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  1. February 75CE Although the main hall of the Basilica was thronged with people, Sestia fancied that her angry, stopping footfalls could be heard clattering over the general din. Her freedwoman, Brysias, struggled to keep pace with her mistress, terrified of falling behind. Her steward, one of her late husband's favoured slaves, now freed under the terms of his will, likewise was huffing and puffing in a way dangerous for a man of his size, especially one already burdened with a heavy wooden case full of papers. Sestia, however, was not aware of their struggles, but was instead almost wholly focused on her own anger. On reaching the entrance portico she found her litter and its bearers were not present. Presumably some busy-body member of the vigiles had threatened to fine them for loitering in a public thoroughfare and the lazy swine had used it as an excuse to hot foot it to the nearest fish-sauce-and-sausage cantina, thinking someone would be sent to find them when necessary. This only fanned the flames of her righteous (or, rather, self-perceived righteous) indignation. Positively stomping her foot like a little madame, she curtly ordered Brysias to go find the litter and the bearers and, once she had given then a suitable tongue lashing, have them return to pick her up. Her wheezing freedman would keep Sestia company whilst she waited. The wait, however, also afforded her an opportunity to relive in her mind the reason for her anger. She had attended the Basilica this morning to meet with her lawyer, a grey haired equite who specialised in all matters of probate law and, as her regularly reminded her, had done so for many more years than she - his client - had been alive. Sestia's late husband had been a wealthy man. As expected of all senators he had the majority of his wealth tied up in lands across the Empire. There was then an elaborate network of investments run under the straw-man fronting of a number of freedmen which allowed her husband, like many of his peers, to dabble in business affairs without losing prestige and courting scandal. The sum total of his estate was left to his sons with Sestia with she, along with several others, including her father, as executors of the same. The process of transferring legal titles into the relevant names of new parties, making various sales to release funds, etc had taken years. Until recently she had been forced to undertake this business vicariously from Carthage but, now back in Rome, she had determined to take a leading role in it and that meant grabbing the bull by the horns. Her lawyer had offered, of course, to come to visit her in the comfort of her own home. He would have preferred that - he could bill her for the travel as well as the time! Sestia, however, was determined to show that she was not some shrinking wall-flower and had decided to see the man in his own territory which, in this case, was one of the myriad legal offices which speckled the Basilica like bird droppings on a public statue. Visibly irritated to be troubled in his "inner sanctum", her lawyer had made her grudgingly welcome by shifting several piles of scrolls off a dusty, wonky bench (it was clear he did not entertain in his offices regularly) and then - with all the dry lack of tact habitual to men of a certain age and station - began to lecture Sestia not only on the intricacies of probate and conveyancing law but also as to her duties as a woman and a mother. The result of the hour long, one sided conversation was that she, apparently, should sit at home and he would tell her what would be done when the time was right, whenever that may be but, reading between the lines, not for a long time. The somewhat pressing need to ensure a steady flow of income but transferring legal ownership in several Aventine insulae did not bother him. She worried that he may perhaps be in some sort of shady double dealing with several of the freedmen of her late husband who stood as the public face of his interests - their name on the title deeds but behind the scenes were meant to pass money back to the family. This all worked well when her husband was alive but, now with him in the Underworld, the majority of men seemed to believe it was not only easy but fitting to try and cheat their master's widow and children for their own gain. So much for loyalty. So, her Roman and Punic blood seething despite the cool of the Basilica, she rested against a pillar and frowned at the world in general. @The Young Pope
  2. Slaves played an important in Roman society and economy. Besides manual labour, they performed many domestic services, and might be employed at highly skilled jobs and professions. Accountants and physicians were often slaves. Slaves of Greek origin in particular might be highly educated. Unskilled slaves, or those sentcned to slavery as punishment, worked on farms, in mines, or at mills. Everyone in the empire knew about the importance of the institution of slavery, even Lucius Furus Pontius Thracius himself, growing up in a noble household where the use of slaves was paramount and even was taught how to handle them. However since his secret conversion to the Christian faith, he became more and more opposed to it over time, detesting said practise and questioned the morality behind it. Of course, it was a topic of heated debate between the factions themselves, referring to biblical scripts here and there about being approved by the allmighty Lord and that. Yet the fact that they were considered to be property under Roman law, with no legalhood whatsoever, being subjected corporal punishment, sexual exploitation, torture and outright summary execution, truly disgusted the young Senator and wished dearly that this would one day end. However he wasn't naive enough to believe that it would end over a night or two, no he had to contain his feelings and opinions to a minimum and to himself preferably, as pragmatism was the key to live through this misery and accepted it as everyday life, whether or not he approved of it. It's the reason why he dared venture to the slave market at the Emporium Magnum, not to only keep up a facade as a Roman noble filling up a somewhat 'empty' household of different slaves spanning across the entire world, it served as a effective compromise and Christian duty to take upon those who were defenceless and at the mercy of others. Naturally it would've been impossible for Lucius to purchase all and set free all of them. Instead, he had to pick at least one slave he thought to be 'special' in his eyes and according to his gut feeling, a small yet positive deed to perform whenever he returned to said market. As always, it happened to be a busy day of business as slaves were being auctioned and transactioned like cattle, their handlers shouting their prize and what they were capable of doing. Among the customers who were gathered that day was Lucius of course, taking a pity on those miserable, poor souls as he could clearly see on their faces how much they 'enjoyed' it, just waiting to end up in a random household and hoping for the best. It was a sickening feeling Lucius received from these sights, though how much could he actually do? He had to make due of the situation to the best of his ability, and try to create a positive change for one of these. He didn't know how long he would remain in the market, but he was sure enough that he would take someone home, sooner or later. @Mord
  3. Lucius was no stranger to the typical Roman banquet and all of its forms, whether it was the epulum, the cena, or the comissatio, as he would attend them all befitting a member of the most esteemed nobility. However in contrast to the past, he was a completely changed man and no longer did this senator drink himself to sleep, or go about fornicating with others no matter if they were total strangers to him or not. No longer did he find them to be as pleasurable or interesting as he once did, though naturally it depended on who hosted them, considering he attended them just to uphold his image rather than out of pure desire. A banquet hosted by no other than Oriana Laecania, daughter to Aulus Ordovian Laecanius V, wasn't supposed to be missed and instead one ought to attend it even if one were to be in a pretty bad shape. Lucius couldn't exactly put it, but it was something about Oriana's parties that always ended up in great success where every guest always had fun and felt quite good about it in the aftermath, including someone 'mature' as Lucius himself. His father Lucius Major and Aulus' relationship went back decades and it wasn't uncommon back in the day that the families would pay a visit to each others' homes, which is how Lucius Minor managed to get to Oriana to begin with. Finding her to be a beautiful, independent, and daring character compared to most Roman women, he would consider her to be one of his closest friends he could ever confide in, and she proved to be highly supportive ever since his parents died a few years ago. There were actually plans for him to consider marrying her, but for reasons only the Divine itself knew, it never went through and now not even Lucius himself knew if he would pursue it though in the end she probably was already being eyed by another rival senator. It was probably for the better that she remained as a friend rather than on the entire next level of the relationship phase, though one would never know if the circumstances would change. Lucius thought that she truly deserved someone who could treat her as the worthy woman she truly was. Wearing his finest toga and nearing his party destination, it would also prove to be a good opportunity to visit the now dying Aulus whose attendance at his father's funeral was appreciative enough, and he would more than likely show the same respect, when it was time for him to also move on to the next world. "Ladies." he said to two of them passing the other direction, the latter duo couldn't stop giggling and being mesmerized by his good looks, as his dear mother of his always remarked about, and old reputation as the ultimate man to spend the night with. The old Lucius would've immediately taken them home, pop up a vase of wine and they would've had a hell of a salacious journey waiting for them, their screams of pure lust heard across the entirety of Rome. However ever since he met old man Linus and his propagating Christian faith, he could no longer continue those old ways of his that only brought temporary, perceived happiness and sense of satisfaction. His eyes were opened up to a whole new world that he thought didn't exist, where the One True God helped him regain his confidence as a man who actually had a purpose to exist in this life to begin with. "Here we go again." Lucius made a positive sigh, before knocking on the door to Oriana's Domus as he could already hear that the Banquet was in full commotion. @Sydney
  4. Receiving an invitation to the Imperial Palace may not have been an occurance on a daily basis, but when someone of his status such as senator Lucius did actually acquire one, then there was no opportunity and time to be wasted at all and it would've been taken advantage of immediately. He may not have been direct connected to the Imperial Family through marriage or any other type of blood relation (within recent memory), though that didn't stop him from being invited all due to his family's loyalty towards them, something which continued still under his leadership as the living Pater Familias of his branch, aiding in the reconstruction of vital infrastructure such as aqueducts, roads and temples, as well as the development of the empire through charitable works like orphanages and soup kitches directed towards the poorer classes. It was how he came into contact with the Caesarini Julia Drussila Augusta herself, one of the most notable undertakings involved the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum in the aftermath of Mount Vesuvius' volcanic eruption. This would've attracted the attention of one of the Imperial Princesses, Claudia Caesaris, who happened to be a niece of the Caesar, and even Lucius briefly met her through his connection with the Caesarini, he gathered that she was also into restoration of vital infrastructure and works of charity, being described as interested in horses, having a keen mind for education and a desire to learn. The princess's beauty wasn't to be ignored either, as her darkly thick hair, pale ivory skin, blue eyes befitting slender, curvy body marked by a routine of physical exercise yet not tainted by any pregnacy or heavy work, would make any man bend the knee for her in an instant. A reminder sprung off in his head as his eyes gazed upon her presence in the garden whilst being led by a Praetorian, and in an instant he would also get reacquainted with impressive personality as a character. Wearing his Toga Praextata, which was a toga with a broad purple stripe on its border, worn over a tunic with two broad, verticle purple stripes, Lucius was there to build a influentially powerful connection, and he'd wager that it was exactly the same thing for the Princess. Putting on a friendly smile of confidence, he approached her to steadily greet her as the man she was waiting for. "Claudia Caesaris, let me just say that it's such an honor to receive an invitation to the Domus Augusta, and it shall be a pleasure and privilege to enter into a cooperation that will only mean great fortunes for the empire. The Caesarini has spoken highly of thee every time we've worked together for the greater good." Lucius took her hand and kissed it gently, hoping it would flatter her by the very least and possibly resolve of any tensions in this proper encounter they finally organised together. @Gothic
  5. MAY, 74 CE Ambrosius had been given less than three weeks to heal on a painfully, sheer bed of thin straw, on the ground of a stone floor, during his captivity with his Roman subjugators in his homeland of Britannia. Four walls and a roof provided the only redeeming feature of his imprisonment and a begrudgingly welcome change from the preceding months, exposed to the elements. It had taken almost a month to reach Burdigala[1] from the port in Petuaria[2], as the seas had proven treacherous around the Britannic coast. Despite his injuries, his robust frame and strong arms would be deemed indispensable at the oar, with the lash of his captors ensuring he remained aware of that fact. Calmer waters would meet them on the Mediterranean and ensure smoother sailing from Narbo[3] towards Ostia, where Ambrosius would once again be forced to limp on his lame leg, when the caravan of soldiers and slaves marched towards the capital. He had been allowed to rest for mere moments as they had arrived at the modest entrance to the pomerium[4], having travelled upon the Via Ostiensis[5] past the Circus Maximus and coming to a halt in the Forum, betwixt the Tabularium[6] and the Tullianum[7]. The imposing façade of the record hall only added to the dichotomy of the dank recess of the neighbouring carcer[8]; dwarfed in grandeur, yet unparalleled in prompting visceral sensations to those in such a precarious position. The myriad of emotions that raced through his mind, as he absorbed and analysed the unfamiliar surroundings that he would now be required by circumstance to call ‘home’, would not shake the immovable and impassive expression that he had adopted months before his present predicament. “Go find the Praetor,” the commanding officer of the detachment ordered of a subordinate legionary. Ambrosius had understood the Roman’s short directive well enough, but this would be the first time he had encountered the term ‘praetor’. He would soon come face to the face with the man who held such a foreign title, but for now he could rest again. Along with his newfound and circumstantial compatriots, they would be placed in to separate and temporary, three-walled holding cells, jutting out from the exterior wall of the prison. He planted his shoulder in to the clay edifice and propped himself up, hoping to ensure stability in spite of the pervading adversity resulting from his weak and aching left leg. @The Young Pope Reader Advisory: [1] Burdigala is the Latin name for modern Bordeaux, France. [2] Petuaria is the Latin name for modern Brough, East Yorkshire, UK. [3] Narbo is the Latin name for modern Narbonne, France. [4] The pomerium is the historical and religious boundary of the city of Rome. [5] Via Ostiensis is the Latin name for the via Ostiense, the road from Ostia to Rome. [6] The Tabularium is the record office of Rome and an important hub of civil and judicial activity. [7] The Tullianum is the Latin name for the modern Mamertine Prison. [8] 'carcer' is the Latin term for 'prison'.
  6. *CONTINUALLY UPDATED THREAD* I'm always seeking for slaves belonging to OR freedmen working for Lucius' household to be played by others. I'm not particularly fussed about the type of slave or freedman, considering there were at least 55 different jobs a household servant might have, including barber, butler, cook, hairdresser, handmaid (ancilla), wash their master's clothes, wet nurse or nursery attendant, teacher, secretary, seamstress, accountant, and physician, and the amount of plots that could be conceived as well (Everything's always negotiable!). However there are a few characters in mind that would be quite interesting to interact closely with: 2 Lictors Names: Player's choiceAge: 30-50sPersonality: Not too fussed about their personalities, though would be interesting to see if one of them could be considered to be 'proper', whilst the other one's 'wild'.History: Roman by birth, former centurions. As to the rest of their backgrounds, we can discuss that.Playby choice: 30s+Possible Plots: Primarily with the Lucius and the household, though interaction with other characters, whether high or lowborn, wouldn't be unheard of. 1 Butler Names: AristarchosAge: 60s-70sPersonality: Not too fussed about their personalities, though would be interesting to see if one of them could be considered to be 'proper', whilst the other one's 'wild'.History: Greek by birth, knowledgable in Law and Rhetoric. 'Alfred-Batman'-type relationship. Served quite a few generations of Lucius' family on father's side. As to how he ended up as slave and the rest of the history, we can discuss that.Playby choice: Anthony Hopkins ("Alexander", 2004)Possible Plots: Primarily with the Lucius and the household, though interaction with other characters, whether high or lowborn, wouldn't be unheard of.
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