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It was a very early morning in the baths. The sun had barely risen, but Helenus was up already, taking care of himself before he needed to take care of so many others. He left the sleeping quarters of the slaves and walked through the dark corridors, not yet lit for the new day… up towards the actual thermae, where he thought he might take a swim before anyone else woke. The baths were often nice and quiet this early and he liked that. Of course some Romans would be up early and he didn’t expect it would be quiet for very long, but right now… it was. The nearest bath was the women’s section and it was entirely empty right now. He never ventured far into this area when the baths were open and people were flocking everywhere. Then Helenus would only walk to the end of the corridor from the slave quarters to peek into the area with all the shelves for clothing. Right now, that was empty too and on bare feet he walked in. There was so much space here, when the baths were empty. He made a sound just for fun, to hear the echo and smiled by the sound of it. When he reached the big swimming pool, the natatio, he stopped for a moment, looking at the still water in it. Then he slipped out of his simple tunica and into the water. It was a bit cold at this hour, the ovens were not at their full heat right now, but it was fine, this was how it usually was for Helenus. The slaves who worked here didn’t get into the water when everyone else were. They’d have to do it before. Helenus dived under the water for a moment and then swam a few times back and forth. Then he let his body float a bit, while he lay on his back, staring up into the decorated ceiling of the room. This was so nice. What a pity he’d have to stop soon. He stopped floating then and dived under the water again. Only to be startled when he came up to the surface and brushed water away from his eyelids. He wasn't alone anymore. And he was not in the men's section of the thermae... he blinked the water away, staring at the woman up there. @Gothic
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
May, 74 AD Helenus stood still, with his back straight and his hands clasped together behind him. He wore just the sleeveless and pale thin tunica today, and before him stood one of his superiors. He stood together with other thermae slaves, they were just getting ready for the day and all of the slaves were given their bits of information and tasks. Helenus would of course be in charge of people’s belongings and clothing. “There is also a noble coming to the bath soon. Their messenger requested it was the same slave that tended to them the whole time. That’ll be you, Helenus, since you’re in the apydoterium already. They forgot to mention a name, but I’m sure they’ll inform you once they are here.” His overseer informed him and Helenus nodded. “I’m sure they will. Until then, I will serve as usual.” Helenus said and the overseer nodded – gave him that wave of his hand meaning Helenus was dismissed and could go to the apydoterium, where the first visitors to the bath were soon entering. Tending to the same person all the time they were here was something special and more interesting than just being where Helenus sat now. It meant he'd help the patron bathe, massage and oil if needed, shave if needed and anything else the patron required, really. He sat down on a marble bench, all the way in, so that he could dangle his legs. He brushed a strand of the long, dark hair of his shoulder, so that all of it was on his back. Maybe he should have worn the loincloth. On the other hand, if the noble wanted him in the bath, it was faster to pull the tunica over his head and get in. Soon the first visitors arrived and they were certainly not dressed as nobles. They were ordinary workers, here for their morning bath before getting on with the day. Helenus took their clothing and carried it to one of the niches in the wall. He spent a few moments looking through a purse, just picking up one single coin for his own use, before he went to the secret stash he had behind a lose rock in the wall. He placed the rock back where it belonged, after he’d left the coin there, and then it was back to the apydoterium to wait for more people. Hopefully ‘his’ noble would soon show up and until then, he'd make himself useful to the other visitors here.
HELENUS. 21 | 2nd February, 53 AD | Slave | Capsarii – Thermae slave | Bisexual | Original | Pama Hema-Taylor Personality. Helenus has always done everything he can to be a good slave. His mother taught him from an early age, that a slave who does as told and carries out his job well, he is a slave who will be rewarded and maybe one day earn his freedom. She was born free and Helenus longs to be free. So he has worked well all of his life, no matter the task, no matter how different his jobs have been. As a person, Helenus is very friendly and kind, he likes to make people smile and he likes to have fun. He’s very down-to-Earth and easy to talk to – and he likes making new friends. He can even be quite the romantic young man sometimes, if he adores someone. All this is good, because apparently, this makes him appear trustworthy… and he wants to be trustworthy, even if it’s a lie. As a capsarii and a thief, he’s actually the type who will talk sweetly to you one moment and as soon as you’re out of his sight… he’ll look through your purse and your belongings to see if you have anything of worth. Not that he enjoys being a thief. It was not something he chose, but something that was set in motion for him and something he does because he has to – Helenus is under a lot of pressure, because he is both an imperial slave and works illegally for a gang. Yet if he does not carry out his job as ordered, he knows he’ll meet a whip, a beating or maybe even something worse. And if he’s found out, it’s the same option. So he has become good at being a thief; he has become good at playing pretend, acting, lying and stealing – because he has to be. Helenus tries to be a good slave and hopes for the best. What else can he do? Appearance Helenus stands just about 5’8” tall and is slender with a well-built and somewhat youthful appearing body. His skin is not entirely pale and he has brown eyes and dark brown hair. He has learned that people like to touch his hair, so he keeps it long and either in an actual ponytail or in an updo with half of his hair still hanging down his shoulders and back. He has kind eyes and a winning smile that is genuine, even when it isn't. When he works in the thermae, he often wears nothing else but a loincloth or maybe a sleeveless tunica. When he leaves, he will of course wear more than this, but he’s no wealthy slave and does not own a great lot of clothes or items. Just by looking at him, it is easy to tell he’s a slave. Family Father: Perseus (deceased) Mother: Elena (41, alive, unknown whereabouts) Siblings: N/A Spouse: N/A Children: N/A Extended family: N/A Other: History Helenus’ parents were both imperial slaves, owned by Caesar and the Empire – many slaves belonged to individual Romans, but even more belonged to the Empire and Helenus’ parents were such slaves. His father was a construction worker and his mother was one of the many women serving the construction workers – she cooked and cleaned in their living areas. As such, they were pretty free even though they were slaves. They were both free-born, from each their part of the ever-growing Roman Empire, but Helenus was not that lucky. His parents met as slaves in Rome, came to like each other and were allowed to stay together. And through their union came a son. He grew up with his mother and among other children of slaves and it was the only life he knew – but when he was old enough, he’d help out his father, fetching tools and doing other simple tasks. He wasn’t very fond of it though, but he did as he was told. If he did as told, he would be treated well, that’s what his mother said. Of course he admired the workers, who could climb so high and did such a dangerous job! But sometimes constructions or scaffolding would collapse and he soon came to fear he’d see his father die, as many others had done before him – and it did indeed happen, when Helenus was 9 years old. His father was up high on a scaffold when it fell down – four men died and Helenus’ father was one of them. After this, Helenus was even less interested in working with constructions, and luckily an overseer took a liking to the young boy and took him in. Now instead of helping out the workers, Helenus’ was the man’s personal slave and after a few years, Helenus served his overseer in every possible way. He knew he had no say in it and while he didn’t enjoy it at first, he learned to. It was either that or something worse, and he preferred being treated well. After he had gotten used to his new superior, Helenus actually became quite fond of him. It probably wasn’t healthy, but Helenus had a crush on his overseer and of course believed the man would keep his many promises, of course also the one that included Helenus being set free. It didn’t happen, of course. When Helenus was 14 years old, the team of workers were relocated away from Rome. Helenus’ mother had to go with the team and the overseer too. Helenus was however going to stay in Rome. He was young, attractive and had soft hands still. His overseer knew people in the gangs of Rome and made sure Helenus got, what he believed was a good job instead. Helenus’ heart was broken, when the overseer left and didn’t look back. And he was then soon put to work in one of the city’s thermae and at first, it was fine. He was a capsarii, taking care of people’s clothes and personal items when they entered the thermae. He could bathe and talk to people and he actually liked it. But others knew his name and after a few months, actually doing what he was supposed to do – of course along with certain other tasks a thermae slave would be asked to do - a gang contacted him and Helenus was taught and instructed to steal for them. He had no choice. Again, it was either that, or something worse. And he preferred to be treated well. He did as he was told, no matter who told him, for Helenus still had hope, despite everything. If he was good at what he did – and he was, he was a good thief! – he might end up in a better place. And no matter what, he hopes for that. Working in such a warm and moist place is not doing great things for his health. On top of that, he’s learned that people are indeed aware that the thermae slaves would be thieves… and he fears every day that someone will find out about his undercover job for the gangs and he’ll end up in the arena with lions or something worse. He feels like a fly caught between two fingers and if he wriggles just a little, he will be crushed, one way or the other. Still for some reason, Helenus hopes for freedom and maybe even love. He has been in the thermae a little more than 6 years now and really still does prefer to be treated well! Atrice | GMT+1 | PM or Discord