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  1. July 76 CE, at a dinner party It was a warm night in July and Mania was once again enjoying herself at a dinner party. Excruciatingly boring affairs most of the time, she thought. Rarely ever did anything exciting happen, rarely ever was there something worth gossipping about the next day. Tonight, however, the monotony would finally be broken, as a Senator was present, and a single Senator and decorated military man to boot! If Mania were to pass up the opportunity to get to know him, she would declare herself as weak-minded and naíve as her younger brother. Finding one man amidst dozens is, however, no easy task, and one requires hydration to keep going. And hydrate she did; wine, calda, mulsum... The warm temperatures didn't exactly contribute to Mania's resistance to the effects of wine, either. By the time she had finally found out just where in the host's domus Lucius Cassius Longinus was hiding, her body had become as light as a cloud, her movements as fluid as water. As she reeled down the hallways of the residence her jewellery jangled loudly, and to anyone who had ever had the displeasure of running into Mania Victoria in a semi-private setting such as this, said jangling jewellery would certainly sound like an alarm bell and the smartest course of action would be to clear the premises. However poor Lucius Cassius must have had no idea of just who was looking for him, and, more importantly, of the state she was in. Fortuna wasn't holding him in her favour tonight. As she walked into the room, she did her best to not attract attention to herself, of course hoping for the opposite effect. She paid him no mind, however still glanced towards him, completely by chance. The fact he hailed from gens Cassius must not have been a coincidence, for he was a good-looking man and certainly had every reason to be vain. Thankfully, she had chosen to wear silphium perfume tonight, just in case an eligible bachelor were to be present, and a virile warrior such as himself would certainly notice. She made sure to pass him several times, so that the aphrodisiac's scent would find its way to him. The elaborate updo her blond hair had been fashioned into would certainly catch his attention, too. @Sara
  2. Sometime in July 76 CE, in the afternoon Mere minutes ago, Mania was fuming. She was as if she had suddenly been posessed by the Goddess Ira herself, as her parents had once again found someone they wanted to force her into marrying, and she was to meet him today. She hated it. She hated the fact she couldn't choose a husband for herself; if she could, she might actually look for a candidate whom she wouldn't want to chase away. The way things were at the moment, though, Mania was more than set to do to this man what she had done to those before him - simply have him meet her older brother at some point. The way he spoke of her usually made any man run for the hills. That, at least, was the one thing Primus was useful for. However, as Mania entered the upper-class building of the poppina on Via Lata, her demeanor might make the other patrons think her heart was a ray of sunshine. While she wouldn't exactly bet on the success of the match, Mania was not about to bring shame onto her family by being outwardly against it, at least not in the presence of her possible husband-to-be. At least the poppina served wine, in case he was much too unbearable. However, after the dinner party she had attended only a few days prior, where she met and embarrassed herself before Senator Longinus (one of the few men she actually would agree to marrying), she would at the very least be much more mindful of her wine consumption. As she made her way into one of the private rooms of the poppina, she took a deep breath. She was told he was, indeed, part of the Senatorial class and even had some connections to the Imperial household; his score was already much higher than the dimwits her parents usually tried to set her up with. Perhaps he was actually smart, ambitious and successful, and wouldn't treat the possibility of marrying a goldsmith's daughter like a get-rich-quick-scheme. Most of the time, it seemed as if Mania herself was her own dowry. Mania, however, was a realist, not an optimist, so all remained to be seen. Given how promising the description given to her by her mother seemed, she was open to being pleasantly surprised, at least. @Atrice
  3. May, 76 CE The sound of a footfall, shod in a boot of leather, crunching the rimed dead grass underneath, as the winter wind tugged at his cloak. His breath, frost filled clouds coming from nostrils, and lips slightly parted. Gathering ice crystals on the beard about cold-dried lips. In his hand, a long spear, as with stealth he approached the den. One tender plume of vapor standing proof of the sleeping bear therein. His weapon raised on high. Eager but still cautious signals, man to man, with steady hands and keen eyes, as they encircled the lair. A final sign, and the hunters moved forward at speed and thrust the cruel tips of iron down, through spaces between logs and earth. Those holding the silent dogs some paces back felt the urgent tug at collar and lead, as the hounds quivered and lunged with anticipation. A wounded roar. A bellow. And the spears withdrew and pierced anew, bringing the creature stumbling out into the thin air of a day far too early. The dogs released by their handlers, baying with frenzy. The spearmen quickly retreating. Several bows twanged in unison and sharp tips found their marks. Blood and foam and an ever insistent cry of rage. Tarbus once again moved in, with the others, on all sides, and quickly the death blow was dealt. Bending over eagerly, to peer into the face of his prey. But instead of hair and fangs and eyes dimmed to the sun evermore, he saw another face, fair and fresh yet washed with blood and sorrow on her brow… Tarbus woke with a start. His heart was pounding in his chest, and sweat suffused his face and back. Another muggy day in Rome was set to begin, the sun just beginning to peep over the rooftops of the grand city of splendor. In the stables it was still dim, and quiet, the horses only just beginning to shuffle about in anticipation of their own day to come. He sat up, having no desire to return to a sleep beset by nightmares. Two years it had been, but always the same come nightfall. He rose and brushed stray bits of straw from his one piece of clothing, a simple tunic spun of rough cloth. He slipped his feet into a worn pair of sandals, and moved to begin his own day, one that would be like all the others, since his arrival in Rome. Much later, when many, but not all, of the never ending tasks that were required to keep and train and race multiple teams of horses entered and competing successfully at the Circus were seen to, he stood for a long moment, leaning against the frame of the wide doors that gave into this section of the stabling. He gazed at the sky, the sun now tilting down into the west, his own gaze fixed to the east. To home, so far away. More than a month’s march, if one also had the use of a boat to cross the water. His fingers went to the simple, serviceable iron collar about his neck, a weight he had grown accustomed to physically, but which served as a constant reminder. He was clever enough to realize, that was its main purpose. Many people there were, in that moment, milling about. But his dark eyes immediately caught the presence of a newcomer. A face he hadn’t seen more than a handful of times, and not since before their arrival here, was still etched in his memory. He knew the former legate at once. But to look at Tarbus, there was no sign of emotion. His face was like stone, though the eyes moved to follow the progress of his owner as the man made his way across the yard.
  4. Spring, 67 CE , Cumidava, Dacia Sometimes… he wondered. He wondered if his cousin did these things simply to annoy him and make his life more difficult. Of course, she didn’t. He knew that. But he also knew that she would fully realize how her headstrong and impetuous decisions so often wreaked havoc on his own affairs, and that Zia wouldn’t give a toss that they did. That was so her. An idea came into her head and it must be done, immediately. Tarbus wondered if age would ever soften her sharp edges, or bring wisdom to sit more easily with impulse. He seriously doubted that it would. Yet one should never give up hope. The days stretched long here, in Cumidava, and sat uneasily upon his shoulders. Nights were longer still, without the comforts – both of the body and the mind – that his sweet Docia brought to him so willingly and tenderly. He missed her. He missed their son, Duras, who had taken his first steps only weeks before this petulant move of his cousin. They passed word back and forth, regularly. And the distance between them was not great. But it felt like he might have passed into some other world, sequestered here to the north, forced into segregation by Zia’s wounded pride. Yet another night was already well on its way to claiming the clear sky above. Soon Bendis would begin her ascent, and her path would sparkle with stars in the high vault of the heavens. Inside the homes of the village, behind wattle and daub walls and under snug thatched roofs, oil lamps would be lit, before families readied to retire and sleep. Wooden shutters and doors would be closed against the lingering chill of late spring, and the fire pits would be carefully tended to make sure warmth lasted through the dark hours. Having seen to his horse already, Tarbus sighed inwardly and squared his already square shoulders, before pushing aside the leather flap that added an extra layer of insulation at the doorway. Four skinned and gutted hares he carried in one hand, tied by their feet with twine. In his other dully gleamed his knife, clean yet in need of sharpening, which he intend to do before he slept. Stepping inside he smelled meat roasted on a spit and other fare, seasoned with local herbs, such as dill, parsley, celery leaf, lovage and thyme. Salt mines right in the area provided an abundance of that precious commodity for all. He nodded at a servant who came forward to relieve him of the hares, asking, “Is your mistress returned?” With Zia, there was never any telling where she might be, or what she might be about, although nine times out of ten, the answer to both might be ‘making mischief, somehow.’
  5. April, 76 CE “Tst, tst…” Tarbus gave the headstall a shake with his good hand, to get the stallion’s attention. He spoke gruffly to him in Dacian. “Stop being an asshole. You’re not going to get to fuck her so just keep your dick to yourself!” He gave the stallion’s flank a flick with the tip of the lead, making the animal side-step skittishly, its partially released member swinging pendulously as its hooves beat a little tattoo on the stone flags of the yard. On the far side of the stable area, a mare in heat pranced, aware in her own way that she was garnering interest and causing a ruckus. She too might be receptive to some four footed frolicking but that was not going to happen. Typically, mares in heat were not brought to the stables at the circus, just for this very reason. Someone must have screwed up and miscalculated her cycle. Tarbus wished he knew who to thank for this added headache to his day. He chucked the lead strap once more, moving his hand closer to the halter, just in case the amorous racer decided to give him any trouble. The horse leapt a bit, this time towards the slave, but Tarbus stood his ground and muscled the knucklehead, with their shoulders pressed hard against each other, man to beast. “The gods take you! Be still!” Tarbus grumbled sternly, as the groom approached once again, in their combined effort to get the excited animal harnessed and ready to be brought together with the rest of the team. In this the two men were falling behind, and that was never a good thing. Suddenly, the mare nickered, a true ‘come hither’ call. The stallion reared, cowkicked – narrowly missing the groom’s head – and plunged forward, almost knocking Tarbus, cursing, to the ground. But he managed to keep his feet and was running after the horny animal, trying to grab the leather lead that flapped in the air, while those many people in the yard jumped to the left and to the right trying to avoid the fractious creature, who trumpeted his love song to the heavens.
  6. Sept 75AD Barely controllable anger filled him. An affair. His wife... dared to have an affair on him. He exhaled sharply with his hand tightly gripping around the parchment that confirmed the dreaded news. His suspicions had been accurate, and he chose to believe her over what his instincts were telling him. Revenge. All he could think of was revenge. The pair of them shared a daughter together. No sons.... no-one to continue the family business that depended on a strong man to continue both businesses. Titus opened the scrunched up piece of parchment, opened it and read it a second time. The dreaded news remained the same. Idly it was tossed into the fire and as he watched the flames consume it. He imagined the love and respect for her slowly being eaten alive before it was replaced with ash. Titus was now determined for her die. He had sold on Clio, an act of love and kindness. The... feelings he had for the slave was not appropriate considering. He smiled to himself in bitter determination and thought more on it. Perhaps now was the time to seek out a younger, more fertile wife who could provide him with the sons he desired? Death, it was necessary, and at least... she had been discreet when it came to her dealings with them. He poured himself some wine, and decided now was the time for the search to begin. OOC: I checked with Gothy if this was okay.
  7. 61 AD - my love, my life He cradled her clumsily but gently in his arms, taking care to support her head, unable to take his eyes off of her as he held her close to his chest. By what miracle of the gods had two ordinary people created such an extraordinary being? Twenty perfect little fingers and toes altogether. A tuft of brown hair, feather-soft and almost fur-like, a tiny little mouth that had been clamouring for food not long before but seemed now content to open and close occasionally with muted mewls. Her small soft hazel eyes blinking lazily up at him before closing again, the tiny fingers that gripped his with surprising strength, her wrinkly and yet silky skin, so fragile-looking he feared a careless touch or breathing too hard might leave a mark, break her forever. What a thing of wonder. He had known her for all of a few hours, and from the very first second his life had been irrevocably and permanently changed. He had known her for all of a few hours, and from the very first second he knew he would kill and die for her and everything in between just to see her happy and healthy. Was it like this for everyone, the delightful terror, the breathtaking fascination, the never-ending awe? If they were blessed with more children in the future, would he have yet more pieces of his heart forever taken from inside his chest, swelling with pride and shrinking with fear? Had his own father felt anything like this when he was born, or his siblings? It was a herculean task that would never see completion, and he wanted it to stay that way – never finished, never done, never over with. Now that he had become it, he never wanted to stop being her father. Up until that day, he had thought love at first sight was only for poets. He had never been more delighted to be proven wrong.
  8. 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 patrician's villa without oversight. He'd left everybody else behind in Rome; Vitus his secretary had been left with instructions not to disturb him for anything (save the health of his mother or daughter). Attis was still at Titus', despite the fact the morning he had found out he had been due to go over and collect him. He couldn't face his body slave's smirks or even worse his concern or gods forbid his pity. His mother and daughter were left with run of the domus, and all of his other attendants were left behind. He needed to be alone. It had happened so quickly Longinus only now had time to breathe. On the morning of the 23rd of May he had received a flustered, tear-stricken slave girl into his house who breathlessly informed him that her domina, his betrothed was on a ship bound for Carthage - escorted by her fathers men. Abandoning his trip to collect Attis, he instead had, without a moment's thought, taken a horse to Ostia, only to find out the ship had sailed at first light and was long gone by now. The rest of the day had been spent trying to barter passage on a ship to follow it, and it was only the insistence of his mother - finally - late that night, that made him relent. He would wait, he thought, to find out exactly what had happened. He would wait to be summoned by her father, and then make his amends in the proper, dignified fashion. The letter he received on the 30th of May, the day before his wedding - when all the preparations were set, when nobody had been informed that anything was awry - was almost unbelievable. The graffiti that had gone up around the city - that he'd seen and largely ignored - had been sighted by those close to the Proconsul of Africa. He had sent his men, as quickly as good winds would allow, to collect his daughter and her sons - sweep them back into his aggressive, controlling arms. Yet that was not the worst of it. She didn't describe what happened, or how it happened, but the child was gone. Miscarried, lost forever. Gone. With no ties to him now, and her fathers rage, she - the woman he had been due to marry tomorrow had signed the letter; The last few weeks, months had given me more pleasure or happiness than I ever thought to experience. But it is not enough. I see the folly in thinking I could have so much, for ignoring my father, for ignoring my duties as a mother and as a widow. I was wrong. Please do not come here, please do not write back Lucius. This is over - even if it is not the way we ever envisaged it to end. My children - those still with me - must come first, and I can no longer tarnish their reputations via my actions. I am sorry. Goodbye. Sestia. Throughout his life he had experienced loss - as many do. His father, his mentor and friend, his men in war and in peacetime, his wife and now his betrothed and his child - who the Gods never even allowed to draw a breath. Yet the sting of this loss was so acute he could not cope. Not this time. He had packed that night and instructed Vitus to send messages to his friends on his behalf, saying merely that the wedding was cancelled and the engagement broken off. Should anybody pry, the reason was that the dowry could not be agreed. It was something simple - clean and neat that expunged them both of the dirtiness that had befallen them. He had left for Formiae the next morning after a brief, cold farewell to his mother and a challenging goodbye to his daughter. He did not know when he'd return. What was left for him in Rome now to bring him back? A daughter that barely knew him? A mother that was content to live her life as she'd always done in his absences? Friends, of course, but they would move on. It wasn't as if he had a great desire for politics or glory. No. He'd be better off in Formaie he thought. So there he sat, on the waters edge. The wine he had drowned himself in that evening gave him pleasant, muddled sort of thoughts. It took the edge off of the wound that stung like a British axe to his chest. He cried. He didn't know the last time, certainly couldn't remember the last time he had cried but there he sat, sobbing into his hands. In the space of two weeks he had gone from a man of ambition; a decorated thrice-serving legate seeking a praetorship with a beautiful woman whom he loved (he begrudgingly admitted) about to be his wife, with a child on the way, to a man sat sobbing in the sand, alone. He wondered if the Gods were laughing or sobbing with him.
  9. 62AD A day's walk from Rome, towards Baiae Horatia glanced upwards through the canopy of trees at the rain that petered down in drips and drops. It was the fine sort of rain that soaked one through and chilled the bones but was largely imperceivable until one's teeth started to chatter and goosebumps spread over your skin. She glanced sideways to Decius, who was dutifully trying to stoke the measly fire and break up the bread that they had managed to bring with them for dinner. The man was in his mid-thirties and had been, before all of this mess, a general house slave. Horatia had only learnt his name the day prior and yet now her life rested firmly in his hands. Shifting her sixteen month old son against her lap and smiling at his chattering - as all toddlers do, she tried to ignore the chill that permeated even her cloak and sent a shiver up her spine. It was still day, although the sun was just beginning to slip below the horizon - casting the forest in an amber glow. Her feet were burning and covered in blisters - rubbed red-raw by the ill-fitting sandals she had donned and her lack of familiarity with walking great distances. Her clothes were no better than the sandals; hastily borrowed from another of the households slaves - a tunica that more closely resembled a sack on her frame, made of coarse wool and offering little protection in the inclement weather. "Are you sure you don't wish for your cloak back?" She enquired gently and Decius blinked up before averting his eyes, shaking his head, "You and the little one need it more than me, domina." She felt swaddled up like a newborn - wrapped in her own cloak and Decius' to shield Titus from the worst of the weather. Unfortunately, it did little to help his squalling as he began to cry. How had she ended up here? A crying toddler on her lap, sat in the forest like some runaway slave, dressed as one as well when not a month before she'd been happily exploring her new life in Rome as a patrician, and a wife and a mother? She tried to calm Titus as best she could and regretted, almost instantly as his cries didn't die down, that she had employed the help of a series of slaves to manage him. What sort of mother was she, that she couldn't even figure out his crying? Decius - obviously noting his domina's desperation, cautiously ventured; "Perhaps he needs changing, domina?" And Horatia blinked up. She'd had to ensure Titus' sleep throughout most of the journey with a little wine rubbed on his gums, but now he was most assuredly awake and it made sense. She felt humiliated that she hadn't thought of it, and despite being only recently turned twenty, suddenly felt much younger than her years. "I haven't..." She trailed off. Like many families, she'd employed the help of an army of slaves for Titus and never once changed his cloth. Flushing she moved to stand on weary legs and rocked Titus against her chest - his weight suddenly feeling like an anvil (when had he grown so big?). She opened her mouth to say she was going for some privacy but Decius only smiled and turned back to the fire, obviously sensing her words before she spoke them. Legs like jelly, she carried the screaming Titus through the mud and undergrowth until she was sufficiently far from the camp that she couldn't see her companion, but close enough that she could still smell the smoke of the fire to guide her back. Tentatively, she took a seat on an upturned log and with another glance over her shoulder to ensure Decius wasn't watching (not that he could be, from her distance) laid Titus down upon it. "Mama!" He babbled through screams and Horatia let out a breath of frustration as she attempted - as best she could - to clean and change him using the little water she'd taken from the camp and a spare linen. And then a scream. It was a blood-curdling sound, one of pure agony, emanating from the camp. Horatia felt her heart drum against her chest like a mallet against a wooden stake but Titus, oblivious, and now content, sat there grinning back up at her. - Part 1 of 5 -
  10. Late March 75CE. It had been a difficult journey to escape the slavers. In the process, she had been separated from both Uncle Ario and Ursus. She felt Ario's strong arm push her out into the darkness to permit her to escape. Yet.. she could have sworn that he called her daughter as she ran into the night. Behind her, she heard shouts in their foreign language and kept going until she reached the coastline. Panting... her limbs and chest hurting from the pressure it had placed on her before she fell on the sand with a loud thud. --- Turia awoke the next morning to the sound of the ocean and the memories of the dreams still in her mind. Slowly she exhaled, stretched and realised that it wasn't a dream. She scrambled to her feet, looked around again at the foreign place and continued on her way to the nearest town. Silently she prayed for protection -- desired nothing more than to be reunited with Ario, Ursus, her mother, and Domina back in Rome..... Turia trudged, hoping and praying.
  11. Late February, 75AD Charis choked and felt bile rise in her throat as the woman withdrew her hands from her bare stomach. "Y-you're sure?" The woman, significantly older than her - wizened, almost, glanced down with that faux-sympathy she must hand out to all the young women and girls who graced her establishment; "I'm sure. You've not had your bleed for how many months now?" Charis swallowed, "Not since before Saturnalia, a...while before." But that was not uncommon, surely? With the stress? Her courses hadn't been regular after the miscarriage either, but that, according to the woman in front of her made her only more susceptible to the trappings of pregnancy. Apparently if one couldn't predict the accuracy of one's menses, then one's contraceptives (or the yarrow root that Charis thought constituted a contraceptive) wouldn't be effective. The woman merely shrugged and allowed Charis a modicum of privacy to redress as she moved to take a seat, "Then I'd say you're two, almost three months along maybe. A late summer baby." Charis only glanced at her, horrified, tears visibly in her eyes. That didn't seem to matter much to the woman who merely shrugged and crossed her arms over her chest. Slipping off of the makeshift bed, Charis felt her legs buckle and she had to reseat herself. She had always, for as long as she could remember, wanted to be a mother. That happiness she had felt at her first pregnancy - even with the fear of the Roman occupation - had been overwhelming, but this was different. She didn't want to mother his child, a child born of what could only be called rape, a child who would be a slave, and grow up in Rome away from her people, away from her family and friends. She felt nausea rise again and she only just made it to the strategically placed bucket in time before she was coughing and retching up bile. The woman, amused, shrugged again; "That's the sickness you've been having for the last few weeks?" And Charis, exhausted and upset, could only laugh. No. This wasn't the sickness that had hit her in waves every morning and finally, at Rhoda's quiet insistence, had led her to this woman's door. This was something else; something guttural and painful, it was the realisation of the situation she was in and the mess she had made for herself. When there was nothing else for her to retch up, she slumped back down on the floor and wound thin arms around herself as if to protect herself. But from whom? From Tertius - because surely his reaction would far from the joyous grin of a father to be? She let her head roll back and hit the bed frame as she muttered quietly to herself; "I can't..." The woman whose name Charis had not been told, evidently had seen this all before and in a business like fashion slapped her knees and shook her head; "Not even crossing your legs and binding them with iron'll keep that baby in. The only thing to do if you don't want it is...well...to get rid." Charis cracked her eyes and stared her down, curiosity on her face. The woman continued; "I know a woman, backstreets - a few shops over, she'll sort you out. She has the weaving needle of course," Charis felt her insides contract and the bile rise again and the woman must have sensed it as she raised her hand, "Or, or some tisanes you can take. It'll cost though." Had Charis been thinking rationally, she would have realised that the tisanes were surely as dangerous as the needle, but in her mind it sounded better, safer, certainly less excruciating. She only nodded her head minutely and mumbled a; "I...I can get money, who is she?" The woman sighed and with fierce judgement in her eyes stood to write the details down on a torn, dirtied scrap of papyrus (the presumption that Charis could read would have amused her in happier times). And so she left not long after, legs wobbling, mind a mess with the name of a woman tucked into her belt and a child in her belly. Oh Gods give me guidance, what am I going to do? TAG - Closed.
  12. What it says on the tin! The next event that is upcoming for us. Do you want Gladiatorial games or Chariot races? Handy notes! Members will be able to make Quick application characters to take part. You'll be able to say whether you are okay with injury, maim (lost hand, or eye, etc) or death. If you decide you want to keep this character. Please convert the application into the full one. Members will have a choice to go by a dice roll or by RPing it out. There will be areas for the nobles to hang out, gossip and maybe something spicy will happen. This is also perfect to drag your friendos who have been on the border about joining the site/how much time they have. Cast your vote, people!
  13. Gothic

    A new life.

    The training at the slave school could be quite harsh. Yet it meant that the students would go into households with skills and training that made them more valuable. A valued slave was treated better than an unfavoured one. There were several slaves who were going to be chosen. Classmates. Turia stood with her eyes downcast and listened closely to any signs that there would be an important changes. In her mind, all of the commands, hints and tricks were going through her mind. This could be the beginning of a bright future. Favour meant a small wage, the change of freedom, and only the Gods knew where her fate would eventually end. Her hands trembled as the price was discussed. Yet the noblewoman did not bargain herself and instead had a slave who did the work for her. It made her wonder what it was like to be able to live such a comfortable, privileged life where she did not have to lift a finger and all of her needs would be met. Suddenly a hand went under her chin and tilted her head up so her gaze could meet her new Domina's. A person who could have complete power over her. The Roman woman studied her, more akin to how a person evaluated the worth of an animal and looked at her cheeks from side to side. Not a word was spoken to Turia directly. Her attributes were mentioned. She was healthy, courses regular (Gods! She hoped to never have children!), polite, skilled at her work, and came from good loyal stock. A deal was soon struck. She was sold. Her head from childhood was filled with the promises of what this day would have been like for her. A joyous occasion. She could not help but feel her stomach sink in a feeling of sadness. She would be leaving the only home she had ever known. The Dominus placed his hand on her shoulder. "Turia, these are good people. They will take care of you. Promise to be a good girl and represent the school proudly. They have promised that you will be able to visit your mother, so long as you behave." He warned her. "Yes Dominus, when do I go?" Turia asked with a hint of sadness in her voice. "Tomorrow, and no sadness. Smile! It is your future. Go and tell your mother the good news!" He exclaimed, oblivious to the pain she was currently in.
  14. Gothic

    The Final Days

    Three weeks before she passed away. TW: Severe illness. Sept 61CE. She never experienced so much physical pain. Her bones ached, her stomach hurt and nor did she crave any food, and yet, she was determined to survive. Her surviving children were the most important thing in her life. There were many vultures in Rome who wished to take advantage of them for their own gain. She would not permit that to happen. Marcus and Antonia, she prayed the pair of them would be okay and loved them dearly. In death, she would plan in order to protect her children and ensure her enemies would be destroyed. She sat in front of her desk, still determined to work despite it all and wrote in silence. Few and the most trusted slaves were permitted to be around her during this time. Any weakness in Rome would mean that her children would die. Every so often she clutched her hand, exhaled and kept writing the letter to one of the Senators she trusted. At least, as much as she did. Her chiton was relatively plain with a thicker palla draped around her shoulders in order to keep her warm. Her once curvaceous body had become gaunt, her bones protruded and showed her illness. Her skin had slowly begun to turn grey, closer to the statues before they had been painted than her usual skintone. Her hair was loosely tied up in a plait down her back. Lucilla kept writing. Once she was done she closed her eyes, refused to give into despair and if her suffering was the price that she paid for their security. She gladly would pay it. Her hands, thin and boney touched her face as she exhaled to herself. Every so often she would imagine what it would be like to see her children, now all grown and having grandchildren. How many would she have? She smiled at the thought. How many would share her features? How many would then in turn share her philosophy? It was difficult to guess. Lucilla wanted to watch over all of them. She had spoken to a variety of witches and sooth-sayers (through a proxy) in order to find out more. Normally, she would never have done so.... Mortality, always, mortality... it would be there. Not quickly. Not in a valiant moment of honour and prestige. A slow and wasting illness instead... She heard a knock at the door, looked up and smiled. "Come in," She invited them inside. To be continued....
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