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Chris last won the day on December 22 2019

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  1. Chris

    A promised visit

    Dressed in a dark blue tunic that was tied off with a maroon sash for contrast, Lucius followed behind the servant at a brisk pace. The villa was quite large and spacious. He admired its architecture - distinctly Hellenic - as they passed through the corridor. His eyes on the construction methods, Lucius didn't notice the servant's abrupt stop. Just as she uttered "Oh, Domi-" he ran straight into her, and the two of them stumbled awkwardly in opposite directions, though neither lost their footing completely. Lucius composed himself, flattening his clothing with his hands, and then looked up to see Corinthia in front of him. The servant began to apologize to Lucius, though it was entirely his fault, and he simply held up a lithe hand to wave off the need for an apology. "Claudia," he said, using the polite form of her name. "It seems that I have a bad habit of managing to make myself look the fool whenever you're around." @Gothic
  2. Chris

    Chris' Plotter!

    Hey Sara! Definitely would love to establish some plots between the two of them. I did have plans for Silanus to be heading to the east for a bit - so we would probably need to do something somewhat in the past. I'll send you a PM and we can discuss some options!
  3. Quintus Caesar arrived at the games with the full entourage of his family and the Praetorians who escorted them on parade from the palace to the still new coliseum. The procession of so many imperials had become a small spectacle of its own, and - ever a man of the people - Caesar had showered the onlookers with coins and bid them go watch the games and enjoy a few drinks on him. After the proper portents and speeches had been given, with dedications given to Caesar and the imperials, the first match of the day was set to begin. As soon as the required ceremonies were finished, Caesar quickly had his hands full... though not in political discourse as expected. His youngest son, Drusus - in his typical confounding way - had developed a love of the games, even though he still had a distaste for the bloodshed that accompanied them. He was nearly falling over the front wall of the imperial box, pining to get a closer look. "Pater..." he started, in a tone that preceded a question. Quintus simply raised his brows, a look that told the boy that his father was listening. "We make the rules for the empire, do we not?" "We do," he said. "And we enforce them, right?" Quintus nodded and Drusus continued. "And you are first among your peers, which means that your family is also first among other families, does it not?" "I suppose that's true," Quintus said. "Then why do we have to sit up here, where it's so far away from the action that I have to squint to see? Shouldn't we have a closer seat befitting our status?" Quintus smirked. "Your grammaticus has started teaching the Socratic method has he?" Quintus tussled Drusus' hair, and then gave him an answer to contemplate. "You are right that we hold a power and prestige above all others. Prestige which was earned by my efforts against Rome's enemies. But do you think I fought in wars and won battles just to see another fight from a good vantage?" Drusus frowned a little. "I guess not... but what about me?" "Well, my little warrior, you have yet to win any battles." "So when I win a battle, I can give the order to have the imperial box moved closer to the sand?" Quintus watched his son, whose eyes were transfixed on the fight. "I suppose you could, but the true measure of a ruler is not what he takes for himself, but what he gives to better his country. Even now if you wanted to see any of these fighters, we could give the order at any time of day or night to have them brought to the palace, to your very room even. None of the people down there have that privilege, and they never will. So we give them this enjoyment to better their spirits, which in the end lends to their support of our family." "But we can still go see the gladiators after today's matches are over, right?" Caesar shook his head - more from endearment than annoyance - at his son's lack of attention to the lesson he was trying to impart. "Yes, we can. But step away from the wall." @Gothic @Anna @Sharpie @Sarah
  4. Chris

    A promised visit

    The past two years had been full of twists and turns for Lucius Junius Silanus. After Caesar's banquet where it was announced that Lucius would tag along with part of the official Roman delegation sent to speak to the kings and satraps of the east, Lucius was sure his star was on the rise. He had the advantage of his name, which thanks to his late-uncle, Decimus Silanus, had been restored to some sort of prestige (despite the man's defeat and death at the hands of the Britons). He spent three months in the east, though for most of that time he was in Armenia, listening to the endless ambitions of that nation's king - Tiridates - and why Rome should support him in an invasion of Parthia and the rebelling Greek satrapies. Rome's official stance, as it was handed down from Caesar, was to remain neutral but ready; Caesar wanted to see how things developed before committing Roman troops. While some within the delegation were eager to jump to war, Lucius and others were more mindful of Caesar's directives. After the east, Lucius returned to near disaster in Rome. Vitellia Calvina, daughter of his aunt Junia Calvina and Lucius' paternal cousin, had laid legal claim to the domus he built with the very inheritance he had received from Decimus' will. The original domus, where Calvina took up residence after her return from exile, was burned in the riots of Clemens' coup, and Lucius spent most of his personal fortune in rebuilding it as close to the original as he could. Vitellia's argument was that Calvina was the rightful heir to the land, per an old will she had uncovered from somewhere, and therefore the land and everything on it belonged to her. Lucius spent almost all the wealth he had left - and borrowed some - to fight his cousin in the courts, only to lose in the end. In an act of rage he spent his last denarii on hiring laborers to destroy the home so that Vitellia could have the land, but not the home. He was arrested shortly afterward and again went to trial where he faced charges of arson - pressed by his cousin - whose legal representative (her husband) pushed for Lucius to pay Vitellia the stated value of the home (as listed in tax records), or, should he not be able to, for him to enter into servitude to her until the debt was paid. By the graces of Flavia Juliana, Lucius had his own representation who made it clear that the home in question had been built by and was the property of Lucius Silanus, and therefore it was within his legal right to do with it as he pleased. He was acquitted, and though his lawyer advised Lucius to press charges against Vitellia for defamation, he waved off the suggestion, claiming he had had enough of Rome. It was then that he received an offer from a legate of the 7th Fulminata in Syria to serve as Tribune of a new Romano-Briton auxiliary wing that had recently lost its praefect. He accepted and decided to leave Rome early enough to pay a visit to Claudia Corinthia in Greece. He traveled from Ostia down the coast of Italy, passing between Regium and Messana in the Straight of Sicily before cutting across the sea and into the Isthmus of Corinth where he made landfall. It was Lucius' first time setting foot in Greece, and soon after landing he was enamored with the history. A carriage took him from the port to his destination where he was met by servants who ushered him to a section of the villa reserved for guests, where his belongings were placed. He was told there was a private bath adjacent to his room if he wanted to bathe, and that the domina would call upon him within the next hour. Lucius took the opportunity to refresh himself with a bath, all the while contemplating whether or not to be upfront with his drastic change in circumstance. He was interrupted from his thoughts by another servant bringing him towels. He quickly prepared himself and asked the servant to lead him to see Corinthia. @Gothic
  5. **OOC: Jumping in to wrap this up. See further note at the bottom of my post.** The discussion continued on for some time until the sun had fallen and the limit for the day's session was almost at hand. With concerns raised and many opinions given on how to quiet those concerns, the core of the discussion boiled down to funding. Though always eager to look good in the public eye, Caesar knew that senators were not eager to simply hand over their wealth to those of less fortunate standings. He had heard enough for one day. Caesar rose. "Senators, a great many ideas have been brought forth," he began, "but I feel we have come to a point of simply talking in circles. Therefore, I move to formally adjourn the session so that it might reconvene in a week's time whereupon a fully formed proposal will be brought forth for voting." The Curia was in agreement, and the session was closed, with official notes handed over to Caesar. One week later... The follow-up session fell on an awful, rainy day and as a result of the weather the proceedings were delayed until enough of a body was present to vote on the legislation in question. Caesar had reviewed the official notes from the previous week and had invited various senators to meet with him privately so they might expand upon their initial ideas. When the floor was gifted to him, Caesar stood and gave the finer points of the alimenta, all of which were ratified by the house. The main points were as follows: Overview: The alimenta will provide general funds, food, and education to orphans and homeless children. It would be available across all of Italia, to children aged 0 through 14, and broken into three stages with the long-term goal of producing citizens who could contribute to society as a whole. Non-citizens (freedmen/pelegrini) could also gain access by way of sponsorship by a patron. Stage 1 - Ages 0-6 The state will begin construction and operation of large homes/education centers (Domi Alimentum) for young and abandoned children where they will be looked after and given basic education and survival skills. Stage 2 - Ages 7-14 At the age of 7, children will graduate from the Domi Alimentum and be sent to the homes of sponsors to learn a trade for the next seven years. These sponsors are vetted by the state, and are themselves citizens who are farmers, craftsmen, or temple staff. In return for educating or training the children in their trades, the sponsors receive tax breaks. Sponsors are to be regulated and reviewed twice a year, and if they are found guilty of abuse or neglect, they can be fined (the total of the tax reductions they have received, or more; or imprisoned). Any sponsor who decides to adopt a child will receive double the tax credit until the child comes to the age of majority (15). Stage 3 - Ages 15+ When a child turns 15, the sponsor has the choice to 'hire' the child, or not. If the child is hired, they will stay on to work as hired labor for their sponsor, with the sponsor continuing to receive a tax credit. For those children who are not hired: Boys will be enlisted into the military at full recruit pay. Those whom have been trained in crafts will receive additional pay, and most likely will serve away from the front lines. After serving 15 years in the legions, said 'alimenti' will receive a plot of land upon which to live. The sponsors will receive 5% of the alimenti's pay, only while the child is in active service. After 15 years, the alimenti will receive a plot of land and will no longer have to pay any percentage of their income to their former sponsor. Girls will be enrolled as servants in the temples, brought on as handmaidens for one of Rome's noble families, trained as nurses, or any other number of available professions. Funding: The initial donation to begin the construction of Domi Alimentum is to be made from the leftover booty from Caesar's British campaigns, along with donations from Rome's nobility. Further funding shall come from state financing. Loans will be given by the state to desiring members of the Equestrian order who meet pre-determined criteria. The borrowers are required to repay the loans with yearly payments (plus interest) that will go to fund the alimenta, and makeup for the income lost as a result of the tax reductions given to sponsors. Those who receive loans cannot also be sponsors. Longevity: Any alimenti who are able to rise into the Equestrian order will be eligible for a loan at a much lower interest rate than standard. Additionally, any alimenti who complete 15 years of service in the legions will also be eligible for loans, or to serve as sponsors themselves. Should the system of sponsorship fail, or borrowers dry up, taxes could be imposed on the equestrian and senatorial orders at large. **OOC: Thanks to everyone who participated in this thread. We had some really great interactions and ideas. We decided to wrap it up as it had slowed down - mostly because of my own inactivity, for which I do apologize. The staff are already cooking up some great new ideas, so keep your eyes peeled!**
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. "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
  14. "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
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