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Aeterna Roma RPG


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Everything posted by Sharpie

  1. It was quite a small couch and they were slightly squashed, with Rufus' arm trapped between himself and Theo. He shifted so that he could free his arm, finding that he had nowhere else to put it except around the other man's shoulders, the couch not having much of a back to it. "Io Saturnalia," he said, echoing his friend. "I believe we are yours to command, oh fair Didia Nonia. What is your command - I don't think either of us will object to whatever you desire." @Sara @Chevi
  2. "Well, you know I could never refuse you anything, books and cosmetics and fashion and anything else that takes your fancy. You have only to ask for something - and plenty of women would have far less restraint than you do, my sweet." She seemed somewhat reluctant to return to the house, and his pallium was a thicker garment than her now soaking palla and stola were (she presumably had a thicker under-tunic on beneath the stola, but he was getting nowhere with his efforts to discover that). "You don't need a wig to enhance your beauty, you know. I don't think a wig, or cosmetics, could make you look any more beautiful than you are already." He understood why she arrayed herself in her finest for occasions - he did, too, of course, although he thought that in her case it was more like a soldier putting on his armour before battle. Nothing would ever make her more beautiful in his eyes than she had been in that simple tunica in the garden of that house in Athens, though. @Sara
  3. "I don't know what would impress a patrician lady, domine." Seeing as he was in every respect the exact opposite, Attis could maybe make a guess, but that was all it would be. "Maybe put some of your more outrageous collection of objects into storage?" He shrugged; the eclectic nature of his master's collection was what it was; he did not think that the terms 'elegant and refined' could be attached to his master with any truth, but it made the house individual and unique, and perhaps better that the lady knew about the random weirdness from the beginning than if she found out later. "The best wine and the best food will go a long way towards making them appreciate your wealth, of course. Surely the lady would like to learn that you can keep her in style?" And of course the nature of Longinus' collection of things from everywhere would also serve to show his military background - to have things from as far away as Britannia was not something that everyone could boast of, after all. @Sara
  4. "Serious? I think that is my natural state of being, my dove," Aulus said. "Anyway, I would think you would prefer to be indoors warming up than continuing our planned walk when soaking wet. Especially with the breeze - you probably didn't even notice it a moment ago." He balled her palla up, glancing back over his shoulder in a silent 'attend us!' gesture to the slave, and exchanged the soaking piece of cloth for their sandals. "I would rather not have to play nurse - I was hoping to have many walks with you while we're here. And other things, very few of which are suitable activities for a sickroom or an invalid recovering from a chill." He wrapped his free arm around her, their sandals hanging by their straps from his other hand. "And you may use my money to buy what you wish - there are few women so restrained in their spending habits as you, I really don't think you will be in any danger of spending everything down to the very last as before the month is out." @Sara
  5. "'Four of us', domine? Sergia and Secundus - I don't think I know their other names, domine, don't scold me! - and you... that's just three. Four if you're counting Secundus' wife, five with the Praetor." He scratched the back of his neck. "Doesn't the Praetor have a son? Unless I'm thinking of the wrong Praetor, which would be just like me." It sounded like it would be a jolly time. Jolly miserable, probably, but Attis was not about to say that. At least Longinus had laughed at his joke, bad though it was. It was hard to tell, sometimes, what would make Longinus laugh and what would earn Attis a sharp scolding. He guessed right more often than not, but there were times when he misjudged his master's mood. "How fancy are you thinking this should be? I mean, do I need to look at hiring a foreign cook for this?" @Sara
  6. "It is cold, isn't it?" Aulus said, grasping his wife's hand firmly - not hard enough to hurt her, hopefully, but strongly enough to pull her back in. "You are very wet, I think we ought to cut our walk short and get you into some dry clothes. And that can get rinsed out and put to dry somewhere." Horatia's under-tunica was clinging to her, showing her curves in ways that Aulus rather appreciated but suspected that she would not, especially if there was anyone else around who might see - Hades, Aulus would rather nobody else saw her in this state. He made sure they were on firmer footing above where the waves lapped at the sand before he pulled his pallium off - it was wet at the edges but rather less wet than Horatia's clothing - and offered it to his wife. "Let's head back before you catch a chill," he said, all levity swept aside. If it were summer, it wouldn't be a problem, but it was not. "I'll get the slaves to light a brazier in your room, you'll soon warm up." @Sara
  7. Considering who was sponsoring this particular show, Aulus had been in two minds whether to attend or not. He was a Consul, with a position to uphold (and all that that entailed) after all. He had made very sure that the Venus was fully paid up and all its licenses were up-to-date before accepting the invitation. Just in case. Anyway, the Venus was a very up-market kind of brothel - not that Aulus had ever darkened the doors on personal business; he had a wife whom he loved, and a good-looking body-slave for when he wanted something male, and if he wanted anything else, he had plenty of other slaves, too; he had no need to pay for sex, ever. But this was going to be an interesting show - a gladiator against a female fighter, something that rarely happened, if ever, in the big new Flavian Amphitheatre - and he was accompanied by his son, his own friend Longinus, and Longinus' nephew, seated in the seats of honour closest to the sands of the arena. It would be for Aulus to declare the winner of the bout, if it were not obvious, although today's fight was not to the death - that was reserved for the most special of occasions, and it would be Caesar himself who dictated who lived and who died. "So, who's going to bet on the girl?" he asked his companions, looking around. @Sara @Atrice @Liv @Chevi
  8. "Hence why it would be pretty funny to imagine them in their underwear... or nude." He glanced up at his master, judging the man's mood, and gave a suggestive wriggle of his little finger, hinting that some of Longinus' fellow Senators might be hung like mice. Probably Titus Sulpicius Rufus was - it would explain why the man was so uptight and all, never summoning any of his slaves to his room, barely sleeping with his wife... "Vitus has good ideas and suggestions - he's got one of those nice neat organised minds, likes everything to be just so. He's there to make your life easier. You could do a lot worse than listen to him, you know." He shrugged. He didn't particularly understand the way Vitus thought, either, if the truth were known - but Attis and Longinus probably gave Vitus conniptions on a daily basis. It couldn't be easy to be secretary to a man like Longinus, after all. "How many people are coming to this party, domine?" @Sara
  9. "That wine must have been stronger than you thought," Rufus said, though quite which of them he meant was anyone's guess. He still couldn't help feeling like an interloper as he sat down next to Theo on the couch. "You are drunk, Didia - shall I get you some water or something?" He had dealt with enough drunk and hungover free people (his masters included) during his time as a slave that he knew how to alleviate it - not that many of those drunk people had complied with his suggestions. Not that he'd ever really felt comfortable making suggestions, although his last position, as his master's body slave, had allowed more freedom to suggest things than most slaves ever had. "Why would you be sad?" he asked, genuinely curious. Didia was not a sad sort of person, and Saturnalia was supposed to be a happy time for everyone. "I'm not sad and Theo isn't either - you're not, are you? - so why should you be?" @Sara @Chevi
  10. Teutus had arrived just after his father, on foot as the cheapest and most convenient method of transport (and the one he could almost guarantee would be the best way to annoy his father - everything had its benefits!) Besides, he was more than used to walking everywhere, and Senator Lucius Cassius Longinus' house was nowhere near Tertius', thank all the gods for small mercies. Although that meant that it was likewise nowhere near where Teutus had found rooms, but that was a small price to pay. The Senator didn't have a daughter of marriageable age (he did have a daughter, though, to the best of Teutus' recollection, though she was somewhere closer in age to Antonia Varia - maybe they could be friends, if everything went as planned today?) His aunt and cousin were the only women in attendance - his cousin for the obvious reason, and his aunt presumably in the role of chaperone - Jupiter knew that neither Tertius nor Secundus would be much good at that job, and Teutus was less than suitable all round, really. There was a point he almost turned around and decided to go almost anywhere else, but curiosity about Longinus and what shitshow the evening might turn into at his father's and uncle's hands kept him on course. And when had he become such a damn pessimist? The evening might even be enjoyable and fun and all the good things... Unlikely, but possible. So, he had arrived just after his father and been admitted, and was now looking for his seat in the triclinium with the others, inwardly sighing at being consigned to the lowest place, but it was a private convivium with just six people, so it wasn't really as low as all that. @Járnviðr @Atrice @Liv @Sara
  11. Aulus was better dressed for the sudden wave than his wife; men's tunics were generally not so long and the garment he was currently wearing reached below his knees. He was also taller than Horatia, so a wave that reached her knees did not have the same effect on his tunic that his had on her stola. "Perhaps we should retreat in the face of an overwhelming enemy," he suggested, indicating the drier sand further back up the beach. He was unaware that his wife knew such barrack-room language, but wouldn't call her out on it - it would only embarrass her when she realised what she had let slip. "Are you all right - you're not hurt or anything?" @Sara
  12. "I didn't mean to suggest you would, domine," Attis replied. He couldn't be entirely comfortable, there was always the possibility of sale, however slim, but Longinus was a good enough master - Attis could have ended up in a far worse situation than where he was, and he knew it. His master indulged him - witness their present conversation for one thing - and didn't mind his flashes of sarcasm and dark humour. "I have been expressly ordered not to say I'm sorry," he continued. "So I won't. I didn't mean to give the impression I'm moping, though. Do you have any plans for tomorrow - today, I mean? Apart from trying not to yawn in the senate later, that is. Perhaps you should try to picture everyone in their underwear if the meetings are as boring as all that?" He grinned up at his master. "On the other hand, maybe not - I'm fairly sure you've shared baths with some of them, after all." @Sara
  13. "It does happen," Attis said mildly. It would be harder for him, of course; he spent the majority of his time dancing attendance on his master. That wasn't to say it would be impossible - but he preferred to keep his attention within the household. Anyway, Metella and Vitus were more than enough for him, he didn't need to find a way to make anything work with someone from next door or wherever. He shrugged. "That could happen anyway, domine, whether or not the person is from another household or this one." Longinus was unlikely to sell Metella or Vitus - or Attis himself - but that did not mean that it was not a possibility, however unlikely. Attis had to concede that perhaps Metella had a point when she refused to be considered contubernales with him; it was possible for a slave marriage to exist across two household, but such an arrangement only existed thanks to the generosity of the slaves' masters. "I'm in no danger of moping around the house, domine," he said, striving to sound more cheerful than he had so far in this conversation. @Sara
  14. Attis' master seemed as skittish as a virgin in a brothel. It was very much unlike him, and Attis batted his hands away as he tried to tug his pallium even straighter than it already was. "You'll be fine, domine," he said. "Just pretend you're entering negotiations with one of your barbarian friends or something? Except these people aren't likely to run you through if they get upset, at least." And of course Longinus was nervous enough to need wine before anyone had even knocked at the door. Attis had figured that might be the case and personally overseen the watering of it; he had no intention of letting his master get tipsy today intentionally or otherwise, and it was his duty to look out for his master no matter what, whether or not Longinus appreciated it, or even knew about it. All Attis could hope was that his master didn't end up with the same cycle of falling for the girl and losing her as had happened with the last one - he had never seen his master in such despair, ever, and did not want a repeat of those few months. For now, though, he was going to stand watch, serving as if he was one of the house slaves and generally keeping an eye on his master. He owed him at least that much, and would risk the telling-off his master was likely to dole out. That would be later, of course. Much later. For now, the only way he would not be present was if he was directly ordered to leave the room and even then he would contrive to be nearby. @Atrice @Liv @Sara @Járnviðr (Attis isn't going to post in regular rotation, he will b around but I will only post if Attis is directly addressed and I'm tagged in - otherwise consider him exactly as present as any other slave waiting on Longinus and his guests!)
  15. "I don't have anything particular in mind," Aulus admitted, following the other man into his office. He took the cup of wine offered to him - the girl was quiet, as was expected, and pretty. He wondered if she was one of the wares for sale, or not. "I suspect my wife could do with a project," he said, the idea really only coalescing now. Horatia had been a little down of late, if it could really be called 'down'. He couldn't really put it into words, but she hadn't been quite so happy as in previous months - maybe it was because Aulus' attention was now taken by all the rites and duties he had to fulfil as Consul, maybe it was something else. He felt that she needed some sort of distraction, something to employ her powers of intellect and empathy. What that could be, he didn't know. Why he expected he might find the solution in the slave market was equally unknown though perhaps a barbarian child she might be able to teach Latin to, or someone she could train to be a secretary or something might fit the bill. @Jenn
  16. "I was thinking about letting him race in the bigae for the upcoming celebrations," Marcus said. "He's young, but not much younger than any other charioteer, and it would be a good experience for him - although perhaps I should wait for a less prestigious occasion, perhaps in one of the other circuses than the Circus Maximus? I wouldn't want him overwhelmed by the size of the crowd and the importance of the occasion, even if it isn't the quadrigae." The races between the four-horse were naturally much more prestigious than those between the two-horse bigae, and required far more skill - the skill of charioteers such as Menelaus, who would be racing in the most important races, and for the largest prizes. @Járnviðr
  17. Herbs? "I know something about them, but not much - I'm not a cook, or a gardener," Davus replied, a little startled at the rapid speed the conversation had diverted to another topic. Artemon seemed to be one of those enthusiastic, optimistic types, which was different - most slaves of Davus' acquaintance were realists, some even downright pessimists. "Why the sudden interest in herbs? If you're trying to grow something, it needs light and water, though not too much of either - maybe water it a couple of times a week?" he said; his role as a house-slave meant that among his chores he had to water the various plants that were scattered in pots around the house, mostly in the atrium and whatever was in pots in the garden. @Liv (for when you're back, of course!)
  18. The kiss didn't last as long as Aulus would have liked it to; Horatia broke it off, perhaps embarrassed to have her slave-girl watch their intimacy. To Aulus, slaves were part of the furnishings, almost; there to run hither and thither as commanded to do whatever they were told that would make their owners' lives more pleasant and comfortable. He paid them as much attention as he did the furniture, on the whole, and it didn't occur to him to be embarrassed to have a slave witness this private moment with his wife. Yet the moment was cut short as Horatia moved away from him a little, leaving him confused and concerned. "Is everything all right?" The hand she put to his face was reassuring, though. "That is probably the reason behind a lot of wars - men use weapons where women use words when they end up at one another's throats, and it is often for equally foolish reasons. Perhaps more foolish reasons." @Sara
  19. "I should probably go home at some point, but I don't need to just yet." I don't want to just yet even. Alexius was a good-looking man. More than that, even, he seemed genuinely nice, which Teutus desperately needed right now. Even if he'd seemed to somehow put his foot in it during their conversation, Alexius hadn't seemed to mind too much, had made excuses or just gone with the abrupt change of subject, and hadn't let the conversation become as awkward as it might have done with someone else. There were days when it seemed that Teutus' entire existence was one level of awkwardness or another, no matter who he was with or where he was. It must be nice to be able to deflect that and smooth things over - it was a talent Teutus could stand to learn. It seemed, somehow, that ever since he'd been given his freedom, he just made everyone around him awkward or uncomfortable, and it was a nice surprise to meet someone who didn't feel like that around him. He hoped it would last longer than a few minutes. @Atrice
  20. Rufus was a little puzzled at first to find that there was a hand clasping his ankle, and then realised the reason for it. "You don't have to fall at my feet. I wouldn't like Theo to be jealous." Though maybe Theo wouldn't be jealous. That was an interesting thought. "I'll stay," he said, accepting Theo's free hand and turning to help Didia up. It seemed quite natural to turn whatever-it-was into a three-way hug, and he did so, grateful that he didn't seem to have made as big a mess of things as he had somehow expected. "So, um, I don't want to insert myself where I'm not wanted," he told them, a little uncertain of what was going on now. @Sara @Chevi
  21. Attis reached up to rub his head where his master's hand had connected - it hadn't been a hard swipe by any means, but even so! "Do you mean, if I apologise one more time tonight, or one more time, ever, domine?" he enquired, somehow feeling a bit more like his usual self. He couldn't believe he'd off-loaded all that stuff onto his master (well, to be fair, Longinus had asked, and more than once, so what did he expect?). "Either. Both. Well, I actually meant, I would have thought you'd appreciate that I don't go sleeping around with people outside the house. The only other people who know about this -" he indicated his forehead "- are some of the other slaves who were there at the time." He hadn't told anyone in the family, ever, until now. What could they have done about it, after all, and it wasn't as though Attis was one of the slaves at the domus in Rome at the time, anyway. He found that he was mildly astonished that he hadn't been summarily sold, though the confusion of the civil war had no doubt put paid to any ideas of that that the old master might have had. Longinus was therefore the only other person who really knew how Attis had got his scar and quite what he would do with that knowledge was anyone's guess. He couldn't quite believe he'd told his master, and with very little persuasion. @Sara
  22. "You would provide the very finest example of what it means to be a Roman lady," Aulus informed her, though he could not hide a smile as the wind whipped at the loose strands of her hair in a way she would not normally abide were they in public. "You would be able to influence how they educate their daughters and what sort of men they should consider in marriage for those daughters. The husbands will thank you for showing their wives how to run a household neatly and profitably and with good discipline - I do not recall the last time I had to administer discipline in our house, and that is all to your credit." She looked more beautiful in that moment, with her stola and bare feet and the wind pulling at her hair and clothing, and he bent his head to kiss her. "There is no man in the entire Empire who is so blessed in his marriage as I am," he said quietly, wrapping his arms around her. @Sara
  23. "I knew I should have made a greater case for a marriage cum manus," he replied with a laugh. "If I am posted to either province, I shall do my utmost to convince him to allow you to come with me - the entirety of Britannia and Judea is not frontier, after all, and governor's palaces are generally built of at least brick. I can't speak for Judea but Britannia is not quite the nest of savages it once was, and I have walked into their own settlements and come out unscathed. You need not worry that I will make you sleep in some mud hut anywhere - I very much doubt any governor anywhere has anything less than a palace with all the luxuries and amenities his province can provide, which will naturally include a hypocaust in places like Britannia and Gaul - you remember we had a hypocaust in Raetia, and I promise you didn't freeze your toes off there." He paused to look down at Horatia's feet, examining them to see that she did, in fact, still have all ten toes. She did, and very pretty her feet were, too, at least in comparison to his own. "Anyway, having a woman of your rank and standing accompany the governor will give the benighted barbarians an example of what their own wives should aspire to be, surely?" @Sara
  24. "I'm sorry," Aulus said and stroked the side of Horatia's hand with his thumb. "And I know. You are an example of Roman womanhood and I shall be proud to be seen with you at the public events I will have to attend." He knew that Horatia was unlikely to want to be at all the Games he would have to be at; even if they weren't all matches to the death, Horatia did not relish such things, which he could understand. "Britannia? Oh, the beaches were much the same as this, for the most part, though the sea is green if you can credit it, and there are beaches that are nothing but pebble, or shell. And the cliffs at Dubris and Anderida are white - chalk or something. A fine view when approaching from Gaul, at any rate. It is all very wild, though there are forts and towns being built now that you would like. The further north you go, the more the people are savages. The tribes in the south are almost civilised, and the country itself is good farmland, though not for olives nor citrus, I think. Not that I have any real experience or knowledge when it comes to farming, I leave that in the hands of far more practical and experienced people." He ran his free hand through his hair. "Are you hoping I get posted to Britannia once my term is up, my dove?" he enquired. "Or are you just curious about the places I have already served?" @Sara (Dubris is Dover, Anderida is Pevensey in Sussex)
  25. "Oh, by all means, let us not give Secundus Statius Pudens and his admirable wife anything to gossip about - gods forbid!" Aulus said, standing up. He could not deny the thrill it gave him to know that he was the only one who would see his wife with her hair down, wearing just her tunica. "I have missed you, too," he told her. There was something about the simplicity and wildness of natural surroundings which felt more like Horatia than any amount of cultivated parks and fine buildings could - he sometimes felt that to plant an olive grove would be a more fitting tribute to her than any amount of libraries and other public buildings. They had the beach to themselves and the birds - and the slave girl following them, but Aulus naturally paid her no mind. "I am glad to be here, with you. And I will do my utmost to come down with you in the warmer weather, too," he said. It was not cold, nothing like the frigid chill of Britannia, but it was wild and clear and windy, perfect for blowing cobwebs away. @Sara
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