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  1. Early August, 75 AD Manius had finally found something, or so it would seem. He’d been contacted by a servant to Quintus Caecina Tuscus, a former bodyguard to his daughter, actually. The actual Quintus was far away from Rome, but in Rome and near Rome was his family and his servants. And since Manius used to know people a little higher up in ranks, back when he worked for Cyprianus, he was still well-known, even if he had just worked at the slave market for over ten years now. Not that he was the kind of man to hang out with his friends all the time, but they knew him. And Manius had of c
  2. June, 75 AD It had been a fine day at the Circus Maximus. Caeso had been racing with his favorite horses, all a lovely brownish red color and his good chariot had not been broken today either. When he finished the last round of his part of the races, he was smiling, because he knew he’d performed well and he had won. Well the team had won. But Caeso had won too. After the race, he went to the stables to help with the horses and cleaning up and he was approached by a messenger, telling him he was invited to a party in the nearby Aventine the same evening. It had been cleared with his maste
  3. July, 75 AD He had nothing. Or, almost nothing. No work, no wife, no place to be and soon he might be out of coins too. Manius barely ate these days. He was trying to make the money last and trying to not go and gamble with the hope for gaining more. On the other hand, he might lose it all and be so indebted they’d take him because he had no coins and then he’d be a slave again. That might be the easiest way to go anyway. But so far he had not gambled the rest of his coin away. He had spent a little of it on wine. Just a stupid attempt to forget his sorrows for once. That didn’t wor
  4. Late June, 75 AD Charis had been allowed to do more and more, since their last proper conversation in the beginning of May. Now it was late in June and Charis was very visibly pregnant. It was impossible to not notice her, when he walked around the domus, although most of the time, they still didn’t interact with each other. She hadn’t done anything out of order though, since he let her out of the room and she was being a very good slave. She did as she was told and nothing else. So she was allowed longer trips to the market and the baths, just about as much freedom as the other slaves. S
  5. July, 75 AD For how long had she been coming here now? Last time she saw Charis in person was in February, before she attempted to get rid of the child. It had been months now since she last saw her friend and she supposed most people would have given up by now. But not Cynane. She did not give up on her friend, not when she had promised she would be there when Charis needed her. And so here she was, again, standing opposite the home of Tertius Quinctilius Varus, where Charis lived. She hadn’t tried to approach anyone from the house, not since she met Teutus, who had been entirely unhelpf
  6. Mid-July, 75 AD It had been a few weeks since the earthquake that shattered Rome, although he had heard that other parts of the nearby country had been hit far worse than the city. Still there was rubble here and there and some buildings, that had been too old or too badly built, had crumbled. Luckily not the little insula he shared with his son! Lexus had been fine the day after, it seemed, although a bit shaken. Alexius hadn’t even been at home when it hit, he’d been at the ludus with an arm wrapped around the divine body that was Annis. As soon as he was able, he’d returned to his son
  7. 30th of June - The Earthquake It was an early morning… actually, it was barely morning. Everyone in the entire household were asleep, not even the kitchen slaves or those taking care of the heating system were awake yet. Silence roamed the corridors and the chambers and Tertius was also asleep in his room together with Hector, always by his side now – at least when they were in here. In the last week, there had been light tremors to the ground. It had been shaking a few times, or perhaps more rattling, it wasn’t anything big and not something he hadn’t experienced before. To most people i
  8. Early June, 75 AD It had been a few weeks since that day, when Marcus had a hangover and he and Caecina decided to go for a ride in the countryside near the villa there. And they ended up by that stream and a game of truth or dare turned into something else. They had not had a chance to be entirely alone since then and maybe it was for the best. At first they’d sent each other stolen glances, after the kiss, but one day turned into the next and soon they fell into the ordinary routine. Maybe it didn't mean anything after all; maybe it was just a foolish spur of the moment thing and she ha
  9. Outside the Circus Maximus, the crowds were swarming and increasingly smellier as they began to bump shoulders under the hot sun while trying to push into the complex and its seating arrangements. Naturally, Valeria had very little interest in watching the gladiatorial games, much less the races, and household names like ‘Menelaus’, ‘Bassus’, or ‘Marcellus’ of the Whites evaded her. She often left such things to Titus to take Publius, but she thought of it as a treat for her children, a spur of the moment decision following a morning’s visit to her father’s. The younger two particularly would
  10. Early June, 75 AD Of course she knew she needed to find a new husband - or at least try. That was a woman’s role and lot in Rome. Grow up, get married, get kids… if you lose your husband, get another or your family will dislike you. She didn’t want to be disliked. And she did want to find a man who would marry her, for how else was Gaius to have a proper father to raise him? Her brother did well, of course, but he had a wife and kids of his own too and Gaius was just a nephew and not his own child. She needed a man of her own. But she also needed Lucia. She hoped her future husband would
  11. Late April, 75 AD It had been a good day at the Ludus Magnus. Alexius had really begun enjoying it there. First there was lovely Thessala, who was a great friend and a great sparring partner. She seemed to enjoy fighting with him too. And then there was Annis and how could he not adore Annis? Gods that woman was just sexy and fun and… so many good things. Their medicus was nice enough too, Alexius liked him and really, all the gladiators, it reminded him of the good old days and it was never bad to watch them train up close either. Surrounded by dirt and sweat, but for some reason, he lik
  12. Early May, 75 AD Ah, time for a bath. Silvanus was with him, of course, but he might get left behind to watch the clothes… Marcus didn’t want anything stolen from his things and he knew the bath slaves could be quite good at picking stuff up. It was nice to be in the city, but it wasn’t like he never came here. He didn’t mind the travel between the villa and Rome, because he loved being in Rome, despite all the filth and dirt in the streets. At least the houses where he came were nice and he really did enjoy the baths. Silvanus carefully helped him undress and was instructed to never
  13. 10th June, 75AD TW: miscarriage Longinus sat in silence on the beach, down the cliffside path from his villa just outside of Formiae. It was deserted, even at this time of year by virtue of the setting sun which cast long shadows over the sand and reflected off the water. The villa itself was no more populated with a skeleton staff of people he had forgot he even employed; a girl to cook in the kitchen and a few odd-job slaves that crept around him with thinly veiled annoyance in their eyes that their dominus was suddenly intruding on the peace and serenity of having run of a patrici
  14. Nones of May 75AD Longinus sat drumming his fingers against the rim of his wine cup, occasionally glancing at the door. What he enjoyed most, of course, about the Poppina Via Lata was the two-building scheme. The night would start here, in the building reserved for Rome's upper echelons before descending into the depravity with the plebs and the slaves next door. He took a sip and resumed his drumming, waiting for both Titus and Aulus, nerves eating into the pit of his stomach. Judging by the surprised reaction in their letters neither of them were none the wiser as to the true (at least
  15. The graffiti that went up in late May 75AD, a week and a half before the wedding of Lucius Cassius Longinus and Sestia Vaticana was poorly drawn but effective. It depicted the pair in question in what can only be described as explicitly lewd acts. Scrawled underneath the images was the phrase; 'Lucius Cassius Longinus and Sestia Vaticana fucked here. A wedding? Or a cover-up?'. It littered corners near the tavern in which they had met in the Subura, on the side of poppina's on the Esquiline and undoubtedly in other places yet undiscovered throughout the city. Feel free t
  16. Atrice

    The Morning After

    Mid-May, 75 AD There were plenty of villas in the countryside near Rome and this was just one of them. And it was the one he just happened to live in – because really, where else should he live, when his brother made sure they had no family home anymore? Not that life was bad here. There had been a social event – a party – at one of the other villas last night and Marcus had persuaded Caecina to come, explaining how important it was with the connections they’d make, although really he just didn’t want to go to the party alone. And she probably knew that. They’d lived together on and off s
  17. Late March, 75 AD "... we will see each other in two weeks, like usual…" That’s what Charis had said, last time they met. Back when Charis had revealed she was pregnant and she was going to take some herbs that could remove the child. She weas certain she’d be fine, even though Cynane had been quite worried about her friend. And after two weeks of waiting impatiently, Cynane had gone to look for Charis at their usual spot in the gardens. She had also gone to that spot near the house where Charis lived, to wait for her there. But there was no Charis. A week later, she did the same. A
  18. Late May, 75 AD Alexius could barely remember, when he last saw Charis – but it was quite a long time ago. Not that he had thought much about it, it wasn’t as if they ever planned to meet. They just happened to run into each other, after that first time they met, when he saved her from that wretch called Helios. Luckily for Helios, Alexius had not seen him since. And he had seen Charis. She was a very lovely young woman and still not assimilated into Rome, something he actually appreciated. Alexius knew now that he was more Roman than what he wanted to be, so Charis was a breath of fresh
  19. Early May, 75 AD So here he was again. At the arena, to see gladiators fight. Maybe it was an addiction? Now that he was no longer a gladiator, he could at least look at them. Think that he used to hate it, back then, but now that he was free, it was what he enjoyed spending time looking at. Thinking back to the time where he stood down there, on the sands, with the crowd wrapped around his finger as they called out his name and threw praises his way and the women threw more than just that. But then there was the part about being a slave, being forced to fight to survive. Being forced to
  20. March, 75 AD Things were still strange at home. He did his best to try and connect with young Lexus, his son, but he never had a son before and did not quite know how! Lexus had seemed surprised too at meeting his father, and then his son's mother was suddenly dead and everything was strange. Add to that Alexius' affair with the mistress of the house - an affair he certainly enjoyed and when he was with her, there was nothing he wanted more but to stay with her. Yet he was nothing but a freedman and former gladiator and she was much too used to luxuries to ever marry a man like him. It ju
  21. Mid February, 75AD Horatia scanned the markets with a discerning eye, but a withering look on her face at the tat that was being offered. "What do you get a man that could afford to buy anything he wanted?" She said with a sigh, to nobody in particular. Casting a glance over her shoulder to Felix, she smiled mischievously; "You're worth your weight in gold, Felix, in every other capacity - lets see how you fare with gift shopping." Taking the man with her to the markets served a dual purpose; foremost to ask his advice, as the person closest to her husband than...well...anybody, herself i
  22. January, 75 AD Oriana was so lovely. He could not get enough of her when they were together, but when they were not, he was not sure what to think or feel. He knew she sometimes saw actual suitors and he knew that despite what she told him, she probably did want to rise in ranks here in Rome. She enjoyed her luxuries and she was clever and independent. And she didn't want her man sleeping around, like he had a tendency to, at least before he met her. Alexius tried to stay true. He tried hard. Did he fail or not? Well that was something he did not talk about. Something else
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