. She had no illusions about her own skills in that area, but everything helped and she hoped to be purchased for another household soon. Preferably a good household. The trader had another customer, they could hear him talking to the man, walking him down the line of pens. It had happened so many times that she only listened with half an ear, until they came to stand in front of the gate that closed their pen. She glanced up, with the others, for that moment that was allowed, first at Spurius and then at his customer, and she stared. Teutus. Varinia felt herself tremble. It had been eight years but she would know her son if it had been a thousand. Good Gods it was Teutus! She had to swallow a sound in her throat, fight the urge to call out to him, when he realised that the slaver was glaring at her, and she lowered her gaze. But surely he had seen her! When she'd last seen her boy, still an adolescent, he'd been a slave in his father's house, under his grandfather's authority. But he was here! Apparently as a customer. And if he was a customer... that had to mean that he was free! She could have wept. Her boy was free at last. Had Tertius recognised him at last? What had happened, in those eight long years that she had been separated from her son, her beautiful baby. What had she missed? She had a thousand questions, and could ask none of them. @Sharpie
  20. Spurius was pleased to note that he hadn't lost his touch. And whilst the older runner wasn't the one he thought the young man would want for a body slave, he had never the less selected someone to fill that role, which meant money in the trader's purse. The old tutor would go to a good purpose too, and hopefully an easy enough future. Far too many people saw only age and potential liability, and missed the wealth of experience and skill. Whilst Spurius avoided acquiring the sick, unless they simply looked exhausted, he would consider an older slave on the same merits as the rest. "Certainly." A slight bow, again the keys were produced, and Olipor ushered through the open gate. It was a very old fashioned name for a slave - 'Aulus's boy' - and suggested some previous owner had been very traditional. "And you wanted a house slave." Another of the smaller, slightly more comfortable pens housed a group of women. One was young, had braided her own hair and was in the process of braiding another's; chances were she was the body slave trained as an ornatrix that Spurius had mentioned. The one she was working on was little more than a girl. Another was in her mid-twenties but looked like she'd already had a hard life; she was sitting in the corner staring at nothing in particular. Watching over all of them with a kind of maternal benevolence was a middle-aged woman, tall and slim, whose dark, wavy hair was beginning to salt with grey, and had already been coifed. She wore a long, woolen tunica of fine weave, and as the group looked up at their master and his customer, her deep-set grey eyes widened. She stared for a moment, before Spurius's stern glance in her direction reminded her to lower her eyes. If he wasn't about to sell her there would be punishment for being so insolent as to stare at a customer. But for the sake of the sale he moved on. "These are some of the finest female slaves available at the moment, and this is the one whom I think will serve your preferences in a house slave. She's experienced in the role and kept quite large households." Indeed, if this young man was still setting himself up in the world, it might be something of a downward step for her. But that was of no interest. "She's known as Varinia." @Sharpie
  21. The crowd was getting thicker, and Spurius was thinking only of making it back to the peace and quiet of his premises, when someone tried to brush past him in the throng. They'd have managed it too, if they hadn't caught his staff with a foot. Loosing the support, it was all that Spurius could do to not go sprawling himself; he caught his balance and winced as he pulled the damaged muscles in his leg, but he kept his feet, just. Unfortunately he didn't keep his lunch, and his sardines on toast scattered onto the dirty pavers of the Emporium Magnum, going straight under peoples' feet. This just proved why he avoided crowds where possible. His poor mood was improved marginally by the fact that his 'attacker' had gone sprawling, and he might have simply walked off, but even as they picked themselves up he could see that it was a woman, and a barbarian, as emphasised by the mutter. "Preferably not in public." He drawled in response. Barbarians he disliked, but he'd been brought up to give the fairer sex the care and deference they deserved, even if there wasn't much that was fair about this outlandishly dressed, over-tall woman. Spurius was tall for a Roman, but she was nearer his height than any woman he knew, and she looked like some sort of fighter; maybe a gladiatrix? Likely she could take care of herself. Still... "Are you hurt?" He asked, looking her up and down. Some owners liked to dress their slaves in an eye-catching manner, so whether gladiatrix or something else, he assumed someone owned her. Someone who didn't keep her on a short leash, to judge by her expression. Still, no owner liked their slave coming back in worse condition than they left. Besides, someone had spent money on that outfit... they might have other coin to spend. @Atrice
  22. Aulus's advice was sound, and Tiberius knew that he was too young to wed by Roman standards. The logical thing to do was establish his career first, sort out his own Domus and get his incomes in order, then seek a suitable woman to be his wife when his term in the military was over. Life would be far more stable and he could then offer that stability to her. That would be sensible. But the worry that their line could end with him was still there in the back of his mind, coupled with the fact that he was becoming aware that there really were some very attractive young woman of the right age and appropriate class around now. If he waited ten years they'd all be wed, and somehow the fact that there would be more young woman, likely equally as attractive, coming of age in the future didn't seem as obvious. It was difficult being nineteen. Find someone who was a friend, the Consul counselled. "I imagine that it would be more challenging to build a working marriage with a stranger." He agreed. Not impossible of course, people did it all the time, but friendship seemed a good foundation on which to build a life and hopefully a family. Aulus was full of good advice. Tiberius smiled somewhat self-consciously. "Thank you for entertaining the concerns of a young man." The Consul would have many important calls on his time of course. Choosing a ripe fig, Tiberius tore it in half. "But what of the concerns of the Consul?" He asked in turn. "I'm sure Titus Augustus will wish to speak with you, but if I can assist, or convey anything on your behalf, you have but to say." The fig was sweet and ripe, and the man before him carried much of the weight of Rome on his shoulders. @Sharpie
  23. Maybe you should come back some other time. Much as he wasn't grasping, Tiberius wasn't accustomed to being told 'no' by anyone but his adoptive father. Still, if there was one person he'd take a refual from, it was his sister, and if she'd told her slave that she didn't want to be disturbed, Tiberius would respect that. He'd expect the same from her, even if he might not get it. And in truth the woman was simply conveying his sister's preference, and coming back later was the obvious thing to do. The ex-gladiatrix had been Claudia's bodyguard for some time now - two years? - and rarely seemed to be far from her. If anything she seemed to radiate a protective aura. Tiberius found himself regarding her closely, really looking at her possibly for the first time. Protecting Claudia was Cynane's duty of course, but something about the woman's demeanor seemed to suggest that it was her preference as well. She wanted to do it. "You take good care of my sister, don't you?" He asked, in that semi-rhetorical way that people sometimes spoke to slaves. "I'm sure she appreciates it. As do I." Gods knew it could be a dangerous thing, being an Imperial. She could do worse than have the barbarian fighter at her side. Still, Claudia would be safer when she had a husband to care for her. But clearly they weren't having that conversation today. @Atrice
  24. Spurius inclined his head when Teutus confirmed that he'd take both the boys offered as runners. "Certainly." Pulling a set of keys from somewhere in his toga he unlocked the gate and gestured for the pair to step through. The eyes of the guards followed them but the general assumption seemed to be that they would behave themselves. "My slaves do come with a garantee." The slaver spoke as he locked the gate again. "Whilst I am certain that they will not disappoint, if they do not suit your needs you may return them within a month, in the same or better condition, and I will return their purchase price." Of course, he didn't accept slaves back in worse condition, except at greatly reduced price; which discouraged a new owner damaging them through either accident or temper. But he had a reputation to maintain and his guarantee was part of it. The slave trader made his way on to one of the smaller pens. This had only a few in it, and they had cots to sleep on as well as straw on the floor; the more valuable slaves. One of them was an older man with grey hair and a slight stoop which suggested that his back might be starting to give him trouble, and Spurius pointed him out. He glanced up for a moment with a shrewd gaze, before lowering his eyes again. "Olipor here has tutored the children of Patricians, but finds it a little hard to wrangle energetic youngsters now. His mind is as sharp as ever, and he's very reasonably priced for one of his skills." He named a figure which obviously took into account both the man's literate, numerate and language skills, and his age. It was certainly less than one would expect to pay for a younger tutor, more than for a clerk with only basic skills. @Sharpie
  25. August 76AD The morning auction was over and those couple of customers who had ventured inside his warehouse had been satisfied. The sun was approaching it's zenith, so Spurius ordered the warehouse doors closed, the slaves fed and his guards to cycle through taking their prandium, so that it was never unattended. For himself he made a habit of leaving his workplace at this time and finding food in the marketplace, partly because it allowed him to clear his head and partly because there was some truly marvelous street food available. He carried with him a bag containing a fine clay bowl and cup, and walked his stilted gait towards the food stalls, pondering nothing more serious than whether he fancied duck with plums or clams with herbs and nuts. Hmm, maybe the latter. Alas but he'd left a few minutes later than usual and there was already a crowd growing at the more popular stalls. Spurius disliked being jostled; his injurey meant that he was at greater risk of falling and he only used his staff on slaves, when needed. So he moved further along the row towards a smaller stall with only a few patrons. Usually that wasn't a good sign, but the smell of fish frying with spices drew him onwards, and he watched the proprietor fry sardines with herbs alongside slices of bread, seasoned with garum. The cheese was melted over the little fish and they were scooped up and dropped onto the bread. Someone left with three slices. Either he was an optimist or he'd eaten here before. It would do. @Atrice
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