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  1. April, 77 AD It had been a good, long while since that dinner with Wulfric, Teutus, Charis and Tertius of course. A good, long time. Since then, he’d met Varinia again. And it wasn’t like he never heard from Teutus or that they never met, but Varinia had taken upon her the task of bringing messages to Tertius’ household and she was always welcome. It was less and less awkward with her there, even after Charis had been freed and made his wife. Of course he would always wonder, what if he did catch up with her again, properly… but it wouldn’t be right to Charis, he would not treat her like that. Even if he was sometimes unsure whether she actually treated him with respect or if it was all still just pretense. She did visit Teutus and got herself a dinner invitation, with Peregrinus, before she’d said it to Tertius. But he’d never know her mind. He’d never know. But what he would know, at least now, was how his son’s business was coming along. He heard a bit about it now and again, both from Varinia and then when Teutus sometimes did decide to see his father, although he never spent much time in the domus anymore. But now was the time. Tertius had decided he wanted to see the warehouse for himself and see what Teutus was importing and what he would sell. And he decided to do it unannounced, to surprise Teutus with the visit. Hopefully it would be a good surprise. He’d made sure to bring an amphora of his best wine to greet his son with. And then off he was, with a litter of course, all the way to the warehouse near the river. He could smell it before he saw it but decided to not be annoyed by it. At last the litter came to a stop and Tertius stepped out, before the thing was lowered to the ground. The slaves and the guards would wait outside and meanwhile Tertius approached the crude looking beast of a guard by the door to the warehouse. He looked somewhat familiar? But Tertius couldn’t place him in this setting. “Greetings… I am here to see Teutus.” He said with a friendly smile to the guard, who looked him over while gathering his hands on his back, standing more straight as he did, “Of course you are.” The guard said, but didn’t move and seemed to take a few moments finding the next words, “Does he know you’re coming?” He then asked and Tertius arched a brow, “He does not. I meant for this to be a surprise.” Tertius said, still trying to sound friendly, “Do you even know who I am?” He continued and the guard inhaled a breath and nodded, “You’re his father. Tertius. Well, see if you can find him.” The guard finally said and stepped aside. Tertius wasn’t sure he liked the way the man spoke to him or even looked at him. But Tertius walked past him inside to find his son. @Sharpie
  2. While Sergia (and Secundus) didn't live in Rome, that didn't stop her visiting her uncle and cousins for some rather extended stays - Tertius' house was big enough to house his family several times over, with a staff to match, as befit a Senator and Praetor. One member of that staff (and incidentally of the family too, though not officially being a slave, the son of the Senator and a slave woman) was Teutus, the said Senator's secretary. This afternoon, the Senator was out somewhere that didn't require his secretary to attend him, and his young daughter was visiting a neighbour she was friends with, which left Teutus alone to finish copying out some correspondence for the Senator, a task that didn't take him very long once people stopped interrupting him. Once that was done, with the letters left neatly on the desk in the tablinum for Tertius to sign when he returned, Teutus found a seat in the garden to enjoy a moment in the sun. He hadn't been there long when he became aware that his cousin Sergia was there, and scrambled to his feet. "I beg your pardon, Domina," he said. @locutus-sum
  3. Late March, 75 AD "... we will see each other in two weeks, like usual…" That’s what Charis had said, last time they met. Back when Charis had revealed she was pregnant and she was going to take some herbs that could remove the child. She weas certain she’d be fine, even though Cynane had been quite worried about her friend. And after two weeks of waiting impatiently, Cynane had gone to look for Charis at their usual spot in the gardens. She had also gone to that spot near the house where Charis lived, to wait for her there. But there was no Charis. A week later, she did the same. And a week later. Many weeks passed and there was no sign of her friend and Cynane naturally feared the worst. She asked around at the markets, where she knew Charis usually came, but no one had seen her. She was just… gone. It wasn’t right! Fucking Roman! If only he had not touched Charis, she wouldn’t have gotten pregnant and she would not have taken those herbs… and removed the child and... it went wrong, didn’t it? Charis didn’t survive. Pretty and sweet and fun and caring Charis was gone. Charis, maybe the only person in Rome she dared to reveal herself to. Because of her stupid prick of an owner! A month had passed since she last saw her friend in late February. She had been out, looking for Charis again. And now she ended up here, near the domus where Charis lived. She stood for a long time, watching the house from the nearby spot where they sometimes met and sometimes said their goodbyes. She stared at the house and wished her gaze could set it on fire. She was of course sad that Charis died, but Cynane had learned to change emotions of sadness into those of anger and hatred – it was easier to be angry than sad. And it was really a miracle that the house did not burn down while Cynane looked at it from a distance. She wanted to scream. She wanted to tell Charis’ owner a thing or two about how she felt. No, wait, she’d rather show him. That would be more interesting! Finally she walked up to the house and around to find the slave entrance to the place. And there she knocked on the door. A woman, who must be Rhoda, according to Charis’ description of the woman, opened up and gave Cynane a strange look… “Yes? Who are you?” “I’m a friend of Charis’. I want to see her.” If she was dead, she could not see her of course. But at least then she would know the truth instead of just assuming. She needed to hear someone say it; Charis is dead. That would make it easier, right? Rhoda got a puzzled, but also somewhat sad look on her face and she glanced over her shoulder, then back at Cynane, “You can’t see her. No one can.” She explained and Cynane sighed deeply. “So it is true then. She’s… dead.” Cynane said, the words came easily although they were heavy. She fought the urge to cry in front of a stranger. She would not cry, not here, not in front of this woman… not in public… “She lives.” Rhoda then said, almost in a whisper, and Cynane looked up again, “But you better leave. She’s not coming to see you or anyone anytime soon. It’s best you don’t hope for it.” The older woman added, but that didn’t help. “I see. But I will hope. She would do the same for me. Tell her that I’ll be waiting.” Cynane replied to the woman. “I can’t tell her, I’m not allowed to see her either. Now go!” Rhoda insisted and closed the door. Cynane glared at that door. So Charis was alive - but not allowed out. Was she locked up somewhere? Chained to a wall? Cynane had tried that as a gladiatrix… it wasn’t amusing. At least she lived, though. Cynane finally left with heavy steps and came out in front of the house again, angry and upset, to walk back to the gardens where she could be alone. Meanwhile she let it all build up inside of her again – all the anger. Fucking Romans! She was walking so determinedly, that she didn’t care about what happened and unintentionally (or was it?) her shoulder bumped hard into that of a younger and well-dressed man on his way towards the front entrance to the house. @Sharpie
  4. 18th of December, 74 AD It was about time. It was the second night of Saturnalia, the 18th of December, and it was for this night that Tertius had planned the feast for the slaves of the household - and also freeing his son from slavery, of course. Tomorrow Teutus would no longer be a slave. And it was perfect to use Saturnalia for this ceremony and celebration, because this was when tables were turned for slaves anyway. During this week of Saturnalia, gambling was permitted and it was also common for the masters to provide a table service for their slaves. Someone had to cook it though and it hadn't been Tertius. But no one would be required to serve him tonight. He would pour his own wine and break his own bread. The triclinium of the house was not big enough for all his slaves, so tables had also been set up in the the peristyle - luckily the weather had been good enough for it. Tertius had invited a few friends and then of course all of his slaves would attend the feast. He hoped that Longinus and Rufus would come, as it would be good to have some fellow Senators present too. They had not sent word, but that didn't mean they would not show up. Antonia had been dressed up nicely for the occassion and everyone had been told to wear their finest clothes. He even had Jocasta make a new set of clothes for Teutus, for formal occassions. A chamber had been made ready for Teutus to move into, starting on this night if he wanted to. His own chamber with his own bed, his own table and chair and his own clothes. It would be a new life, but Tertius trusted his son could manage it. Tomorrow, he would be Teutus Quinctilius Varus instead of just Teutus. Finally. Now he was waiting in the hall just inside the front doors, hoping to see his slaves in their finest clothes. It was however also Saturnalia and that was the time of year where masters would often switch places with the slaves. He usually did a little thing with Hector at Saturnalia, but this year he considered to do it with Charis instead. What would it be like, if she was his mistress? That could be a very interesting... game. But he had not decided yet and before everything else, the ceremony of freeing Teutus would happen. So far, Tertius stood alone in the hall, but soon someone would join him here. A table had been set up earlier, with drinks for everyone, before all the slaves and Antonia went to get dressed for the feast. While he waited, he sipped a cup of wine casually. @Sara @Joaquin @Sharpie
  5. The knock on the slaves' side door could hardly have been better timed; Teutus was about to leave the house on an errand. He was the slave with the most liberty to come and go and not all of his 'errands' were official and ordered by the master of the house. This one was, however, and Teutus had to bite back some uncomplimentary language as the ragamuffin on the doorstep thrust an equally nondescript plain wax tabula at him. "For Charis the slave of Tertius Quinctilius Varus," the child said, looking up at Teutus hopefully. Teutus bit back another round of uncomplimentary language. "From Rufus the slave of Octavius Flavius Alexander," the child intoned, its (Teutus had no idea of the kid's gender under the dirt and oversized boy's tunic) eyes round at pronouncing the name of one of the Emperor's close relatives. Teutus sighed, fished out an as and took the battered tabula. "She'll get it," he told the kid who exchanged tablet for coin and ran off to spend his (her?) earnings on a penny bun or something. Teutus could not delay his own errand so it was some time later, once he had returned home, that he cornered Charis. They had barely spoken since their argument, and Teutus had no real desire to speak with her now. "If the master finds you're seeing a man outside the household, he's going to be furious," Teutus said, launching into it without wasting time on preliminaries. The sooner Charis learned what was and was not permitted, the better. It would be even better if she could actually follow those rules, but Teutus wasn't about to hold his breath. @Sara
  6. Whether other slaves in other households had it easier, Teutus had no idea. All he knew was that he belonged to a household with a very exacting master, who had extremely high standards for just about everything, and who did not forgive mistakes or slip-ups very easily. He was not entirely sure what had been going on, but one of the house-slaves was in tears while another was maintaining a very pointed silence, slamming things around in high dudgeon. If there was a cat, it would have been kicked. Teutus escaped the slaves' quarters to obey a summons to his master who probably wanted to head out of the house to... wherever. Teutus was rarely told where his master was going before they got there, and in this case, at least his master was out of the house, having upset practically every person in it apart from Antonia Varia, who was the only one who could say anything back without getting in more trouble. He had his sandals and his secretarial satchel, just in case it was business. "Domine," he said, presenting himself in the master's study, hoping that it would indeed be business outside the house, so the household could take time to calm down from the collective funk the master had caused. @Atrice
  7. It was about time to get it done – he knew that. He’d postponed this for so long that it was embarrassing, but honestly, it wasn’t every day you planned on freeing your slaveborn son and would then arrange for him to be adopted by you. If he would. Well he had to, else he would not become an heir and although he knew Teutus wasn’t always fond of him, he was quite sure that his son did want his share of Tertius’ rank in society and the fortune that came with it. And Teutus had earned it by now; he had been a willing student, he'd learned well how to read and write and he had been a good secretary to Tertius. Very good, in fact. He'd earned it. Tertius hadn't wanted to free his son since the boy was born… no, in the beginning he was quite embarrassed and thought it was shameful to have a son with a slave. Besides, he’d been young, not even twenty years of age and a baby didn’t interest him at all. Tertius most definitely had other things on his mind. And not many years later he was off to Northern Gaul and quite busy there for a few years. He had enjoyed men in his bed before the birth of Teutus, but after that incident with Varinia, Tertius came to prefer men – for at least they would not give him a child after! But what’s done was done, more than two decades ago he became a father for the first time. Tertius had thought he might remarry after his wife died, so that he might have a chance to gain a legitimate born son. But it was hard to find someone as perfect as Antonia had been. It hadn’t been true love, but it had been mutual respect and understanding and that’s what he wanted. So maybe he had not been too busy about finding another wife and by now, he had more or less given up. Which was why he would finally set his son free from slavery - he could not have his only daughter as his heir, after all. She was expected to marry into another family. Tertius had to have someone of his own flesh and blood to take over once he was gone... even if that someone was born as a slave. It could hardly be worse than when his own ancestor fell to the Germans decades ago. Tertius had done the paperwork for the manumission and he had bought the hat called a pileus, that would be given to Teutus during the ceremony for freeing a slave. They would of course need a praetor for the actual ceremony – and it was lucky that Tertius at the moment served as praetor in Rome. Still he wanted a proper ceremony and of course his daughter Antonia Varia would come too, to see her half-brother freed. She seemed fond of her only sibling, even if he was many years older than she and he was a slave and she was not. Now, a piece of paper and the pileus hat lay on his desk in his office and he had sent another slave to go and find Teutus, whereever he was – Teutus, who had no idea what Tertius had planned for the day. @Sharpie
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