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  1. July, 76 AD He was not a slave, on his way to the slave market to be sold to another household. That’s not how it happened, when you were a freedman in Rome. No, when you were a freedman and the man who originally freed you had died, you were entirely free. And since he sold his old home, the one he inherited from his father… and his wife was still missing… and he now lost his job, he had nowhere to go. All he had was the sack with his things in it and the money he’d been given when he left the family and the domus. It had been interesting to work for the Tusca family, although also challenging. He could see why the young lady had needed a bodyguard – she was beautiful and easily tempted and he would never trust her half-brother, whose words were as smooth as butter and his eyes full of mischief. But the family had no need for him anymore and so he ventured into the streets of Rome again, considering what to do. Maybe he should find himself an insula to live in? He didn’t have a lot, so it would be a simple room in the top floor or something. It would have been easier, had he been a slave. Then he would have known where to go. The slave market or a new owner. But now he needed so much more; he needed a new job and a place to stay. He sat down on a step, thinking through his options. What could he do? Maybe return to the market as he thought about and ask for his old job back? That was the best option. He didn’t want to look for an insula before he had a job. So he stood, but as soon as he’d taken a step, the knot in his sack (which was really just a large piece of linen tied together as a sack) fell apart and everything spilled onto the ground. He cursed and sighed deeply, before beginning to pick them up quietly, because this was his lot in life. Things falling apart. As they always did.
  2. August, 75 AD Despite everything that had happened to him, he was still here. Since Salacia was gone, he’d been thinking about her a lot. And about what happened when they first met and even before that. He remembered his first wife, his son… he remembered it when he gave himself to slavery, because he had nothing. He remembered his first owners, and then the second. He remembered the beautiful Domitilla, whom he made the mistake of falling in love with and telling her. If he had never told her, he might still have been with her. But he had been passed off again, to Cyprianus, who gave him the undeserved freedom, which he still had. And so much had happened since then. The past decade had however been quiet for Manius, right until the earthquake, where his life fell apart again. It was slowly rebuilding now and he even got himself a job - but he had all the memories and they weighed him down. He had always liked to take walks while thinking and that was the same case today. A good, long walk through Rome to clear his mind. Still on his own, of course. As always. That’s when he saw it. A young woman near a market stall, picking something up when the stallholder was looking away. Then she hid it in her purse and hurried away. Manius shook his head, this wasn’t good. It really wasn’t his job to follow her, but it wasn’t right to steal like that. And maybe the stallholder would pay Manius a reward for helping. He decided to follow her until she stopped. @Liv
  3. Late August, 75 AD Boring, boring, boring… the lessons with Aia had ended for the day and Marcus didn’t have any plans for the day. He could of course get into a litter and go visit one of his friends, or he could practice his fighting skills, but it was high summer and it was too hot to do anything. He lay on his bed, on his stomach, with Silvanus massaging his back. It felt nice, but he couldn’t do this all day. Maybe a trip to the thermae? That might be nice, to cool down. Or maybe a dip in the Tiber, far from where people lived, so the river wouldn’t be disgusting. Or… maybe Caecina had an idea on what to do! She often did, he thought. Or else they’d just get some alone-time and kiss. He could spend a day doing that too. It had been a few months now, since their little escapade to the Poppina Via Lata and the Gardens of Sullust, where they promised they wanted each other, but also kept it a secret so far. And a secret their relationship remained all summer. Marcus would sneak kisses from her whenever he had the chance, fighting to control himself to not push for more than what she wanted. She was just so… beautiful and alluring, wasn’t she? He pushed Silvanus away and had the slave hand him a light blue tunica to wear. Marcus walked though their home in Rome to Caecina’s chamber. The curtain at the door frame was drawn, so he stopped outside and ran a hand through his hair, which most likely fell perfectly as it always did. “Caecina… are you in there? Can I come in?” He asked out loud and waited as patiently as he could. @Echo
  4. A few weeks after Another Day Didia mumbled to nobody in particular as she counted off the bags of supplies Appius was lugging into the domus. It was well before sunrise, so they could get round the restrictions on cart, and Didia still held a sleepy look on her face as she picked up one of the lighter bags to carry in through the slave entrances into the kitchens. Appius deserved a rest, the boy was going to have a heart attack and so she left him keeping watch. After a few trips in and out (oh how the rich could eat so much was beyond her!) she entered the domus again with flushed cheeks but a warm smile. This house was one of the newer ones on her call list, but conveniently close to Rufus'...or his masters, so it didn't add a great deal of extra time to their route as they made their way up here regardless. The slaves were an unknown quantity, really, although friendly enough and they gave both herself and her brother a cup of cheap lora and a little bit of bread and honey to set them up on their day (and as thanks, she supposed, for carrying in the produce themselves). Appius took his outside whilst she ate hers quietly in the kitchen, the slaves flustering around unpacking. She'd need to sign off the receipt at some point but it was so horribly early that she could use a bit of a rest. She sat with her back to the external door, facing the curtain that divided the kitchen from the main, fancy portion of the domus (the portion she was never invited to see!). She was glancing about absentmindedly when somebody pulled the curtain aside and stepped in. Her heart leapt into her mouth and she choked at the face that greeted her. A wide, broad grin spread on her face and she laughed, "Manius!" She moved to stand hurriedly to greet him properly before she stopped herself and frowned, teasingly reaching out to swot his arm softly, "I was worried sick! Don't you ever leave a woman waiting for you again!" TAG: @Atrice
  5. Early August, 75 AD Manius had finally found something, or so it would seem. He’d been contacted by a servant to Quintus Caecina Tuscus, a former bodyguard to his daughter, actually. The actual Quintus was far away from Rome, but in Rome and near Rome was his family and his servants. And since Manius used to know people a little higher up in ranks, back when he worked for Cyprianus, he was still well-known, even if he had just worked at the slave market for over ten years now. Not that he was the kind of man to hang out with his friends all the time, but they knew him. And Manius had of course let it be known, that he needed a job... although for a while, nothing happened. Until this bodyguard reached out to him and it was about time too. He had little less. The landlord had threatened with throwing him out soon. At least it was something, he thought, even if it was good and probably more than what he deserved. He’d been bodyguard a few times before, both for Domitilla (whom he was so foolish to fall in love with) and to Cyprianus (who was also dead now), but at least he’d tried it before. He was told that the young girl was of the marriable age and that she might soon find herself a husband, but that she’d also lately landed herself in a few situations, where she ought to have a man looking closely after her. And after the earthquake, her old bodyguard had been injured and he was close to being retired anyway. So he reached out to Manius, who responded fast, because he really did need a job. He just hoped he really was able to keep her safe. He failed with Salacia, after all. Her too. Manius had dressed in the finest outfit he had - he didn't know yet if they would offer him a home too in the domus, or if he would still stay in his own - and then he went to the right address at the Palatine. His hair was short and curly and he had actually visited a barber to remove the worst stubble on his face, which was needed after his most recent fall from grace. It had been his last money spent, so it was a good thing he was getting a new job, finally – and a proper job with a good pay even, for a Senatorial family! At least, he hoped they would want to keep him. He hoped they'd not change their minds about him. A servant allowed him in and told him to wait in the atrium. So here he stood. Quietly, with his hands folded on his back, waiting to meet his new mistress. Hopefully it wouldn’t go wrong this time, but by now, he barely trusted his own thoughts on that. It always went wrong somehow. @Echo
  6. July, 75 AD He had nothing. Or, almost nothing. No work, no wife, no place to be and soon he might be out of coins too. Manius barely ate these days. He was trying to make the money last and trying to not go and gamble with the hope for gaining more. On the other hand, he might lose it all and be so indebted they’d take him because he had no coins and then he’d be a slave again. That might be the easiest way to go anyway. But so far he had not gambled the rest of his coin away. He had spent a little of it on wine. Just a stupid attempt to forget his sorrows for once. That didn’t work all the time though. He was hungry. He needed food. Manius had gone to the marketplace to see what he could find. The food smelled deliciously, from every taverna and place handing out food, but he didn’t think he was so poor he should get food from one of the places offering for the poorest. He had coins. And someone else needed it more. What could he get though? He walked by a few stalls. The bread was too expensive. So were the sausages and the flat-bread and the honey-cakes. There was a fruit stall. The apples looked delicious and so did the oranges. He could smell them in the summer-heat. But they were shiny and fresh and there was no way he should spend his money on an apple just because it was shiny. He began turning some of the peaches around and picked one that was extraordinarily soft. Even its color was somehow... off. Overly ripe. “How much for this?” He asked the lovely young woman in the stall. @Sara
  7. MANIUS RUTILIUS GALLUS 40 | Springtime, 36 AD | Freedman | In the market for jobs| Bisexual | Original | Francois Arnaud Personality. When you first meet Manius, he will seem like a possibly gloomy man. Maybe a bit too cautious and a man of few words too. Many events in his life has shaped him into the man he is today; troubled, thoughtful and hard-working. He likes to work and does what he has to do – he carries out work, carries out the orders given to him and that’s really what he cares about doing. He may seem like a workaholic to some, but it is far more than that. Manius is very content with having something to do – he does not strive for happiness nor for social rank and he still barely thinks he deserves the freedom his former master gave him. Especially considering the most recent events of his life. His self-esteem tends to go up and down and he does not take compliments well if they’re given to him. He always thinks he can do better and will most likely not believe you, if you told him he’s doing fine. Manius feels life has treated him badly and the person he blames for this, is himself. He thinks he has often failed those, who should be able to trust him. It is his fault, that his wife and son were killed, so many years ago. And somehow it is also his fault, that his master was eventually executed, because Manius failed to find a way to save him. And now he wasn’t at home during the earthquake and his wife has gone missing. If only he’d been there. He does not care what happens to himself and if he has indeed done something wrong, he will willingly take a beating or a flogging. He believes he deserves it. And secretly, something no one in his present life knows, he enjoys the pain. He is fiercely loyal to those he serves today and will do literally anything they ask of him – no matter his own moral standards. Those he serves deserve his loyalty and trust. When it comes to relationships, Manius sometimes makes friends, because he is a protective and deep within gentle man, but he is not the type who makes the first move or talks out of turn. In truth he probably have more enemies now than friends in Rome because of his close relationship with his latest master and the fact that he can hold a grudge for a long time. Love is a strange thing to Manius – he loves, or loved, his wife Salacia, who is now missing and they had a very gentle and sweet relationship. But then there is his other side, in which he enjoys pain, something she never knew. Now that she is gone, he’s uncertain about what to do though, so he wants to throw himself into work once more. To both forget… and remember, that he should never take anything for granted. Appearance Manius has dark brown and somewhat curly hair. In the past, he’d often have it at shoulder length, but at the moment, it is shorter than that. He never keeps it entirely short though and it is half-long and slightly curly. Manius will often look a little scruffy, he does not really care much about his looks. With no woman to take care of him now, he cares little for his appearance except for what any employer tells him. He has hazel brown, troubled eyes and a very sculptured face, which some have called ‘wolf-like’. On his back and towards his neck, he has scars that he gained a long time ago. Nowadays he does not care to hide them anymore. His skin is somewhat pale, and his body is well trained, fit and slender. Manius will often be seen wearing short dark colored breeches and a pale (not bleached) colored or dark tunica over the breeches. When fighting and working as a bodyguard, Manius wears leather armor too. Manius has a dark grey cloak. He’s always wearing a weapon on his person too, mostly a short sword or a knife and has learned how to hide said weapon. Family Father: Publius Gallus (deceased) Mother: Aurelia Lucia (deceased) Siblings: N/A Spouse: Salacia (unknown whereabouts) Previous spouse: Dianna Marcia (deceased) Children: Manius Gallus Minor (deceased) Other: Former dominus and employer: Manius Rutilius Cyprianus (deceased) Current job: Bodyguard to Caecina Tusca History 36 AD - Manius Gallus was born the son to a free plebian couple in Rome. His father, Publius, worked at the slave market, but it did not seem to interest Manius at first. The boy preferred to fight with other boys at the market. A teacher was employed when Manius was old enough, so he could be professionally trained in fighting. 51 AD – Manius discovers women, wine… and gambling. It was fun and new and interesting and he got caught up in it. He also got a job at last, his father securing his son a job at the slave market, where he worked as a guard, trying to keep the most ill-tempered slaves in check. Naturally, they disliked being kept down by such a young man, but Manius did not think much about that. At least he was no slave. 55 AD – Manius marries Dianna Marcia. It is an arranged marriage, but they learn to love each other fast. Dianna is soon pregnant. Manius continues his gambling habit. 56 AD – A son is born, Manius Gallus Minor. Manius adored his son, but… things began to go wrong, after his son was born. First his mother became ill, dying a few months later. And Manius was still gambling and had been caught in a web of owing money, thanks to the Servian Collegium lending him coin that he was unable to pay back. Because of that, Manius and his family were threatened because Manius was unable to gain the coin he needed to pay his debts. 58 AD – Manius has gained too much debt at the gambling tables. He was 22 years old the day he came back from work, to find his wife and 2-year-old son murdered, gathered on the floor in a pool of blood. Manius naturally, and with good reason, blamed himself for this. He considered taking his own life, but decided that would be too easy for someone as inferior as he. Instead he sold his home, all of his belongings and then himself at the end – he gave himself up to slavery instead and was soon purchased by a family. Here he would teach two young sons how to fight and became bed slave to the oldest son, who mistreated him. 59 AD – Manius is sold after issues with the family. Before he was sold though, the son of the house who took him to bed, chose to say goodbye to Manius in his own special way. Manius has scars across his back and neck because of this. But eventually, he was sold to a new master and mistress, to become a bodyguard to his new mistress. In 59 AD, he was passed on to a new master and mistress, to be bodyguard to the mistress. He fell back to gambling, briefly, and got himself beat up and abused after losing a game. 60 AD, spring – While he enjoyed the new job as a bodyguard, he made a mistake. He fell in love with his mistress and dared to kiss her one day they were walking on the beach. He was soon for sale again, this time to be bought by one certain Manius Rutilius Cyprianus. To begin with, Manius worked as a house slave, but soon advanced to personal sparring partner when his Dominus practiced his fighting skills. And before Manius knew it, he was more or less functioning as his master’s very loyal bodyguard. And Cyprianus needed one, since he made plans behind everyone else’s backs and kept climbing the social ladder in Rome, until he was Dictator. 60 AD, fall – Manius was, against his will, freed and would instead officially function as Procurator a Patrimonio for the Dictator of Rome. Unofficially, he still functioned as a bodyguard and followed Cyprianus wherever he could. Even as a freedman, Manius was loyal to his Dominus to the point of insanity. On another front however, something good happened (Manius did not consider being freed as a good thing). His fellow slave Salacia, whom he’d fallen in love with, was also freed and the two were married. 62 AD, spring – Not even Manius could prevent his master’s fall from grace. After his master resigned his final duty, Cyprianus decided it was about time Manius and Salacia lived their own life. Manius and Salacia retreated to Pompeii in early 62 AD, before all the riots and the trouble in Rome and wasn’t there when the mob stormed the Curia. In Pompeii, Manius settled down with training guards and bodyguards for wealthy and noble people. 62 AD, summer – Living in Pompeii didn’t work out well for Manius and his wife. Going home to rest at night wasn’t enough for a man like Manius. In the summer of 62 AD, his father passed away and left a sum and Manius returned to Rome with his wife, to move into his father’s old home. In Rome, he was still able to come and go from the Imperial Palace and did what he could to save his former master, who had been arrested for corruption. From behind the scenes, he’d try to prevent the execution of Cyprianus, but eventually, his former master is instead murdered. Manius decided it was best for him and his wife to stay out of sight and they resumed to living quite ordinary lives in Rome. Manius became a guard at the slave market once more, in order to earn some coin and remind himself how little he deserves the life he has now. 75 AD – For over 10 years, Manius and Salacia have lived a quiet life without anyone paying them much attention. They never had any children. Then the earthquake happened. Manius had been working a night shift at the slave market and he assumed Salacia had been at home and could only pray that she reached safety… but when he returned home the following morning, she was gone. No one had seen her; she seemed to have disappeared. Not knowing whether his wife is alive or dead, Manius is once more at a loss of what to do with his life. And because his employer at the slave market lost a great deal of coin because of the earthquake, Manius lost his job. Anyone he knew in the past are either dead or have disappeared. He's alone. He has nothing and if he does not find a job, he won't have any money left either. Then he'll loose his home. Manius is desperate. So once more, he is looking for a meaningful purpose with the miserable life he still has. He currently works as a bodyguard for Caecina Tusca. Atrice | GMT+1 | PM or Discord
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