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Found 5 results

  1. The shrine of Cybele by the Circus Maximus offered a much more intimate experience than the main temple on the Palatine. At this time of day, it was practically empty, and even slaves like Clio were welcome to go in and pay their respects to the Magna Mater, as the Romans called the mother goddess. As usual, inside the shrine stood an empty throne, flanked by figures of lions and the goddess's consort, Attis. Clio joined her hands in prayer before the throne and murmured a short hymn in her native Greek. "Metera moi panton te theon..." She was done after a few minutes, and exchanged a nod with the attending gallus as she exited the shrine. However small the shrine may be, the priest kept it proper for the goddess with dignity and devotion; he took surely pride in his sacred duties. Outside, the feeble winter sun managed to produce an unexpected glare, causing Clio to almost bump into another person; thankfully, she took a step to the side quickly enough to avoid collision. "Apologies," she offered in a contrite tone, examining the would-be victim with a quick once-over. It was a young woman, fair of hair and skin and dressed unassumingly - a foreigner, possibly a slave -, but what caught Clio off guard was the look of distress on her face. "Are you all right? I didn't hurt you, did I?" Clio was quite sure she hadn't, but maybe their arms had brushed after all... but something as trifling as that should not cause this kind of reaction. They were in Rome, the largest city to ever exist and home to a million souls - of course people were going to bump into each other! @Beauty
  2. October, 74 AD. Clio fidgeted in her seat, casting nervous looks about her surroundings. In the early afternoon, the popina was far from at its busiest, but even from the relative safety of her corner table and stool, she didn't feel very comfortable being at this place alone. In front of her was a crude ceramic cup half-full with posca; at least while unaccompanied, she preferred to stay as sober as possible. Had the other slave received and understood her message? What if he could not - or did not want to - come, and Clio sat there all by herself for hours like a fool? It had been hard enough to negotiate these few hours of relative freedom, and it had involved lying to her domina - something the black-haired slave usually tried to avoid and for good reason. She had risked a lot to be here, and even now, alone with only her thoughts for company, Clio still wasn't quite sure why she had done it. It would have been so easy to cast everything aside as a fortuitous meeting and small talk, but no, she had to go and follow up on her parting words. Inhaling sharply through her nose, Clio tucked a lock of hair behind her ear and grabbed her cup to take another sip. Just as her glace swept through the entrance door, a familiar figure came through it, and she very nearly spilled her drink on the table. Why was her heart beating so fast all of a sudden?! @Atrice
  3. It was just another day at work for Helenus. He’d woken up in the simple dormitory he shared with a bunch of other male slaves of the thermae. They had gone to break their fast with a bit of bread and olive oil and watered wine, and then they had gotten ready for the day. Helenus hadn’t spoken much yet today, he often didn’t feel like talking much in the morning. But in the corridor towards the men’s bathing area, he met one of the girls that was his best contact in the women’s bathing area. “Greetings. Hopefully it will be a good day.” Helenus said to her and she stopped and they moved to the side of the corridor to not be in the way. “Hopefully it will. Is there something in particular you hope will happen today?” She said. It was all a code though, their conversation. It sounded simple enough and like casual chatting, but of course they were discussing the plans for the day. And what they might gain. “Just that the sun will shine upon us. Remember to let me know if it does.” Helenus said and she nodded. Of course she would, that was her job. They were both slaves, but she’d been told to listen to Helenus, for he had done this in a few years already and he knew what he did. He was a good bath slave and a good thief, even though he appeared to be just a sweet and submissive slave. But underneath the surface, the girl was convinced he wasn’t. She couldn’t know he was only a good thief because he had to be. He didn’t want to taste the whip, he didn’t want to die and he didn’t want to gain a worse job than this. They parted ways to go to each their section of the great thermae. He had only taken care of one patron though, when the girl appeared in the doorway to the men’s section, “Helenus. You’re needed.” She said, and he knew what that meant. Helenus quietly followed her to the women’s section, where she pointed out a wealthy lady who was just finishing getting undressed. He wondered if her slave would follow her or what. @Liv
  4. OCTOBER, 74 CE Pausing in the arcade of the Ludus’ domus, reserved for the household of Titus Justinius Canicus Phiscerus, Ambrosius surveyed the scene of the surrounding courtyard. The leaves upon the trees that littered the gardens had begun to exhibit tinges of saffron and brown, indicating the passing of summer and the onset of autumn. Being unaware of the exact day of his birth, his family equated the beginning of the season with such a time. It would mark his eighteenth year, but he held no doubts that he would spend this anniversary in the absence of his family, for the first time in his life. Previously, he had often shared this occasion with his youngest sister, who had been born during the same season. The Briton had been returning to his quarters from a discussion with the ludus’ manager, where he had been briefed on the possibility that he would shortly undergo his first gladiatorial contest. Despite only having a few short months to prepare, his instructor had informed the Imperial client of Ambrosius’ perceived suitability for the tournament – though he was hardly the only one. It seemed as though they were scraping the bottom of the barrel to provide a respectable levy of gladiators for the event and hedging their bets in the process, hoping to achieve a grand victory. Some might consider it ‘desperate measures’. Resolving to cast such thought aside and return to his room, he turned on his heels and strode towards the central hallway that divided the wings of the structure in to east and west, whilst providing him with a route from the south towards the gladiator’s quarters at the northern end of the premises. He travelled in that direction for roughly fifty meters before coming to a halt as a familiar figure exited from an adjoining room. Catching their gaze, he would recognise the individual as a woman that often accompanied Titus’ wife during periods of training, watching from afar. Her frequent presence gave the Briton youth a curious pause for thought, realising he knew nothing of the woman, despite her frequent presence becoming second nature. “Me, uh- I sorry... mea domina[1],” Ambrosius quickly apologised in broken Latin, despite being uncertain of any wrongdoing. His very existence had been considered an offence at various times during his captivity. Neglecting her darker complexion in ignorance of geography, he presumed her to be of Roman birth and somehow of relation to the master of the house, thus the term of respect. @Liv Reader Advisory: [1] Latin phrase meaning "my lady".
  5. The smell of fried onions and cooking meat beckoned to Clio irresistibly. She had walked past the thermopolium a number of times over the past few weeks and nearly succumbed to its delicious aromas, but it was only now that she had the agency (and bravery) to actually become a customer. She was a faithful slave on a secret mission: to sample the wares of the Wolf-man. If they passed the taste test, she was to bring some back - discreetly - for her domina to try. If they didn't, she got a free meal out of it anyway. From inside the shop the owner's voice boomed, and Clio trembled in anticipation. The shopkeeper's reputation preceded him, and it was not the first time Clio heard him ranting or complaining at one of his helpers, probably a slave who knew better than to argue back or really do anything but nod. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and approached the stall. It's for Domina, she told herself in a bid for courage. Clio had not dared to bring up the subject, but could this particular craving of her mistress's be caused by new life in her womb? Pregnant women were known for wanting all sorts of extraordinary foodstuffs, after all. On the other hand, it might just be due to wanting to try some tasty commoner food. Clio would reserve judgment until a later date, when things became clearer, before reporting this to her master. "Hello," she greeted timidly, elbowing her way between two patrons, each busy with gorging himself on bread and meat. The smell was enough to make anyone's mouth water. @Gothic
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