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  1. Early April 74CE It was maybe a day or so after he'd been bought by his new master, one Octavius Flavius Alexander, cousin to the Titus Flavius Alexander he'd been lent to back in January for three days (three days of startling adventure, compared to anything Rufus had ever experienced before). He had been informed that his new master was a busy man, and had not been set to anything specific since his purchase, so had found himself helping round the house where an extra pair of hands was required, trying to get to know his fellow slaves, and to find a place in this new household. He was aware that his new master knew his abilities; they'd been written up and displayed for all to see, on a board around Rufus' neck - something that happened to every slave ever sold, as far as he could tell. But he hadn't been set to anything specific since his arrival. Whether that was because his new master was too busy, or merely wanted him to get to know how the household ran, or for some other reason entirely, Rufus had no idea. But now he had been summoned to the tablinum, the master's study, and he could not help wiping his hands on his clean new tunic. What if there had been some sort of mistake? Was he to be returned to the slave-dealer? Had he somehow displeased his new owner - which was entirely possible, of course, as he was still learning his way around the house and who everybody was (despite being a town house, it was far bigger than his old master's villa - but then, Octavius Flavius Alexander was a member of the senatorial class where Rufus' old master had been an equestrian). Was he, gods forbid, about to be told he should answer to a different name, even - it did happen, after all. "You sent for me, Domine?" he said, stopping just inside the tablinum, his hands folded neatly in front of him and his eyes down submissively. The mosaic of the floor was impressive, as was everything else in the house. His mouth was dry - why was it always easier to think that you'd done something wrong, when it might simply be that the master wanted to know how his new purchase was settling in? Because Roman masters didn't particularly care to know about their slaves' comfort - they bought slaves to make their own lives comfortable, why would they care about their slaves' comfort?! @Gothic
  2. Cynane had been in the imperial palace a few years now – and she felt she’d adjusted as well as she could, to being a guard to a princess. She’d learned early on that the princess never actually had her own, personal guard before – and now she didn’t just have any guard, she had a warrior and a former gladiatrix watching over her, whenever she left the palace, whenever she attended a social event or just whenever it was really required. And Cynane found out she was happy to spend time with her young mistress, who was usually very kind towards her, despite of course still treating Cynane as a slave – because that’s what she was. Yet at the same time, from the very beginning, Claudia had proved curious and willing to learn from someone more mature and experienced. Cynane, as her guard, wanted Claudia able to defend herself and she had already on her first day shown Claudia some useful moves. By now, they did not practice as often anymore, as the young princess also had other things to do, but Cynane made sure her mistress didn’t forget. Just in case. Today was a day like any other. Cynane woke and made herself ready for the day. With just her hands feeling her hair, she created three braids starting from her forehead and ending on top of her head. She pulled those three braids into one thick braid and let that fall down her back. Then she put the leather vest on top of the light blue tunica and added whatever else was needed for her outfit. She hadn’t actually had to defend the princess yet, but she had to look her part and she had to be ready. At all times, she would stay alert. After a short visit to the kitchens to break her fast, she moved on towards Claudia’s chambers to find her mistress and find out what was in store for the day. As she approached the right chambers, she saw Claudia’s shy and very loyal body slave, Volusa, coming out from there, “Greetings, Volusa. Is our mistress up yet?” Volusa and Cynane were both among those considered Claudia Caesaris’ personal slaves, and while they didn’t always get many chances to talk, they knew each other at least - maybe not so well, but that's just how it was. Volusa was very young, they didn't have a great deal in common, but here they were, tending the same person. Cynane had before considered if she should also attempt training her a bit. Anyone taking care of the princess should know how to defend her. It would only be right, wouldn't it? @Sharpie
  3. (Letter dated in April 74) To my dearest sister Calpurnia, from your own brother Aulus, greetings. I am writing to you on the occasion of my recall to Rome by our lord and master Quintus Flavius Caesar Alexander Augustus - not, I hasten to assure you, because I have done anything wrong or committed any great crime during my tenure here in Raetia, but in order to further my career politically - it is hard, if not impossible, to become Consul while physically as far away from Rome as I am while I write this. Your nephew and niece are grown so much I doubt you will recognise them. Horatia has recovered from losing another child (she assures me she has, but I will not be pushing the pace of our return, out of concern for her health - although I long to see you and Pater once more). You should not look to see us in Rome before May, and I am sure we shall not be in the city for long before we have to retreat to the cooler weather to be found elsewhere, probably by the sea or around Herculaneum or Pompeii - we have grown almost acclimatised to the weather here, which tends to be colder and softer than that of Italia. I do not understand how you can bear the heat of a Roman summer; I am fortunate enough to have been able to move around somewhat even in the hottest of places I have been. We shall be back in Rome as soon as ever we may, and you may rest assured that I shall not delay in seeking you out, if a man may call upon a Vestal his blood-sister without being thought impious. I shall soon have a new will to lodge in Vesta's temple anyway, so it need not be thought improper - or perhaps I should speak with one of your fellow Vestals about that? I have written separately to our father but you may pass on my filial duty to him regardless if you so desire. Until our next meeting, farewell! @AzraelGrim
  4. It was about time to get it done – he knew that. He’d postponed this for so long that it was embarrassing, but honestly, it wasn’t every day you planned on freeing your slaveborn son and would then arrange for him to be adopted by you. If he would. Well he had to, else he would not become an heir and although he knew Teutus wasn’t always fond of him, he was quite sure that his son did want his share of Tertius’ rank in society and the fortune that came with it. And Teutus had earned it by now; he had been a willing student, he'd learned well how to read and write and he had been a good secretary to Tertius. Very good, in fact. He'd earned it. Tertius hadn't wanted to free his son since the boy was born… no, in the beginning he was quite embarrassed and thought it was shameful to have a son with a slave. Besides, he’d been young, not even twenty years of age and a baby didn’t interest him at all. Tertius most definitely had other things on his mind. And not many years later he was off to Northern Gaul and quite busy there for a few years. He had enjoyed men in his bed before the birth of Teutus, but after that incident with Varinia, Tertius came to prefer men – for at least they would not give him a child after! But what’s done was done, more than two decades ago he became a father for the first time. Tertius had thought he might remarry after his wife died, so that he might have a chance to gain a legitimate born son. But it was hard to find someone as perfect as Antonia had been. It hadn’t been true love, but it had been mutual respect and understanding and that’s what he wanted. So maybe he had not been too busy about finding another wife and by now, he had more or less given up. Which was why he would finally set his son free from slavery - he could not have his only daughter as his heir, after all. She was expected to marry into another family. Tertius had to have someone of his own flesh and blood to take over once he was gone... even if that someone was born as a slave. It could hardly be worse than when his own ancestor fell to the Germans decades ago. Tertius had done the paperwork for the manumission and he had bought the hat called a pileus, that would be given to Teutus during the ceremony for freeing a slave. They would of course need a praetor for the actual ceremony – and it was lucky that Tertius at the moment served as praetor in Rome. Still he wanted a proper ceremony and of course his daughter Antonia Varia would come too, to see her half-brother freed. She seemed fond of her only sibling, even if he was many years older than she and he was a slave and she was not. Now, a piece of paper and the pileus hat lay on his desk in his office and he had sent another slave to go and find Teutus, whereever he was – Teutus, who had no idea what Tertius had planned for the day. @Sharpie
  5. Appius was naturally a social person. Rather than preferring a quiet life, he enjoyed the company of others and the socialisation that came with it. Politics meant that he would need to make friends in order to ensure his family remained prominent -- allies, new and old were always vital. He walked through the Porticus Liviae and saw several of his peers present. His posture was upright with his chin lifted yet relaxed and at ease. A son of one of the most prominent families in Rome and the Paterfamilias, his wealth and connections kept many doors open for him. Men and women, each of them were present. He recognised someone as one of his social peers, lifted his hand in a slight wave and unfortunately Horatia was not with him. His wife preferred the quiet of her gardens to the social aspect of Rome. Appius was a flirt, he could not help it and did not stray from his wife. Most of the women knew what the flirtation dance was, and why it happened. Perhaps he should have brought his sister with him instead? There were a couple of younger women who walked towards him. From what he remembered, they were cousins of Horatia or so he thought. Without his secretary present, it was difficult to be able to tell who it was. "Salve ladies, are a surprisingly fine day? It is not?" He asked, glanced around to see if any of their relatives were around to hopefully gain some idea about who they were and where they should be placed. He waited to see how they would respond to him. They giggled towards themselves, answered politely and seemed to glance around. His clothing depicted him as being someone of wealth and note.
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