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Aeterna Roma RPG

Sains

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Sains last won the day on June 3

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  1. 76 CE Late July In the seemingly endless din of parties and street traffic that ruled the eternal city it appeared as though Fortuna would grant one night in the dog days of the year that one could manage to hear their own thoughts. There didn't seem to be any apparent reason for this sudden cease in the overall commotion; perhaps everyone had just grown tired of the whole thing. It wasn't as if it would last, of course, but as the lone guardsman loosened up with a mug of mead he couldn't help but wonder about the nature of the nobleman's note. Longinus had asked him to meet at this tavern through a slave, but it hardly seemed to Decimus that there were any reason for him to want to hang out in a tavern laden with Rome's lower orders. Even though they were old friends he couldn't help but wonder what would make spending a night with him seem more appealing than hearing about the latest gossip that was passed around the dinner tables of Rome's wealthiest circles. The light outside of the tavern had grown scarcer and scarcer in the hour since he'd arrived, and with the darkness came the warmth of the newly lit candles that would help carry on the regular patron's habits till they'd had their fill. Decimus was no great thinker, and he'd never claim to be, but in the back of his mind he'd always wondered how fulfilling a life of luxury could be. He wouldn't say that money was useless, and he certainly hoped to end his life with more of it than he'd started with, but the thought of enduring conversations about fashion, laws, and land-use seemed mind-bogglingly dull to him. Maybe it was something one only truly came to enjoy when they had wealth. Either way, he was sure that he would hear Longinus's views on the subject tonight. It was either that or they'd talk about Britannia. He certainly couldn't blame the man for talking about it either. Britannia was probably the most excitement that either of them would see in their lives, save for if the drums of war truly started beating again. Becoming Praetorian had left little room for the thought of ever visiting the front in any long term capacity. The new Augustus didn't seem all that interested in beginning a new campaign, but that observation only came from the limited time he'd spent in the man's presence. Perhaps Longinus would know something that he did not. Either way, he was perfectly content to wait for the man at the small booth he'd snagged for the night. @Sara
  2. Ultimately Decimus had hoped that his ambiguity would serve them well in the long run. It was not as if it had been a lie, after all, and all it revealed to Alexius was that they were not from the city originally. If Alexius were any more curious about their origins, well, they'd cross that bridge when they came to it. As far as Alexius's career were concerned, Decimus already had a few presumptions worked up in his mind. It was definitely something oriented towards heavy labor, (as if that weren't obvious) but something about the way the man carried himself made him guess that it wasn't hauling grain bags around warehouses. He'd seen enough warriors in his time to know that this man had seen some combat in his life. His movements were more intentional than a man used to the brain-dead work of a pack mule. Further than that; the scarring on his body was a clear indicator of some form of abuse, and it wasn't all from whips. They looked like blade cuts, and it was clear they weren't from any boring old butchers shop. Nevertheless, he was interested to hear Alexius's response. Perhaps he was a former legion-man. @Atrice @Chevi
  3. Decimus would have pressed further if he were overly curious of the man's background, but in truth it was hardly something that he needed to know. In his own experience he'd found that many people, especially those from the provinces, had no interest in discussing their past. One could hardly be surprised when this was the case as picking up everything and moving to a land completely foreign to one's own was hardly a decision made lightly. Even with the financial incentives and political opportunities that waited for one in Roma the prospect of actually moving there would be daunting for anyone; god's knew it had been for him. "Well there's this Thessalian back in camp that usually doesn't nick you up too badly if you stay still.", he'd say, doing his best to limit his movements as Marcus set about snip-snaping away at his hair. He spoke with levity, though he'd never thought that Attikos had done a particularly bad job on him. He could only count one time that he'd been cut and that was probably because he'd moved in an unexpected way. Nevertheless, this was indeed a new experience for the veteran. "But no, you'd be the first. I don't know if it's much of an honor, but you have it." @Atrice
  4. It certainly was a step up from any military camp either of them had lived in during their unique service, though there was some pleasure to be gained from sleeping under the stars. It was one more thing to miss amidst the ceaseless noise and torchlight of the city, but something he'd grown used to by now. He could hardly care what the people who lived on the ground floor were living like; to him the fourth floor would always have a unique spot in his heart. After all, it was his. He didn't have to submit it to an inspection every other day or make sure that it was cleaned to a certain standard (Although he didn't expect Aia would let him off the hook there). He was renting it, sure, but as long as he paid his dues and didn't put a hole through the wall it was their own little slice of Rome. Taking a moment to admire the contents of the room, bare as they were, he turned to face the two as their conversation drifted towards the topic of their personal arrangement. Admittedly he'd first perked up at the mention of a bed, but that certainly wasn't worth mentioning. "I could probably build one if you gave me enough time; spend less that way." Keeping their presence here as uninteresting as possible was one of the highest priorities, at least in Decimus's mind, to dealing with any one of their new neighbors. He figured it would be better for the both of them if he were as vague as possible, though he certainly couldn't deny the fact that they were involved with one another. Sure, this 'Alexius' would know their names, but it wasn't as if Claudia would send her agents of the night to beat his door down to try and discover some sort of romantic scandal. "We've traveled a lot together, but this is our first time renting. We've probably spent more time around a campfire than a hearth." he'd say, wrapping his arm about her affectionately. "I hope I can rely on you to tell us about the area, Alexius. Anything we should know about the other tenants? No screaming babes I hope." @Atrice@Chevi
  5. Decimus truly hoped that he never sounded too pompous whenever he revealed his line of work. Of course it was no secret to anyone that the guard knew how to fight quite well, but he hoped that his pride wouldn't eventually turn into arrogance as time went on. He dreaded the thought that he might one day be a fat old quartermaster who boasted of his swordsmanship and high status to anyone that might care to listen. "Aren't too many of us," he'd begin, shrugging matter-of-factly, "Gaul's good country; mind you I've only ever walked the roads, though. The forests were nice." Honestly it was strange to think about the fact that he'd never truly gotten to experience the countryside of such a vast province. His lot had always been to travel through the great expanse of fields and forests towards the hotbeds of action that had dominated the news-reader's tablets in recent memory, though there were always rumors of uprisings in the lands tamed by Caesar. At any rate, he was still young. There'd be more than enough time to wander the world once he was out, or better yet, the state might pay him to do it as a bodyguard. "I think it's best that you surprise me. I'm sure you know what you're doing with those things, and I've no eye for fashion." This was exciting now! He could only imagine what the man might do that may be otherwise unexpected to him, but beings that he had cut his hair in the same way for most of his life it was quite reasonable to think that nearly any variation might impress him. "Why'd you leave Gaul then? Not enough customers?" @Atrice
  6. The guardsman would nod in greeting to Alexius as Aia presented him and wave a hand so as to indicate that he should follow Aia up the stairs while Decimus would follow the both of them. He was quite content to let Aia question the man during their ascent, for he was quite occupied with glancing into the rooms that they passed at each landing. Some doors were open, but most were closed; nevertheless, he couldn't say that what he'd seen so far looked bad. The stairwell was fairly clean, or as clean as one might expect, but what really grabbed him was the mix of aromas that wafted around the building. Of course there was the occasional fowl smelling moment, but these were overshadowed by the lovely aromas of home-cooked meals. Sometimes he heard laughter, other times he'd hear a shout from one of the apartments below, but there was a certain calmness in the chaos. Perhaps he was only idealizing the place, after all they'd only been here for a few minutes. One might hope that he wouldn't be called upon to join in on the conversation until they'd reached the room. He'd hate to have to admit that he'd been daydreaming while they were walking up. @Chevi @Atrice
  7. Decimus smiled and nodded in agreement with his love, though he did appreciate the man's offer. He was well built, that was for certain, and for a moment he thought to ask whether he was a legionary man; something about the way he carried himself seemed to hint at the fact that he wasn't, though. "I take it you live here, friend?" A safe bet. It would be much more of a surprise if this was just a good Samaritan trying to gain favor with Fides. Either that or he was a pickpocket. It might not have been good of Decimus to pass so many judgements on the man just by giving him a once over, but perhaps he'd grown to become a bit of a cynic towards the virtuosity of the average citizen. @Chevi @Atrice
  8. The very thought of living the "home life" had always been a distant thought in Decimus's mind. When one lived and breathed the army for a dozen or so years the real world was thrust away by the cornu's blare and the thunder of marching men. It was something that he'd noticed when he'd been allowed to travel back to his home upon his transfer orders coming in. He'd rise long before the dawn and spend his days (which were probably intended for some form of vacation) diligently performing the more menial tasks that his family hadn't gotten around to. Perhaps that was why he'd been so excited to go about moving into the insula, however humble it might seem. He liked to imagine that beginning this new chapter of their lives together would bring a fresh perspective to life. Also, it sure beat the hell out of sleeping at the Castra. The insula had proven to be a fairly affordable option and the owner seemed kind enough so, overall, he was optimistic. The business of traveling light for most of their lives had left the both of them with little to bring to the place at first, but he was sure that as the years grew on they'd find the time to fill it with baubles and knick-knacks like proper citizens before too long. "Oh, I can hardly wait." he'd say with a smirk. "Do you think they'll bring us our songbirds and pork before or after the silk and jewels?" As for the tenants that passed them on their ascent to their new home, well, they looked fairly average. Standing amongst courtiers and stuffy old men hadn't caused him to gain an ego, thankfully, and he'd still always prefer an honest working man to a prim and proper senator. @Chevi @Atrice
  9. Decimus watched with some interest while the man rooted through his various vials and jars for the right scent. When the vial was finally held to his nose he took in a short whiff to confirm that it wasn't something too obnoxious, but he recognized the familiar, if not rather simple, smell of lavender almost immediately. "That'll do fine." he'd comment, looking straight on as he supposed he ought to. He certainly wasn't dressed in any sort of fancy clothing. He wasn't going about in his toga, and the tunica draped about his person was certainly not the sort of rag that one would see a prole wandering about in. Plain white with a light blue trim about the edges made it one of his favored articles of clothing, but that certainly wouldn't have done much to indicate what he did for a living. "I serve Caesar as a Praetorian." he replied, still quite proud to say it. "I don't live like a Senator but it's better than hoofing it around Britannia for the regular rate." He'd joke about it, of course, but in all honesty it was quite a bit a better than what he'd been making in Britannia. Honestly when he'd gotten a look at his new rate in palace service he'd almost thought it had been a clerical error! Of course there was also the raw honor that came from the posting. Very few of his countrymen could ever hope to see Caesar up close, let alone work in his home. @Atrice
  10. Decimus sat patiently while Barbatius had the water brought forth, though he hardly knew what he might ask for in a scent. It wasn't because he was simple, or that he had never once thought of adding a scent to his body. He'd wager any sensible man wouldn't get very far in society if he took no care for his appearance or, indeed, the way that he smelled. Of course the common staple of all grooming in the camps had been oil as it was simply the easiest thing to get your hands on and most of them were well accustomed to that scent. He'd started out using oil on his skin and, eventually, had taken to dabbing it into his hair whenever he thought he might need to smell a little less like a barn when on the march. This practice had given way to taking advantage of various plants in the north that he'd thought smelled nice. Of course he didn't know what the bloody things were called and he'd never thought it so important that he should seek someone out for their proper name. At any rate, it wouldn't do him any favors to ask this professional for, 'Those blue flowers that grew by the pond near Causennis'. "What have you got from up north?" The question was certainly very open ended, but it was meant to be. He couldn't think of anything substantially unique about that territory in terms of smells, but he did know that Aia might well appreciate a smell from her past like that. Perhaps the needles of a northern pine? Maybe he'd surprise the poor girl by coming home smelling of bear fat. It all really depended on what Barbatius had in stock. "Anything from Gaul?" If he spoke any more he was sure that the man might think him a barbarian of some type, and the comment about compensation for the service had not left his mind since the man had reminded him of that integral part of their interaction. Luckily for Decimus, he never found himself light on coin these days. While Barbatius took the time to think of an answer, he'd pull a purse from his belt and give it a few shakes before letting it rest on his thigh. "Don't worry for the coin either, friend." he'd offer with an amused smile, "Rome pays me handsomely but give's me no time to spend any of it." @Atrice
  11. If Decimus appeared somewhat apprehensive it was for no other reason than the fact he'd never set foot in this sort of shop. Upon hearing a friendly voice he was content to come in and have a look around, and what he saw didn't disappoint him. He didn't know why, but for some reason he'd expected that these sorts of shops would be able to accommodate more than one chair. Indeed, he felt quite privileged that he could expect to receive the full attention of who he could only assume was the proper barber and not some apprentice or other servant. In military life a haircut was as simple as one of the slaves running a razor about your head a few times before you were sent back to man your post, though there were some among his number that did sport some impressive dos once in a while. "Oh... Thank you!" he'd manage, moving towards the seat. It was a wonder, all the little bottles! There was quite a collection sitting on the table and one could only imagine all the different uses he might have for them. In the back of his mind he obviously expected that the majority were to be used on the hair of women. A man's hair, at least in his mind, was extraordinarily simple compared to the long locks that a woman would maintain. And among the finest and most impressive he'd seen came from women of status! Images of Flavia Juliana, and even Claudia came to mind as he made himself comfortable on the seat. A nod of thanks would accompany that order to Manus, though he hardly knew if he'd be greeted with water or wine. The barber himself was a handsome enough looking man. He seemed to be about the same age as Decimus, though one could hardly be sure of a thing like that on first glance. "I could do with both of those actually." @Atrice
  12. Had he been an optimist, Decimus might have thought that the city would receive some sunlight on the tail end of autumn. For the better part of the week the city had received naught but cloudy skies and a few brief showers of rain. One would think an eternity on an island cursed with fog and dreary days would have hardened him to the dull winters of the peninsula, but Decimus had never grown too fond of this type of environment. Yet, despite the oppressive grey skies, he was in a rather good mood. Aia and he were seeing each other somewhat regularly and they'd decided to make some significant steps towards living with one another, though he knew it wouldn't be as easy as that. He'd had the opportunity to bring up the matter to Claudia a few times, but those brief moments never lasted for long. A slave would enter or she'd be speaking with someone and he'd always decide that the matter could be solved on another day. It was now, in one of these famous interludes of anxious avoidance, that he'd decided to walk the city to clear his head. Old habits died hard and if he couldn't walk through the forests of an unknown land, then the streets would have to do. Of course he'd been doing it for some time and the familiar sounds of an awakening city were now as well known to him as the singing of the robins had been back in Britannia. Generally his practice of wandering the city for exercise usually ended when he reached a wall or other sort of landmark, but today he'd decided to take a more relaxed approach and just... wander. This was how he came to be in front of the home of Marcus Barbatius, though he knew nothing of what that name meant or what deeds that man had performed. To Decimus, the sign that indicated that this was indeed some form of barber's shop was only an intriguing oddity. He'd never made use of them, for someone was always willing to cut the simple styles that would keep the Centurions away from him for a few pieces of copper. Shops like this had always seemed like a luxury when he'd seen them in Camulodunum, but as an older man with significantly more coin he was beginning to have an interest in these sorts of services that had been hitherto unknown to him. With casual interest he passed through the doorway and made himself known as his eyes adjusted to the interior of the shop. "Salve?.." @Atrice
  13. He'd smile as her soft lips met his cheek, continuing to revel in what short time in paradise they had left. The question she asked was one that had kept him up many nights, but he still didn't really have an answer to it. It was not as if he could just go in to the Princess's chambers and nonchalantly ask her for that sort of permission. Or perhaps he could? Though there were certainly a long list of precedents and good legal reasons that they technically couldn't marry, he had saved the girl's life. He wasn't one to push his luck when it came to asking favors of the imperial family, but this reason in particular might find ground to stand on with Claudia. "I would too. I'll ask soon enough, but don't go and think that she'll grant it just because we almost died with her. There are rules, after all, and I'm not even sure how this whole thing will work." As he rolled onto his back to contemplate the whole mess, a concerned sigh would escape his lips. "Next time I see her I will ask for permission. Maybe just to live together at first, but the Princess isn't stupid, she'll know what we're really after. If that fails we can get married under the auspices of the sacred trees or however your people do it." The latter part of his promise was almost surely made in jest, as he knew that she would never grow tired of his quips about her heritage. Or so he thought, anyways. @Chevi
  14. The Castra. Gods, he wished she hadn't even mentioned it. The feeling of her soft form nuzzling up against his own was something he wished he could have every morning, not just the ones where they skulked off to some tavern to enjoy themselves before the trappings of the world dragged them back to desolation. With any luck they'd at least see more of each other. His strength had come back to him and he'd be back in the palace before too long. As for outside, well, they'd manage. "Aye, I could tell them that. Very powerful forces..." he'd muse, running a hand up the length of her side to the bottom of her breast. If the daze of the morning didn't still have a hold of him he might well have taken her again, but the comfort of her presence was more than enough for him to behave. For the moment, at least. "Wouldn't look too good, though. What would the boys think if they knew I were held captive by a little pink flower? @Chevi
  15. The sound of voices from the streets below would wake him first. It was the inescapable noise of Rome that began like clockwork whenever the merchants had risen from their beds and made their way to the various stalls that dotted the market places. The sun may have been up for hours, but he'd no inclination to rise. Even as the rays of light had crept up the side of their bed, he couldn't bring himself to move. He wouldn't. The thought that he'd soon have to get up and head back to the Castra would not have been too daunting if he'd known she were to be with him there. Truly now that they'd been joined he wondered if their time apart would be even more suffocating. Filling his lungs, he let the weight of it all escape with a calm breath. There'd be time enough to worry about all of that. Gods it felt good to have her pressed against him. He'd forgotten how they'd ended up falling asleep last night, but he certainly recalled how they'd approached it. If there was any doubt to whether or not they'd continue on as a couple, it had been dispelled last night. The thoughts of spending the rest of his days in this world with her didn't seem strange at all, now, but then again he wondered if they ever had. With a gentle hand, he made to stroke her hair and herald her into the new day with the voice of her lover, "Suns up." Honestly she'd probably woken up before him. She'd always had a tendency to rise early, and that was high praise coming from a man who often rose before the sun. "Been up." he corrected himself. @Chevi
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