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  1. 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.
  2. 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?"
  3. 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!
  4. Princeps Senatus: Titus Caecilius Faustinus (NPC) Senate Meeting. July 74CE. The Princeps Senatus was already in place, the eldest member of the body of men who would open and close every Senate meeting. His position did not hold imperium yet it held considerable respect and authority within the Senate. Titus, did not have a single scandal to his name and carried great amounts of dignitas. The two new Consuls; Marcus Aemilius Scaurus Alexander and Marcus Valerius Maximus (NPC) were both going to be introduced to the community. Both of them were connected to Caesar through blood or marriage. One could only guess if Caesar or his heirs would be making an appearance today. The Rectangular building had the elder or men who had been in positions of note closest to the bottom, while the younger men or those who had not yet served in the upper tiers had to stand at the back to wait their turn. The Senators of the divine body began to gather, take their seats while the wise, old Princeps Senatus... a man who had seen many different and chaotic events in Rome waited. The role had been returned, a gift from Caesar to the Senate and to the people of Rome. He waited for the men to take their seats for the meeting. What would be discussed this fine day? OOC: Okay everyone, this is a test run for the Senate threads and organising how we are going to use them in the future. Please read the thread about the two political factions. This is the perfect time to make a Senator character to join in on the fun. The first round of posts will be the arrivals of the different Senators, then we will get into discussion and finally the thread will be wrapped. The Newsreader will report the findings of the Senate, so be sure to look out for that. All Senators are expected to attend.
  5. 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....
  6. 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…
  7. The smell of fried onions and cooking meat beckoned to Clio irresistibly. She had walked past the thermopolium a number of times over the past few weeks and nearly succumbed to its delicious aromas, but it was only now that she had the agency (and bravery) to actually become a customer. She was a faithful slave on a secret mission: to sample the wares of the Wolf-man. If they passed the taste test, she was to bring some back - discreetly - for her domina to try. If they didn't, she got a free meal out of it anyway. From inside the shop the owner's voice boomed, and Clio trembled in anticipation. The shopkeeper's reputation preceded him, and it was not the first time Clio heard him ranting or complaining at one of his helpers, probably a slave who knew better than to argue back or really do anything but nod. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and approached the stall. It's for Domina, she told herself in a bid for courage. Clio had not dared to bring up the subject, but could this particular craving of her mistress's be caused by new life in her womb? Pregnant women were known for wanting all sorts of extraordinary foodstuffs, after all. On the other hand, it might just be due to wanting to try some tasty commoner food. Clio would reserve judgment until a later date, when things became clearer, before reporting this to her master. "Hello," she greeted timidly, elbowing her way between two patrons, each busy with gorging himself on bread and meat. The smell was enough to make anyone's mouth water. @Gothic
  8. 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
  9. May 74CE Corinthia remembered the place she had nearly been assassinated at. The culprit had been seized, interrogated and finally had a brutal end to their lives. Yet the original source? She still did not know who it had been. There were many people who would have been only too happy to end her life if it suited them. Either to cause conflict for Caesar, revenge for her father, or a range of other petty issues. She did not hide. Her kohl-rimmed eyes scanned the crowd, her long neck upright and chin raised in defiance. Let them hate her... let them try again... the Gods protected her and allowed her to live for a purpose. However, she had not come alone this time. Her faithful body slave, Nadia, came with her silently and held her items in her hands. Aeneas, the British slave who had been trained as a gladiator also flanked her and followed her. Despite how much she raved, ranted at and occasionally hurled things at him. She felt safer with his tall, pale presence that followed her. Her chiton was stark white and only highlighted her olive skin, the jewelry she wore was gold, expensive and demonstrated that she was a woman of wealth. One of her 'friends' had told her that many people found their lovers at the Circus Maximus. While the idea of having a lover irritated her. She needed to marry, and to marry well. It had been some time since she had heard from Lucius Junius Silanus, and wondered if their travels to Greece was merely in jest. A part of her wished that it was true. She used a small hand fan made out of vibrantly coloured peacock feathers, long and expensive, and gazed at the crowd. Her hand had rings with semi-precious stones on them, as she casually fanned herself and was able to hide her disgusted look every so often. Finally, she found the right place to sit and finally she took her seat beside a small group of young men. Some her age, others younger, and mostly they were all from good families. Listening to their conversation she began to understand why so many people drank excessive amounts of wine.
  10. DEC73 Laugher poured out into the streets surrounding the Domus Venus, the inhabitance of the brothel having a merry time as they all celebrated the festivities of Saturnalia. The doors were open, welcoming all those that ventured into from the streets. Common and noble alike. Fees were waved and her boys and girls held the right to refuse service if they wished. After all it was the time of year when all social norms were abandoned, and the Venus' lot had a little bit of say so thanks to the approval of their lovely Madam. Titinia, herself, lounged on a sofa near a firepit for warmth. Tangled up in the blanket she had draped over herself. Eyes watching her boys and girls as they made merry. The Lord of Misrule running around playfully terrorizing some of the newer members of the 'household'. Her laughter mingling with the others as she sipped at her wine, before placing the goblet down to pour more for herself. She noticed figures hovering at the entrance and instantly her hand raised up, beckoning for those curious to come. "Come, fine patrons." She called out, her tone melodic. Her smile charming and welcoming, "Come!" She said louder. "Enjoy the fruits Domus Venus has to offer."
  11. It was the nature of the Imperial family that they were always on their guard, whether it be for politics or personal safety; often both. And what's more they had to be so whilst appearing to be entirely at ease, a manner which became second nature to them. But it was pleasant to be able to relax as much as they were able, amongst their peers. Tiberius had eaten well and drunk a modest amount of wine. Just enough to feel relaxed, but he wasn't the sort to overindulge. The ebb and flow of conversations and people had left him momentarily on his own and he reclined at his ease, a cup of fine, deep green glass in his hand, on which had been painted stylised lillies and reeds, romantically remniscient of the borders of the Nile in Aegyptus. Likely the artist had never been to that far province however. He nursed the wine in it, taking advantage of the momentary lull to people-watch. It was a careless individual that did not take not of who spoke with whom. A slave passed by with a bowl of grapes and the young man helped himself to a handful with a nod. (OOC: Open to anyone who might like to join him.)
  12. March 74CE. "Come on, boy! People are waiting!" Caius yelled at Aulus. Caius would often yell at his slaves, occasionally give them a cuff around the ear if they misbehaved and would rant at them. Yet he was reasonably fair, valued hard work, and lived in similar conditions that they did. There was the smell of fried foods, minced meat, and the rush of feet as they moved. The food was reasonably cheap yet it meant they often had many customers every day. He watched and used a worn rag discreetly to wipe the sweat from his browline, his skin had a red tinge to it from being around the heat, and sighed to himself. In the distance, he smiled affectionately when he saw his two daughters, both working hard to ensure that all the customers were cared for and kept an eye on them. He was not above putting an unruly customer in the mince meat. And more than once he had to threaten a handsy customer with his cleaver. "You see what the problem is with society, Gallus?" He asked poor Gallus, the slave had heard this rant many times before and was immune to it. "People in Rome don't want to work these days. They come in, wanting things, mouths and hands open," He began and threw up his arms in agitation. "Not bothering to serve in the legions, not wanting to learn a trade, and back in my day... young men took more pride in their work rather than taking charity!" Caius continued, ignored the fact that there were more programs that granted increased work for citizens and freedmen. "Now, what can I get for ya?" He asked one of the customers that had entered.
  13. There were many spirits he hoped would be present. He hoped his parents would be proud of the achievements made by his family, and especially him. Octavius was not sure whether his parents would be tending to Quintus or if they had gone with him. Or whether they remained here. Either way, he wanted to conduct the ritual. His Parentes and Lares, ancestral spirits would guide and protect him throughout the ritual. The Genius, the household god of manly virtue and symbolised by a snake. He prayed and made offers of sacred bread to the figures. Thus far, the lemures or wicked spirits had been driven from their dwellings and the home. Octavius did not consider himself to be an overly superstitious man, he walked around the family home and made sure he went into every room. Every corner. No place within the home would go without. There were many times when he witnessed other people carrying out this sacred duty. Always there was an elder brother within the family home who had the authority to do the ritual. Whether it was Quintus or Jullus in the past, his father before the Gods had taken him, and now it was left to him to conduct the sacred right. It was a further reminder of the role he now played within the family, and within Rome, herself. Octavius wore a tunica without a belt nor rope to hold it in place. He threw the beans, recited the sacred lines, and held his hand in the mano fico position. The lines were repeated as he walked through the expansive and mostly silent home during the darkness of night. The hallways were lit and light shone from the braziers. “Haec ego mitto, his redimo meque meosque fabis." ((These I cast; with these beans, I redeem me and mine!)) He called out into the darkness, force behind his voice and he wondered how much this ritual would work. Like the state religion, it was important to do your duty to the Gods and ensure they were well treated. He reached out his hand and waited for the gong to be placed it in so he could continue the ritual. The household slaves and every member of the family present were aware already. Each of them would participate in the event. Octavius Minor and Valeriana both stood, wiped the sleep from their eyes and waited. Slowly but surely daylight had begun to form. There were no signs that the ritual had failed nor gone astray. https://www.ancient.eu/article/34/roman-household-spirits-manes-panes-and-lares/ @Sharpie @Dev Plus anyone else involved in the family is welcome to come.
  14. May, 74 AD Helenus stood still, with his back straight and his hands clasped together behind him. He wore just the sleeveless and pale thin tunica today, and before him stood one of his superiors. He stood together with other thermae slaves, they were just getting ready for the day and all of the slaves were given their bits of information and tasks. Helenus would of course be in charge of people’s belongings and clothing. “There is also a noble coming to the bath soon. Their messenger requested it was the same slave that tended to them the whole time. That’ll be you, Helenus, since you’re in the apydoterium already. They forgot to mention a name, but I’m sure they’ll inform you once they are here.” His overseer informed him and Helenus nodded. “I’m sure they will. Until then, I will serve as usual.” Helenus said and the overseer nodded – gave him that wave of his hand meaning Helenus was dismissed and could go to the apydoterium, where the first visitors to the bath were soon entering. Tending to the same person all the time they were here was something special and more interesting than just being where Helenus sat now. It meant he'd help the patron bathe, massage and oil if needed, shave if needed and anything else the patron required, really. He sat down on a marble bench, all the way in, so that he could dangle his legs. He brushed a strand of the long, dark hair of his shoulder, so that all of it was on his back. Maybe he should have worn the loincloth. On the other hand, if the noble wanted him in the bath, it was faster to pull the tunica over his head and get in. Soon the first visitors arrived and they were certainly not dressed as nobles. They were ordinary workers, here for their morning bath before getting on with the day. Helenus took their clothing and carried it to one of the niches in the wall. He spent a few moments looking through a purse, just picking up one single coin for his own use, before he went to the secret stash he had behind a lose rock in the wall. He placed the rock back where it belonged, after he’d left the coin there, and then it was back to the apydoterium to wait for more people. Hopefully ‘his’ noble would soon show up and until then, he'd make himself useful to the other visitors here.
  15. 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!
  16. Mid-March, 74 AD - at the Temple of Apollo Sosianus Helios stood quietly before the grand temple dedicated to Apollo Sosianus – or Apollo Medicus. He had with him a bunch of flowers, although they weren’t the prettiest. It was still cold and winter in Rome and Helios could not acquire better flowers than these at the moment. He’d also brought with him a honeycake he’d bought at a nearby marketplace and this was the best he felt he could do. It was his fault Marcus Calvunus, the bouncer and guard of the Domus Venus, had been badly injured and Helios would do all he could to help him. So as any good Roman, even if he was not born here, he would go and sacrifice and pray to the right god. The Campus Martius was an interesting place to be at and here in the Circus Flaminius there was a lot to look upon. Many temples, placed side by side… and right next to this one, dedicated to a god of healing, was a temple dedicated to Bellona, goddess of war. How… convenient, Helios thought to himself, although he was not much of a fighter and he’d been of no use when Calvunus was attacked by that hound. He climbed the steps and moved into the faint light inside the temple. There was a statue of the Greek god here, and he stopped for a moment, looked up at it. He glanced to see if anyone were watching him, but he couldn’t see anyone here. There were probably priests and slaves working here, but they were hiding. And so he stepped up to the altar and placed his flowers and the honeycake on said table, which was lit with candles and there were many other offerings besides his own. Then he looked up at the statue again, “Hear my words, Apollo, god of medicine. I know it’s not much… but if these gifts are appropriate… then please see that my friend Calvunus gains full recovery of his leg again. Let it heal right, let him be well again. That is all I ask. Please.” It had only been a day since that fateful night and the medicus could not yet promise Helios all would be well. So this was the best thing he could do. He could have asked something for himself too, something more. Apollo was much more than a god of medicine, after all. But Helios hadn't thought that far. His thoughts were on his friend, and he had to feel better again. There was a marble bench by a wall in the temple, and Helios went to sit down to think a bit. It was rare he was this gloomy and thoughtful, but seeing Calvunus hurt like that touched something in him; something that was rarely touched, since as a whore, Helios was not supposed to feel anything for anyone he served. But he had friends and people he cared about. And when they were hurt, he was worried. This time more than usual.
  17. Oriana loved the gardens in the spring time, as it was a good place for her to be alone with her thoughts. She had a lot to think about, but the time she spent outside was normally for her to clear her head. She didn't go outside very often, which was apparent by her pale skin, but she enjoyed the the sun on her face on a perfect spring day. It was too hot in summer and too cloudy in winter, so she spent most of her time outside in the spring and fall. Being stuck in her office wasn't ideal, so every so often she went on a walk by herself for a couple hours. She had time to get her thoughts together, take a breather, and relax. She loved seeing the flowers and vines that surrounded the garden, loving the clean environment of it all. People of high class walked past her in the garden, as it was busy from it being a beautiful day, but she didn't greet them. She took this time for herself normally, though if she ran into anyone that she could interact with, she would. She saw women with their husbands, men walking alone, and children playing in the open area. Oriana was glad to have this time alone, knowing that one day, she might have to be those women who cared for their children and husband. That was the last thing she wanted; she wanted a position of power and authority rather than being a housewife. That was what she always wanted. The woman stopped by the roses. It was her favorite flower, as she loved the red and the boldness of the plant. From its thorns to the petals, it was the flower she felt best represented her. Beautiful on the outside, but bold and possibly dangerous when making a second glance. She reached out her hand and picked a rose. Oriana saw someone out of the corner of her eye. She passed the rose over to the person next to her. "Beautiful, isn't it? Delicate, but watch the thorns." She didn't turn to the person, instead focusing on the rosebush.
  18. Appius was naturally a social person. Rather than preferring a quiet life, he enjoyed the company of others and the socialisation that came with it. Politics meant that he would need to make friends in order to ensure his family remained prominent -- allies, new and old were always vital. He walked through the Porticus Liviae and saw several of his peers present. His posture was upright with his chin lifted yet relaxed and at ease. A son of one of the most prominent families in Rome and the Paterfamilias, his wealth and connections kept many doors open for him. Men and women, each of them were present. He recognised someone as one of his social peers, lifted his hand in a slight wave and unfortunately Horatia was not with him. His wife preferred the quiet of her gardens to the social aspect of Rome. Appius was a flirt, he could not help it and did not stray from his wife. Most of the women knew what the flirtation dance was, and why it happened. Perhaps he should have brought his sister with him instead? There were a couple of younger women who walked towards him. From what he remembered, they were cousins of Horatia or so he thought. Without his secretary present, it was difficult to be able to tell who it was. "Salve ladies, are a surprisingly fine day? It is not?" He asked, glanced around to see if any of their relatives were around to hopefully gain some idea about who they were and where they should be placed. He waited to see how they would respond to him. They giggled towards themselves, answered politely and seemed to glance around. His clothing depicted him as being someone of wealth and note.
  19. It was fine, that the political climate in Rome was peaceful at the moment. There had been no assassination of the Caesar yet, there was not a lot of trouble on the surface. Tertius had an idea that some might be brewing underneath the surface, but it was always like that, right? Yet he had not been approached to take a side – unless of course you considered Octavius Flavius Alexander to be trying to win Tertius over to his side of things, when he had desired a meeting with Tertius. And that might very well be the reason, but Tertius didn’t feel he’d taken a side… if there even was a side to take. He simply didn’t know. So there were other things to do and while his favorite slave Hector was the perfect slave and at the moment, his only lover in bed, he quite felt like needed more than that. Hector gave him all the affection he could want, but he was still aware that Hector was a slave and he gave it because he was meant to do that. It wasn’t genuine, was it? Perhaps it would be nice to remarry, after all, just to have someone to talk to that wasn’t a slave or his daughter. Tertius might have stayed too neutral, he thought, because he did not really have any close friends. Maybe it was about time to change that. One good place to meet other people was at one of the public baths – after all, public baths were more than just baths. There were gardens to walk in, rooms to sit and talk in and of course both warm and cold baths and everything else you’d ever need when you wanted to relax and treat yourself. Tertius had taken his time in the actual bath, and now he had gotten dressed again and was taking a walk in the garden belonging to the bathhouse he was visiting. There were plenty of people around, as always. Even some exercising, running and all that, you’d think they were in Greece! Tertius found a marble bench to sit down upon to admire the exercising young men. Fine specimens, he thought to himself. But he would have to pull himself together to approach someone – you didn’t make friends with anyone just by sitting around, did you?
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. The flood of barely tamed gladiator material from Brittania had slowed to a trickle now that the legions were consolidating their holdings in that region. He still had stock from there of course, some strong young men, a couple of lively women whose fine white skin he endeavoured not to mark when they were disciplined for being unruly, and an old fellow who might perhaps be put to work on someone's farm for a few years until he died. Caged strategically next to them were a pair of black-skinned youths traded all the way through Aegyptus from the lands far to the south; they made quite the contrast next to the northern barbarians, and the various others in the cage behind. Standing next to these were a couple of good, Roman slaves. The simple fact they needed no cage spoke of their quality. Spurius used only Roman slaves himself, but there was a definite profit to be made in trading barbarians to the right people, particular the Ludii. And perhaps there was a small measure of cold revenge in that preference as well. Keeping an eye on his charges, Spurius limped from one end of the cages to the other, watchful gaze ensuring that none of his merchandise had been injured in transit, nor were up to mischief.
  23. 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?
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