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Chris last won the day on September 14

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  1. Quintus listened to Claudia's assessment of her brother and cousin as objectively as he could. It was a hard thing for a father to listen to the opinions of others about his own children - even when those with the opinions were family themselves. Quintus, though, had a knack for remaining impartial. He supposed it was a trait he inherited from his own father - to always expect the worst from his offspring until they proved him otherwise. A perfect example was Drusus' relatively recent adoption of a cat and her litter of what ended up being seven(!!) kittens. Quintus expected the boy would let the animals starve, run away... or worse, allow them into Quintus' office where they would ruin his missives. But, he hadn't... yet. "The ideal man," he repeated her words. "I like that. Together they make the ideal man." He said it again, and then to himself: Together they would make the ideal ruler? "I see much the same as you in regards to the both of them. Titus has taken to the position he has earned by his name alone, and is not afraid to show his perceived importance. Tiberius, contrarily, is a bit more reserved and calculating. A warrior and a politician, it seems. Though, both will have to serve in the field and the curia to win the adoration of the people, the legions, and the senate. That is where their true natures will shine." Quintus paused, realizing he was talking too much like a military man in front of a young woman who likely didn't care about his musings. A question came to his mind then, but he hesitated a moment before asking - a crack in his otherwise impeccable armor. "Speaking of ideal men," he said softly, broaching the subject, "you are nearing an age where suitors will make themselves known. I trust that is something you have been prepared for?" Quintus assumed that Drusilla, or perhaps Juliana or one of the other women of the family had taken over those aspects of Claudia's upbringing... though he wasn't entirely sure. He took a steady drink of wine. @Gothic
  2. Lucius wasn't sure if it was the wine or simply the chemistry sparking between himself and Corinthia that flushed a wave of energy through him as she moved closer. She spoke without uttering a word. He grinned and took a sip of his wine. "It is possible that I just might have," he said, careful to answer as ambiguously as possible so as to return the tease. In a traditional sense, Corinthia came from a family with a somewhat clouded past - on account of the rise and precipitous fall of her parents. Even still, she remained a Claudian and was in some way connected to that great house. The Junii-Silani, for that matter, had their own blurred past. Great-grandfathers and uncles to Lucius had been tried for treason, some killed and some pardoned. What did it matter in the end? Just then, the dastardly Longinus reared in - far too drunk and shameful to be of any help to Lucius. He flailed in, bouncing off Lucius and almost falling into Corinthia before Lucius caught the man and pulled him upright. "Ohh, ss-Lusis," Longinus slurred. Lucius flashed a smile to Corinthia. "What in Hades' name are you doing man? Have you drained the entire stock?" "No. Yar-uh. Maybe. I need ss-some air." Lucius quickly placed himself as a brace for Longinus and looked to Corinthia. "Deepest apologies, domina. I shall hope to speak with you again, if not tonight, then another night soon." Longinus began to fall and Lucius stood him back up and walked out of the main hall as smoothly as possible. Once they had reached a balcony with fresh air, Longinus burst into a roaring laughter. "You'd fall for anything, Silanus," he gasped, somehow managing to fit words between laughter and sucking in air. "You son of a whore," Lucius spat, and for the sake of decorum and rank held back a punch he desperately wanted to throw. "Where do you get off-" "I saw you were going to win the bet," Longinus interjected. "Didn't say anything about interruptions beforehand, so I thought I'd take matters into my own hands." Lucius couldn't help but laugh. "I'd kill you here if they wouldn't throw me off Tarp for treason." "You'd miss me too much," Longinus chuckled and then suggested they go find some drinks. Lucius followed his commander and friend, but all the while couldn't get the thought of Corinthia far from his mind... finis
  3. Manius listened attentively as Metellus spoke, though his eyes remained transfixed on the bout before them for a few seconds. "If history tells us anything, they will," he continued, commenting on Lucius' rhetorical pondering. "New leaders always like to find a common enemy." Rome after Quintus Caesar's rise had been no different with his war of revenge against the Germans, and then continued conquests in Britannia. "I have heard quite conflicting opinions on the Graeci," Manius said, calling the Seleucids by the common term the Romans had picked up for them. "Scaurus Major had a great number of connections in the east, and I maintain correspondence with them as often as I'm able. Some have told me that the Graeci are making short work of the Parthians on account of several satraps also warring against the Great King." Parthia had always struggled with civil wars... even still, it had proved itself to be a formidable empire - one that had defeated Roman generals several times. "Even still, I agree with you. I believe the Graeci will eventually lose out," he continued. "Perhaps when they do, Caesar will find Parthia weakened enough to wage his own war against them." Though not a military man in any sense of the word - on account of his injuries - Manius nevertheless understood the mechanisms behind it, and would support conquests for the proper cause. @Brian
  4. Without a chance to say anything more on the thoughts that had captured his mind as they continued their discourse, Eppitacos simply resumed his characteristic half grin. "Interesting, indeed," he said, echoing her feelings on meeting again. "Perhaps the gods will see to it that we cross paths again. Hopefully in better circumstances," he added. The guards came to attention as they were called for, and they quickly grabbed Eppitacos as instructed. He gave a quick nod to Cynane and then let himself be taken away to meet whoever his new owner was. finis
  5. Quintus kept a steady gaze on each senator that stood to speak his mind. Each man had a fair point to make, and though the discussion quickly expanded into some of the finer details of the proposal rather than simply focusing on whether or not the proposal itself was one to vote in favor it, Quintus was content. That the senators decided to dive right into the intricacies rather than argue the merit of the idea in the first place was a sign that they were, mostly, in support of it. After Manius Scaurus returned to his seat, Quintus stood and once again was Caesar. "I commend you, Senator Scaurus, on your determination and dedication to the state, and on your eloquent address to this body." A few 'Here! Here!'s rose to fill the silence of Caesar's rhetorical pause. "I have heard the concerns you have all voiced," he continued, addressing the senate at large. "Who should receive the benefits of the state's generosity? What should those benefits be? How should the state pay for it? The cost of a project such as I have proposed on an empire-wide scale would be astronomical. Though I am glad there are those among you who consider extending the alimenta to the empire as a whole, my eyes are set on Italia to start. Begin the program here, in the heartland of our empire." In truth, Quintus had considered an empire-wide program, though he had come to the conclusion that such a program would have to be organized and maintained on a more regional autonomous level, as opposed to being controlled from Rome. Now was not the time for such ideas, however. "In regards to funding," he switched gears, "the initial phase I intended to fund with the remaining war booty from the campaigns in Britannia. Though, that will run out eventually, and when it does an alternative source will be necessary. The three main ideas I have heard I have liked - philanthropy, tax cuts, or tax repayments. Or perhaps a combination of the three. What further ideas does this body have in that regard?" @Tori
  6. Manius was surprised that the topic for the day was not centered around warfare, as he had highly suspected it would be. Perhaps it was his own connection to the east - via his late father - that had kept his mind focused on such matters. When Caesar, then, took the floor to propose an alimenta for the poor and homeless, Manius Scaurus couldn't help but consider it a fine proposal. His colleagues all seemed in agreement of that point, and each had a concern for exactly how the poor might be looked after, as well as how it would be funded. Various concerns, thoughts, and ideas had been brought forth. As of yet, Caesar had yet to take back the floor and so after Titus Sulpicius Rufus had spoken his mind - expanding upon Tiberius Claudius' words - Manius Scaurus took his turn before the assembly. With a firm movement he pushed the palm of his hand against his cane, exerting his strength through it and into the stone floor to push himself straight up. For any other man there standing was a normal activity that required no thought or concentration - for Manius it had been one of the biggest achievements of his adult life. "Fellow senators," he began, and surveyed the faces of the Curia. Manius had been told in the past that his voice favored his father, loud and rounded. "Many years ago I was involved in a very unfortunate accident. A fire had spread across the subura my mother and I were travelling through. As the brave vigiles are instructed to do, buildings around the blaze were demolished so as to prevent its spread. One of the buildings collapsed right on top of the litter I was in. My mother was killed. I was terribly injured. For a time my father assumed I was brain dead. His friends and colleagues told him he would be better off putting me out of my misery than praying to the gods that I might be healed. My father, though, was a determined man. I'm not sure I would called him religious, but he certainly was pragmatic. He prayed to the gods just to be sure, and then spent a fortune finding doctors and healers from across the world to speak with me, to work with me. "He was unsure if I would ever speak again. Here I am speaking. He was certain I would never walk again. I'm not sure you could call what I do walking exactly," he chuckled, "but it's close enough. I don't tell you this for sympathy or to boast. I tell you because the only reason I am here is because the status of my family was enough to fund my rehabilitation. I was as far from being a senator as any other homeless youth in the streets of that now rebuilt subura. But, here I am. It took wealth, and it took some of the same determination that my father possessed. But, I do not believe that trait to be unique to the Aemilii. No, it is a Roman trait: to never give up, to strive to attain something better. "And now we few have the power to make a difference in the lives of many. Many who, though they share the same blood, are not blessed with the same luxuries or opportunities. To be sure, there are roles in our society that need to be filled. Not every cripple can rise to become a senator, nor should they. But, they can at least rise to be something more than a trampled on vagrant; more than a pawn in some gang lord's scheme to take advantage of other groups of unfortunates. "I agree that the matter of how a project of this scale should be funded, and how we should choose or select those to be helped are points that will take some discussion, but I am sure Caesar has more to his idea than the idea itself." With that, Manius Scaurus returned to his seat.
  7. September 73CE One of Quintus' first projects since assuming power in Rome a decade earlier had been to allot funds - where it could be spared - to restoring public buildings, and especially temples. Rome itself had taken her fair share of damage in the chaos of the political uprest that saw several riots, and near warfare in the streets of the city. One building that had received special attention was the Mausoleum Augusti - where the ashes of the family of Caesar were interred. From Divus Julius to Claudius, including all their children and wives (those so honored at least), the Mausoleum held within it the remains of some of Rome's finest (and most villainous) leaders. Quintus had ensured that the ashes of his late sister, Lucilla, were interred. He had also had an urn created for the mostly detested Caligula, as he was the father of his wife, and set it as a reminder of the power each Caesar held, and what could come as a result of its misuse. On that very day, 136 years earlier, Divus Augustus had been born. Quintus saw it as an opportune time to speak with the young men whom - at that time - were on paths to inherit the stewardship of Rome. Having already spoken with his son earlier in the day, Quintus had invited his nephew Tiberius to meet him at the mausoleum after his day of meetings had been concluded. If he was entirely honest with himself, there was something about his nephew that Quintus liked. He of course cherished his own children, and though they had not been born into the purple (save for Drusus) they had taken to the spoils of their increased statuses with gusto. In Tiberius, Quintus saw pieces of himself. Born a mix of two houses - one ancient and decorated, the other coming into its fame; born the shadow of his father, and forced to live up to - or over - such expectations. Yet, Tiberius had faced even more. Had things gone as Claudius undoubtedly planned them, Tiberius would be emperor... perhaps with Quintus or another uncle as his adviser or protector. Yet, he had instead given up his Caesarian name and remained a Claudian. Quintus intended to test his resolve on that matter. "Ave, nephew," he said, when Tiberius came into sight. @Sarah
  8. "I had heard of Jullus' return," Manius said, following his colleague's comment. "Though I wasn't sure if it was true. It seems like he follows in the typical Flavian footsteps of staying outside of Rome and involved in the legions in some way." Quintus Caesar had been the same, as had their father. "So if he is in Rome, it surely must mean something." Whether it was a sign that there would be movement toward a German incursion, or possibly that Caesar had lost faith in his brother, only time would tell... though Manius would bet on the former rather than the latter. "I have heard nothing more than rumors," he continued. "A few expectations that Caesar will address the issue in the east with Parthia and these 'new Seleucids'. Personally, I don't think the administration's eyes are set on continued warfare. Caesar has been at war for a long time. Then again, he has won his fortune and power through warfare and the legions, so it might serve him to serve those who support him." Manius paused to observe the entertainment for a moment before probing Metellus. "What are your views on the situation in the east?" @Brian
  9. "Claudia Caesaris," he said, repeating the name. He had heard it before, and knew simply based on the name that she was either the daughter of Caesar or a close relation. "Sounds like you've done well for yourself... considering the circumstances." Eppitacos wondered whether he would be chosen as a guard, as a showpiece, or as something else more demeaning. His thoughts spiraled into a stream of conscious that soon came out as words. "In my youth I was raised to be one of the priestly order. I was given up as an orphan, but taken in by the drui in order to serve the gods. I decided that I could serve the people by fighting for them." He paused, and let his eyes settle on Cynane's for a few long, quiet moments. "Do you hear the gods? I thought I used to see them. It was like time stopped and for a moment I was in their world." He realized he was staring at her, though he wasn't really seeing anything at all. "But, the more I fought, the less I heard them... and now they're silent. Most of my life has been fighting, but now that the gods have taken my arm, I wonder if they will give me their voices again?" He smiled somewhat sadly, and then found his attention drawn to a quick rise of noise in the adjacent room. A buyer had come forth. @Atrice
  10. Lucius took note of her tone, and her playfulness in response as he listened, watched, and smirked. His eyes followed the movement of her fingers as they touched to her chest, and then forced his eyes to look up. Virtue was a strong word, and an important one to the Romans that held a number of meanings - it was the summation of a man's manliness, his courage, his valor, and the way in which he conducted himself. Pater Familias at such a young age, having rebuilt his family's home with his own wealth, having served in the British wars to great acclaim - Lucius had no doubts of his growing virtus... though he also recognized that he was still young in the grand scheme of things. "No," his eyes quickly flicked back down to her hand before returning to her eyes, "I don't think a cowardly man could tame you." He smiled softly and then took a sip of his wine. "I, would need a wife who is as ambitious as she is loyal. Who would work with me to strengthen my career, to further my name, and of course to give me sons." All things traditionally expected of a wife. "But also, to challenge me and push me beyond my own limitations." Lucius appreciated strong women. He wasn't sure if it was the challenge, but something about a strong woman was almost intoxicating to him. At this point, he had totally lost track of the bet with Longinus. His mind had moved past that petty gamble. @Gothic
  11. After Titus Faustinus had declared the official start to the meeting, Quintus gave a nod to the senior statesman and then took the floor for himself. There was a moment of silence, as he looked around the Curia to examine the faces of the men in attendance. He could remember in years past when the Senate had been almost empty of notable men and families - some because the families had been exiled or nearly wiped out, some because their scions had retired for fear of their safety, and some because they did not wish to be seen openly defying the will of less-than-understanding emperors. Quintus had spent a great deal of time extending leniency to the senatorial class, while also maintaining a balance with the rising upper-equestrians. A military man through-and-through, this day he was to speak of a social matter closer to home. "Gratias, Faustinus," he said to the Princeps Senatus, and then returned his attention to the sitting senators. "Senators, there are a great many matters of discussion open to us. Indeed, I have been busy these past weeks with reports coming in from the east and from the limes about the movement of the Graeci against the Parthians, and the Germani against one another. As Romans we have for a long time cast our eyes out to other lands, our focus on the next conquest, or the next piece of glory we can claim for mother Roma. It is in our blood, one could say, for us to spill the blood of others." He paused, turning his gaze to the other side of the Curia. "Yet, ten years ago it was neither the blood of the Germani nor the blood of Parthians we were spilling, but the blood of fellow Romans, fellow citizens of our great empire. I was not present in our great city when the tyrant Clemens took power, and I was not witness to the atrocities he committed. Though I know the severity of the reports I heard in Asia were enough to fill me with a resolution to secure and protect my beloved homeland. Had I been able to take a road to Rome that was free from bloodshed, that spared the lives of my fellow Romans, I surely would have. Alas, the fates saw to influence more ambitious men to lesser actions, and battle could not be avoided. There is not a day that passes where I do not lament the loss of my brothers-in-arms, even as they plied those arms against me. For they believed they were fighting for Rome, however misguided they might have been. "Here in our city, men and women fought and died. In Italia they did as well. Not only our soldiers, but our people. I, too, suffered the loss of my oldest son, a wound I share with many of you. Now, a decennium and more after we have peace, there is again a need to protect that which is ours. Yet before we can march against outward enemies, we must first look inward at our future. "We cannot speak to the Glory of Rome and marvel at our marble architecture and triumphal arcs without taking a closer look at the naked and starving orphans hiding in the shadows of those same structures. Those children are the future of Rome, yet what future do they have when they have little choice but to live as beggars?" Caesar paused, surveying the Curia once again before continuing. "I am proposing an alimenta - a nourishment - of our Italian homeland. To provide food, education, and housing for the poor and the disenfranchised children and their caretakers so that we might strengthen the heart of our homeland, and bring hope to its future. Any and all ideas and suggestions for the implementation of such a program are welcomed." With that, Caesar returned to his seat and the floor was open again. ((OOC: If there are any questions about this, send myself or one of the other staff members a PM or message on Discord.))
  12. As Claudia commented on the adventure that his childhood must have been, Quintus took a moment to recollect on all the things he had seen and experienced. In hindsight, and to someone full of youth who had yet to see the world, he could understand how adventurous and exciting it all seemed. To him at the time it had simply been what was expected of him, or what he needed to do in order to prove himself. He came back into focus on the conversation as she spoke of the children in the greater family. He smiled softly as she rattled off updates on each of the children, not unlike a quaestor reading a report to his legatus. A mix of ambition and competitive spirit had driven Quintus and his siblings, and had pushed and pulled them together and apart, not unlike the moon with the waves. Some had succeeded - most notably himself, Lucilla, and to a lesser extent Octavius and Jullus - and others hadn't. He had always attributed their drive as a mix of the blood they had inherited. The Cornelian political prowess and competitive nature to serve above and beyond, and the Flavian ambition for one to prove himself, or herself, worthy. Quintus considered what traits his children might have inherited, or even Claudia herself. As the daughter of Claudius and Lucilla, what parts of each of them did she carry with her? But then she asked if there was anything in particular he wanted to know, which caught him slightly off guard. "Only anything you feel you should tell me." He paused for a small sip of wine. "Though, I didn't call you here to speak with me to interrogate you." Quintus placed trust in his greater family, and hoped that they would build a stronger bond than he had with his own brothers and sister. "Though..." he considered a thought in his mind. "If I were to ask you the strengths and weaknesses of each Titus and Tiberius, as it concerns their personalities, what would you say?" @Gothic
  13. Was it a pity? Eppitacos wasn't so sure anymore. In the end Britannia became Roman regardless. He had foreseen that outcome before he was betrayed and captured, and had sought to find another way around it... but what use was there in dwelling in the past? Whatever their role, the gods had seen to it that Rome triumphed, and the Britons either died as they were or became a lesser version of their conquerors - whether free or not. And then Cynane asked the real question of importance: Where would he end up? Eppitacos followed her gaze to the main hall, where the banquet and auction was still playing out. "We shall see," he said softly. He doubted he would have any value as a warrior because of his injury, and he also doubted that any of the nobles saw him as anything more than a fighter. Caesar had done his best to paint a different picture of him, but from what Eppitacos had learned, Romans were quite entrenched in their stereotypes of barbarians. Which got him thinking... "And you- where did you end up? Who is your master?" @Atrice
  14. In his younger years Quintus detested even the thought of having to attend a meeting of the senate. He had always been a man inclined toward acting, and had seen the senate as a means for rich, bored men to argue and speak of what they might do while not actually doing anything at all. Even after he had taken the purple, Quintus found every excuse he could to be on the fringes of the empire fixing something, leaving the senate to his most trusted advisors and relations. After a decade of leading Rome back to a place of stability and peace, a more relaxed life in Rome gradually became more and more comfortable for the old warrior. Caesar carefully maintained the delicate balance between his power and the senate's, though not without help from his family and allies. He was seated in his place between the two consular chairs, giving nods to each senator as they caught his gaze. Others came forward to speak with him in private before the official start of the session, but once the Princeps Senatus took the floor, silence reigned, and Caesar listened along with every other man. There were many matters to be discussed, and many important decisions to be made.
  15. Manius Aemilius Scaurus Pius arrived at the Curia slightly later than many others, but well before the official start of the session. As he entered into the famed building, he immediately set his eyes upon his brother, Scaurus Alexander, and then to Valerius Maximus the co-consul, before continuing onward to find a place to sit. Though he was old enough to be considered for a consulship, Manius hadn't pursued the traditional course of offices to bring him to such a standing. As a result, he sat in the rear benches, among the younger senators, and those more like himself whom had decided to focus on careers outside of climbing the political ladder. He gave quick greetings to those seated around him, and then turned his attention on the Princeps Senatus. Not many years prior his father, Marcus Scaurus, had commanded respect and silence within the halls of the Curia. Manius, though, was not his father. He had only truly been active in the Curia since his return to Rome six years prior. When present he mostly listened, only giving his opinion when it was called for or absolutely necessary. As he saw it, Scaurus Alexander was the public scion of the family. He could maintain the political ascendancy of the Aemilii-Scauri while Manius worked to maintain the family's wealth and legacy for the future... whatever it may be.
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