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  1. Early winter, 77 AD It felt like a lifetime since he last had paid Longinus a visit, but surely it could not have been more than a few weeks - or months. Not much had changed as far as Titus could tell, the decoration still as exotic as always and the slaves just on the verge of slacking off. Well, one thing was markedly different. He watched in morbid interest as the dog scratched its ear with a paw the size of a toddler's head, somehow not ripping it to shreds as it did. The thing was humongous, really. He had done the right thing by passing it on to Longinus; a creature this big would definitely have a voracious (ergo expensive) appetite. The puppy of a few seasons ago was no more, in its place a one-headed Cerberus who was now deeply engrossed in nibbling at its own tail, presumably to scratch an itch. It wasn't even that old - a year or less by now if he recalled correctly. Was it even finished growing? A child could ride it like a horse. Titus had a blissfully brief vision of his youngest wreaking havoc in his domus with such a dog as her mount, and again told himself he had absolutely done the right thing. Whatever damage it caused would probably go unnoticed amidst all of his friend's dubious ornaments. A rustling noise coming from the right caught his attention, and he peeled his eyes from the dog only to find himself with the empire's cheekiest body slave. "Well met, Attis. Tell me, who is in charge of this four-legged giant?" Please let it be you went unsaid, although the expectant smirk on Titus' face betrayed his thoughts rather eloquently. @Sharpie (and @Saraand @Cheviif any of your people want to join in at some point)
  2. AU - 72CE - Dacia Zia slammed the door to her quarters so loud she was sure the wood would snap off and splinter. "Zia!" The voice beckoned from outside, booming through the wooden walls that made up the Chief's residence. "You have to listen to reason now girl." Zia huffed and kicked at a box that lay at her feet, aiming it at one of the slaves who squealed and jumped out of the way. From down the hall she could hear Luto cry. He hadn't stopped crying since she had broken the news that his Papa wasn't coming home. The handle to the door rattled and then the oak opened up and the face of her father-in-law, stony but sorrowful, loomed into view. "Get out of my room." She swore and aimed another kick - this time at a loose bundle of clothing - which landed at his feet. The man raised his hands, and she could see from few paces away that tears pricked in his eyes. Weak. Pathetic. Scared. Was all that came to mind as she looked upon him. "He's all we have. You have to see reason." She scoffed and shook her head, a glower on her face. "At least meet him with me. And then we can see, hm?" Zia huffed again and appraised her father-in-law Cothelas (or not her father-in-law, now?). She only nodded her assent, and it was reluctant assent at that before clicking her fingers at the slave. "Find me something to wear." Her father-in-law smiled, relieved and inclined his head - backing out of the room slowly. She noted he didn't turn his back to her as he walked away. Smart. --- It was some hours later that she was in the great hall. Those survivors of the battle two days prior were there; a motley court of the injured and the afraid; filling the room but leaving a gap in the middle. Zia was arrayed in her finest, gold glinting from her wrists and her armbands and a diadem atop her hair which was left long down to her waist. Her son sat next to her - between her father-in-law and herself, eyes still red raw from crying but mercifully quiet for now. She could tell Cothelas was nervous. He picked at the skin around his nails and his eyes were red-rimmed from tiredness. She supposed losing both of one's sons in one fell swoop was bound to do that. She dared not dwell on Diegis lest her face crumple. No, keep projecting strength, that was what she told herself. Somebody has to. The battle had been short and bloody. The Ratacenses, her husbands (late husbands) tribe were fearsome and well equipped, and had decimated the legion that had surrounded them. A winner could not be declared; they had both lost their commanders. The Dacian's had lost Diegis and his older brother, heir to the chieftaincy, and the Romans had lost their legate and tribune. The former of which had been sat stewing in a dank little hole for the past two days, but now he'd finally see the light and the Dacian's own particular brand of mercy. Many had called for his execution; something public, something painful. He had taken their hope in the form of the two heirs, and Zia had at least initially agreed. Yet Cothelas, in one of his rare moments of intelligence had held a different idea. Luto, her son, was now to be named the heir. He was, however, only four and utterly fatherless and frail in the way that all children that age are. Besides, Cothelas knew that the Romans would be back - braying for blood - and Luto would be first on the pile. Hence his simultaneously utterly ridiculous and utterly brilliant plan. What better way to appease the Romans than by aligning yourselves with them? And what better way to do that and keep your independence then by matrimony? Zia had been appalled, but understood. If she married this Roman and eventually had further children, they would be of both Roman and Dacian blood. Half-brothers and half-sisters to their future chief, and beholden to two lands. It would show that their tribe was serious about peace, but would not surrender in the traditional way. Yet despite the logic, she didn't like the idea one bit. Cothelas knew that as well as anybody and so had arranged, after a public greeting of the man (whose name Zia had already forgotten), there would be a private summit between his daughter-in-law and her future spouse to...test the waters, as it was. Her nails dug into the wood of the chair as she gripped onto it. The doors at the end of the hall broke open and the room was bathed in light. She squinted those narrowed green eyes at the figures that approached, a man bound in rope at the wrists, escorted by two of the surviving (and purposefully largest) Dacian warriors. She turned to Cothelas when the Roman was in earshot and scoffed. "This is him?" TAG: @Liv
  3. May, 76 CE The sound of a footfall, shod in a boot of leather, crunching the rimed dead grass underneath, as the winter wind tugged at his cloak. His breath, frost filled clouds coming from nostrils, and lips slightly parted. Gathering ice crystals on the beard about cold-dried lips. In his hand, a long spear, as with stealth he approached the den. One tender plume of vapor standing proof of the sleeping bear therein. His weapon raised on high. Eager but still cautious signals, man to man, with steady hands and keen eyes, as they encircled the lair. A final sign, and the hunters moved forward at speed and thrust the cruel tips of iron down, through spaces between logs and earth. Those holding the silent dogs some paces back felt the urgent tug at collar and lead, as the hounds quivered and lunged with anticipation. A wounded roar. A bellow. And the spears withdrew and pierced anew, bringing the creature stumbling out into the thin air of a day far too early. The dogs released by their handlers, baying with frenzy. The spearmen quickly retreating. Several bows twanged in unison and sharp tips found their marks. Blood and foam and an ever insistent cry of rage. Tarbus once again moved in, with the others, on all sides, and quickly the death blow was dealt. Bending over eagerly, to peer into the face of his prey. But instead of hair and fangs and eyes dimmed to the sun evermore, he saw another face, fair and fresh yet washed with blood and sorrow on her brow… Tarbus woke with a start. His heart was pounding in his chest, and sweat suffused his face and back. Another muggy day in Rome was set to begin, the sun just beginning to peep over the rooftops of the grand city of splendor. In the stables it was still dim, and quiet, the horses only just beginning to shuffle about in anticipation of their own day to come. He sat up, having no desire to return to a sleep beset by nightmares. Two years it had been, but always the same come nightfall. He rose and brushed stray bits of straw from his one piece of clothing, a simple tunic spun of rough cloth. He slipped his feet into a worn pair of sandals, and moved to begin his own day, one that would be like all the others, since his arrival in Rome. Much later, when many, but not all, of the never ending tasks that were required to keep and train and race multiple teams of horses entered and competing successfully at the Circus were seen to, he stood for a long moment, leaning against the frame of the wide doors that gave into this section of the stabling. He gazed at the sky, the sun now tilting down into the west, his own gaze fixed to the east. To home, so far away. More than a month’s march, if one also had the use of a boat to cross the water. His fingers went to the simple, serviceable iron collar about his neck, a weight he had grown accustomed to physically, but which served as a constant reminder. He was clever enough to realize, that was its main purpose. Many people there were, in that moment, milling about. But his dark eyes immediately caught the presence of a newcomer. A face he hadn’t seen more than a handful of times, and not since before their arrival here, was still etched in his memory. He knew the former legate at once. But to look at Tarbus, there was no sign of emotion. His face was like stone, though the eyes moved to follow the progress of his owner as the man made his way across the yard.
  4. Early January, 76AD Lucius glanced over his shoulder at his daughter, gripping tightly to the hand of her slave, "Keep up." He ordered with the authority of a man speaking to the senate rather than a six year old girl. Gessilla hurried her pace as much as she could, as did the slave and Lucius flicked his head back around to in front of him, eyes scanning the almost-deserted streets. It was barely afternoon but nobody was about, odd. Then again, this high up the Quirinal, there were sparse few shops and eateries - only the domains of the uber-wealthy. It was also bloody miles from anywhere interesting which explained the distinct lack of plebs that usually could be found crowding the streets. It had been a short walk over from the Viminal where he lived, but it seemed like it had taken hours with his youngest daughter in tow. Gessilla had been adamant that she didn't want any trouble, and that she didn't even like the ornate shell necklace the other little girl had taken from her. Lucius didn't care given it had been a gift from Gessilla's mother - Lucius' ex-wife - and he wasn't going to become embroiled in another argument with the harpy because his daughter had been careless or foolish enough to give away a family gift. But unfortunately for the little girl, whose father he was striding up the street to see, he was now in a foul mood. He'd sent a slave over to the domus of Titus Sulpicius Rufus to claim back the lost shell necklace only for said slave to be turned away by one of Titus' own. Lucius' boy had been clear that the foreign slave in Titus' household (description - tall, scrawny, haughty, definitely not Italian) wouldn't even admit him, and reiterated that whatever the little domina had taken from Lucius' daughter was now the little domina's to keep. Slaves! Lucius was exasperated. He'd now had to take time out of his day to come all the way over here for what? A bloody, stupid necklace - gifted by one bitch and refused to be returned by another. It was enough to make him want to pull out his hair. Fortunately for Titus, Lucius was a master at schooling his expression and demeanour into something more polite than he felt as he knocked on the main door of the house and was hastily admitted to the atrium. The benefit of dressing finely and not being a slack-jawed slave boy, he supposed. He squinted in the light as he was admitted; it was a grey, drab day and the light in the domus wasn't much better. He could hear Gessilla fidgeting behind him with her nurse and Lucius cast a glance over his shoulder, raising a brow at her. She stopped immediately and stood still, respectfully. Another slave loomed into view and cast the trio a curious glance. "Salve sir, may I help you?" Lucius quirked his eyebrow again and gave the slave an appraising look. Gods, what idiots did he have in this house? Surely he should have fetched his master the moment he heard a Senator was in attendance? "Yes." He managed neutrally, "Please fetch your dominus and his youngest daughter. Tell him Lucius Sempronius Atratinus is here to reclaim something that his sweet little thief took from my daughter." He said the latter words with a smile, which was sickly sweet. TAG: @Liv
  5. (Letter dated late November 74 AD) Titus Sulpicius Rufus to his dearest friend Longinus, greetings . As promised, brother, here is the list you desire. Most Almost all of the work is Valeria’s, but I took the liberty of summarising it lest you end up with two full scrolls for each lady. Calpurnia Praetextata Sister to our good friend Aulus of the same name and by all accounts a very beautiful woman, although I have never seen her up close. I don’t think it gets any more prestigious than marrying a former Vestal, although fertility is naturally an unknown quantity in her case. Claudia Caesaris Second only to a Vestal is the imperial household. Again, I am not closely acquainted with this lady, but she is young and said to be very good-looking. I can ask my sister-in-law Cornelia for more information if it pleases you. Oriana Laecania It saddens me to inform once more I have no first-hand account of the beauty of this lady, but according to Valeria she throws some very nice parties. My dear wife tells me she is Equite but looking to move up and comes across as rather smart. Young widow, no children, plenty of money of her own so she won’t go after yours. Caecina Tusca I know it has been your lifelong dream to settle in that mucky shithole we know as Britannia, and to accompany you in your misery who better than the proconsul’s daughter? Think about it, you could have dinner with your father-in-law every night! Too bad it’s not a hereditary magistracy… right? Quinctilia Varia Widow, on the older side, but not too old to have a third child. Comes from a good family, too. Do you like redheads, Longinus? Sergia Auletia If the mother doesn’t cut it, maybe the daughter will - but don't go thinking about threesomes now! Valeria says she hasn’t been married before. Licinia Aureliana My sister-in-law’s niece, daughter of her sister. I haven’t actually seen her in years but she’s said to be very pretty. If you do not find anything to your liking on this list, Longinus, then I will once and for all be convinced that the Britons sacrificed the real you, cock and balls and all, and summoned your castrated lemur to take your place. I shall make sure the appropriate rites are observed and pray for your soul once a year or so. Farewell, my dearest friend and brother. @Sara
  6. 6th of October, 75 AD Given the tragedy brought on by the earthquake only a few months earlier, Titus didn't quite feel right celebrating his birthday with huge festivities or partying from dusk to dawn - besides, this was no milestone year, just the passage of time signalling that he had officially grown older. The previous day - the actual day of - had been spent with family, featuring a relaxed and pleasurable evening with far too much food including Betua's mouthwateringly good placenta cake, and only a tiny hiccough when Valeriana loudly and vehemently expressed how unfair it was that she received no gifts, skilfully ignoring the fact that it wasn't her birthday for that to happen. Tonight's celebration was simple as well, though less child-friendly. Going out for drinks with friends was also very agreeable, even more so when they had a decent-sized chamber and an own dedicated servant all to themselves. Drinking alone was no fun, though, even when it was Falernian and Caecuban, and Titus busied himself with deciphering the multitude of humorous scrawls on the walls and snacking on bread and olives before the others arrived - his stomach would thank him later. @Echo @Sara @Sharpie Feel free to ignore posting order!
  7. Formiae, late June 75 AD After close to three days on horseback, Titus would have been lying if he said he didn't fancy a nice long walk to stretch his legs, and maybe even a massage. Attis had kept pace surprisingly well and without much complaining, or perhaps he had complained but Titus was riding too far ahead to hear it. His shoddy hearing helped with that, too - blessings in disguise, such were the gods' mysterious ways. The villa in Formiae was very nicely kept, and not a thing seemed to be out of its proper place - testament that the master did not live there full time, as its current state would have been impossible to maintain had that been the case. The slaves, on the other hand, seemed displeased that yet more visitors had come to disturb their existence with even more needs to be attended to. Ignoring the doorkeeper's repeated excuses that his dominus was unavailable, Titus gave the man a look that could have made a legionary wet himself and brushed him aside to walk past, not bothering to wait for his friend's body slave to explain the situation to the doorkeeper. Attis could stay behind and elucidate the other slave or he could follow and help find his master quicker. "Longinus!" he called out as he made his way to the atrium, ignoring the scandalised glances some slaves shot him. Good thing most villas had a very similar layout. "I'm here to return Attis to you, I can't stand him anymore!" And find out what in Jupiter's name has got into you. @Sharpie @Sara
  8. Britannia, late 67AD Nostalgia hit him with full force as Titus entered the military camp on a chilly (for one, not rainy) morning. It was early, but the camp was alive with the hustle and bustle of hundreds of men going about their tasks... Except for a group of four off to his left, where two huddled close to the ground and two others stood and watched. As he got closer to them, the familiar sound of dice rolling inside a cup could be heard, followed by sudden silence and a mix of boastful laughter and groaning. Fasces in tow, Titus approached one of the spectating legionaries and barked a question at him. "Soldier! Where is your legate?" The man flinched and whipped round so quickly he nearly broke his neck, showing a face full of pimples. He had the presence of spirit to step away from his comrades and salute Titus. "I-I d-don't know, sir!" the young soldier managed to stammer out. Titus was unimpressed. "Then why don't you do something about it?" The legionary stared at him with an asinine look. Titus hoped Balbus Papulus was at least a good fighter, since he had neither beauty nor brains. He rolled his eyes, feeling his patience dwindle. "Go find out, then come back here and take me to him, you idiot!" The order spurred the young man into action at last, and he sprang off in search of his general. In the mean time, Titus busied himself with shooting the gambling soldiers dirty looks until the sting of disapproval - or the threat of the fasces - was strong enough to make them put the dice away and start polishing their boots with exaggerated gestures. Balbus Papulus came back surprisingly soon and lead Titus through the camp to one of the bigger tents. The young man did his best to announce that "Qua-quaestor Titus Sulpicius Rufus is he-here to s-s-see--", but Titus dismissed him with a sigh and a wave before he could finish and strode into the tent. A quick look around the tent and its occupants let him know he needn't be too formal, but proper greetings were de rigueur in case someone was lingering just outside, trying to listen in. "Salvete, legate, Aulus Calpurnius," he greeted each man with a nod, predictably ignoring the slaves in a corner. Now that that was out of the way, Titus relaxed his posture a little, but still did not smile. "Did you know you have men gambling for money this early in the morning? At least teach them to be discreet about it." @Sara @Sharpie @Chevi
  9. Letter dated one day before the earthquake that might postpone plans, delivered by a blonde male slave named Himeros. To Titus Sulpicius Rufus from Tertius Quinctilius Varus Greetings, I hope this letter finds you and your family well and that we may meet soon again. Perhaps either with our families or in another context. I enjoyed the visit from you and your friend Lucius Cassius Longinus regarding my niece. I still have not forgotten our interesting conversations. I am however writing with a request on behalf of one of my slaves. I am certain you remember Charis, who served you the tisane while you were here. You and your friend discussed one of your slaves, that is also from Britannia and we have discovered, that your slave Nymphias is in fact Charis’ sister. Charis has shown very good behavior lately and finally seems to have adapted to her new life here. Therefore, I have decided to reward her with seeing her sister once more. The two appear not to have seen each other since Britannia. I would like to invite Nymphias to come here, perhaps together with you, if you can find the time. We could become further acquainted and our slaves could spend some time together in my domus. I hope you will give my idea some thought and look forwards to reading your reply regarding this very interesting matter and progress. Sincerely, Praetor Tertius Quinctilius Varus @Liv
  10. Late July, 75 AD The problem with boat trips was that they, without exception, were all far too long. The moment Titus stepped aboard a vessel whether big or small, civilian or military, his stomach began to threaten to make its way out of his mouth and quite literally abandon ship and jump overboard. It had not yet succeeded, though it wasn’t for lack of trying. He knew all the tricks in the book and had tried each of them at least once, some to greater success than others. Travel on an empty stomach. Fix your gaze upon a far-off point in the horizon. Close your eyes. Try not to move your head. Press down on the inside of your wrist, approximately in the middle. Press down on the area between the thumb and the index on the back of your hand. Promise Neptune a great many sacrifices. Curse all the gods and threaten to withhold sacrifices. In the end, what worked best for Titus was lying on his back, eyes covered by his arm so he resisted both Sol’s unforgiving rays and the temptation to open them and look about and make matters worse, and distracting himself by reviewing what was to come. Aenaria had better be all the touts promised and more, or else he would personally drown them all once they were back on the mainland. Thinking objectively on it, they were probably right: a number of quality vineyards that offered wine tasting tours, quaint little towns, pristine beaches and hot springs and therapeutic mud capable of healing tiredness if nothing else. He looked forward to spending a few days there and sampling all those portents; it would give him the fortitude to mentally prepare himself for the journey back. Fully aware of how childish he looked and just as equally unbothered by it, Titus readjusted his head on Valeria’s lap and repeated the plaintive question he had posed some three-quarters of an hour earlier, though he kept his arm in place as a sun shield. “You spot land yet?” Any similarity to their children's 'are we there yet?' of some days prior was purely and entirely coincidental. @Joaquin @open-ish
  11. Letter dated roughly a week after the earthquake. Titus Sulpicius Rufus to his dearest friend Aulus Calpurnius Praetextatus, greetings. Hope all is well with your domus and familia after the recent event. No casualties on our end of thing except for parts of the roof, a couple of trees and a bust I never liked. To take our minds off all that's happened and because it's the right season for it, my brother and sister-in-law are travelling down to Neapolis for a while and inviting friends and family to join them for their beach parties. There will be entertainment not unlike that party you hosted a few months back, as well as more family-friendly activities. As you may remember my brother Quintus was consul in 72, and given your current aspirations (which I fully support), I took the liberty of assuming you might be interested in fostering that connection. It goes without saying that this invitation extends to your lady wife and your lovely children. Mine are also coming, so they will not be left to their own devices. We will be heading down on the 13th (I expect the Via Appia will be fully up and running again by then), and our good friend Longinus is coming with. He has been rather morose as of late, so I will be counting on you to help raise his spirits. Farewell, my dear friend. @Sharpie
  12. Nones of May 75AD Longinus sat drumming his fingers against the rim of his wine cup, occasionally glancing at the door. What he enjoyed most, of course, about the Poppina Via Lata was the two-building scheme. The night would start here, in the building reserved for Rome's upper echelons before descending into the depravity with the plebs and the slaves next door. He took a sip and resumed his drumming, waiting for both Titus and Aulus, nerves eating into the pit of his stomach. Judging by the surprised reaction in their letters neither of them were none the wiser as to the true (at least initial) motivation behind the wedding which was a relief. He'd carefully considered what he'd say and it largely centred on; not being sixteen anymore so knowing what he wanted; that he likes and admires Sestia; he's not getting much younger and needs a son, and well...it is him. Longinus was certainly never a man that could be considered entirely conventional. He did hope to brush the whole 'permission from her father' under the rug as much as possible, but his friends were astute men and would likely ask. He just hoped he'd come up with something convincing on the spot to explain it, because so far his mind was coming up decidedly empty. His attention was caught by a shadow blocking his path and he glanced up from his thoughts to the face of his friend. A wide, beaming smile crossed his face as he embraced the man. TAG: @Sharpie @Liv
  13. The end of 74CE It was strange to be in the domus without the dominus there. It was not Tranquillus' natural state to be alone in the household. He would have followed his master like a shadow to his visit to a friend's house, except Titus had another job for him to do. This morning, Tranquillus had to accompany Sulpicia Flacca for a visit to a relative's home. She was too young to wander Rome unescorted, and guards or a female body slave alone were not good enough company for a girl of noble birth. So, believing that he could manage fully well without a body slave for his visit to Longinus, the head of the household ordered Tranquillus to escort his daughter instead. The tutor would not have been much help in an altercation, but he was tall and stern enough to look the part. The visit was shorter than expected, as the relative was not feeling too well. Tranquillus and the young mistress returned home by lunchtime, and since the dominus was still away, there was not much to do for the body slave. He sat and read, organized things, finished some errands that needed finishing, and felt somewhat awkward with the unexpected afternoon off. Tranquiulls liked to plan his days off ahead of time. How inconvenient. When Titus finally arrived home, with a new acquisition in tow, the look on his body slave's face was not unlike that of a household dog perking up for his master's return. @Liv @Ejder
  14. Florus


    FLORUS 19 | 22 Augustus 55 | Slave | Gardener | Gay | Wanted | Burak Çelik Personality. Florus is a temperamental man with a lot of opinions, but he keeps everything to himself for his own sake. He is angry about his condition, angry that this is his life, angry at the injustice of it all. He learned the hard way that voicing his opinions about how awful the Romans were only earned him beatings and lashings. It didn't take long for him to adapt. He still thinks it, but he doesn't say it. Because he would rather hold his tongue than put himself in danger, he is mostly a silent person, who doesn't really care to mix with others. Florus prefers the company of the plants he works with to that of other people, but he is nonetheless a kind person, who will be polite, if a little closed-off, to every slave in his household. With the Romans, he has artificially polite interactions, or, well, he used to. He's beginning to get used to his condition as a slave, and hate it though he might, as long as he's around plants, he's actually happy. Florus is a diligent guy, a hard worker. He puts his back and all his soul and heart into the gardens. They are his passion, his life blood. Though he might be reluctant at first to engage with strangers, any conversation regarding plants will expose a completely different side of Florus, showing a man who's fiercely passionate, loves what he does, and cares very, very deeply about life. Appearance Florus is of average height and build, although his hard work as a gardener is beginning to show in his muscle mass. His skin is tan from spending every waking moment out in the sun, and is a bit more weathered for it. He has pale brown hair, and clear blue eyes. His lips are full, and his jawline is sharp. He doesn't cut quite as sharp a figure as he could if he spent more time around people than he does with plants. Indeed, he seemed not to be noticed by most, until he came to the Sulpicius Rufus household. Of course, that could be because he is a man, now, rather than a boy. For the most part he is indifferent to the attention. He has other things to worry about. He bears the brand of his capture on his inner right forearm, an unsightly reminder of how he came to be in servitude. Family Father: Vocorix Mother: Eppacta Siblings: A sister, Netelia, and a brother, Balorix. Both older. Spouse: None Children: None Extended family: Well, they're probably dead, now, thanks to the Romans. Other: None History Child: Samorix was born in Brittania in the year 55 to a family of farmers in a small village belonging to the Silure tribe. From a very young age, life was arduous, and required hard work. It was all hands on deck in the fields, and that was before the Romans came. When the Romans came, all the men were called upon to defend their land. Vocorix was often absent, and it fell to the rest of the family to tend to the fields. Samorix learned a lot, and found peace with nature, peace he didn't quite find when he was around other people, as it was easy for him to find conflict with others. Teenager: Vocorix died in a battle against the Romans when Samorix was still very young. After that, the family leadership fell to his mother, Eppacta, and his older brother, Balorix. It was even harder with one less family member, but soon that hardly even mattered, as the Roman attacks increased in frequency. Shortly thereafter, all boys strong enough to wield a weapon were called to war. Samorix was twelve when he participated in his first. He didn't actually do much fighting at all, but he didn't have much of a choice. Luckily for him, Balorix had other plans for his brother. To keep his family fed, he mainly stayed home in the fields. Balorix was the one fighting. But when the twenty year old died, it was up to Samorix. He was captured in his first battle after that. It was in 72. Samorix was barely seventeen. He fell in the hands of the Roman legions, and in the beginning was outspoken about the horrible conditions they were kept in. He didn't do well as a caged animal, and was raring for a fight. He found one, though it was unevenly matched. Quickly he learned that he needed to shut up if he were to stay alive. He was branded, asked about his profession, and eventually given as wartime loot to some sort of Roman man called Longinus, as a gardener. He wasn't treated badly by Longinus, but even the beautiful gardens he discovered and tended to upon arriving in Rome were not enough to soothe his anger and bitterness about his condition. He was like a pacing lion, angry and biding its time. He kept to himself and didn't really grow close to any of the other household slaves, despite many of them also being from Brittania. Just when he was starting to get used to things, Longinus traded him off to some other Roman. Adult: Titus Sulpicius Rufus let him have free run of the gardens. Of course, he wasn't exactly keen on having a master, still, but at least there he was beginning to heal. He had the opportunity to make something truly beautiful, something meaningful. This would be his reason to keep on going, even if life was meaningless. And maybe he could start connecting with other people. He hasn't been so good at it so far, but who knows? Florus is barely an adult, now, and he has the world, or, well, the very limited world of a slave, ahead of him. Ejder | GMT -5 | SuperBambi#8552
  15. Given it was by far not the usual way these sorts of things were done; there was no formal betrothal ceremony, no exchange of contracts, not even an inkling that such a thing was happening - really - Longinus felt it imperative that word got out on his own terms. But not to everybody. After a fairly frantic exchange with his mother, the man set down to put ink to papyri and drafted a series of letters. The first were for his cousins (the only other remaining Cassii-Longini) Lepidus and Cassia. Then came one to his old friend, and former mentee Silanus all the way in Greece - lightly alluding to the fact that he might well be visiting in person (there had to be some benefit to sailing all the way to Carthage, and a roundabout stop on the way back to see Lucius was a silver lining). The final few were for his friends. Amongst those he composed two to his two closest friends. They were very similar (he was not a man to dally with correspondence any longer than necessary, and thus copied out most of the first letter into the second), albeit there were amusing differences in tone - far more jocular with Titus, and far more reserved with Aulus. They were delivered to May the 4th, two days after the engagement by his Secretary who muttered and swore as he trekked over the city in the May sun. To Titus Sulpicius Rufus from his friend, Lucius Cassius Longinus. Greetings! I thought I'd drop you a note to a) enquire about how Attis is getting on, b) to inform you I'm getting married and c) ask if you are free for a drink next week? I suspect your eagle eye will have picked out the second point as the most interesting (although I do wish to hear about Attis and whether he still has all his fingers), and I'm pleased to say that Sestia Vaticana and I are to marry on the 1st of June given it's auspicious date. I believe you know the lady in question - she only had positive things to say about you - which I have corrected, don't worry. It'll be a small affair in the city, but obviously I would be delighted if Valeria and yourself save the date and make yourselves available. I've also sent a very similar note to our good friend Aulus, and in said note have asked if he is free on the nones for a drink or two. As always, I expect you have no plans of any consequence, or no plans you cannot cancel to ensure you can come for a drink with a soon-to-be married man. We could slum it in the Poppina Via Lata? Your friend, Longinus. TAG: @Liv To Aulus Calpurnius Praetextatus from his friend, Lucius Cassius Longinus. Greetings! I'm writing for a dual purpose today, to a) ask if you are free for a drink next week? b) to inform you I'm getting married. I suspect your eagle eye will have picked out the second point as the most interesting, and I'm pleased to say that Sestia Vaticana and I are to marry on the 1st of June given it's auspicious date. She mentioned yourself and Horatia met her at the Games not so long ago - I trust you approve? It'll be a small affair in the city, but obviously I would be delighted if Horatia and yourself save the date and make yourselves available. I've also sent a very similar note to our good friend Titus, and in said note have asked if he is free on the nones for a drink or two. We could slum it in the Poppina Via Lata? Your friend, Longinus. TAG: @Sharpie
  16. Mid December, 74AD Longinus enjoyed the walk up the Esquiline Hill, perversely finding the ache in his legs satisfying. But he lingered now, outside the domus for Titus to join him before he was admitted. A request for a meeting had been sent a little over a week ago and he was bringing his closest friend for moral support (and because he suspected the opportunity to speak to a Praetor was decently tempting for Titus). He'd had absolutely no luck in engaging Tertius' elder brother, Secundus about the matter of his niece (his letters going unanswered and the offer of wine and a meeting refused). In frustration, he'd complained to his mother where he'd been promptly been informed that the oldest Varus was rumoured to be of unsound mind and that should Longinus wish to make any inroads, it would be better to speak to Tertius. And thus he'd found himself standing outside the domus, enjoying the last few dregs of warmth from the December sun. Seeing Titus approach he grinned and offered a dramatic roll of the eyes, "What a good first impression we're to make - late." He snorted and inclined his head to the slave who promptly swung open the door to admit them. Their presence was announced and Longinus couldn't help but glance around as he waited for the older man to join them. The domus was suspiciously quiet, or quieter than Titus' whose home was filled with the chatter of children and hurried feet of slaves running after them. He'd understood the Senator was widowed, much like himself, and had a young daughter of similar age to Cassia (his mother really was the font of all knowledge) and supposed the two men had more in common (at least superficially) than he'd anticipated. As Tertius approached, he cracked a broad grin in greeting; "Salve Senator Varus," He moved to clasp the other mans arm. "Thank you again for agreeing to meet me." TAG: @Atrice @Liv (& @Sharpie if you want Attis or Teutus to join!) Charis is also in the domus and may/will join the thread if/when invited over by Tertius. She's currently working in the garden, dressed up in the fancy chiton Tertius had picked out for her and looking eerily identical to her sister Nymphias...just more petite and brunette.
  17. Mid-December, 74AD Longinus cast a disapproving glance to Titus and muttered; "Here? Really?" It was not that Longinus was a snob, and the middle-class suburbs were nothing overtly offensive, but the man was trying all he could to get out of this particular activity. He wasn't even overly attached to his beard, or his hair (both of which had been dutifully trimmed a month or so ago), but he was reluctant to admit that his friends or mother were right. The man was stubborn to a fault. Glancing at his friend again, he ran a hand over his beard for the (probably) the final time and sighed. "The things I do for women, eh?" He chuckled and moved to enter, but not before hesitating. "This bloke's supposed to be good, isn't he? I mean, he's not going to cut open my throat, is he?" He arched a brow at his friend, but with an amused glimmer in his eye, "I can't have survived the battlefields of Britannia to die bleeding in a barbers chair..." He snorted in amusement but with a heavy sigh, swung the door and blinked into the dim light of the man's shop. He'd not routinely employed the services of a barber for the past few months, and much as he enjoyed the company of his body slave, he didn't trust Attis as far as he could throw him when it came to razors near his throat. He coughed, to alert the man of his presence and rolled his eyes at Titus. TAG: @Liv & @Atrice
  18. Early May, 74CE Zia grinned at her son, holding his hand firmly but letting his little legs wander as he took in the sights and the smells of the military camp. To a child, what had happened and where they were now was some great, drawn out adventure. To Luto's four year old mind there was nothing sinister in all the men in their red cloaks, nothing malevolent in the tent in which they were hurriedly stored in with all of the other women and children. His big brown eyes took it all in as if he were living one of the great tales of heroism his father and grandfathers had told him. Little Luto even went so far as to wave at a few of the passing legionaries as they were escorted through the maze of straight lines to, what she presumed, was the commander's tent. Her smile was in part for the energy of her son, but also for the thought he'd be sleeping in a tent like the rest of them during this very uncharacteristic May rain which drizzled down on them, soaking man and woman alike to the bone. She'd not told anybody who she was since her arrival in this place, but presumed somebody else had spilled the beans. Probably Diegis, the idiot. She had considered it safer to be an anonymous woman and boy caught up in the chaos of the skirmish than one of its architects. That anonymity, clearly, was not to last. She'd not seen her husband since he was bundled away under a swathe of red cloaked men in stupid helmets, but she knew he'd seen his father and brothers fates. A small part of her ignited at the thought that it left him as the chief, a bigger part hoped he wouldn't prattle on about it too much. She'd heard rumours about what had happened to the chieftains of occupied provinces; paraded through the streets of Rome in chains. She hoped her husband had more sense than to prattle on about his family. Finally drawing to the tent she cast a dismissive glance over it, her nose wrinkling in displeasure. This was where the great and the good of Rome lived? She was a little horrified. Shunted through the flaps, her hand still clasping her sons, she blinked into the dim light. It was barely dawn outside, and the candles that lit up the canvas made it smoky and hard to see. She didn't recognise the man sat in front of her, but then they all looked the same in their silly little outfits to her. Luto, however, unfettered grinned at him and pointed at the crested helmet set aside, beaming whilst he asked in Dacian; "Can I play with it?" Zia yanked back his arm as he moved to touch it and reminded herself to drill some sense into her boy at the next opportune moment. She said nothing to the man and instead just arched a brow, waiting for his big speech. TAG: @Liv
  19. November 74AD The house had been readied for the evening, all breakable items moved out of the way to less public areas of the house than the atrium, triclinium and garden, soft drapes hung, and musicians ensconced in a corner where their playing could be heard. Scantily-clad slaves (both male and female) were stationed in various places throughout the public parts of the house to direct guests or serve them in whatever way they wished - offering further food or drink or more personal attention. They were the prettiest Aulus could find, and their clothing, such as it was, left little to the imagination. Aulus himself was stationed in the atrium to greet his guests. He was wearing a synthesis, a light garment more suitable for an evening occasion like this than the heavy toga or even the less formal pallium. He had stationed a slave nearby with a tray of wine-cups to offer the guests as they arrived. (Please note: Any other people who know/could know Aulus are invited, and any characters who could be hired/lent for such an event are also welcome to join in - just reply to this thread and I'll add your character to the tags list! Once the party is under way, feel free to make your own threads in this board.)
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