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  1. Mid July 75AD The sun was hot today, blisteringly so and as always it impacted the passing trade of her stall. Few ventured out at this time, and if they did they were always in a foul mood - rushing to get this or that for dinner based on a change of their dominus' whims - nobody wanted to be out in the midday sun if they could help it. Her included. She swatted a bead of sweat from her neck and adjusted the strip of linen that held up her dark hair into a loosely piled mass of braids. She was out here alone today; Appius was trying his luck with a small stall outside one of the thermaes, selling fruits to those citizens desperate for something fresh. It wasn't an oddity to see her alone selling their wares, and nor did she feel particularly troubled by it; she knew her fellow stallholders either side of her well, and as chance would have it her apathetic ex-husband was just across the way; trying and succeeding in not paying any attention to her. They'd have her back if she needed it. Her stall was piled high with an abundance of produce; both savoury and sweet although nobody seemed to want to touch the vegetables that were on offer and most flocked to her to buy a lone apple or a solitary peach. Cheapskates, she thought but tried to brush it aside. Being midday at the height of summer in Rome, foot traffic was low and she paused to sit down on one of the stalls she had convinced Appius to pack for her. No point making her feet blister and ache if there wasn't any custom to be had. She stifled a yawn as she sat; she'd been up since well before dawn doing deliveries to her regulars and the markets were a tiring affair - even if not busy - owing to the fact that it meant lugging various fruits and vegetables up and down all day, and putting up with the riot of colours and smells that invaded the senses at every opportunity. She fiddled with the edge of her plain tunica and hummed to herself, bored out of her wits as more people came and went - idly eyeing the peaches placed proudly front and centre, yet nobody stopped. Not until a shadow loomed and she blinked up, to greet her customer. TAG: Open!
  2. Early June, 75 AD Of course she knew she needed to find a new husband - or at least try. That was a woman’s role and lot in Rome. Grow up, get married, get kids… if you lose your husband, get another or your family will dislike you. She didn’t want to be disliked. And she did want to find a man who would marry her, for how else was Gaius to have a proper father to raise him? Her brother did well, of course, but he had a wife and kids of his own too and Gaius was just a nephew and not his own child. She needed a man of her own. But she also needed Lucia. She hoped her future husband would accept her. Pinaria could not imagine marrying and never embrace Lucia again, like she had done it the past year. She wanted it all. And somehow, she’d have it. That’s why she had gone to the temple today – to pray and make a sacrifice, so that a good man of honor and bravery would somehow be hers. After all, as long as she was married, she was a good wife and mother. She did not spend time alone with other men and certainly, if she did, they never touched. Not that she didn’t know Gaius had not been as good as her at that; and he didn’t even hide it, but she didn’t blame him. She didn’t love him, but they were friendly with each other. And they were wife and husband and a wife did not sleep around. She had to make sure her kids were also his kids. But now that he was gone, surely there was no problem with bedding someone else and especially not when the other person was a woman, who could not make her with child. It was alright, in her opinion. She hoped the gods would agree. Quietly she left the temple and found a marble bench nearby to sit on and ponder, while looking up at the beautiful structure in front of her. She knew the gods had their own strange ways and that humans were probably nothing else than toys to them. She had lost so many people in her lifetime. People she cared about or should have cared about. She never even knew her mother! She hoped that she would not lose Lucia and that the next person she came to care about, would not disappear on her either. She barely noticed that someone else joined her on the bench, until she moved to stand and her palla was stuck underneath the other person. It was somehow ripped off her and she stood with just her chiton on and a very surprised look on her face, "Excuse me!" She said, clearly upset, while reaching for her palla to get it back and put it on. This was very inappropriate!
  3. After receiving the news that her that her engagement had fallen through Marcella's first instince was to chase down her now ex-fiance and demand an explanation. He had giving her some bullshit excuse that he was going to Aegypt and didn't want to take any woman that was not already his wife with him. He didn't even have the courtesy to tell her in person, she had to hear it from his mother, no doubt the woman would tell all her friends about it and she would become even more of a laughing stock than she already was, she could hear the gossip now, "the shrewd Marcella finnaly found herself a man, only to chase him off after less than a month." She eventually calmed herself enough to not follow him all the way to Aegypt in a blind rage, but she couldn't stay in the city. Instead, she left her father in the care of some trusted slaves and traveled to her brother Vitus' home in Naples. He had welcomed her but his wife was put out by her unannounced arrival. That night she had left the domus alone to visit a nearby beach, she had to make her way down a small cliff to reach it put there was a path carved out that made it easy enough to walk up and down, even if it was steep. The first thing she did was toss the engagement ring he had left her into the waves, the ring was then followed by a flurry of rocks. She was angry, angry at him, angry at her brother for forcing them together, but most of all angry at herself. What made her think that she had finally found someone who would not only accept but also love the woman she was? She spent the night angrily throwing stones into the ocean until she fell asleep right there on the beach. She woke up to pebbles falling on her face and the ground shifting underneath her. She jolted upright with sand covering the side of her face and half of her hair. Wide eyed, her head whirled around as she tried to understand what was going on when the ground once again trembled. This time she got on her feet and ran to the shore in an effort to get away from the crumbling cliff that would surely kill her if she tried to go up it now. She had two options, stay here and hope that the debre from the cliff wouldn't crush her or further enter Neptune's domain in an effort to find safer place to wait this out. A rock the size of her fist fell inches away from her and her mind was made up, she offered up a quick prayer to Neptune begging for his mercy and apologising for throwing those stones before diving into the ocean and swimming far enough out that the waves wouldn't just push her back onto the shore. As she treaded water she tried to think of where she could possibly go to escape this earthquake. The cliffs could go on for miles but if she could just find a boat to board she would be safe. @open
  4. Guest

    People Watching

    February 75CE Rome was a city of huge opportunity for people who were willing to seize the day. Carpe diem. It applied to slaves, foreigners, princes and paupers. The streets were in reality lined with rubbish but, to the poetically minded, that could be pushed to one invisible side and in its place be pure gold. The right person, with the right skills and the right mindset, could achieve almost anything. His own father had been one of those people. A distinctly run of the mill equite, he had invested the profits of a lifetime’s career in milking taxes out of Syrians into bankrolling the extravagances of the slothful, indolent, turgid senatorial aristocracy. Their debaucheries needed deep pockets which, of course, they did not have. His father had happily lent loans here and there, well secured against land and had come out an incredibly rich man and, on his death, was one of the leading private bankers in Rome. Well done, pater. But just think how much he could have achieved if he had decided to go after power as well as wealth. Money was only useful for what it bought you. Possessing it in and of itself was worthless. And what was more valuable than power? Nothing, thought Titus, as he strode through the Forum Romanum. The tepid spring noon bathed the complex in a weak heat and dullish light. The heavy scent of rain earlier still emanated off the earth. His return to Rome had been unexpected. An overzealous official in the ministry had decided he was overdue a new appointment. Thank the Gods he had been able to exert some influence and escape languishing as Subpraefectus of the Misenum Fleet for the next few years. He could imagine nothing worse than bobbing on the water with a bunch of crusty old sea dogs, facing no action whatsoever besides a round of interminable society parties and escort duty to grain fleets. It was therefore with a lot of luck that he had been able to manipulate the Praefectus Augusti of Aegypt, where he had most recently been stationed, into proposing him for a vacant Tribunate in the Praetorian Guard. Whilst not perhaps the best promotion he could have hoped for, at least it was not the sort of living death that the Fleet would have been. The Guard were a sorry lot, really, although they thought very highly of themselves. The problem for them was that – honestly – no one really liked them. To the soldiery of the regular army, the Praetorians were seen as a bunch of overpaid, soft lackies who lived a sweet life of doing faff-all besides guard the Imperial latrine and sample the wines and whores of Rome. All fancy uniforms but about as much use as a glass hammer. To the citizens of Rome they were the over-paid bully-boys of the regime. Throwing their weight around and getting away with murder. There was a reason that Praetorians rarely ventured into the city alone. Finally, even to the Princeps, their supposed master, they were at best a necessary evil. Too often the Guard had proved fickle and, when not actively doing away with Imperials, had a nasty habit of often plotting to do it again. However, the fear they engendered in all three of those parties gave them a clout which kept the institution alive. The Praetorian Prefects held great sway over political, legal and military affairs. Their gravitas filtered down the chain and gave each member of the Guard a sense of superiority that could manifest itself in something as simple as a swagger in his step or a feeling of immunity from all wrongdoing they may choose to commit. His III Cohort had been discharged from their turn on the rota of attendance on the Palatine Palace. Titus was glad of it. It had been a tedious stretch. Little to do save for do regular rounds of the sentries and ensure there was no slipping in standards. The novelty of wearing his new uniform had long worn off by now. As soon as he had formally handed over custody of the Palace to the Tribune and men of the IV Cohort, he had rushed to change out of his formal kit and into an only slightly more comfortable toga. The bulk of his Cohort had been dismissed back to the Castra Praetoria but – unwilling to head back just yet – he had kept with him his First Centurion, a grizzled, bovine time-server named Marcus Valens and several of his pet goons as an escort. Well, the men appreciated a day out every now and again, it did well to bind them to him through friendship as well as fear. As no military uniform was allowed in the city by soldiers when not on duty, his escort had likewise to change into the civilian attire. In a sense this was almost just as menacing. Tall men with close cropped hair, bulging muscular arms covered in scars and military tattoos, all wearing better than your average cut of tunic. As they were escorting a Tribune of the Guard, they carried thick and gnarled vine branch staffs. Pugio daggers were carried concealed under the fold of their clothes. As he walked across the Forum, his “entourage” (shall we call them that?) ensured his path was cleared in a none-too-gentle fashion. Most people made sure they scampered sharpish as they approached, noticing the unmistakeable mark of the Guard and deciding that they didn’t want any trouble. Anyone too slow was shoved aside. One storekeeper who foolishly decided to remonstrate with one of his men who had cheekily swiped a pie off the platter he was bearing got a sharp crack on the leg with one of the vine clubs. He doubled over with a shout and his friends dragged him away. Titus carried on, paying no notice. He was headed towards one of his favourite drinking haunts: an open air taverna which stood opposite the Curia. A sea of tables was spread out over a corner of the paved forum and surrounded by a low fence. A circular bar stood in the middle and an ever busy crowd of slaves hurried back and forth bringing surprisingly good quality wine to the patrons. Situated here in the forum, it served a huge plethora of society – from senators fresh from the Curia, to businessmen, to tourists and simple gawpers. The prices were on the steepish side but – when you were a member of the Guard – that was not a problem. The taverna’s owner saw the small group coming and Titus smiled as he saw him hurriedly talking to his staff, visibly panicked. One slave dashed off and told the persons sitting at Titus’ favourite table that they had to leave, now. Another hurried to decant several jars full of his favourite Falernian, knowing what he liked to order. Tucking his thumbs into his belt, the portly owner hurried to greet Titus as he arrived, casting worried looks at his grizzled, rough looking companions. “Tribune Titus Cornasidius, it is a pleasure, a pleasure! You have had a good day, yes? You and your men must be thirsty, it is hard work protecting Caesar and the day is so hot!” “It is not hot at all, in fact I think it is decidedly cold for this time of year,” Titus replied, as the host led them towards his table. He way toying with the man. “Actually, yes, n-n-now you mention it I think it is the coldest Spring I can remember for a long time.” “No, I think it is actually the hottest for at least a decade.” “Yes, yes, of course, sorry, it is unseasonably warm.” Gods, the man was a fuckwit. “We are thirsty, how about you do your job, fellow, eh?” Titus took a seat, rolling his neck and letting it give a pleasurable crack. That bloody helmet was a bugger to wear. All ornament and no comfort. He ran a hand through his dark curls. Valens sat a discrete distance away and his 6 other men further back still. A servant girl brought over a tray with the wine and tried to escape but found a thick arm from one of the men wrapped round her waist and he dragged her onto his lap. Several nearby tables got up and moved elsewhere. Suit yourself, Titus thought, just gives me a better view of the world. Still, best not to let things get out of hand – at least not this early anyway. “Valens, make sure the boys don’t cause a fucking scene, would you? I don’t want to be hauled up before the Prefect.” Valens gave a toothless smile of acceptance. Titus certainly didn’t need to get dragged before the Prefect like a naughty schoolboy. Ordinarily there were two Prefects in the Guard – one of those many crafty scenes designed by the Deified Augustus to divide and rule. The Guardsmen also found it helped too as often the two Prefects were at each other’s throats so – in the same manner that a child might go to one parent when denied by another – they could often escape punishment by pleading to one of their bosses about the other. Alas, at present the Prefect was the son of Caesar. In Titus’ view, a pompous prig. He was never pleased to hear tales of the Guard winding up the citizens of Rome and vice versa. In short, he was a wet blanket who very often spoiled the Guard’s fun. If Titus was to be in this posting for now he intended to make the most of it. He filled his glass and took a long, satisfying sip. He had nowhere to be. He enjoyed sitting back and watching the bustle of the city. It is amazing what you could see if you just let yourself look.
  5. The animal fights had just been concluded, with plenty of dead animals and even a few of the gladiators fighting the animals. Marcus had come without slaves and of course he had been fascinated and now watched equally fascinated as it was all dragged out, leaving behind a trail of blood on the sands before it was covered with fresh sand. Then the editor of the games stood up and spoke of what gladiators were to come. It would seem there would both be male and female gladiators and even a few deserters given a chance of redemption. Redemption! Hopefully they would die. If someone needed redemption, they usually were not deserving of it. Marcus looked up when a seller passed by his step on the seats and got himself a cup of ale and a stick with spiced pork to eat. Then he looked down at the games again, watching the first fighters enter the arena and he looked forwards to seeing it all happen. He didn't have any favorites, he just wanted to see how they did it and he wanted to see them die. Hopefully with a lot of blood. He smiled by the thought, but the smile faded quickly when someone tried to reach a better spot on the row behind him and by accident pushed to his back... making him spill the ale and drop the meatstick! "Watch where you're going!" Marcus yelled after the person, taking note of their appearance (just in case he wanted to seek them out later) and then looked to see if the ale had been spilled on anyone, while he also picked up the stick and attempted to brush off any dirt from the meat.
  6. Lucius entered the Circus Maximus, the home of the races and a place where it was even recommended to find a spouse. His son, Lucius Minor walked with him and his son was becoming a man. Soon taking the first steps in the honos curum and taking his place in Roman society. Occasionally, Lucius would stand and greet his social peers. A handshake and greetings were offered to them, questions and tidings of good health, and some minor prying into their personal affairs. There were few that Lucius considered to be true friends, and he hoped to instill an understanding of politics in his son. Unfortunately, his son had his mother's kind and friendly nature. Despite his son's frequent efforts to try to improve himself and please his father. Father and son took their seats with the preliminary races already in process. The crowd were bursting with excitement. Lucius was not an avid supporter of any of the teams nor the allegiances associated with them. Instead he preferred to simply watch the races and observe the various people who would come to watch. Nearly every type of person was here. The overly ambitious freedman, the noble, the old man itching to find a lover, and many more. For the moment he did not speak to his son. He paused and watched his son as his nose wrinkled in distaste as he made eyes with a pretty pleb girl. There was no chance that he would be able to have a relationship with her nor risk spawning a whelp on her. Lucius cleared his thought and instantly his son's gaze was on his. It was time for him to ensure his son passed from boyhood to manhood. Either with one of their household slaves or with one of the courtesans, able to give him a pleasant experience and without lust nor love forming a lasting attachment. "Pardon Pater," His son excused himself, and both father and son watched the races.
  7. Mid May 75 AD - in the street, near the Domus Venus It was just another evening in the Domus Venus and Helios was waiting for his next patron to show up. He had been up all night last night, busy with patrons and clients and for some reason, he couldn’t sleep very well today. Which meant that tonight he was more tired than usual and now he sat in the main room of the brothel, dressed in a simple sleeveless tunica that he’d tossed over his head and with shining cuffs around each arm. His hair was put up in a high ponytail tonight, mostly pulled away from his face save for a few tresses for the sake of looks. He hoped the next patron wouldn’t demand too much and at the same time, he hoped they’d stay all night. And give him both their body and a lot of stories about their lives. He had already had one tonight and he wasn’t feeling up to that much. Maybe he was getting too old for this shit. He really needed to do more with his life. Dareios made him realize this, a few years back and he had not stopped thinking about it since. Freedom was a thing in his near future, he hoped. He watched with a cup of wine in his hand, as another client walked through the door and spoke with the matron. He wanted a girl. And girls were lined up and the man selected one and off they were. Helios hadn’t been lined up with others like that in years; he wasn’t that young anymore and he could offer more than just a body. He was more a courtier than an actual prostitute these days, but most people didn’t know the difference. On top of that, he collected secrets and sold them either to his mistress or to other people willing to pay for them. Secrets could be very valuable. Knowledge was valuable... and Helios was lucky enough to have a good memory. Helios emptied his wine and let the matron know that he would be on the streets for a bit, hoping to find work and a useful and interesting client or something like it, out there instead. Near the Domus Venus he leaned against a wall, watching everyone who walked by and hoped to catch someone’s eye or see someone interesting to follow. ((the thread is open, but please let me know first before you join)) ((the date is not set in stone, can be changed to June or April))
  8. ( OOC: Writer's note: sorry if the title is horrible!) [ Venusiana's dress] Being a freewoman meant to being just that, being free. Not that she would go out and do such very lewd things. That was not in her nature plus it would bring dishonor to her two loves and she would not dare to do that. However, this lovely city had so much more to offer. The gladiator games was tempting. Though she did not know the first thing about being a patroness or watcher of the games. Although....could also be a good opportunity to spread more good will around the city with the house she did so very much care about. But alas, she would have to think on her plans about that. But she also remembered that the amphitheatrum always seemed to have something going on there. The roman plays were all well and good but the later as of recent seemed to not to be above par. But it was always good to see how these roman playwrights would try to beat out the Greeks. The greeks had philosophy within their language. Something of which did fascinate her. So she had heard those little whispers upon the wind about one of those performances only happening within the sunshine. ( Well , it was quite hard to perform by candlelight within these perfomances. In this place, you could very so seldom see.) She decided to take a venture to seeing it. She had her days without seeing her loves but knew they had guests to receive besides her. Besides, she could recite what happened within the play. Whether it be dramatic or...maybe not just that well. Cordelia and Quintus always did enjoy how she liked to spin a story. One more that she could spin. Plus she could use a little roman culture. Well, more of for so. She was dressed in a dress that Cordelia had given her recently. The fabric was nice in texture but also had a light green feel to it. One of the disadvantages of Sulpicia being a freedwoman is that she was still learning on what she could and could not wear as a free woman. Certain colors. Certain fabrics. Such and such. But there was no harm in her wearing a dress that had been given to her, was it? That she wasn't aware of. She would have to still learn. Maybe perhaps there was some freedwomen in town that she could befriend and gain knowledge. She was going along with it as she could. She didn't want to bring it up to Cordelia and/or Quintus as she didn't want them to down about her struggles. But she knew that THEY knew what she was capable of. She was a strong woman. She could be brave too. As she approached the amphiteatrum, she could see there was not a lot of others here but maybe that bode well. She could concentrate upon what was being presented to her. Unless it was beyond boredom, then she could focus on the whispers and gossip. With how these seating arrangements were, keen ears could pick up anything. As she took her seat, she fixed her shawl of her dress. She then made a surprised sound when she felt the skirt of her dress was stepped or pulled. "I'm so sorry, was my dress in your way?" She asked, turning to look and see who it was.
  9. 13th of October, during the festival Fontinalia The Piscina Publica were public swimming grounds and luckily placed not very far from their home. And this was quite lucky on a day like today – it was, after all, Fontinalia and it was the day of celebration for Fons, the god of wells and springs. Septima Major was out with her sister, Minor, to celebrate the day. They’d spent the last few days on preparing a most beautiful garland out of flowers and grasses and leaves and now it was done and ready to be hung on a fountain near the Piscina Publica on this very day. Septima Major was excited – she loved festivals like these and could barely wait with going out. Maybe she spent a little too long getting ready. Septima Minor had been ready for a while, before Major finally decided she was done too. She wore a very pretty, bright green chiton with a yellow and red palla over it. Her hair had been done up on her head, with twirls and curls and a few yellow flowers and green leaves added to the style. It went very well with her pretty blue eyes. On her feet were simple slippers. They carried the garland together on their way to the fountain. She gave her sister a smile, after she’d waved to a few people she knew on the way – Septima knew many people and she liked to talk to people and make new friends, “Oh I hope someone else didn’t already decorate the fountain we decided on. It’s going to look so pretty, isn’t it?” Septima Major said with an excited tone, “I wonder if there’s going to be music too. And maybe someone set up a shop that sells food and drinks? We could stay a little while.” She suggested with a smile, “Oh, do you think anyone’ swimming in the pools today? That would be interesting.” @Chevi
  10. April, 75CE It was a fine day at the gladiatorial games, which meant everyone and their brother was in attendance. Aglaea was lucky that her mistress was in a higher social class, which meant their seating was much better, but the crowd was still crushing. Aglaea was never much of one for crowds in the first place, but her mistress was kind enough to give her a little bit of freedom to explore once she had taken care of all her needs for the moment. Given perhaps an hour to her own devices, the slave first purchased a small bag of nuts and a cool but cheap cup of wine. Then, she pushed through the crowd and came across a small alcove near the seating for lower classes. Sitting down on the base of a column, she let herself breathe. She was removed from the crowds here and blissfully in the shade. For the moment she was alone and thankful for her freedom, even if it was just a little and for a short time.
  11. Atrice

    Out Alone

    It was a late afternoon and she had snuck out. Septima felt a little excited as she walked down the street, alone – there was no chaperone and her sister wasn’t here. No slave, nothing. She was on her own! Of course it wasn’t the first time, but she grew more brave and bold and she just wanted to go out and try and live life a little bit. That’s all she wanted. She wore a light green chiton today, with a simple (but beautiful!) dark green palla over her shoulders. Her long hair had long, wavy curls and was pulled a bit back from her face. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. It was a beautiful day. She didn’t really have a plan for where to go. Maybe she’d go and see a race, on her own? Or a gladiator match. She’d love to see that, without any escorts, so she could truly try and experience it. Or maybe she would just go and watch them train. She’d heard they could be quite handsome, some of them, big and muscular brutes and she was kind of interesting in looking at that. But maybe if she came close to the ludii, that’s where she would go. Maybe a trip to the market at first, buy something to eat for herself and then find a nice place to eat it. There were many places where you could buy a quick meal when you were out and about. Septima finally arrived at the large marketplace. She stood for a moment, just taking it in. It was then she saw a girl from far away, but thougth she looked familiar – an old friend of hers that she had not seen in years. Septima smiled and decided to approach her, but the girl then walked away with her escort and Septima followed her. They disappeared in the crowd though and Septima stopped, not sure it was a good idea to follow. Maybe it wasn’t her anyway. It was then someone walked by her and bumped into her and then hurried away. She arched a brow, not sure what that was about and headed back to the market to find some food. She reached for her purse and… it was gone! “Oh no…” She looked towards where the person bumping into her went, but they were long gone now, she imagined. This was not good... and she was hungry!
  12. March, 75 AD Things were still strange at home. He did his best to try and connect with young Lexus, his son, but he never had a son before and did not quite know how! Lexus had seemed surprised too at meeting his father, and then his son's mother was suddenly dead and everything was strange. Add to that Alexius' affair with the mistress of the house - an affair he certainly enjoyed and when he was with her, there was nothing he wanted more but to stay with her. Yet he was nothing but a freedman and former gladiator and she was much too used to luxuries to ever marry a man like him. It just wouldn't happen; he did not think it would. So sometimes he just had to escape the strangeness of Oriana's home and get out and have a drink or two, as usual. So Alexius did that. It was evening and at the tavern he had a good talk with a very handsome young man, but in the end, the youth left with a just as attractive lady and Alexius had halfway considered if they would need a third party to their fun... but then decided to let the young have their fun and experiences alone and thus he wandered out onto the street, half-drunk and with a mind on finding his way home. First though, maybe just one more tavern and one more drink? Alexius had no idea if it was late or early in the evening, when he approached the next tavern and opened his purse to check if he had more coins. He did. Good, more wine then! Just leaving the tavern though was a gang of men, four of them, and they were dragging someone between them. Clearly someone who did not want to come with them! Alexius was not very fond of injustice like that and seeing someone unwilling being manhandled like that, made him want to help. Alexius saw them enter the alley near the tavern and now he definitely thought that something was shady about this. He decided to follow - because there were three things he never turned down. Wine, good looking people and fights... and this might be the latter! And just as he guessed, in the alley the unwilling person was pressed up against the wall by the men and Alexius inhaled a breath. "Hey, what are you doing? Let them go!" Alexius called out to the men and two of them approached him, "... or what?" One of them asked with a laugh and Alexius walked closer. They were definitely bad eggs, these! "Just do as I said, let them go. I don't want to have to hurt you." Alexius said and they laughed again. One of them pulled a knife. Well, fuck. He didn't bring any knife. Not that he would ever back out of a fight, just because he had no knife. He survived years in the arena, so he could definitely survive this too. Alexius inhaled a breath, bracing himself. Later, he barely remembered who started, but there was a struggle with the two men - while two others held the fifth person by the wall - and Alexius earned himself a fresh wound cut into his arm and a bruise on his cheek, but for some reason, the men had not planned on fighting a bodyguard and former gladiator. They had not planned on sticking around for this long and they didn't want to get caught. The two by the wall decided to call it off, and the four bad guys ran for it. They left the person they dragged among them, in the alley behind them, over there by the wall. Alexius brushed his clothes, they were not too dirty despite that he'd landed on the ground with at least one of the men and he took a quick glance at his upper arm where the knife had met his flesh. It was bleeding. The sleeve on his tunica was soaked. Nothing new there... he decided to pay attention to it later. There were more important things here, because the last person still stood over there by the wall in the shade of it, "Hey, are you alright?" He then asked, slowly approaching them. ((who the person is, you decide... could be your male or female character or a third party and your character was just a bystander or comes in after the fight... that is up to you))
  13. APRIL 75CE It had been a full year since Rukia came to Rome, and she had never bothered to witness an event. From the descriptions from her sisters, it all sounded like a bit of a barbaric, sweaty affair. Plus, she wasn't the biggest fan of crowds as of late. She had begun working closely with a woman who was soon to give birth at any moment, which meant long, long nights away from home. Her second eldest sister, the one that even married, still carried on with her crushes on a few of the fighters, finally begged her to come. And of course, Rukia being Rukia, could never turn her sister down. Even if she was certain she was going to resent every minute of the spectacle. Pushing through crowds of bodies and loud people, she and her sister finally found a spot that was perfect, even by lower class standards. "Rukia dear," her sister said, "Could get us some olives and maybe some wine? It's far more fun to watch with a snack." "Of course." She smiled, but inwardly, it took a lot out of her to keep from rolling her eyes. So, here she was, pushing through body after body, and deeply annoyed. All for her sister, and her determination to keep her mind from work. Pushing through a crowd is awkward, so when she made the wrong move, one of her hands accidentally slapped into the shoulder of some other person, of which she quickly started to apologize for. "Oh my goodness... please forgive me... I didn't see where I was going!" Honestly, she would have rather being delivering crying, squalling newborns over this.
  14. Lexus had gone to the bathhouse, as instructed by his mother. He knew he ought to be a proper Roman citizen and go more often, but sometimes it bored him and looking at older, naked and not always trimmed men did not really spark his fancy. More the opposite. But he’d gone and now he was clean and smelled nice. His brown hair was still slightly tousled, although he did comb it with his fingers, but he felt he was almost shining… although he probably wasn’t. Now he had the rest of the day to just… do something. Maybe he should visit one of the temples that Phaedo showed him? No, it would be weird going alone. Lexus was not a very religious young man – it was interesting and all that, but he didn’t buy all of it. Some of the stories and some of the things you did for the gods seemed weird and so far-fetched, that he’d think… why should it matter to them, if they control our lives anyway? Will they even care? So no, maybe he should not go to a temple today. But then what? Somehow he’d found himself wandering into the vast area of the Forum Romanum. There were several fora here, built by different emperors who wanted to leave something to be remembered by. It was very shining and clean here, a beautiful area of Rome. There was the Basilica Julia, where the praetors sat and where tons of other things were decided and judged and handled. And over there was the Curia Julia, where the senate would sit and discuss important business of Rome. Lexus took a few moments to just look at all the famous buildings and all the people here; the men in the white togas, their slaves, other people coming here to admire the sights. He tilted his head, trying to get a proper view at a certain temple here and took a few steps backwards to see it properly. What he didn’t notice was the lectica carried by four slaves behind him. By accident, he tripped one of them as he walked backwards, not looking where he was going. The slave fell over and the whole party fell down… including the lectica, which probably carried some wealthy noble. Fuck! Lexus felt almost paralyzed, watching the scene and knowing he caused it and he did not dare to run away. What did you say when such a thing happened?
  15. Aulus was having a party for his friends, and he had given Felix the night off. There used to be a time, back when he was a simple household slave, when all his dreams would have been fulfilled by a night off outside the house, in the great city of Rome. But things had changed a lot since then, and even after their discussion with Aulus, Felix still did not feel like he had a place, or something to do, when he was not following his master's orders. He would have happily stayed at home, in the background, waiting to be useful, but Aulus was certain he would not need his services tonight. So, Felix was on his own on the streets of Rome, wandering aimlessly, searching for... he didn't even know what. This was definitely not the best part of the city. He had been to the villas and palaces in Aulus' service, but now, on his own, he would have been a suspicious sight in the rich neighborhoods, in his simple tunic and cloak. Not that Felix was afraid. He'd learned to defend himself a long time ago, on the road to the East. The Subura, and its surrounding neighborhoods, were interesting to say the least, even now, as the sun was going down. There was music, chatter, and quite a bit of traffic as people came and went from their work, or looked for entertainment. Felix kept to himself, observing everything with keen eyes as always. Maybe he'd find something interesting tonight. Or maybe not...
  16. When you reached a certain age and had a certain amount of experiences in your life, you began dwelling on the past. When Lexus was in his 20’s, he mostly thought about when he’d get laid next and if there was a chance to get drunk. And he thought about survival, of course. Survival in the arena and where he lived and survival to be free. He thought about being free and finding his sister and returning to Germania. Well, now he was in his late 30’s, he still had not found his sister – had not seen her in over 20 years – and he had returned to Germania, yet it didn’t feel like he expected. So here he was, in Rome. At least he had a proper job now, working as a guard for a wealthy family with a quite beautiful mistress. He even had a chamber there, it was his new home now! Still though, when he had some time off, he tended to get drunk and mostly to try and forget all the things he didn’t want to think about, when he was alone. Today he had a rare day off, and after visiting his favorite tavern, he went for a walk. He might just be a little drunk now, but that was fine. He needed the walk. Somehow, his feet took him back to the place where he once spent most of his life. The ludii; the gladiator schools. There was an arena here, where you could watch the gladiators train, and it was a quite popular thing to do. Lexus climbed up the steps to take a seat and watch them train. Did he still know anyone there? More than ten years had gone, since he was freed. More than ten years since he fought upon the sands right there. It would seem that the drink he had today didn’t make him forget; it made him remember, now. His gaze turned distant, he didn’t really see them training, he was just lost in memories. Didn’t notice that someone else joined him and sat down quite close to him…
  17. Thus it began! The Flamen Dialis along with the other luperci took the goats and the dog. Symbols of sexuality and fertility in Rome. The animals had been sacrificed, and their screams filled the air. The smell of blood loomed around them. The Flamen Dialis watched as the young men killed the sacrficed animals, they were gifts for the Gods, and it was their sacred duty. He was cowled, his head was covered and the mealcakes, treats that had been made by the Vestals virgins was also placed. After the slaying of the beasts, the head priest of Jupiter approached both of the young men and anointed their foreheads with blood from the sacrificial knife. Gaius did not laugh nor smile. Yet it was expected for both Titus and Tiberius, the luperci to laugh and smile at the gesture. The pair of them were marked as the luperci for this year. The blood would dry on their foreheads, and a sacrificial feast followed. Bloodied strips were taken from the skins of the beasts. The strips, called febua or throngs were placed into the hands of both of the young men. "Now go, go and grace the barren unmarried women with increased fertility," Gaius said, the luperci had changed over time. Either of the youths could run naked or semi-naked through the streets of Rome. Married women or women on the cusp of marriage would offer their hands or backs to ensure fertility would follow. Gaius is the NPC for the Flamen Dialis, the head priest of Jupiter. Notes: Tiberius or Titus to go first. Then they will be instructed to run through the Palatine and to strike the ladies. Once that begins, people are welcome to join in!
  18. Jan 74CE. Midday. Tending to the flames and guiding the younger Vestals, some still in training on how to best tend to it was vital for the future and survival of Rome. Pontia took both her duties and her position as the Virgo Maxima, the head Vestal virgin quite seriously and wanted to ensure that one of them were dishonoured. Or shamed. She brushed off the remaining flour from baking the mola salsa, the sacred bread that was used in nearly all of the Roman rituals with their Gods and one of the temple slaves approached her to inform her that someone was here to speak with her. Occasionally, she would be approached to speak about spiritual matters or to have a will securely locked away in the safe keeping with the Vestals as they had done since the days of the Republic. Her hands removed the last of the flour, and her hand placed on the shoulder of one of the younger Vestals and whispered in her ear to keep an eye on the flame. Always tend to it while she was on duty. If the flame went out. It was a sign of anger from the Gods -- and the Vestal in question would either be flogged or buried alive. She walked out and onto the steps of the temple, there were people in the background walking around and it was clearly part of the busier part of the city, and smiled at the visitor. She wore the "brides wear" the typical clothing of the Vestals, her hair styled in the "bride" fashion although she would never marry. Her duty to Rome and Vesta would always come first. Her face was free of any cosmetics, and the way she held herself could give the impression of her being taller than she actually was. "Salve, is there anything that I can help you with?" She greeted politely.
  19. July, 74 AD It was another day in Marcus Barbatius’ life, meaning another day of work. He had a few patrons coming in to see him today, they had already made it known they wanted his services on this day, but there were also a few open spots and especially before noon. Senators always came later in the day, when they were tired from their supposedly hard work and needed a proper shave and a scented lotion rubbed into their cheeks and oils onto their bodies. His condo was in the first floor of the building and just beneath his condo, was the workshop. He slept with the key to the chest around his neck and now a slave turned up to help him get dressed. A tunica and a simple toga, that he wouldn’t mind getting some hair onto along with some of the scented oils and lotions. The slave silently helped Marcus put on the sandals, helping with the straps that went around his leg and then he had some early breakfast served. A bit of cold, watered wine and bread. Apparently they were out of honey and didn’t have much olive oil, but his kitchen slave had managed to purchase some butter and that at least was something. The mornings were silent in his home. Slaves rarely spoke, out of fear they’d say something wrong to displease their master. Nobody wanted to displease him. Silently he went to the workshop in the street level, which had been cleaned with a broom and a brush and some wet cloth. There was an actual chair there and a few stools and a working table. Shelves of course, with beautiful bottles and jars with lotions and oils. There was a heavy scent in the room because of all that and Marcus opened the door and opened the shutters to the window to the shop to let it be known, that it was open for business. The slave he’d chosen to help him out today stood in the corner of the room, waiting to be asked to work and Marcus removed the key from his neck to open the chest. He picked one of the razors and decided to start the day with sharpening some of the tools while waiting for potential clients.
  20. Even slaves who were bodyguards needed time off sometimes – or, they didn’t need it, according to the people who enslaved them, but they were lucky to get time off. Cynane definitely needed it. Not that she disliked her mistress, no… Claudia was sweet and kind towards Cynane and it was still so much better than all the years Cynane spent as a gladiatrix. Although the male slaves and especially the praetorians, the royal guard, still gave her strange looks for being a woman in breeches carrying weapons… at least she felt respected where she was today. And when she was given a bit of coin for her work, she kept it for the few times she had a chance to leave the palace behind her. Today was such a day. Not that a day off meant this woman wearing a dress – no way! She wore her grey breeches and a long blue/grey tunica and a belt with her purse attached. She supposed it was a kind of dress, but it still stopped above the knees and she didn’t care. It felt right to her. Her hair was done as always, with braids and twirls collected on top and on the backside of her head, so that her long hair still flowed down her back, but it wasn’t in the way of her eyes or face. Cynane found her favorite place to eat. She hadn’t known this place as a gladiatrix, but another slave had recommended it and she quite liked it. The owner was a bountiful woman, who was a former gladiatrix too – and who chose to open this place once she was freed. They served good food and drink here and there was always something to look upon. She found a seat and a barmaid showed up to find out what Cynane wanted. A good serving of the stew of the day and some ale. Yes, they actually served ale in here – it wasn’t quite similar or quite as good as what Cynane grew up on with her own tribe in Britannia, but it was still good and barley grew well in the heat in this part of the world. Once her drink had been served in a large mug, she leaned back in her seat. She had chosen a bench and a table near a wall, so that she could lean against the wall behind her. Cynane took a good gulp of the drink and looked around – and then up as the barmaid appeared with a bowl of stew for Cynane. The stew never made it to her table though. Some annoying ass of a man decided to grab the barmaid from behind, hoping to pull her to his lap, and caught by surprise, the barmaid dropped the bowl of food, which landed on the ground and shattered. There was stew and shards on the floor and the male ass was surprised too and forgot to hold onto her. She stepped away quickly and Cynane couldn’t help it and stood, glaring at the man, “Who the fuck do you think you are? You leave her alone and buy me another round of stew!” Cynane demanded. It was a good thing she wasn’t allowed to leave the palace with a weapon on her body, but that didn’t mean she was helpless - and if you couldn't tell by her appearance, the way she held herself or the way she spoke, you had a problem. And by the gods she wouldn’t mind a proper fight for once! Sadly though, the man was plenty intimidated by a woman in breeches giving him orders, so he stood and quickly left the place – without buying another round of stew. Well fuck… Cynane inhaled a breath and looked around; everyone looked at her though… “What are you all looking at? Mind your own business!” She said and sat down and downed the rest of her mug in one gulp.
  21. Jenn

    Market Day

    July 74 CE Widowhood was hard to deal with, but Julia was doing the best she could. A little over six months had passed since Canus had passed. She was still residing on the small farm that her and Canus had shared and worked together for Alaric Stilicho, but there were a few slaves who did the direct work. With the arrival of early summer Julia had taken a few days away from the farm to come into town to visit her son and go to the Markets. Julia entered the Emporium Magnum and immediately was bombarded by the noise and the crowds of people milling about. She was mostly there to sell and purchase a few items but also to simply see who was around. After doing her business she was looking at a stall with a variety of wares.
  22. March 74CE Gaius left the business for the day in the care of his eldest daughter. Instead today was one where he would wander, enjoy the sights of Rome, and hopefully find someone he could meet with. His clothing was relatively modest yet his jewelry showed the wealth he had attained. Commerce and trade, two things that benefited him greatly. It allowed him time to grow and change. The years had softened his determination and blind push for his children to succeed. Instead, he wanted to learn about people and discover more about the various people he saw in the city. There were times when he would talk. He had nothing in his hands. The loyal slave assigned to him held the rolled up pieces of parchment, the ink, his water flask, and a few other bits and pieces. He hurried after his Dominus and wondered what God the old man prayed to in order to have so much movement for a man his age. "D-dominus, are you sure we should be traveling here?" "Ah, good Pavo!" He exclaimed cheerfully, "they are Romans, like us. Are they not?" Pavo murmured something under his breath and Gaius pointedly ignored him. It was a good day today. There was no need for any anger nor of strife. Gaius accidentally bumped into someone. "Beg pardon, my mistake," He said with a good natured smile. "Say, would you be interested in talking to an old man?"
  23. Early evening, early July, 74CE Vibia yawned, stretching out on a rich couch in the entranceway to the Domus Venus. She had been up most of the previous night with one of her regulars, a man with about as much wit as her left thumb, but he was good natured and tipped generously. Not to mention he was at least somewhat satisfying. She had no particular plans for the day and so was enjoying simply resting. The early summer heat had become intolerable in her room and at least the main rooms had some of the coolness thick walls and a lack of windows could offer, and so here she lounged. In the year she'd been in the brothel she had come to know most of her peers relatively well - but her status as a freedwoman often left her at odds with them. That wasn't to say she didn't socialise, but she supposed her (hypothetical, or presumed) ability to be able to just up sticks and walk out if she so chose, irritated the slaves that also services the nobility of Rome. If only they really knew what she was doing there. Smiling a little to herself, she let her eyes flutter shut. There were fewer clients when the heat was up - nobody wanted to couple when they already felt the sweat roll off their faces it seemed - and so she figured she had at least a few hours before she was to prepare for the evening. Wearing a loose fitting tunica, but with her hair immaculately pinned and a gold necklace around her throat, she looked the very picture of contentment. Unfortunately it wasn't to last. A sound in the room disturbed her and she snapped her eyes open, irritated. If the girls and men of the brothel wanted to talk, why couldn't they do it where they wouldn't disturb her? Fire in her eyes she gracefully moved to sit, her voice loud and authoritative. "Can't you see I'm trying to get some peace?" She blinked into the dim light of the evening in the direction of the noise. She had no authority, not really, not here, but the domina was nowhere to be seen and Gods she wanted some sleep. TAG: Open to anybody at Domus Venus!
  24. Gothic

    Roman zombies

    October 60CE. (This takes place during Lucilla's funeral) There was a long reason for the wasting illness that had plagued her. The funeral procession led through the streets of Rome. Surrounding the casket as it was drawn were the population in the clothes of mourning. Her family were around her, no doubt it would be her male relatives who would give her the funerary orations and share her achievements (and theirs with the populace). She wore a death mask that concealed her features from view. Inside, images of Darius' death, happy and troubled memories stirred as her body began to twitch. Which God or Goddess from down below had decided to bless (or curse Rome)? Finally, a dark memory took hold. One of anger..... betrayal.... Her hand lifted and knocked the shroud off. There were cries of shock from the crowd and followed by silence. Perhaps this was all a trick? An illusive one the family had pulled to lure out enemies into the open? Her hand was pale, tinged with grey and purple where the blood had begun to pool. The mask was pulled off and thrown, smashed on the floor as the litter was placed down on the ground, and she pulled herself up. Her funeral gown was beautiful, she wore ornate necklaces, rings and bracelets as she had done in real life. Her face, beautiful once in life had faded with her mouth semi-open and her eyes grey, clouded and hungrily. A shocked (and terrified) praetorian stepped forward to assist her only to be sharply yanked forward. Her arm grabbed him by his uniform and pulled him towards her with surprising strength. Her mouth dug into his neck as he screamed in complete terror and tore with her teeth. She gulped down what she could. Screams of panic filled Rome as people began to fight or flee. Soon the praetorian's eyes changed and together they began to attack others who approached....
  25. 1st May 74CE Thus far, the dead had never bothered him when it came to dealing with his business. His ancestral spirits must have been pleased with him for the work he had done. He was a good father to his girls, he treated his slaves well and did not deny them their holy days. His parents passed away, as did not of his siblings except for a brother who was off serving in the legion somewhere and Gaius was sure he would not even recognise him. He awoke in the darkness and stretched, cleansed his nude body with clean water and dressed with only a tunica. He yawned in the darkness and walked towards the Lares. The household figures who were represented by well-worn wooden figurines. Gaius prayed to them for protection, guidance and a chance to ensure his family would be protected during this time. He hoped none of the spirits within the walls of his home would be harmful or hostile towards them. Gaius' tunica was loose and without a belt, his feet were bare, and he placed nine beans in his mouth. One at a time. As he walked around the domus, he spat them out one by once with his thumb between his forefinger and middle finger in the mano fico and recited the ancient words meant to drive away the wicked spirits. “Haec ego mitto, his redimo meque meosque fabis." ((These I cast; with these beans, I redeem me and mine!)) He called out and wondered if the spirits really did follow the beans as they were thrown away. They must have for no wicked spirits remained in the family home. It was repeated nine times as he waked around the home and imagined foreign spirits now being forced to vacate the home. He then washed his hands in clean water then walked back and forth throughout the home. Lastly he lifted up a gong and struck it and allowed the noise to move through the home. Nine times he shouted. “Manes, exi paterni!" ((Ancestral spirits, depart!)) Sunlight began to creep up over the horizon. @Gil @AzraelGrim
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