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  1. The sun's punishing rays made sweat drops bloom on Titus' forehead like so many miniature flowers for the third time in just as many minutes, and he wiped them off with the back of a calloused hand. Was it really absolutely necessary to replace the oleanders and croci with new bulbs on one of the hottest days of the season? It wasn't domina doing the (literal) dirty work, so expecting her to take the weather into consideration was too much to ask. And he wasn't even a gardener, by Jupiter! He hoped, however, that he didn't do such a poor job that it would elicit punishment. As if on cue, the mistress's voice sounded from inside the house, calling his name. Titus set the spade aside against one of the columns and wiped his hands on his tunic; when he'd put it on that morning it had been a clean if nondescript grey, but all the digging and pottering about had stained it black and brown and several places and his hands were faring no better. If only there were a basin with water nearby... It would not be wise to keep domina waiting. Resigned that this was as clean as he was going to be for the time being, Titus quickly made his way in to the atrium, trying his best not to track dirty footprints inside. As expected, domina stood tall and proud in the atrium, but she was not alone: another, very familiar slave stood as well, appearing to await orders. Why would she have summoned Valeria too? Titus could not afford to waste time thinking about it. Taking his place next to Valeria, he bowed his head and lowered his gaze to the floor. "You called, Domina?" @Beauty @Joaquin
  2. Gothic

    Roman zombies

    October 60CE. (This takes place during Lucilla's funeral) There was a long reason for the wasting illness that had plagued her. The funeral procession led through the streets of Rome. Surrounding the casket as it was drawn were the population in the clothes of mourning. Her family were around her, no doubt it would be her male relatives who would give her the funerary orations and share her achievements (and theirs with the populace). She wore a death mask that concealed her features from view. Inside, images of Darius' death, happy and troubled memories stirred as her body began to twitch. Which God or Goddess from down below had decided to bless (or curse Rome)? Finally, a dark memory took hold. One of anger..... betrayal.... Her hand lifted and knocked the shroud off. There were cries of shock from the crowd and followed by silence. Perhaps this was all a trick? An illusive one the family had pulled to lure out enemies into the open? Her hand was pale, tinged with grey and purple where the blood had begun to pool. The mask was pulled off and thrown, smashed on the floor as the litter was placed down on the ground, and she pulled herself up. Her funeral gown was beautiful, she wore ornate necklaces, rings and bracelets as she had done in real life. Her face, beautiful once in life had faded with her mouth semi-open and her eyes grey, clouded and hungrily. A shocked (and terrified) praetorian stepped forward to assist her only to be sharply yanked forward. Her arm grabbed him by his uniform and pulled him towards her with surprising strength. Her mouth dug into his neck as he screamed in complete terror and tore with her teeth. She gulped down what she could. Screams of panic filled Rome as people began to fight or flee. Soon the praetorian's eyes changed and together they began to attack others who approached....
  3. Late December 72ADWhile the day at the baths wasn't just for relaxation it was hard not to find ones self rejuvenated after sitting in one of the steam rooms for a time. Of course pleasure was mixed with business and Tacitus found himself sitting next to one of his 'acquaintances' away from prying ears. The conversation was short lived though as the Praetor spotted a few of his old political rivals enter the room as well. "Go on." He muttered to the man, waving him off. While they hadn't had bad blood for a long time, he was still known among most of the Senate as the boy who went against Caesar, and that meant that people were always watching for his next slip. Even though he had been showing his loyalty and people were starting to avert their gaze, some were still watching, and he was sure some of these men were among them. The bastards were part of the reason his ambitions failed... were delayed, and while he wouldn't show it up front, he wouldn't forgive or forget their opposition."Salve notos," He offered, giving them a nod before rising and fixing the cloth around his waist and finding his way out of the room and into one of the quieter sides of the baths, taking a seat on a stone slab bench that sat against the wall. Annoyed and upset that his meeting was interrupted he found himself sitting with a very subtle scowl on his face for a moment before composing himself as he thought of another place to meet the man that wouldn't be to suspicious.Though before he knew it his head was resting against the wall and he was fast asleep. The problem with being on top of all your work also meant an extreme lack of sleep, which had been plaguing him recently as his ambitions trumped over his need for sleep. Working late into the nights and hearing the cries of the plebs did get exhausting, and on top of that the mini squabbles between himself and Silvana didn't help. He always found himself sneaking in naps here and there, though he wouldn't approve of them himself they just happened when he found himself in a relaxed enough environment. Though again this was short lived, as passing slave carrying a bucket of water slipped on something and fell to the ground along with the bucket with spilled all over the floor with a loud crash. Being startle awake the man found himself jetting to his feet and towering over the Syrian slave who began frantically pleading for forgiveness. Marcus could feel his heart racing as he clutched at the side of the cloth around his waist to keep it from falling off while he stared down the subservient man. After a moment he let out a sigh and relaxed himself while also fixing the cloth to stay without the support of his hand. "Go on." He muttered before sitting back down and shaking his head. After a moment he let his head rest against his hand as he rubbed his forehead in annoyance as a headache slowly creeped in.Sextus Papirius Crassus Ursus
  4. JANUARY 73ADMarcus found himself sitting at his desk going through various pieces documents and letters. Since he had become a Praetor of Roma he found he had a lot poorly written letters waiting for him from plebs thanking him for one verdict or another, and some asking for him to looking into one issue or another. It was a bit overhelming at times, and this was one of those times. While he was good at his job, he still had times where his mind went blank and he had to take some R&R for the day. It was probably due to the lack of sleep he got daily and the overload of work. Most of the time he found it rather easy to handle the never ending stream of complaints and pleas.Deciding it would be best to step away from the desk for the rest of the day he found himself assisting searching for his children. They were always up and about, and their age didn't help calm their energy, but then again an active child was a good child. Marcus would loath any of his children that grew up to be lazy, to put that stain on his and the families name. While that fear was always there it was minor, he could tell his children would grow up to be upstanding Romans, unlike himself. Up front the man had been as Roman as the next, (at least for the last decade) but deep down he was always plotting his way back towards his hidden agenda.He found both his twins playing in the court yard with sticks, playing soldier. While it wasn't proper for a Roman woman to do such things Marcus mostly paid it no mind so long as prying eyes were not around. For a while he just watched the two play before making his way out into the courtyard. "Marcus! Antonia! Go on, find your mother. She will get you ready for the party. I have a guest who may show up early to speak with your father so hurry along." He spoke sternly, but that wasn't uncommon, he was hard on his kids at times, especially when they needed teaching and lately they needed it. The pair were close, so when one would get into trouble, it was likely the other had done something wrong as well, recently they have had a bout of telling their mother 'no' and not listening to her at times. While she was completely capable of reigning them in herself he took it upon himself to make sure they respected their parents proper. "And don't let me hear about this nonsense of you not listening to your mother. If I hear you two are causing trouble again I swear to the gods I will have tutors here all week long and you will do nothing but study." At that the kids dropped their sticks, ran up to their father, apologized, kissed his feet, then ran inside to find their mother.After a moment of watching his kids disappear into the domus he followed suit, overseeing some of the preparations for the party before retiring to a quiet couch to rest his eyes. "Fetch me when Senator Cyprianus arrives! And get me some fucking presentable clothing to change into!" He shouted to a group of slaves who and bowed their heads and replied with a 'yes dominus.' Giving a satisfied nod he placed his head on a pillow and did his best to catch up on some much needed sleep.EcholightAnthony
  5. Late February, 73 ADCaecina loved receiving guests in her home. It spoke to the social butterfly side of her personality, and helped to demonstrate that she was capable of being-- or, rather, acting like a respectable young lady, ready to be a matron of Rome. In fact, Caecina prided herself on her ability to make guests feel welcome. Caecina also loved reacquainting herself with past friends, especially those who might have political sway in the future and help her and hers get ahead. Particularly among such people was Tiberius Claudius Sabucius, whom she had already met before, when they were both children. They had a familiar connection in Flavia Juliana. With this in mind, as well as the girl's eventual goal of marriage, she had her father arrange a meeting between the two at the Tuscii domus in Rome. Caecina was dressed immaculately as usual, in the most fashionable chiton, light blue, and a white palla. Her hair was curled and twisted up on her head, and her face was accentuated with makeup, just little enough to be modest. As soon as she was ready, she went downstairs and ensured that all the preparations had been made, then prepared herself to meet Tiberius again. They had both grown so much; this meeting would be very different from their previous ones, to be sure. Tiberius Claudius Sabucius
  6. The purge had left their clan decimated, but if anything it had drawn the survivors closer together, closing ranks against those who sough to threaten them and the position that they held. Flesh and blood bound the family together, whilst the ghosts of those missing were constant reminders of the dangers of merely being who they were. It made those who remained all the more precious, and none more so to him than his other half. Tiberius would begin his formal education as a young man soon, and who knew how much time that would leave for other?"Salve, Claudia." The quiet words issued from the figure who appeared in her doorway; that of her twin. "Forgive the interruption." He offered an apologetic smile as he walked in, pausing to cock his head and look his sister over. "Have you been well?" He asked, as he sought to draw his own conclusions.The twins were at that age where the difference in the rate of maturity between men and women was most obvious. At seventeen Claudia was a woman grown, stately and commanding; Tiberius was a boy on the verge of manhood, still somewhat awkward and uncertain. But he was already showing signs of the man he would become. If nothing else, he would be a man concerned for his family. Claudia Caesaris
  7. Feb 73CE.She had been barely a child when Junia was set to become her sister-in-law. The marriage had been cut short through Junus' assassination, his life gone. Cruelly snatched away. The death of Honorius had robbed her of a beloved father figure. Yet earlier in the year, the death of Lucilla had left her without a mother and unfortunately had been the beginning of the end. When Clemens rose to power, Livia had been living under a false identity among the courtesans under Antonia's care and before long, Vitellius, a man who grasped for power delivered Junia to Ursus' doorstep. She watched the way Ursus behaved around her, willing and happy to disrespect her sister in the comfort of her own home. Did that man ever stop pawing at women near him? Claudia could not stop it. She could have sworn Ursus believed Junia to be his willing disciple yet what else could she do? Junia had never been a fool. She was dignified and from an ancient house. When her uncle rose to power and the Junii-Silanii were returned to prominence, Junia freed and was treated like a lady of proper station once more. While Junia's kin now returned and always she would be welcome at the Palatium, a place that could have been her home. Like Lucilla, the gardens had always been her favourite place within the Palatium. Drusilla had been dedicated in their restoration after the mismanagement of the pretender, Clemens. The offer of assistance was happily taken by Claudia who helped sort it. Claudia had not been a woman for some time now. Instead she was a young woman, blossomed and showered her beauty. Further along the pathway, she saw Junia standing with her back towards her and smiled. Slowly she walked together her and stood at a respectable distance to try not to startle her. "Salve Junia," She greeted her, and waited politely. Junia Silana
  8. January, 73 AD It was the grandest thing to have ever been erected in the known world. Standing at over 157 feet, the outer walls were an impressive behemoth of limestone bricks and cement. Newly built, and the emperor’s year of games having just recently commenced, the entire stadium was filled to the max. The Circus Maximus was a theater of grand display, but this was a far greater spectacle, a colossus among amphitheaters. Thousands of voices thundered in a ceaseless roar. Beneath, on the grounds below, the virgin sands drank their first helping of a varied sanguine vintage, and, for days to come, would not slake in its thirst for it. Senators and the elite filled the front rows, whereas the lower classes successively filled the upper levels, leaving the poor, the slaves, and women at the uppermost rows. For Sextus Papirius Crassus Ursus, twice consul, legatus augusti proconsularis Syriae, and marital relation to the imperials, a private box had been an easy thing to secure with his rank and wealth. Scarlet canopies shaded the occupants thereof from the winter sun, and refreshments of sweetmeats, preserved fruits, and other delectables had been provided. It was a great treat for the children, who had been begging their pater to view such a spectacle, yet were unaware of an even richer surprise in store for them after the day’s games. Ursus had made special arrangements in advance, a matter—like the box—that required minimum string pulling. Sextus reclined in his cushioned seat. He smiled as the children scrabbled to get the best view at the railing. His wife, though while tolerant of it, held no great love for violent spectacles, so it was of little surprise that she declined to join her family that day, off with Claudilla to attend a socialite’s luncheon or something equally inane. They had taken Tullus, the youngest, with them, for Claudia Livia was not yet inclined to allow the toddler too far from her maternal gaze. Even with the older ones she would cluck over them like a hen over her chicks. In the arena below, the bestiarius squared off with a spear in hand, edging slowly to the side as he eyed the crouching beast before him. “Look at the lion! He’s so fierce! I want to be a lion,” Papiria Ursilla commented, her dark curls bouncing in the breeze as she leaned over the rail. “I want to be a lion too! Rawr! Rawr!” Arruns chimed, and immediately commenced to acting the part to engage his older sister in play. She giggled and curled her fingers as claws and swiped them at her brother. “Well. I’m going to be a venator and kill you both,” Servius stated matter-of-factly. “Nuh-uh! I’m going to eat you,” Arruns countered, and made a pouncing motion towards his brother. “You won’t kill me, because I’m smarter than you.” Ursilla stated, her small chin raising imperiously. At this, Servius forgot his brother and quickly snapped around. “No you aren’t!” “Yes, I am. Even ask Abascantus; he says I’m ‘very bright’ with my Greek.” “He did not!” And so commenced their banter, by which Arruns took advantage to sneak around the two and then promptly reached up and yanked his sister’s hair. “Got you!” “OW! Papa!” As was demanded of every parent whose children’s squabbling was beginning to annoy, Ursus raised his voice. “Enough from all of you! Watch the games before I have you all dragged back to the domus.” That shut them all up. They knew to respect their father’s authority, and rare was the day they challenged it, for a whipping would not be far behind. The boys exchanged glances but then turned their attention back to the fight below, and it was not long before they had forgotten their scolding and were excitedly pointing at the fighter and praising his ability. Ursilla drew back and slumped down on a stool next to her father, crossing her arms and biting down on her bottom lip. Sextus eyed her, and then snorted in mild amusement. “Ah, Bug; no sulking now. We’ll have a good day yet.” He ruffled her hair, and then extended his hand, signaling a servant to procure him a drink. Their freed-woman governess moved forward and began to engage the girl, chatting with her and generally occupying her while her father watched the games. Below, the slain lion was dragged from the sands, and the victorious bestiarius limped off, clutching his wound. It was that time of afternoon when the main events, the gladiators, would soon commence their fights.
  9. 63AD --- Just after the Civil War. The Palatium. Claudia frowned to herself in thought. There were many smaller events that plagued her mind, even a child knew who could and could not be trusted. She curled a dark strand of hair around her finger, idly in thought, at one point she had hair similar in shade to Livia yet it had darkened naturally of late. Her uncle, now Caesar had welcomed her back to her home -- the Palatium. It was different from what she remembered. Occasionally she would pause to gaze at a crack or a small change. It was home -- yet it was not. As she dawdled along she fiddled with a necklace, the ruby was small and she had been told that it once belonged to her mother. She did not remember seeing her mother wear it. Slowly but surely, without the sightings of statues she would have begun to forget what she looked like before the illness plagued her. Robbed her of so much. Valeria was busy momentarily and had left her in the care of some of the slave girls. Fortunately they were distracted by one of the male servants. She knew desire and flirtation, having seen it with the Lovers and did not know the full meaning behind it. Not yet .... but in time she would, know. Therefore she was able to wander the halls alone. Unaccompanied. A much beloved figure was seen. Her frown instantly turned into a smile, her eyes lit up and curled, and she let out a cry of joy. All genuine. Claudia's pace hurried as she ran to Antonia from behind. Her arms wrapped around Antonia's legs, squeezed and smiled. "Antonia! Aunty Antonia!" She exclaimed brightly, oblivious to the risk of walking alone or embracing someone unannounced. Antonia Vitellia
  10. In memory of Lucius Cornelius Sulla Magnus In the last days of September 72 AD Lucius fell ill with a fever and died. Lucius was given a state funeral and his novendialis was celebrated publically in Rome and other places in Italy. The senate officially recognised the following as his agnomen; Pius Maximus (the most pious). A statue of his likeness was erected in the Forum Romanum and in other cities around Italy, especially those who had had the favour of his patronage. Lucius was buried among his relatives in the family mausoleum of the Cornelii-Sullae outside of Rome along Via Appia. The following was his burial inscription. LVCIVS CORNELIVS SVLLA MAGNVS PIVS MAXIMVS To the spirits of the departed – Lucius Lucullus made this for his father Lucius Magnus, who lived for seventy-nine years, nine months and two days. Magnus was one of his names and surely he did deserve it. Sad is his passing for he dedicated his life to benefit others. Many will miss him and many will carry his memory with them. As SENATOR he served the roman people of the past, present and future by his wise and moderate political deed As PONTIFEX MAXIMUS he served the gods unfailingly and kept the religious life of Rome vital and strong As CENSOR he served the state by choosing those men most fit to be among the ranks of Equites and Senatores As AUGUR and MAGISTER COLLEGI of the College of Augurs he served the state and people of Rome by interpreting the signs of the gods to the benefit of all As PATER he served his children by giving them a proper, loving upbringing and by providing them with supposes As MARITUS he served his wife with his affection and advice, as she did him, and together they lived in harmony As AMICUS he served his friends by being loyal, wise and generous, never closing his door on them As HOMO he feared the gods, did his duty to his country and lived an honourable life May he lie in peace. Lucius left most of his inheritance to his children but donated extensively to temple funds, especially the more obscure ones. He also left some bequests to friends, such as quite a few rare books and documents to Gaius Memmius. To Sextus Ursus he left, with irony, the original copy of Homo Pius (his own work on the modern man and religion) but also, again with irony, a set of cups and decanter for wine out of gold. To Manius Cyprianus he left a fresco of Icarus and his flight. To Claudia Livia he left a bunde of letters that was his correspondence with her father as well as quite a few artefacts that he had been given by Claudius. To Memmia Regula he left a necklace worn by his mother. To Pinaria Helva he gifted a piece of land not far from Rome in view of her appetite, since from it she could extract all the food she needed. To the Emperor, Quintus Alexander, he left his statue of Iupiter that once decorated his office.
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