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  1. Early June 74; Emporium Magnum... Being a slave, Rufus reflected, wasn't necessarily the worst fate in the world. He corrected himself: Being the slave of a rich Roman who had other slaves wasn't the worst fate in the world. Being the trusted slave of a rich Senator was definitely not the worst thing to be (He could think of many many better things to be, of course, but he could think of worse fates.) Being the trusted slave of a rich senator had led Rufus to where he was now: in the Emporium Magnum, running an errand for his new master, hoping he'd remember the way home once he was done, and wouldn't get ripped off so badly he'd not get let out again. There seemed to be some sort of argument going on nearby. He usually steered clear of things like that, but this one didn't sound like the usual row and he found himself drifting closer, curious. Rome was full of people, far more of them than he'd ever seen in one place before - he had no idea how much bigger than Paestum the city was, but it was some order of magnitude larger! Whatever was going on was more than an argument; there was a burly guy picking a fight or something with someone about half his size - a kid smaller than Rufus, even. The kid didn't look like he'd done anything worse than simply be in the wrong place at the wrong time - there was nobody yelling that he was a thief or purse snatcher. If anything, the sentiment of the watching crowd seemed to be on the kid's size, though nobody was stepping in to help. It was when the brute swung back, looking as if he aiming a punch at the kid, that Rufus stepped in. "Leave him alone and pick on someone your own size!" Bloody stupid, he thought, as the man's fist connected with the side of his head, leaving him blinking. He wasn't quite sure he dared return the favour - a slave thumping a free man was bound to get in trouble, after all! @Sarah
  2. Atrice

    The Bodyguards

    The whole strange ritual of Lupercalia was over – at least for the noble lady Cynane was serving. And she wasn’t just any noble lady, she was the princess. She was however also a young woman who was very much ready to be married soon, so she had to be present for an event like this. And Cynane was always near her, making sure her mistress wasn’t actually harmed and just enjoyed herself instead. By now though, they had retreated, as there was a private party for high-ranking nobles and of course Claudia was going to attend. And so Cynane was too. As always at such events, she had retreated to rest against a wall, not interrupting the party with her presence, she was just there, watching her mistress from afar. They had arrived early though, and she watched as more and more people entered – some carrying marks from the bloody strips of goatskin. Proof that they too had attended the ritual and the fun afterwards. If you could call that fun – it was strange fun. On the other hand, not stranger than so many other ancient rituals, both here and in Britannia. A slave offered Cynane a drink and she gladly took it and looked up as another group was entering the party. A tall and beautiful noble lady had appeared, with a guard in tow too it seemed. The guard was soon left to fend for himself, not following her around and Cynane tilted her head, watching him. He seemed so out of place here, for some reason. He was definitely no ordinary guard, she decided, but she didn’t know him yet and Cynane was always careful with strangers – especially when they were men. If he looked her way though, she’d raise her cup to him and have a sip, acknowledging his presence. @Sarah
  3. April 73CE. It had been some time since she had seen Aeneas. Since then, she wondered how he had been going with his training and how he had been. Gaia had visited him every so often. Checking on him, trying to help him adjust, and Corinthia wondered if her mother would ever see any type of reason. A slave would adjust or they would be removed. Yet... every night she could see those eyes haunting her and would awaken in a panic. Sweating, her chest pounding, her mind filled with confusing thoughts and images, and wondered what it all meant. Was this a cruel trick of some foreign God? Perhaps a hex to cause her to lose her wits? She commanded that he be sent for, bathed, and presented to her. Corinthia was interested to see how he had progressed, and secretly, there had been another reason why she wished to see him. Her mother would occasionally prattle on about how being considerate to your slave would be a benefit. Corinthia would pointedly ignore her. She left the household slaves and guards to bring him in while she remained in her bedroom. How would it go? Would he be more man or beast by now? By midday the slave would be presented to her in the atrium. Corinthia however, did not hide publicly for Aeneas to arrive at the atrium, and instead waited in her room. Occasionally her hand would be placed on her heart in order to try to stop it from beating eagerly in anticipation. She wondered how he would look now with better food, time to settle, and if he now was able to speak Latin rather than the mongrel tongue he already spoke. She sipped her wine and waited for news from one of the household slaves that he was ready to be presented to her.
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