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Aeterna Roma RPG

locutus-sum

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  1. Antheia wasn't usually one to be affected by others' judgement, but something about Cynane made Antheia strangely desperate for her approval. The Briton's words hit her hard. Well, she had been staring, and for once, she hadn't done a very good job of hiding her thoughts. After a moment of faltering, Antheia smiled apologetically, shook her head and said, "Yes. You're right. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to seem... untrustworthy in any way, I promise I have no malicious intentions of any sort. I'm sorry, I suppose I'm just... well, curious." She went slightly pink. "The way you see your world is so very different to mine, you see, and I've always found people... well, interesting." In reality it was a lot more complicated than that, but essentially she was telling the truth. She raised her eyes timidly, unsure how Cynane would react. @Atrice
  2. Damn him, now neither of them could enjoy their time in the garden! A strange mix of frustration and sympathy welled up inside Sergia as she met her cousin's doleful gaze. Oh, if Uncle Tertius could just free Teutus all this would just go away! But there he was, swallowed up in his sack-like tunic, eyes downcast though they were set into a face that anyone could see belonged in the noble family of the Quinctilii Vari. Usually, Sergia would simply leave. But something about this situation bothered her. She didn't find it easy to treat Teutus the way others treated him, and now she was hit with a sudden compulsion to show she was not entirely aloof. Laying aside her needlework and smoothing out the folds, she slowly made her way around the portico until she reached her cousin, sitting herself stiffly down beside him and arranging her skirts over her knees. "What are you writing?" she asked, affecting a tone that was as neutral as possible - not so friendly that it was unbefitting for a mistress addressing a slave, but not so detached as to make him feel totally alienated. The balance was not an easy one to strike. Talking to Teutus was rather like picking one's way barefoot across a floor covered in shards of broken glass. @Sharpie
  3. Marcus politely tamed his chuckle into the odd snorting giggle, adopted a wide-eyed expression of seriousness and attempted to answer his son-in-law’s question. Lucius? Couldn’t Aulus have asked about Publius? His elder son was far more impressive to talk about. But Aulus probably knew all about the latter, and with good reason. “He’s serving as tribune in Germania at the moment,” said Marcus, setting his cup down with a ‘clunk’ as he gathered his thoughts. Try as he might, Marcus had never been able to impress quite the sense of duty upon Lucius that he had upon his older sibling. Still, the reports seemed favourable enough. The boy liked a joke - that was well enough, he supposed, in one’s youth - but there were no whispers of any major misbehaviour. “Yes, he’s getting on well. Seems set up for a military career. His wife is in good health, as are his children. Not that I get to see the little ones much, being as they are in Germania.” Marcus tried desperately to brush away the sudden onset of wistfulness. After a characteristic moment of stillness, Marcus launched back into conversation at a greater volume. “But you, Aulus, must let me know how your own family is faring. The lovely Calpurnia Praetextata, for instance: she’s well, I hope? You must be ever so proud of her. Ever so proud.” A sudden spark came into Marcus’ eyes. He leant forward, his breath hot and wine-steeped on Aulus’ face. “Of course, we are looking to get your little Calpurnia married, but perhaps… have you considered, my dear boy, sending her the same way as her esteemed aunt?, hm?” His voice had dropped to what was, in his tipsy state, his best estimation of a conspiratorial whisper. @Sharpie
  4. As they walked side by side to a long table, Antheia risked a long, interrogative look at her companion. One the one hand, Cynane seemed to acknowledge that the life she knew as a child was irretrievably lost, stolen from her by the Romans. Yet there was no acceptance, just a certain intensity in her eyes, as if she were still fighting a battle with those invaders inside her mind, holding up against the barrage of degradation with sheer willpower and hope. A glimpse of this and suddenly Antheia found herself awash with a sense of... was that guilt? She'd stepped out and held up her hands in surrender a long time ago. But she was only ten years old when it had happened. Perhaps she didn't have the strength to be angry. And some part of her admired Cynane because she did. Antheia had always considered her placid acceptance a strength, which made her feelings about the Briton's mindset even more troubling. Eventually, however, she came to her senses. She would give up everything not to have to fight that battle. She had given up everything. But she suspected letting go of anger was a lot easier when you weren't being regularly forced to endanger your own life or to be raped by violent, wealthy strangers. The same suggestion was there in Cynane's own words. "Without the hope, I'm not sure I'd have been alive now." Antheia faltered, trying to find the words to show Cynane she understood. But one glance at those kohl-rimmed eyes shining like scarabs across the table made her bow her head as she took the first warm, vaguely aromatic mouthful of soup. @Atrice
  5. Sergia silently thanked the gods for Uncle Tertius' suggestion. This dinner party was stifling - she could see the discomfort in the faces around the table as they pursed their lips to sip at their wine in an effort to seem casual. Secundus, it seemed, had different ideas. Clearly he thought that the best way to recommend her qualities to Longinus was to take charge himself, making sure she came across in just the way he thought she should. She had the distinct impression, however, when she met her potential husband's eye, that the operation would be more successful if Sergia were allowed to show these off of her own accord. This story again! It wasn't particularly impressive even, it simply happened to be the only anecdote which portrayed her in such a good light. Suddenly, Sergia began to feel quite angry. Her intolerable uncle would ruin this match for her, curse him! Sergia hid her face behind the wide brim of her wine cup and peered at her Aunt Livia in anticipation of the narration. @Sara@Sharpie @Járnviðr @Atrice @Liv
  6. She'd noticed Teutus coming in, but he clearly hadn't noticed her, tucked away in a sconce under the portico watching a sparrow hop in and out of the hedges and glancing down occasionally to line up the next stitch of her embroidery. Her cousin's face looked harrowed (though maybe it was just scrunched up in a reaction to the sudden sunlight) as he plopped onto a bench at the opposite corner of the hortus. I hope he doesn't notice me. He did, of course, starting up off the bench as his eyes made out her shape among the shade, stumbling out an apology that neither he nor she really knew if he ought to be making. Teutus was a slave, yes, but he was also his master's son, and likely would become his heir, and a free man. There was no guide book on how to treat someone like that, and no way to alleviate the strange feeling of guilt she felt every time he was subservient to her. In truth, Sergia tried her best to avoid Teutus at all costs - if she needed something fetching, she got one of the other slaves to do it. She tried to ignore the sight of him slinking off to the kitchen out of the corner of her eye as she and her uncles went into the triclinium. But sometimes life threw the two of them together, as it had today, much to the embarrassment of both parties. "Oh, don't mind me," she said with a strained smile, flapping her hands to indicate he should sit down again. "You're not... bothering me." Sergia quickly ducked her head back into her needlework. @Sharpie
  7. "Oh, that's good to hear," said Antheia, feeling genuinely relaxed for the first time in a while. She just hoped the mistress' definition of 'nonsense' was the same as everyone else's. If having her judgements questioned counted, teaching her anything about philosophy would be a Sisyphean task. But Volusa seemed like a sensible girl, and she doubted she would have praised Claudia so highly if the latter was indeed prone to bouts of unreasonableness. A pause. She'd now exhausted all possible lines of detached inquiry, so Antheia decided to initiate a more personal conversation. "So you're verna, then, I suppose?" she asked casually. @Sharpie sooo sorry for the delay, life has been a whirlwind!!!
  8. Antheia smiled sadly. She had decided long ago that wishing for such things was only destructive. She was a woman who had accepted her lot in life. "Of course there's always a chance," she began levelly, "and I'd be crazy not to want my freedom. I wish, but... I don't hope." She swallowed. "And anyway, I wouldn't go back to Greece. I wouldn't know where to start." They had entered the refectory now, elbow-to-elbow in the queue of other slaves watching portions of vegetable stew being drawn from dolia embedded in the counter and slopped into bowls in front of them and pushed into their hands. Antheia was surprised at the smell the mixture gave off - perhaps it was actually lightly seasoned! - and thought to herself how pleasing it was to feel the gentle heat of the food reaching her fingers through the bowl. The slice of bread that someone placed across the receptacle's rim was fairly hefty too. As she reached the end of the counter, food in hand, and turned to wait for Cynane just behind her, Antheia plucked up the courage to ask, "Would... would you go back to Britannia, if ever...?" @Atrice
  9. Antheia couldn't help but take a sweeping look around the garden, just to make sure they were alone. Asking the question she was about to ask could get a slave into difficulty, so she'd heard. "Is the Domina..." she swallowed. "Well, is she kind to you?" Ordinarily, Antheia would not have dared ask such a thing, but something about Volusa's confidential tone invited it. For some reason, the girl seemed trustworthy. @SharpieApologies for the delay!!
  10. Well, this place didn't sound too bad at all, actually. Volusa had shown her that the other slaves were friendly, that she was allowed time to herself, that Claudia was not a harsh mistress, and that the sleeping quarters were superior to anything she was used to. And on top of that, Cynane guaranteed the food was good, "if you like Roman food," which Antheia did; she wasn't sure from her tone quite how Cynane felt, though. She might remember the food from Britannia, or Germania, or wherever she was born. Antheia did too, but she'd long got used to eating Roman. And the prospect of getting to sample the kind of foods Claudia consumed was positively delightful. "So it doesn't go to waste." Yes, Antheia approved of that. She'd seen many sickening examples of Roman decadence in her time performing at dinner parties, and so the fact the elite at least set the example of using up leftovers was a favourable reflection of the imperial family's attitude. "I hope it is not too personal, but... have you always been a slave?" Well, it was a personal question, but among slaves that never seemed to matter. To tell one's story unflinchingly and proudly was almost a mark of honour for many. And so Antheia did. "No. I was born in Greece as a free citizen. When I was about 10 and they sacked Athens, I was enslaved by the Roman forces and shipped over to Italy for sale. I didn't speak any Latin, since I was brought up in Greece." Antheia smiled grimly and dismissively. She didn't need to mention her family, the violence, her fear, the voyage - that was all implied. Cynane herself would understand, as would any slave born free in a foreign land. And it was all so very long ago. "And you? You... don't seem to have grown up here," said Antheia, her eyes flicking up to her companion's braided hair and unusual clothing. @Atrice
  11. Sergia started into her wine, glad that the attention had been diverted temporarily onto Teutus. Though she didn’t dare look at him, she could feel even through the air a tide of disapproval from her Uncle Secundus. She was aware from the burning in her cheeks that she was probably blushing. Well, why didn’t he approve? She could hardly help it, and what was more, it showed modesty. Right now, she felt rather like those statues of Venus - presented for contemplation by the male gaze, but no more able to respond to it that than a block of stone. Her uncle’s presence made sure of that. She was hardly a master in the art of seduction, but then neither was Longinus, judging by his clumsy advances. But he was permitted at least to try them out, and she would have found herself crucified if she so much as dared to return the flattery. Perhaps it was fear of this that made her behaviour fall short in Secundus’ eyes. Perhaps she could at least allow herself to show some interest? She raised her eyes to try and catch Longinus’ attention. Oh, how she wished she could speak to him alone! Her own modesty would be enough to prevent any impropriety. Her accursed uncles were just a hindrance. Someone with a smile as… suggestive as Longinus’ would quickly lose interest in someone as stony-faced as she was being now. @Atrice@Liv @Sara @Sharpie @Járnviðr (Hello, Sara said it might be a good idea for me to jump in here now Sergia's in play!)
  12. locutus-sum

    Face Claims

    James Callis plays Servius Gabinius Salax Jennifer Ehle plays Sergia Auletia
  13. Gabinius shifted from foot to foot, but he kept his chin held high as he scanned the forum. He'd gathered quite a nice crowd of some pretty eminent people, he noticed, channelling his smugness into a particularly sickly smile and aiming it at a nervous looking patrician girl standing next to her father. Hmm, I'd like to get a leg over that! The girl's brow furrowed - quite a shame, she ruined her good looks completely - and grabbed her father's arm, leading him away from the crowd. Damn. Gabinius smoothed back his hair, swallowed and turned to his slave-boy. "Adonis!" he hissed through his teeth while beaming a simpering smile at an acquaintance who'd just shown up. Adonis stepped forward to his side, looking perfectly bronzed and coiffed. "Domine?" "More rose-water," he said, his eyebrow quirked in irritation, his hands passing over his slicked-down hair to indicate that the slave-boy should apply the unguent to it. "And while you're doing that, tell me what in the name of Venus this word says." He stabbed a slender finger at the scroll, sighing lightly and letting his eyes flick closed as the slave's strong fingers massaged his scalp. No reply. He opened his eyes again. "I can't read, Domine. Apologies." Of course. Gabinius grunted and pushed the boy away. "Get out of here," he said. Adonis had many talents, all of which Gabinius appreciated; unfortunately literacy was not among them. His audience were starting to hop from foot to foot themselves now, which Gabinius took as a sign that he should probably start his recitation. He gave a loud cough and raised his dark eyes to sweep the crowd. "Erm... esteemed ladies and gentlemen. I thank you for coming along today to hear me recite what are to me, um, a very personal and very... richly-felt suite of poems. They do say that to write, one needs a good muse. I mean, I would hardly attribute the... elegance of these carmina to my own particular genius - ha, ha - far from it, no. But whereas Vergil and Homer had the divine inspiration of Calliope, I have what I would say is an even greater stimulation for the mind, and that is the favour of a true Venus. There is truly no better..." Quite by accident, Gabinius found his lecherous gaze alighting on a figure lurking at the edge of the crowd. His words got lost in his throat with a sort of gurgle. He recognised that man - his nose recognized his musk, too - as... now who was he, the owner of that impertinent stare directed at him from between those matted curtains of hair? He failed to stop a flicker of amusement register on his lips as he remembered a particularly moving performance of the Eumenides during which Apollo had ended up landing face down in the orchestra in a pool of his own vomit, then said something which made a lot of patricians go whiter than their toga candida. Best bloody performance of Aeschylus Gabinius had ever seen. "-truly no better, umm..." Shit. He'd forgotten what he was saying. "Hm, well, I think without further ado, I'll just... start." He could feel the actor's eyes on him like a suggestive touch as he opened his mouth and began to read the first line. @David
  14. Soon the corridors came to an end, and Volusa stepped aside to give her a good view of the garden they had just entered. It was not small exactly - about the size of the average villa's hortus - but it was cozy compared to the larger gardens she'd glimpsed on her way in, and much more private, enclosed on four sides by a peristyle deep enough to provide decent shade on all sides, no matter the time of day. And it was decorated in colours a good deal more expensive than those you'd to see in a common garden. Antheia twisted round to give Volusa a happy smile. "Oh, this is nice. I hope I shall be allowed to spend lots of time here," she said, taking a few paces forward into the garden to look around, playing at the edge of the box-hedges with her fingers. "Do you come here often?" @Sharpie
  15. LIVIA CALAVIA (deceased) Suggested Face claim: young Judi Dench because LOOK Though feel free to choose someone else :)Age & Birth Position. Patrician, a bit younger than Marcus? up to youPosition: Senator's wifeParents: unspecifiedOther family: Husband - Marcus Horatius Justinus; Sons - Publius and Lucius Horatius Justinus; Daughters - Livia and Horatia JustinaPersonality: dutiful wife, intelligent and literate, reserved but witty, very much in love with Marcus, a doting mother. Rest up to you (talk to Sara and Liv too to make sure she's in line with what they want)History: Met Marcus as a child while both their fathers were serving in Germania in the 10s CE. She became betrothed to Decimus Tullius, Marcus' best friend. Was married to DT before 30CE. Met Marcus again when he served as tribunus laticlavius under DT's father. Here Marcus began to fall for her and was distressed that she was already taken. Decimus was killed in action around 33CE. She and Marcus stayed apart out of respect for the late Decimus, but by 35 CE they were together, marrying that year after Marcus returned to Rome. Son Publius born 40CE, Horatia born 42CE, Livia and Lucius born 48CE. Livia Calavia fell very ill after the birth of the twins but managed to survive, albeit weakened. In December 61, Livia was tragically killed by happening to be caught up in a violent riot.Who to contact: locutus-sum#9606 (Marcus Horatius Justinus), but also please talk to Liv (it's her family originally) and Sara (she plays Horatia)
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