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  1. After a few years at the ludus, Theo was learning to anticipate his work from the sounds he heard coming from the arena. A roar always mean something dramatic; depending on the tone, it could be a kill, or a win, or something entirely unexpected. Death rarely horrified the spectators. But gruesome moments did. Theo could tell this one had been a bad one, judging from the collective gasp from the audience. He wondered the gladiator lived, and whether he belonged to the Ludus Magnus. Not leaving anything to chance, he got ready for some hard work. "THEODORUS!" the slave sent ahead stood in the door, panting. "You better get ready for this..." He was ready. The windows and door were open, with a lot of light streaming in to the operating table. He had his tools, bandages, he had a lot of water and towels, unwatered wine and poppy milk. The patient arrived a few moments later, carried by two other slaves on a stretcher. Blood was dripping behind them along the way. @Mobius
  2. Saturnalia, 76 AD - set the night before Another Time Then note: don't read this thread if blood/violence/people inflicting pain in others triggers you Saturnalia was a great time for someone like Marcus Barbatius. He enjoyed it, because there were people everywhere, crowds… and they got drunk, the people of Rome. Acted out. Passed out in strange places. Forgot where they were or where they were going. And then he was there to be a good inhabitant of the city, making it seem as if he would help them. Right until they were alone with him. That’s when he opened the small leather bag he brought with him, that’s when he revealed a blade and that’s when they got hurt. That’s when he made them bleed. Tonight he’d left the slaves at home, behind locked doors, as always, while he hung the key in its string around his neck and then he went out to have his kind of fun. He’d found a drunken young man, who didn’t seem like he was anyone important, just an ordinary plebian or maybe even a freedman. He’d gotten lost form his friends and now he just wanted to go home. Marcus put an arm around him, led him through Rome, right until he looked into an empty courtyard far away from where the parties were in Rome. No one seemed to be there. The youth said he didn’t live here. This was the wrong place. But he had his back to Marcus and that’s when he made his move. Of course it was the wrong place. He’d pulled the youth close to him from behind. There was a table in a corner of the courtyard and Marcus behind the youth over that. The youth seemed to think Marcus wanted to fuck him and actually backed up against Marcus, but soon found out that was not the case at all. Oh he did pull up the man’s tunic, but only to reveal his back, where he dragged the knife over the spine, at first without pressure, and then it happened. The youth whined and winced when Marcus cut him, but he held on. The blood was streaming down over his backside, so beautiful, so red, so warm. Marcus wanted to touch it. But then the youth squirmed and scrambled and managed to get away. Not far though! Marcus followed, tried to knock him over. The youth began screaming! That was no good! Marcus caught him and clasped a hand over his mouth and the other he held against his cheek, “If you scream again, you’ll lose your tongue…” He hissed close to the man’s face. And then he froze, Marcus did. He heard movement behind him. Fuck! Little did he know the young woman appearing at the scene was not going to stop him. @Insignia
  3. February, 77AD Marcus Barbatius was not a happy man at the moment. Last time he went to the Elysium, they gave him a petty and afraid girl, and he cut her and then after a few weeks, he’d come back for her again. Her or another. But during those weeks, Titus had suddenly left the Elysium and had not sent word to Marcus, so he didn’t know what was going on. There was a new owner to the only brothel Marcus cared to visit, and he was difficult. Apparently now he had to pay to cut the girls again, and he wasn’t sure he wanted that. He had of course paid before also, before he met Titus, but now he’d gotten so used to their little arrangement, that it displeased him. And that was not the only thing that displeased him. That stupid guy from Egypt who came to his shop a few weeks ago, had spilled gossip about a mute young guy, who claimed he was friends with a barber and he’d even mentioned another guy named Alexius. Marcus had heard the name before, or rather, read it. On the walls of Rome. It wasn’t hard to find out where the man lived and what he looked like. He had quite the size and was easily recognizable. Plus the guy, Artemon, had also told Marcus where they lived, more or less. It was easy to find out about that. And then one day, not long after, Marcus was walking through Rome, he saw the girl he cut at Saturnalia. So she lived! But not only did he see her. She was together with the man called Alexius. But, that also meant she’d most likely told someone about Marcus. And maybe this Alexius knew. And since Alexius had a party with the mute kid, who was friends with a barber, it was all very likely that it had to do with Marcus. He wasn't stupid, he could put two and two together. They, however, were stupid. For thinking he'd not find out. To Marcus, it felt like Rome was falling apart. It felt wrong. Maybe he should leave Rome, like he left his hometown. Start over somewhere else. That’s what he was considering, as he sat at a random popina in Rome, eating a stew with a cup of wine on the side. The more he thought about the whole ordeal, the angrier he felt inside. And the best way to calm down again, was to give into the anger and take it out on someone else instead. He finished eating and stood to enter the fresh night. But as he was leaving the popina, someone else was walking in. Marcus glared at them and then almost violently pushed them out of the way, in order to disappear into the early Roman evening. OPEN FOR ANYONE (it is likely that the thread will take a violent turn)
  4. May, 75CE To some, Titus Aspanius Lupus might seem like an overly cruel master. To Deianira, he was your run-of-the-mill brothel owner, no different than the owner of the brothel she'd been born in or the one she recently vacated. When the man had picked her up at the slave market in Rome, Deia had been at first curious to know what kind of man he was, but the establishment he ran was all she needed to know. Some of the other girls who'd been there longer wished they could work at the Domus Venus instead, because they were all sold so cheaply and Titus allowed men to do terrible things to them, as long as they paid. Deia understood where she was, but what could she do about it? All she could do was try and get by, keep her head down like at her old brothel, and perhaps someday be freed or escape somehow. She had only been here a few weeks and was settling in, more or less. She had seen more customers than she thought was usual, but perhaps that was because she was new and men liked a new toy to play with. Tonight, she was moving around the brothel wearing a skimpy tunica that left little to the imagination. She had not been scooped up yet, so she was helping serve wine to men who were still deciding. She stopped before one such man with her amphora, pouring the wine carefully, lest any spill. "Welcome to the Elysium," she said in accented Latin, plastering a fake smile on her face. "I hope you can find what you are looking for." @Atrice
  5. TW: Violence! Trying to teach Germanus a new word was like trying to drill a hole in marble with a fat, blunt thumb. And he spoke so loudly too, which only irritated Aculia and wave him off. He was a lost cause. But a woman could only cook quietly in a small kitchen for so long. She enjoyed any chance she got when out of the house and buying supplies in the markets. Remaining inside only made her feel more alienated from the world, unable to see Rome’s liveliness, and seeing only her master, tending to whatever needs he had, only made her see him most hours of the day and, thus, somehow see the human, not the monster. Though she thought of escaping at times, it was better than freezing on streets and eating discarded foods from the dirty pathways just to live another day. She justified why she put up with it all. And just like most days, she was “confined” to the kitchen, chopping away at some tomatoes when, in her clouded thoughts, she hadn’t been paying attention and cut her thumb. The blood began to pool and she sucked at it before quickly finishing the small meal she’d prepared. Setting the knife down and taking the plate, her thumb stinging all the while, she became nauseous as she softly tip-toed throughout the home to where her master was. He had worked a long day and was likely hungry, she hadn’t eaten yet. She wanted to make herself available. She had been in his service for a year, while she was subservient, which had never been in her nature before, she still found herself testing boundaries. If he became angry that she dared think of him before herself, at least, she knew. She didn’t say a word, she just lingered by the door and waited until he noticed her hovering with a vacant look on her face, holding some food for him to eat. A peace offering that said she was more useful to him alive. @Atrice
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