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Chris last won the day on June 16

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  1. 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.))
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Manius put on a soft smile after Metellus gave a straight and simple reason for watching the games. "My morning was mostly consumed with preparing for my upcoming cases," he said in kind. "Coming here is something of a mental warm up, I suppose. Watching a fight in order to prepare for one." He kept the same smile on his face and then carefully took a seat next to Metellus. Though Manius had adapted to walking, and made his way around well enough, standing and sitting were still two tasks that he had to approach carefully and with concentration. It was something with the way his back and knees had to bend. He postured himself over the seat, and using the strength in his arms slowly lowered himself down. And then he decided to dive into politics. "Have you heard any rumors of what might be on the ticket for this month's session?" The senate was set to convene in just a matter of days, and it was always best for those in the middle to have an idea of what they might have to discuss. @Brian (apologies for the delay!)
  7. Eppitacos had never truly known Ysulda well. She was little more than a child when he had been betrothed to her, but he had recognized her appetite for power and her ambition even then. "I truly do not know the exact reason," he answered. "She has held a grudge against me for a long time." While Eppitacos was no warlord, and had wanted no part in leading any people in a fight for freedom as a gladiator, he had been a man of importance and power within the ludus. It was possible that his position of favor had vexed Ysulda - but he believed her desire to bring him down stemmed from a much simpler reasoning: jealousy. "When we were betrothed, she had only just become a woman. I was told she was smitten with me in the way children have their crushes... but I had other priorities and paid her little mind." And he had become close to Eupheme. "The rumors she spread of me were that I placed a higher priority in my 'Roman whore' than my own people. My priority was learning the ways of my people's enemy so that I could beat them..." He trailed off. Ironic that he had now, in many ways, become Roman. @Atrice
  8. SENATUS POPULUSQUE ROMANUS (SPQR) Although the 'senate', as it is known, has undergone a series of transformations since its original inception, it still maintains a place of importance and power within Rome's political sphere. From a council of elders built specifically to advise Rome's early kings, to a collection of politicians all vying for ultimate power, and more recently a mix of factions all in support of internal stability, but with different short-term goals and ambitions - the Senate is the gateway for Rome's leading men to leave their names in the annals of history. As it currently stands, the Senate is composed of 750 active members - a marked increase from the average of 600 during Augustus' reign - though on average only 100-200 are 'sitting members'. To clarify, of all of Rome's population, only 750 men are eligible to be sitting members. "Sitting members" are those IN Rome who actively engage in discussions, who actively pursue a career in politics, and attempt to climb the Cursus Honorum. The political factions of previous decades have since disbanded, either through deaths or retirement, and the current political landscape is much different than it has been in the past. In general, Rome's elite are supportive of the Flavian Caesars. Rather than attempting to undermine the power of the Caesars, they instead have grouped into two major factions with different modi operandi all centered around strengthening the empire as a whole - civil war is the last thing any of them want. Those factions are: DEFENSORES (the 'Defenders'): Despite their name, these men are traditional expansionists. It is their belief that Rome should be the master of the world, and any remaining barbarian nation with relative strength poses a threat to Roman dominance. The best defense is a proactive offense. Senators within this camp are most focused on continued expansion on the British isles, the conquest of Germania, and the political situation in the east. PUBLICI (the 'People'): In contrast to the Defensores, the Publici keep their focus centered on social issues at home. They do not see continued expansion as the right move for the empire, instead pointing to the ill side-effects of conquests such as high taxes, influxes of refugees and slaves taking away work from Roman citizens, and the declining purity of the Italian or Latin population. MODERATI (the 'Moderates'): Though not a collective party or faction in the same sense as the Defensores or the Publici, the Moderati are arguably the most important senators in the sense that they are the swing votes. Their views, morales, and ideals differ from person to person, as do their ambitions and goals. For some they truly vote based on what they believe is best-others are more easily influenced by rewards.
  9. His eyes found hers as her gaze settled on him once he entered into the litter. She was formal and straightforward, it seemed. One of the first things Eppitacos had learned when he came to Rome and began to learn the Roman language and culture was that - typically - the length of a person's introduction gave some indication of their level of social importance. The daughter of a senator, but more importantly a Vestal Virgin. The exact religious importance of the Vestals was lost on Eppitacos, as a non-Roman, but he understood then she was a person of particular religious importance. Suddenly a gentle breeze blow into the litter and wrapped around his neck, seeming to whisper into his ears, and almost like a new breath of life, Eppitacos felt his curiosity piqued in a way it had not for some years. All manner of thoughts flooded into his mind - was this the plan of the gods all along? He found himself wondering. She continued, speaking to his good service, and asked if he had any questions. He paused, taking some time to look her over as the light allowed, and then spoke. "I do," he said at first, trying to think of questions more immediately important than whether or not the gods spoke to the woman sitting his opposite. "What is your use for me?" He asked at last. A vestal virgin had no use for a bull, and likewise no need for a warrior or guardian. Why then would she be interested in him? @AzraelGrim
  10. "She's in Rome," Eppitacos said, quickly answering her 'why'. He wasn't sure how much Cynane knew of the events after he was sold to the Romans, so he decided to elaborate. "From what I've been told, after I was sold out, Ysolda became a protectorate of Rome. Then she was overthrown and fled to Caesar who used the turmoil as just cause for his continued conquest of our people. Ysolda was relocated to Rome for her safety, and married the man who was my lanista, Albinus." He paused, letting Cynane take in all of that information, and then continued. "Albinus seems to believe the attack was the work of his wife. She became popular with Britons after her arrival." He remembered almost constant visits from would be clients and destitute Britons. "There's no true way to know, but if this was her handiwork, then she's bested me again," Eppitacos said with a quick exhale of a chuckle. @Atrice
  11. Manius had risen early and spent most of the morning reviewing notes in the Basilica Julia for a new case he had taken that involved a dispute over ancestral lands outside of Rome proper. After he had fiinshed prepared for the hearing - that was just the next day - he headed out to the Amphitheater of Statilius, constructed over 100 years earlier, in the Campus Martius. He was not an avid fan of the games, in truth, but his son Lucius had fawned over them as a youth and the two of them made a habit of going every week. Though Lucius was far away on the German frontier, Manius kept up the tradition. He wondered if his son would enjoy the fighting now that he had lived it for the past three years. Just then Manius was pulled from his thoughts by the sound of his name lingering in the air. He turned in the direction his ears told him it had come from and saw Lucius Caecilius Metellus. Metellus was not unlike Manius; a man with an ancient and prestigious name that was far less important than it used to be. Nevertheless, they had weathered the storms and continued to adapt and adjust. "Salve, Caecilius Metellus," Manius returned in kind, standing to move closer to the man. What was a day at the games without a little political discussion? "I trust the day has treated you well thus far?" @Brian
  12. April 74 - After the events of "Consider Yourself an Investment" After the bidding had ended, Eppitacos was taken from the side room where he had been told to wait and returned to his cells to be cleaned and dressed. He was sure there was a buyer, but who it was and what they wanted with him he didn't have a clue. Few words were spoken, and he didn't ask - he would find out in due time. After the preparations - a good hour or more - he was taken through the maze of hallways and small adjoined homes that create the imperial palace and out one of the many heavily-guarded side entrances. With guards around him, he was stopped just in front of a small litter. The carrying slaves stood around it, and four guards - not imperial - were around them. One of them spoke to him. "Your Domina awaits you. Step in," he said. Eppitacos was surprised he was being told to step into the lectica with his new domina, but he took it to mean there was some small amount of trust. He nodded, stepped forward and pushed aside the heavy curtain and took the seat open to his right. After he sat, he looked forward but could only see the silhouette of his new owner. He decided to speak up and simply said, "Domina," and then waited for her reply... @AzraelGrim
  13. Chris

    Chris' Plotter!

    Hey, @Brian; Those both sound great. Let's maybe start off with Manius/Lucius and explore that a bit. Would you mind starting us off? And I'll brainstorm on some ideas and also consult with Anna a bit on some Scipiones stuff and we can follow up with a Quintus/Appius thread in due time!
  14. Quintus listened attentively as his niece shared what she would of her life. He remembered his sister at her age, in her teens, when one day was the most glorious-blessed-by-the-gods day, and the next Pluto himself had come to earth to wreak havoc. If Claudia truly was so similar as her mother, Quintus could only presume she had a similar womanly side to her - or at least that's how he saw it. As she spoke on the time she spent with Drusilla, Quintus couldn't help but feel satisfaction in the fact that Drusilla was in his life. That she had been spared by the gods and not an absolute lunatic who'd lost her wits, or a vengeful witch upon her return to Rome was itself the work of the gods... or her strong will. That she further spent her time with the needy only served to strengthen the view of the Flavian name, and perhaps restore some faith in her own. By joining her, Claudia too could only help to cement a strong public image. Then she spoke of riding. "Lucilla was a strong rider," he commented. "We raced often as children, before I left for training. I won't admit that she bested me, but she came close." He laughed at the memory. It was strange how with age the spite and jealously he felt for his siblings had turned to nostalgia through memories. He made a mental note to have a separate meeting with this Praetorian Decimus, but made no comment to Claudia of it. "It is good to be busy, keep your mind active and learning. Tell me, how are you getting along with your siblings?" He was mostly curious about Tiberius, though any news on Flavia was not unwelcome. @Gothic
  15. Lucius smiled slyly when she so boldly told him when to meet her and what she expected. He wondered what sort of gift would wow a woman such as she. Having a villa in Greece was enough to sway most any noblewoman from Italia - what else could she desire? It was something Lucius made a mental note of to discuss with her further. As she looked away only briefly, Lucius did the same in an attempt to find his party-goer-partner, Longinus, but in the spot where the man had been standing and speaking with a woman who'd seemed far too old to be a bachelorette there was only empty space. The sly dog, Lucius thought. And then, Corinthia commented on her own unmarried status. "All important traits," Lucius agreed. "I, too, am unmarried. To be honest I have been away from Rome more than home the past several years and with my mind on so many other things, I haven't until recently put my mind to the prospect of marriage. As you say - there are many things to look for. So much that some say it's preferable to enjoy the single life and... sample the flavors, as it were." The last sentence was a comment on Longinus, but also an attempt to see if Corinthia would reveal how promiscuous she was, if at all. @Gothic
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