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Aeterna Roma RPG


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Everything posted by Sharpie

  1. "The Domus Venus is fully taxed and licensed - you don't think I would be here if it wasn't, do you?" Aulus replied to Longinus' pertinent observations. "My fellow Consul is off attending to some tiresome dinner or other held by one of the priestly collegia - I think possibly the Augustales. We drew straws." He left it up to Longinus' (rather over-active) imagination to decide which of them had drawn the short straw, and noted his son's interest in a dark-haired beauty attending to a man off to the left of the Consular box. "Alexius is a famed fighter, why should it be odd that he receives my patronage?" he enquired with a lifted eyebrow. "Of course, if the girl wins, she will thoroughly deserve my patronage for besting a gladiator as famous as Alexius, though I doubt she will be able to actually claim her prize right away - isn't she still a slave?" @Liv @Chevi @Sara @Atrice
  2. "Yes - Domina," Davus replied, adding the honorific as he noted her clothing, which looked expensive and very much not the sort of clothing a slave would wear. This was obviously a well-to-do lady, even if she was young and unmarried. "You, uh, forgot your change." He held it out to her. There was no need not to attempt to give the few coins back, at any rate, though she probably didn't need them judging by the way she'd walked off without checking she'd taken her change. "You want to be a bit more careful with your money, Domina," he added. @Atrice
  3. Teutus sighed. "I want you to think very carefully about what you know about him, and what you know about yourself. Someone like him is going to be used to dealing with dangerous people and doing dirty work, especially if he sells information on others. That's the sort of person who will fight dirty and come out smelling of roses - don't go getting involved with any of that, you'll only end up hurt even worse. Maybe even physically hurt - you can't say he won't come up with something that'll get you hurt again, maybe whipped, or worse? Even if he has to lie to do it, he's the sort that would, isn't he?" His words were likely to fall on deaf ears, of course; she was stubborn once she got an idea into her head. He wasn't above fighting a little dirty himself, if it would make her see sense. "Think about your son, at least - don't do it, because what's going to happen to him if Helios hurts you somehow?" @Sara
  4. "I don't know, but seeing as he lives and works in a very different place, you're not likely to come across him again." There was a bakery nearby and he pulled her across to it. "Two honey cakes, please," he said to the slave behind the counter, fishing in his pouch for coins to pay for them. "There you go," he said, once they each had a honey cake. "Honestly, though, the best revenge is a life lived well, or as well as possible." He didn't think she would be much good at revenge, either; she was too good and innocent for all that kind of thing. @Sara
  5. "A charitable endeavour?" Aulus couldn't say he was exactly surprised at the idea, of course. "There are still places within the city where it would be possible to build something, without having to clear land first," he said. "I know you're tired of hearing about my baths, but I considered more than one place that would be suitable before actually going ahead with the plan - I would be willing to show you, if you did want to put up some sort of building." He did consider her words, though. "There are women throughout the Empire who have contributed all sorts of civic buildings, you wouldn't be the first." He rested his forehead against hers. "I think I would consider her to be unusual in being so civically minded, but I wouldn't think it a bad thing, not at all - after all, one of the most prominent buildings in Pompeii is the cloth merchants' guildhall, built by one Eumachia." @Sara
  6. "This way," Volusa said, and paused. She would rather like to just take Antheia there without saying where it was, let it be a pleasant surprise when they got there, but it wasn't really fair to just take her somewhere in this maze without giving her a hint. "I want to show you one of my favourite places - it's one of the gardens. The family do use it, but not often, though the princess comes here when she wants to be outside. It's the closest peristylium to her rooms, after all." The Emperor had an open garden much closer to his audience chamber, and there was a much larger space that he used that belonged to his own private apartments - nobody need worry too much that they would interrupt (or be interrupted by) the emperor himself or other senior members of the family, not in this smaller private space. The corridors Volusa led Antheia down were quiet, obviously not service corridors, but not as well-trodden as more public parts of the palace, not even as well-used as the plain narrow service corridors that kept the slaves out of view. "Here," she said, after a moment, turning a corner and stepping aside. @locutus-sum
  7. The mess that was Teutus' life had started years before Helios had spoken to Charis, years before Charis had been brought to Rome, even. He'd seen a close friend sold and been told of his parentage and received the first promise of freedom all when he was fourteen or fifteen, the sort of age a freeborn Roman would be taking his toga virilis and becoming a man. What a coming-of-age all that had been for him! Extreme highs and extreme lows all mixed together, and a string of promises and reassurances he'd eventually stopped believing. And then Charis had entered the house and things had got worse, if it was even possible, though none of that was her fault. And then he'd been freed and nothing else could happen at all. Was it any wonder he just wanted to get out of the house, have as little as possible to do with its inhabitants? Only one of them had ever liked him for himself and with no reservations at all, and she was only a child. He felt sorry for his sister, still living there and now without her brother who had been a constant in her life. Not sorry enough to want to remain there, though. "I've said before, it doesn't matter so much what you do - just don't get caught doing it," he said neutrally. "If you think I'm going to do what he did, or that I condone what he did, I wouldn't. I don't expect you to believe me or to trust me, but I've never once told tales on anyone, not even when it would have been easy and might have made things easier for me. I don't do that - but Hector would, so watch out for him, too." @Sara
  8. "Well, there are all sorts of things you could do," Aulus said. "A women's only library, maybe. A lecture hall or somewhere for philosophers and other peripatetics to gather. A theatre, if you want to appeal more to the masses. A new building for any of the guilds you might like to patronise. A temple, even, if you chose." He thought that she would prefer something more suited to educating people than erecting yet another temple, of which Rome had several dozen already, and some gods had more than one temple in the city. "You'll find something, you always do - I have never known you to be at a loss for very long," he added reassuringly. @Sara
  9. He was holding her close with one arm around her, and felt the shudder, though he wasn't sure what had caused it - it was winter, to be sure, but she was from Britannia and must be used to far colder weather than December in Rome. He wrapped his cloak around her just in case she was feeling the cold though. "No, I haven't," he said. He had seemed to be fishing for some sort of information from Teutus, or Antonia, but his sister had been oblivious, chattering on as young girls did, and Teutus had an abundance of caution the stemmed from his role as Tertius' confidential secretary and hadn't said anything that wasn't common knowledge or couldn't be easily found out from other sources. "Pay? What in Jupiter's name did he do?" @Sara
  10. "How do I know Helios?" Teutus asked, momentarily confused. How did Charis know he'd met Helios - if it was the same Helios, even, which was unlikely but possible. It was an unusual name even among slaves, after all. "I took Antonia to the temple of Apollo because she wanted to ask him to heal her friend's sprained wrist. Or do you mean Alexius?" He let out a breath. "I met Alexius in a caupona the day my father - the day you - that day." It had felt as though his father has taken a sword and stabbed Teutus straight through the heart, although with a great deal less blood than if he had actually done that, and Teutus hadn't been able to bear watching it for a second longer. He'd gone out with the aim of getting very drunk indeed, and managed to get halfway there before Alexius persuaded him to come to his apartment instead. At least he'd saved Teutus the hangover. @Sara
  11. There didn't seem much else to say, really, at least on the topic of music and education. "I ought to show you around, I think - the Palace can be a bit of a maze until you get your bearings, and even Mistress Claudia doesn't spend all her time just in her own apartments," Volusa offered after a moment. "That's if you're not too tired or - anything." They couldn't go exploring the whole Palace for obvious reasons; there were several places that were off-limits to people like them, but there were several places where they could go, and Antheia ought to learn how to get there from the princess' apartments - or how to get to the princess' apartments from there. Who knew when she might have to run an errand, after all? @locutus-sum
  12. "Plenty of people have villas at Baiae, or even Formiae," Gaius said, trying to do something to make this whole meal rather less excruciating than it was. Why it should feel as painful and embarrassing as this, he had not the least idea (it was probably Lucius' fault, as were most things where Gaius had to smooth ruffled feathers and hurt feelings and iron out misunderstandings). "I have spent time in Britannia, as Tribune under Lucius Cassius Longinus," he added, keeping an eye on his brother to note his reaction. "It is quite a pleasant place, though cold and wet in winter. The summers are pleasantly warm, if not so long as ours here. It is still very wild and the inhabitants are less than civilised, really, though there is promise in the southern tribes at least." Now, if only Lucius could be persuaded to actually make a start on any type of suitable career, he might have something to offer in conversations like this that wasn't just from gossip or hearsay. @Chevi @Sara
  13. "Well, more educated, then," Volusa said, putting into words her thought of a moment earlier. That was indisputably true, too; Antheia was a trained philosopha and musician and Volusa had no actual formal education in anything whatsoever - she could spin and weave, but what female house slave could not? Likewise, she could sweep and dust and scrub floors, but none of that required any sort of mental acuity, and all that she needed for her current role was a quick eye and a sense of which colours would go well together and be suitable for whatever activity her mistress was about to undertake. "I'm not really a singer," she added. "It was fun, though, I would like to do it again - I've never really been able to listen to music, much." Perhaps Claudia would like the two of them to perform together, something Volusa was less sure she would enjoy. She was shy when it came to anything that might draw attention to her, after all. @locutus-sum
  14. Davus had dropped his master's toga and several tunics at the fullonica, and while he was supposed to head back, he'd managed to avoid getting told that directly, which was enough justification in his mind to be able to head down the hill to the Forum, for a short while at least. If accosted, he could always come up with a reason for being there; the cook always needed something from the market and there were plenty of reasons for a house slave being out of the house. He stopped at a hot food stall for a snack, only to realise that the previous customer had left their change behind. "Excuse me!" He called, trying to be heard above the noises of the crowds.
  15. "No, our own villa is in the neighbourhood of Neapolis," Gaius said. "I couldn't say whether that is a more or less fashionable place for a countryside retreat, but the villa is equipped with every comfort, as far as possible. It's certainly a more comfortable place to spend the height of summer, when we can." There was less opportunity for Lucius to end up doing something totally embarrassing, too - or at least, he would be rather less visible when doing it. Gaius often found himself dreading entering the Curia for fear the Princeps Senatus or the Censor would catch his eye and tell him to control his brother better. Not that it had happened yet, but it was surely only a matter of time. "Where do you go, when you want to escape the heat of the city?" he enquired, attempting to keep the conversation on suitable topics and giving his brother as little opportunity to say something rash as possible. @Chevi @Sara
  16. Volusa dropped her eyes momentarily. "You're cleverer than me," she said. Or more educated, anyway. "I know the first bit of the Aeneid, but I don't really know much about Troy, not to put to music... arma virumque cano..." Her voice was likewise untrained, but she could hold a tune and not miss note unless they were particularly difficult half-tones or something. It was nice to hear real music, properly, and not just as an incidental to Volusa's own work - being a female slave in the Imperial palace meant that she didn't really get to deal with many of the family's guests or visitors because they had male slaves to deal with all of that sort of front-of-house thing, so Volusa had really only heard music properly in passing or when the musicians were practising out of earshot of the family. "You play very well, though," she said a little later, once they reached a natural pause. @locutus-sum
  17. It was never going to be easy, to connect with his father, certainly not on an emotional level. But something tangible, something that could produce real and visible results and benefits... but wasn't that the way it had always been with Tertius? But he had managed to get an admission of pride, at least, which he had sought and asked for. Perhaps he might have got that earlier but he hadn't exactly been forthcoming himself about what he had been doing, partly because he hadn't thought his father would be interested. It wasn't as if Tertius had shown all that much interest in him before or he might have been more forthcoming to start with. They were both as messed up as each other, Teutus thought. Not that the realisation was exactly startling, or particularly helpful. “I am proud of you, Teutus. Of what you’ve accomplished." The words were like a cool drink of water on a hot summer's day, practically the first time he had ever heard his father say such things to him, and he hadn't realised just how desperately he had needed to hear it. "I hope - I want you to be proud of me, that you will always be able to be proud of what I've done, what I will do, even if I can't follow you into the Senate." He'd wanted that, but even if he couldn't do that, maybe this would be something Tertius could boast of, in the right circles. Maybe, or maybe not. And if he didn't want money, was he too proud to ask for help in other ways? "I... Do you have any clients who might be able to act as an agent for me here in Rome, or as a buyer elsewhere? I can't be in two places at once, buying elsewhere and selling here, after all." Teutus knew his father's clients as well as his father did, after all, but enlisting Tertius' help was preferable to approaching any of them without Tertius' knowledge. And it might help with the relationship between them, if he didn't feel Teutus was completely closed off to any help or advice. @Atrice
  18. "I... don't know," Volusa replied, a little surprised to be asked. Nobody had ever offered to play anything for her before, so she didn't really have a particular song she liked. Most songs she knew were working songs, the sort of thing slaves sang to keep a rhythm, or to soothe their child to sleep. "Though, there was one I heard once, I don't know what it's called," she said, something coming to her mind - an afternoon spent weaving, before she'd entered Claudia's service, and in the distance, someone playing the cithara. If there were words she likewise didn't know them. She began humming, trying to remember the tune. @locutus-sum
  19. "If you think I know the first thing about finding a suitable patrician woman to marry the dominus, you really don't know me very well," Attis said, trying to hold still for Metella's ministrations - that stung, somewhat, but he was a grown man and could take it! He flinched as she found a particularly raw spot near his elbow. "I know Sulpicius Rufus gave him a list, back before he fell for, uh, the Carthaginian girl," he said, trying not to flinch again. "I don't know who was on it, and I don't know very many unmarried patrician ladies at all - and even fewer who'd put up with the dominus. Though he's definitely thinking about it himself, too." @Chevi
  20. "I don't think it matters whether you like the same things or not, but talk with him, show an interest in what he likes." Teutus sighed. It might not be good advice, but it was what he wished his own father would do, what he wished Tertius had done through his life - even when Teutus was still a slave, he could have shown more interest in him than he showed in the chair he sat on. "Make it easy for your son to talk to you about things he likes, that don't matter, and he'll be able and willing to talk about big things that do matter, later on," he added. "Ah, here we are." He guided his friend into the entrance of the baths. @Atrice
  21. "Well, if your father doesn't want to give you funds for whatever you want to do, I will - or rather, I can persuade my father to do so. And it will have your name - I already have my baths, after all." There were buildings throughout the Empire that were built and dedicated by women, after all - and Horatia had left her mark on Raetia. He supposed that anything she wanted to build in Rome (or anywhere else) would be along similar lines. "Do you have too many ideas, or none at all, for projects?" he asked, curious. He thought it was most likely the former, but it was possible for even the most inspired person to run out of ideas and inspiration. @Sara
  22. Teutus managed a smile. "I'll try. I'm paying because it was my fault, what happened yesterday - I'm the one who burst in unexpectedly and upset things. Everything else... I guess I'm just used to apologising for my father and how he makes everything so uncomfortable, at least as far as family's concerned. Things have been uncomfortable between me and Charis for a while, yesterday meant we couldn't escape one another the way we have been doing. We needed to talk, I think it helped. So... I'm sorry for making you uncomfortable for getting caught in it, but I'm not sorry it happened." Teutus talked too much, he knew he did. He wasn't about to apologise for that as well; Alexius was right about Teutus apologising too much! "I hope you get on with your son better than I do with my father," he said a moment later, though hopefully things were a bit better between himself and Tertius than they had been. He didn't know how long it would last, though. Maybe a month or two, with any luck. @Atrice
  23. "It's still so new," Teutus admitted. "I've got a small warehouse down by the river, but there's a bigger one that's come available that I want to look at in the next week or so. And - I don't want to just import olive oil, we have enough of our own, though the stuff from Hispania Baetica is better. I want to expand, bring stuff from the east as well - I'm hoping to have enough to hire a second ship and crew and buy spices from Egypt and further east. Having more ships and trading from different parts of the Empire means it's safer if something should go wrong." And supposing his new brother had meant it when he'd suggested they work together, there was amber from the far north, as well, and that would earn a decent amount, too. "I am proud of it, of what I've done so far. I wasn't sure it would work, but it has, and better than I'd expected," he confessed. Olive oil had been a safe venture - he knew that there was a market for it here in Rome, and that he could purchase a quantity without a vast outlay of cash. Buying more luxury items would necessitate a larger cashflow, but the returns would repay that - and further south in Africa, there was ivory, too. All sorts of goods from all across the Empire flowed to Rome and Teutus was determined to be part of that. He might not have all the training to be a merchant, but half of it was having an eye for what people were buying and the rest was having a keen mind for figures and records, and Teutus had ample amounts of that, at least, thanks to his training as his father's secretary. He wasn't entirely sure it was what he wanted, but it was a venture that was open to him, and one he had proved he could do. "I'm starting to look at hiring staff, too," he added. High-value goods would need protecting, and he wanted someone here in Rome who would be able to run things while Teutus was away on purchasing trips - or vice versa, who could be trusted to purchase goods Teutus could sell. Being able to work with a brother would solve that issue, possibly, at least for dealing with anything from the north. @Atrice
  24. "Good." Marcus clapped him on the shoulder. "How much do you have saved towards your manumission?" It might be an impertinent question, but Marcus was the faction leader talking to one of the faction slaves, no question could ever be deemed impertinent when put to a slave. He had a vague idea of how much Menelaus had, and a better idea of his worth - at one point he had turned down an offer from the Reds to buy him, in fact, reasoning that he would do better here. And he had kept an eye on him, as he did with all his charioteers. "Come up to my office," he said, turning to lead the way up to his own domain, which overlooked the stableyard. @Járnviðr
  25. Congratulations on your graduation, and we'll miss you!! Take care, and we'll be here if you do find time and muse to want to come back! All the best for your future, whatever that looks like!
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