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David last won the day on July 1

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  1. It was a day much like any other for Titus. He had barely gotten any sleep, owing to the fact he had hosted a party at his insula that went on for most of the night. When he did finally get to bed, he wasn't by himself, and when his newest conquest's stamina had finally been depleted (and, by Hercules, he was enduring), the first rays of sunshine had already begun making their way into Titus' room through the cracks in the roof. Of course, the aftermath of alcohol consumption had also begun to unravel by then and a monstrous hangover had begun to develop, but, in Titus' world, fire was best fought with fire, so half a bottle of wine to get him back to at least a tipsy state quickly alleviated any ailments. By now, it was the afternoon, and the city was beginning to become more and more lively, as was customary. Titus made his way to the Forum. When there, he would usually burst out into an impromptu performance. These were always very fun to put on - not because of any money he would earn, but because of the surprise and disgust on the faces of the upper crust as they passed him and caught on to his words, which were mostly targeted at politicians and other greats of the Empire and never very nice. Today, however, he was on his way to catch someone else's performance. A poetry reading, to be exact. Not for his own enjoyment, however - it was more like field research. In the newest of his acting troupe's comedies, he was to play a desperately lovestruck poet, and who was more apt to act as inspiration for such a role than Servius Gabinius Salax? Even among fellow artists, Servius was known for his tendeny to make any girl who would give him the time of day his muse, showering her with elegies and professing his love for her for everyone to hear. Titus, in a way, admired him; it definitely took courage to so confidently walk straight into rejection time and time again. Titus had, through the grapevine, however also heard of the debauchery Servius had gotten up to in Athens and, to Titus himself, partaking in the hellenic Mysteries seemed like a dream come true. Perhaps Servus would soon attend one of Titus' parties and give him a taste of the Mysteries? He certainly wasn't bad-looking at all... As Titus arrived at the venue, it was obvious he was rather out of place. The stench of stale sweat which he radiated had gone to combat against the elegant and subtle perfumes and tinctures used by the Equites and Senators, and Titus enjoyed the souring expressions on their faces as they realised his Eau de I Haven't Even Seen Any Water in a Week very much overpowered anything that could hope to counteract it. He got comfortable in his seat and waited for the performance to begin. @locutus-sum
  2. "Oh, if it's for family members," she said, thinking aloud, "I'd suggest something simpler, like silver or bronze." That would, by the looks of it, also be more in his price range. "Unless it's of, course, a special occasion. A birthday, perhaps? A wedding or the birth of a child?" She was hoping the answer would be the latter - that way, she could sneakily sell him an amulet for the child, too. "Silver and sapphire work great together, in my opinion," she continued, leading him over to a vitrine with various silver accessories on display. "These are all one-of-a-kind, of course, so your relatives are sure to be the envy of the arena anytime they attend the ludi! Even the gladiators will be jealous of the looks they'll garner!" She was slightly disappointed he wasn't looking to buy anything for a lover - she had a great technique of buttering up customers who were, by selling them some Egyptian gold bracelets (whether the gold was actually Egyptian was irrelevant; they had no way of knowing) with the promise it'd make their beloved feel like Cleopatra and make her see them as her own personal Caesar. The male ego was easy to stroke, so that usually did the trick. She slightly doubted he was looking for anything for his sister either way; that was one of the most common, if not the most common codeword for lover I don't want anyone to know about. "We also have some merchandise with engraved gemstones, if you'd really like for the jewels to attract attention!" Adding value to the items through engraving some of them was, in Mania's opinion, the only way in which her younger brother made himself useful in the store. Mania was, however, unsure if the man she was talking to could even afford anything from the silver selection. I am not sure what I am looking for, he had said. Any self-respecting, well-situated Roman, in her opinion, knew their way around jewelry. After all, how could one show off one's wealth to others if not through jewelry? The domus was mostly reserved only for the family and explicitly speaking about one's wealth could quickly become tacky and annoying. The wish of the masses to brag through their riches and affluence was what had made her ancestors, relatively unknown but talented Noric goldsmiths, filthy rich once they made their way to the city of Rome. She was not yet entirely certain if he was a Patrician or a Plebeian, but if he was a Patrician, he was certainly rahter out of place in his social strata. @Chevi
  3. Mania was bored out of her mind. Today, it was her turn to mind the family business on the Emporium Magnum, and she was once again relegated to working as a simple clerk. Both her brothers - even Primus - had to take on that responsibility on a regular base, too, but she still felt it was beneath her. She much preferred negotiations or finalising lucrative trade deals with other businessowners, but those were a domain mainly reserved for her older brother. She was, however, the best salesperson out of all three of the family's children. Primus often attempted to sell merchandise in an arrogant, almost careless way, Cassius was much too shy to hook the customer in, but Mania was eloquent and persuasive, and given she was a woman herself, the rich men of Rome undoubtedly trusted her when it came to purchasing fineries for their wives or lovers. Or both. Nevertheless, manning the store was an incredibly boring task for the day. Sometimes, she felt as if her father purposefully only scheduled her on days where there wasn't too much going on. Primus got the holidays, the days of the ludi, the days leading up to and of festivals and other such important events, but Mania only ever got... well, normal days. The clientele on such days mostly consisted of Equites or Senators who preferred to shop when not as many prying eyes were present in the store. Imperials usually sent their slaves or had their orders delivered by couriers if they purchased from their shop. Even though Mania's shifts often attracted the wealthier customers, Primus was often able to surpass her in terms of the amount of money he brought in simply because of how many customers there were in the store on his days, and that, of course, fueled Mania with even more rage towards him. He had no business skills to speak of and more often than not won the fiscal race only by sheer dumb luck. She would, however, have to reschedule resenting her brother to her free time, as a potential customer had just found their way into the store. "Hello and welcome to our humble store! How may I help you today? We've just put a lovely amethyst ring up for sale, and a marvelous headpiece decorated with pearls straight from the Empire's shores! If you're looking for a safe bet, I'd suggest some gold bracelets; those never go out of style!" she said to him, in a voice as sweet as ever, accompanied by a smile. She wasn't sure if he had the funds to be able to afford... well, really any of the things she had just offered him, judging purely by his looks, but if years in the family business had taught her anything it was to never judge a book by it's cover. He might as well be an Imperial in disguise or some foreign noble. @Chevi
  4. Damn it! It was all slipping away from her! No! Well, thankfully, by now, she had drank enough to not be upset by her plan to make Longinus hers falling through, but rather by how much of a bore Longinus seemed to be. Weren't men supposed to be brutish slaves to their animalistic desires? Her mother had lied, it seemed. Truth be told, she hadn't originally planned to be this forward in her pursuit of him, but if there were any truth to her mother's words about men, behaviour like this should have made him lunge towards her like a tiger towards a helpless novice gladiatrix at the ludi. The rumours scribbled onto the wall, describing senatorial debauchery, also seemed to be untrue... After all, who could resist this?! A statuesque Noric beauty with hair the colour of golden sheathes of wheat, with a face which seemed as if it had been kissed by Venus herself?! No one! No one! At least, this line of thought made perfect sense to Mania Victoria in her current state. Sober Mania Victoria would have recoiled at such extreme thoughts of vanity, even though her appearance was a source of great pride, but that was a problem for tomorrow, along with the bestial headache she would wake up to. "Senator," she began to speak to him after letting out a slight sigh, "I was mistaken. You are a most boring man. Hypnos personified, perhaps," she slurred at him, all while averting her gaze. She took a few steps back towards the triclinium while stretching out her arm towards him behind her, so as to signal to him that he shouldn't follow her. "Now I see why people run from you, and, trust me, it is not due to your daunting aura or military prowess." She made her way back into the triclinium on her own and reclined on one of the couches, paying him no more attetion. For a moment, she thought about looking for the man who was talking to him earlier - even talking to him about grapes should be more riveting than what had just transpired between her and Senator Longinus. @Sara
  5. "Rome was founded a long time ago as well - does it's age tarnish it's greatness? Quite on the contrary; the fact it has persisted adds to it's prestige, and I'm sure your military accomplishments shall go unparalelled for just as long as Rome shall stand!" Her words were slowly beginning to slur and her intonation much resembled the landscape of the city; a cluster of valleys and peaks. She was, unfortunately, too inebriated to notice. If the Gods were to be kind to her this evening, she would forget what was yet to come, and Longinus would aswell. So he was "a man without a woman," as he himself had put it. Fortuna herself seemed to have arranged this meeting, for things were very much playing out in Mania's favour. For now, at least. She had made the acquaintance of quite possibly one of the most desired men in Rome, and was pushing all the right buttons judging by his responses. But hadn't she heard something about him being engaged? While he did make mention of her, the engagement didn't seem set in stone just yet, so the window of opportunity seemed to be at least somewhat open, and, by Juno, Mania would get a foot in before it closed completely. Then, she might finally have the upper hand on her brother for once. She helped herself to another goblet of wine as he did. She took a deep sip from it, evident by the slight dark purple hue her lips took on afterwards. "Oh, my father isn't much one for parties, I'm afraid; he much prefers the company of ledgers to that of people. As for my brother, I'm sure he's off to find himself a naíve companion for the night, as he always does at events like this." Had Mania been sober, she would never have let something like this slip out of her mouth. After all, her reputation was tethered to that of her family, and Primus, as heir, could destroy it within seconds. By now, she was too drunk to care. All she cared about in this very moment was Longinus. "Your intended shall, I'm sure, understand she's not the only woman who enjoys your company." This was unlike anything Mania had ever said or would ever say. She prided herself on being reserved and respectful, especially in the company of such high-ranking officials, however there was a reason alcohol was commonly referred to as liquid courage. After tonight, liquid idiocy should be considered as a more fitting metaphor. @Sara
  6. Had Artemon been a puppy, Mania would've collected him this instant and adopted him as a pet. He was certainly endearing and lovable, but for all the wrong reasons. Was he really such an idiot? Anyone with an ounce of common sense would've known that for him, a foreign day labourer, chasing after an Equestrian was viable only as a daydream at best. However, she couldn't just outright refuse him - he was, after all, making an effort, even if in vain. She was usually a venomous snake, but even snakes made good companions if you treated them right and cared for them, and the attention Artemon was giving her surely made Mania feel cared for. If only he were a Senator, she might actually give him a real chance at courting her, but given he was a Peregrinus, not even a citizen... "Your words are as sweet as those of Cupid himself!" She was beginning to grow somewhat impatient. It was obvious Artemon had nothing of importance to do, no responsibilities to speak of - if he did, he would be well-aware of the utmost importance of time and wouldn't have chased her down at the crack of dawn, just as she was about to take on her own responsibilities for the day. She couldn't keep the Norics waiting. This was one of the few chances she was given to prove herself as a capable part of the family business, and she surely wouldn't let the contract go up in smoke due to the persistence of some clueless, although well-meaning, lovestruck Egyptian. His ambition and resilience were remarkable. Either he didn't want to believe she had no real interest in him or he just didn't notice. Either way, she didn't want him to cause a scene, so outright rejecting him was not in the cards for her. "Very well, but only if you take the bigger half!" she answered diplomatically. "You deserve it, given your knightly demeanor!" As he ran off to fetch the bun, she hinted at her slaves to go and prepare a litter. She certainly wasn't going to set off on foot after their shared snack, possibly giving him more chances to distract her. @Liv
  7. Titus Epidius Bellicianus 33 | 11th of November 42 | Plebeian | Actor | Homosexual | Original | Willy Cartier Personality Due to his profession and the associated low status, Titus is extremely carefree and doesn't give a damn about what others think of him - after all, as an actor, he is at the bottom of the social ladder, and it could hardly get worse, if at all. He is rather brazen and promiscuous and speaks openly about his homosexuality and sexual endeavours, even when speaking of relationships in which he takes on a submissive role. Although he does have somewhat of a knack for acting, his talent is largely overshadowed by his love for alcohol, which is kept in check by his poverty. Rarely ever is he completely sober when performing, and many attendees might find themselves suddenly being the punchline of his jokes should he decide to go off-script. Occasionally, he incorporates a surprise early ending into his performances by passing out on stage, much to the relief of the viewers. When not performing, Titus can mainly be found trying to steal food from the stalls at the Emporium Magnum, or, if he can afford it, drinking in one of the city's many poppinae. At night, he will either crash a party in one of the city's many insulae or look for a man to spend the night with. If he, however, decides to stay home, he usually forgets to lock or even close the door to his room in his apartment, which he shares with many other people, which usually leads to his belongings mysteriously being missing in the morning. Titus doesn't really care about his things being stolen as long as he is still left with a few coins for wine. Appearance Titus is rather tall with dark hair and eyes and a slightly darker complexion. His long mane of hair is usually unkept. A pungent, sour-ish smell reminiscen of stale sweat surrounds him most of the time. Nevertheless, he is still at least somewhat attractive and charismatic, owning manily to his slightly muscular build. If Titus bathes, it is strictly to increase his chances of hooking up with somebody. His clothing is simple, both in colour and style. Family Father: Vibius Epidius Bellicianus (alive) Mother: Xenia (alive) History Titus' childhood was tumultuous at best. He was born to Vibius Epidius Bellicianus, a Plebeian mosaicist, and Xenia, a former slave and prostitute hailing from Greece. Vibius and Xenia first met in the brothel Xenia was working at, and it was, at least for Vibius, love at first sight. Xenia, even though she knew he wasn't very well-off financially or socially, as he would often come to the brothel and try to leave without paying, saw in him her chance to regain her freedom, as the owner of her brothel usually freed those of his prostitutes which became pregnant. If Xenia were to be freed, she could become a Roman citizen and thus be free to go back home, to Greece. Luckily for her, she became pregnant with Vibius' baby quite quickly and her plan worked out, leading to her being freed. Vibius, however, given the fact she was pregnant, wouldn't let Xenia travel on her own, which quickly put a stop to her plans, at least for the time being. Xenia, however, was at least somewhat happy when her son, Titus, was born. His laughter and the twinkle in his eyes made her forget about her and her husband's dire situation for at least a little. Vibius had, despite having become a married man and father, kept his habit of visiting prostitutes, spending many a night in brothels and bars, leaving Xenia to care for their son alone. Their financial situation hadn't improved either - while Vibius did have steady work, his pay was often only menial at best, and with another mouth to feed they now felt their poverty gnawing away at them more than ever before. After a few years, when Titus was five, Xenia was simply fed up and packed her bags while Vibius was out on the town, spending what little money they had on sex and drink once more. By the time he returned in the early morning, she was gone, and Vibius and Titus were now left on their own. Vibius spent the next few days looking for her all over the city, wherever he could think of - various brothels, inns, any acquaintances he knew she had - however, she was nowhere to be found. She had probably made the trip back to Greece with the first ship of the day, and Vibius had to come to terms with the fact Titus was now his responsibility. Vibius did so by putting Titus to work. After all, two pairs of hands would get the job done quicker and could demand more money, so from age six, Titus helped his father with his work. Titus, however, wasn't much one for manual labour. Whenever he and his father would go to assemble mosaics in whichever domus was being constructed, Titus would spend most of his time exploring the constructions, staring in awe at the beautifully detailed frescoes of the walls. It was clear he had a penchant for art. His father usually let him explore, as, regardless of whether Titus was actually working or not, he could still demand payment for both of them, as long as their rich bosses weren't supervising them and none of the other people working on-site would snitch on them. At around age 13, Titus first got to know Rome's art scene and its' social circles. Coming from a humble background which was dictated by social and economic status, he felt right at home in the art world, which typically consisted of the lowest of the lowest in terms of social order. To him, it almost seemed as if their low rank gave the artists some kind of immunity - the satirical poets and actors he got to know all seemed to have carte blanche in terms of ridiculing both Romans and Rome as a whole, while such behaviour would be unfathomable in the upper echeleons of society. Fueled by this fascination, he wished to join the artists himself, to which his father vehemently objected. Even though his father, as a mosaicist, was an artist himself, he still seemed to have a thoroughly negative opinion of other artists, having given in to social rules in regards to how these people were to be treated. This only fueled Titus' aspirations, and, at sixteen years old, he decided to bid farewell to his father and pursue training in the dramatic arts. After he completed his training and joined an acting troupe, he toured all of the Italian peninsula for a few years, achieving a certain degree of infamy. As it turned out, he was indeed talented, especially when it came to comedy. The many nights his father would take him with him when he was spending a night out on the town exposed him to the sharp-witted and creative insults common among the lowest classes, which came in handy in comedic performances. Titus by no means earned himself a fortune through acting, however it was enough to keep him afloat, which was much more than could be said of his earnings as his father's assistant. During his travels, Titus also got to intimately know the debauchery commonly associated with actors, developing a preference for sex and alcohol. Although he did occasionally take on women lovers, he always found the company of men to be much more interesting and exhilarating. Even though he knew there was a certain stigma associated with being the submissive part in relationships with other men, the already very low status he enjoyed as an actor meant he didn't have to hide his affection for men or his openness to being the submissive part. Titus became quite promiscuous and spoke openly of his conquests. To this day, he continues to prefer the occasional one-night-stand to a steady relationship. After his troupe completed their travels, they returned to the city of Rome, where Titus continues to reside, still enjoying the carefree nature of the artistic circles to the fullest. He is known mainly for satirising politicians, and for being extremely crass and bold in his performances, even in comparison to other actors. The parties he frequently hosts at his insula, of which the guest list consists of simply "Come one, come all," are also known for their no-holds-barred nature. @Gothic David | GMT+1 | BurningBridges#7040
  8. Oh. So Marcus was the type that liked to have fun before finding the perfect match. Slowly, he was beginning to remind her of Primus. Primus would happily spend a night with any girl who as much as looked in his general direction. How weak and feeble men were, slaves to their natural urges. Mania, for one, intended to stay pure as a vestal virgin until her marriage, and even then planned on only giving in to the urges of the flesh to legitimise the marriage with a child or two. Hopefully, she was wrong and it was not that kind of fun Marcus was referring to, otherwise the match would find itself snubbed quite quickly. Mania certainly wasn't some Plebian whore, and she wouldn't allow anyone to treat her like one. She replied to his mentioning of fun with a giggle and hoped he wouldn't treat her politeness as an invitation. "What is it you're looking for in a match, then?" she asked. She knew it was probably what most men in Rome looked for in a woman; quietness, servitude and submission. However, Mania was of the opinion that if a man wanted those qualities in a woman, he could buy himself a slave. If she thought of it, wives were little more than glorified slaves within the household. That was one of the main reasons she was so opposed to marriage, especially an arranged one, but that was how things were done and the likelihood of her parents letting her marry someone she picked out for herself was slim to none. Afer all, their marriage was the result of a match aswell. "Oh, that must be dreadful!" Mania remarked about Marcus' lament concerning the lack of fun within his household. "I guess that's the silver lining of my brother hounding most of the guards - I'm much more free to do what I like than most of my friends," she thought aloud. She had never thought of it this way - there, apparently, were some benefits to playing second fiddle within the family, although Mania was most likely even below that, as she still had a younger brother. He was a total idiot and absolutely inept at anything except for gem engraving, but was still preferred by his father to her due to being a man. Thankfully, he wasn't much of a threat to her, if at all. Marcus' offer to escort her home at least somewhat dispelled Mania's fears regarding his intentions and morality, or apparent lack thereof. He was, apparently, at least a little bit of a gentleman. "Thank you," she said as Marcus' slave entered the room with food and drink. She wasn't usually this nice to slaves, but she wanted to make a good impression. "Oh, you know, the usual," she replied to his question of what kind of fun she liked, which again made her think he wasn't really that much of a gentleman after all. "If I may speak candidly, I do find the things one can find out about others at various social events rather fascinating... Things the people they concern would never tell you themselves, of course..." Hopefully Marcus would get the hint and she wouldn't have to call herself a gossipmonger. That was such an ugly word, filled with negative connotation. She preferred to refer to herself as inquisitive and well-informed. "Now, what is it you like to do for fun?" She sincerely hoped he wouldn't turn out to be a womanizer. Up until now, things were going rather smoothly, but at this point, Marcus was on very thin ice. She sat down next to him in expectation of his answer, although she maintained a healthy amount of distance. She didn't want his hands to end up anyplace they shouldn't be. @Atrice
  9. Longinus had fallen for her guise, it seemed to Mania, hook, line and sinker. She knew he wouldn't be able to resist her charms - she was, after all, a beautiful woman, and Longinus was a man. He may have been highly decorated and influential, but he was still a man, and a Roman to boot. Roman men were perhaps the most gullible in all the world, and all one needed to exploit that was to be a woman. She knew very well who Lucius Cassius Longinus was, as did most others. First he spent several years in the army in Britannia, and now he was a civil servant - he seemed to live in perpetual servitude to the Empire, the Roman ideal. However, he was still not immune towards the charms of a woman. To Mania, this seeemed almost comical. This must be, she guessed, the silver lining of otherwise having a terribly unjust position in society. "In that case, I shall hope my company won't be as terrible," she joked, giggling. She was somewhat surprised at how candindly Longinus spoke of others, but then again, this was a dinner party, so she imagined Longinus would prefer to let loose at such events after spending most of his days intertwined in political debates and superficial niceties like the conversation she had just gotten him out of. "Oh, please forgive me!" she said as he introduced himself, as if to solidify the guise of not having recognised him. "How ignorant of me, truly! Of course, we've all heard of your heroic feats in Britannia! You've accomplished more than most men could hope to accomplish in a lifetime!" And by the looks of it, he must've looked damn good doing it, however Mania wouldn't make her attraction to him that obvious just yet - that is, if the wine seeping into her brain would play along. As it turned out, however, it didn't intend to do so. "Mania Victoria! My accomplishments do not compare to yours, I'm afraid," she joked again, "but my father is a rather well-known goldsmith - he owns a shop on the Emporium Magnum, perhaps you've heard of it?" Mania found it rather embarrassing that her only accomplishment was being a well-known man's daughter. Her brother, Primus, at least, could say he was heir. That carried some weight and sounded at least somewhat impressive, even if he was born into that position and had done nothing to achieve it on his own. Mania's position was daughter. Every woman in the world was somebody's daughter. Plebians, Peregrini and slaves were daughters, too, for Jupiter's sake! Even just thinking about it made her angry, however she composed herself enough to contain her anger and not have it show. "Oh, how surprising!" she reacted to his calling her a novelty. "Why on Earth would people run away from you? Well, unless they were invaders on Britannia, I suppose..." The wine had, by now, distributed itself all throughout Mania's body and she had difficulty concentrating, although the state of inebriation had not yet become apparent in her speech. She made a few steps towards him, while giving him a sultry look. "I must say, Senator, I feel rather... attracted to you myself. Trust me, I have no plans of running. If anything, I wish for there to be less distance between us." @Sara
  10. Mania's day had been going at a leisurely pace up until this point, as was customary for a woman of her status. An assortment of fruit for breakfast, followed by being dressed by and gossipping with her acillae and then simply lounging around and looking at herself in the mirror. There was little else for her to do - after all, she wasn't entrusted with any meaningful position within the family business. At most, her father would let her consult him on jewellery designs or seek her approval in terms of which pieces to put into the shop for sale or use her as a diplomat in some less important negotiations or discussions. Today, she had another one of these negotiations on her agenda, regarding some incoming gem shipments from Noricum. Mania was called in every time the people coming to negotiate were from Noricum, as she spoke the language most fluently. Arguably, this was to be expected, as she had had much more time to perfect it than Primus or even Cassius, with all the free time she had. Mania had just left her family's domus to make haste to the shop on the Emporium Magnum. Her pale skin glistened in the sunlight and her blond hair glittered like straws of golden wheat. She had decided to traverse the short while it took to reach the Emporium by foot, so as to be able to admire the beauty of the scenery. The view from atop the Esquiline Hill was rather magnificient, and it would surely help Mania calm down her nerves before the meeting with the Norics. As always, she was quite upset at the fact her role in the business had, once again, been reduced to such a trivial one. They already had enough gem merchants on their payroll as it were, and besides, Mania could bring as many gemstones as her father wanted back to Rome after spending the late summer back up in Noricum again. But alas, she had to do what she was told if she wanted to remain in her father's good graces. ...Oh no. She really didn't have time for this right now. Not him again. That damned Egyptian! She had seen him lurking up and down the street, making big eyes at her. Hopefully he wouldn't notice he-- no, too late. "Domina," she heard his desperate yearning. If only he were better situated... He was certainly handsome, however he was also a Peregrinus. Less than a Plebian, for Jupiter's sake! Perhaps she could get her father to try and purchase him, or offer him a job at the jewellery shop... Could he bring in gold or gemstones from Egypt? He didn't look like the type to have business connections... What she felt for him was nowhere near affection, moreso a deep and resounding pity. His plain and uninspiring choice of wardrobe gave his status away to anyone around, as did the rings under his eyes. If the neighbours found out someone like him was trying to court Mania... Gods, no. Still, the pity he inspired her prompted Mania to be at least somewhat polite towards him. She turned towards him as she heard his feet hitting the pavement behind her. For a moment, she was afraid he might try to tackle her in pursuit. "Oh, for me?!" she exclaimed, in a theatrically smitten tone. "How... kind of you." Her tone became less enthusiastic as she noticed the flower's stem had almost broken in two. In a way, his idiotic chasing of her had somewhat of an endearing quality to it. "Thank you," she said. "A perfect accessory for the summertime, don't you think?" she added before sticking the rose into the sculpted updo that adorned her head. She would surely take it back out before entering her meeting with the Norics, but at least this would bring some joy into Artemon's day. Mania may not be the kindest person around, but she certainly wouldn't ruin a poor Peregrinus' day for showing affection towards her. In fact, she quite delighted in his compliments, but then again, the source of delight in this situation was that they were compliments, not that they came from him. She stood and posed for him, as if to show off the newly acquired accessory. "From now on, I shall expect you to bring me a flower for every changing season!" Hopefully, he wouldn't take her up on this promise... @Liv
  11. David

    I have returned!

    Ooh, hello and welcome back! I unforutnately don't really know which Claudia you're refering to, as you have 3, but, should Equine and Imperial not be too much of a gap in social standing for Claudia Corinthia; she's the same age as my Mania Victoria, and they both seem to be very unhappy with their position in the world and both feel as if they've been wronged! I think there's potential there!
  12. "Oh, no, nothing bad at all, only the best, of course!" Mania replied, still smiling as sweetly as ever. Mania could hardly remember anything Caecina had ever said about Marcus, but her eyes always seemed to light up at least a little bit whenever he became the topic of (a very one-sided) conversation, so it mustn't have been that bad. Judging by how this meeting was going thus far, Marcus had not run into either one of her brothers as of yet. Mania didn't yet know whether she should be thankful or resentful of that fact. "Oh, aren't you a charmer!" she replied to his compliment. If there was one thing Marcus could possibly deter Mania from making him run, it was by complimenting her; Mania was very proud of her look and, indeed, very aware of the fact she was an eye-catcher. "With a tongue as honeyed as yours, I might start to wonder why you aren't married already..." On one hand, it was strange Marcus hadn't found a wife yet - with all the opportunists in Rome, she'd have expected several women and their mothers and fathers to be fighting eachother in the streets for a match with Marcus. After all, he was of high standing and well-connected and Mania could think of at least a dozen women off the top of her head who would gladly use him as a springboard for other endeavours. Mania herself included, of course. "Oh, yes, Caecina's bodyguard truly is irritating! He hardly ever lets us have any fun when we're together!" While Mania was never one for partying like a Plebian and "letting loose," as they liked to refer to committing several acts of debauchery and immorality, she still knew how to have fun. Spiking people's food with aphrodisiac, gossipping, backhanded compliments, telling an oh-so smitten young girl the man she had been eyeing all night had expressed interest in her, only to see her embarrass herself... Things like these were how Mania kept herself from dying of boredom at the various social events she attended, however Caecina's bodyguard would never let Caecina participate. Of course, he would never reprimand Mania, as it was simply inapporopriate for one's bodyguard to berate another. "I was carried here in a litter by some of our slaves - owned, of course, not rented, both the litter and the slaves," she pointed out in a joking manner. "As for bodyguards... well, my older brother usually hoards them all for himself, being heir and all..." she said, letting out an audible sigh. She wasn't particularly afraid of anything happening to her while out and about, but it did irritate her that both her brother and her father apparently didn't deem her important enough to give her an entourage of her own. However, even though she didn't feel threatened without bodyguards, turning on the waterworks to make her brother out as the selfish egotist he was was something Mania did at every chance. "Don't you think that horrible? A woman like myself, unprotected, in Rome, with all the criminals and desperate Plebians running around, doing Jupiter knows what? Should even just one of them decide to go for my jewellery someday, I will be doomed!" Mania did indeed wear a lot of jewellery on a daily basis, however she also knew the many rings on her fingers and the sharply cut gems they were adorned with could be used to her advantage, which she had come to learn by teasing her brothers. She was nowhere near defenseless, but if Marcus was at least a slight bit of a gentleman, he would surely pride himself on being able to protect her. @Atrice
  13. The eyeroll Mania had to supress upon seeing her match enter the room would've made the tides around the world shift by sheer force of gravity. Caecina's half-brother?! Of all the men in Rome?! Mania had befriended his half-sister on the social circuits years ago. The second he introduced himself to her, he gave it all away - the name seemed all too familiar. Caecina must be wheezing with laughter right this very moment! Mania had told her all about the match and the scheduled meeting, and Marcus had undoubtedly done the same. Mania's tactics to send men running had become somewhat of a running joke between her and her friends; should Marcus reject her, they would never forget it. She'd be the laughing stock of Rome's upper echeleons and undoubtedly be avoided by any and all suitable men in the future. Caecina would receive a very passively aggressive letter in the coming days, at the least. Mania felt her anger rising and her face turning a slight hue of red. Hopefully, Marcus would interpret it as blushing. "No need to apologise - I've only just arrived myself!" she said with a smile as sweet as honey. At least he wasn't ugly. It was obvious he liked to spend time working out and was in good shape. "Forgive me if I'm being too nosy too quickly," she began to assure herself of Marcus' possible relation to Caecina, "but might you be Caecina Tusca's half-brother? She has told me so much about you!" Caecina had indeed occasionally spoken of her half-brother, but, truth be told, Mania was never very keen on listening. Anytime brothers (or half-brothers) somehow became the topic of conversation, Mania either excused herself and found something better to do or ignored what was being said completely. She didn't want to speak of her own brothers, one of them being an insufferable, pompous show-off and the other a weak-minded pushover. "Curiously, I've never seen you accompany her to any of the parties we've attended together - I would've noticed you, I assure you," she added, flashing a slight smirk at him. Mania knew what most Roman men, especially those of higher social standing, wished to hear from women - how handsome they were and how highly others spoke of their heroic achievements. Looking at Marcus, though, his superficial beauty seemed to be the only thing of note thus far, as he could've hardly been of an age by which he could've accomplished anything meaningful or noteworthy. "Are you normally not one for social gatherings?" At least he was handsome; whether he was also interesting remained to be seen. @Atrice
  14. David

    Mania's Brothers

    Mania Victoria and her two brothers have a complicated relationship, to say the least. The dynamics between them are narrated mostly by the ongoing squabbles between Mania and her older brother Primus, while the youngest of the three, Cassius, is used mostly as a pawn and scapegoat by them. Primus and Mania are ambitious go-getters who will halt at nothing to achieve their goals, while Cassius usually keeps to himself and actually prefers to stand in their shadow, as that way, they at the very least don't try to undermine him in his own pursuits. The older siblings mostly compete for attention and praise by their father (which, by default, usually goes to Primus, as he is the firstborn and thus heir) while Cassius is closer with his mother, preferring to be passively involved with the family business, if at all. Primus Manius Victorius suggested faceclaim: Thor Bulow Primus is, as the heir to the family business, the favourite of his father, Gaius. He is essentially given complete freedom as long as he follows his father's orders and doesn't neglect his duties. Involved in the family business since a young age, he is his father's right-hand man and helps him make important decisions. As such, Primus also exerts a certain level of influence over his two siblings and his mother. In the social world, he is known as somewhat of a womanizer, an "eternal bachelor," willing to spend a night with any halfway decent-looking lady who'll throw herself at him, but reluctant to marry. This reluctace to marry stems mainly from his fears of the family business being taken away from him at the hand of his wife's family once he takes over, these fears, in turn, stemming from Mania's ambitions to usurp him. While he is very much aware of Mania's jealousy and her wishes to replace him as heiress, he sees her as no serious threat - merely as a somewhat choleric woman who prefers to daydream rather than accept her place in society, and he knows just what buttons to push to get Mania to lose her temper - what's more, he delights in it. In regars to his younger brother, Primus really doesn't have much to say; the differences in age and status within the family have prevented them from establishing any sort of meaningful connection ever since their childhood days. Cassius Manius Victorius suggested faceclaim: Charlie Di Stefano Cassius is perhaps the least well-known of all members of the household. Having spent his entire life thus far in the shadows of his heir-to-be brother and socialite sister, he has had no chance to prove and make a name for himself. However, he is rather content with the situation, too. Having seen what the limelight can do to people by experiencing the transformation of his siblings from loving, understanding people to snakes lusting for power and influence, he would rather not hold any power or influence himself, as he would rather not become like them. Nonetheless, his siblings still exert a considerable amount of influence over him - at times even more so than his parents, as Cassius fears his siblings more. Cassius has no ambitions in commerce, politics of anything of the sort, and has instead found his calling in the arts. He is particularly fond of gem-engraving and is thus at least somewhat active as part of the family business, as the gems he engraves are sometimes used in the jewellery produced. He is very close with his mother, who is just as much a sentimental and caring individual as he is, which has earned him the nickname "our little Orpheus" by both his siblings. He has accompanied his mother to many a theatre performance and has thus become an avid lover of the theatre and wishes to try his hand at acting. His Patrician status has, however, barred him from following such pursuits. Another aspect of himself Cassius hasn't been able to explore due to his social standing is his bisexuality; he has been inclined towards both men and women lately, but hasn't acted on his feelings towards men for fear of embarrassment and bringing shame upon his family. If you have any questions or would like to take on one of them, please, don't hesitate to contact me through Discord!
  15. Sometime in July 76 CE, in the afternoon Mere minutes ago, Mania was fuming. She was as if she had suddenly been posessed by the Goddess Ira herself, as her parents had once again found someone they wanted to force her into marrying, and she was to meet him today. She hated it. She hated the fact she couldn't choose a husband for herself; if she could, she might actually look for a candidate whom she wouldn't want to chase away. The way things were at the moment, though, Mania was more than set to do to this man what she had done to those before him - simply have him meet her older brother at some point. The way he spoke of her usually made any man run for the hills. That, at least, was the one thing Primus was useful for. However, as Mania entered the upper-class building of the poppina on Via Lata, her demeanor might make the other patrons think her heart was a ray of sunshine. While she wouldn't exactly bet on the success of the match, Mania was not about to bring shame onto her family by being outwardly against it, at least not in the presence of her possible husband-to-be. At least the poppina served wine, in case he was much too unbearable. However, after the dinner party she had attended only a few days prior, where she met and embarrassed herself before Senator Longinus (one of the few men she actually would agree to marrying), she would at the very least be much more mindful of her wine consumption. As she made her way into one of the private rooms of the poppina, she took a deep breath. She was told he was, indeed, part of the Senatorial class and even had some connections to the Imperial household; his score was already much higher than the dimwits her parents usually tried to set her up with. Perhaps he was actually smart, ambitious and successful, and wouldn't treat the possibility of marrying a goldsmith's daughter like a get-rich-quick-scheme. Most of the time, it seemed as if Mania herself was her own dowry. Mania, however, was a realist, not an optimist, so all remained to be seen. Given how promising the description given to her by her mother seemed, she was open to being pleasantly surprised, at least. @Atrice
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