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If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus

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COLLIS PALATINUS » Horreum Equinum » If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Feb 24, 2009, 2:54pm

Darius had been doing a great deal more riding, since being gifted the horse Argentus. He'd always had access to horses, of course, but he rarely rode until now. He'd never particularly cared for a particular horse, until this one. Part of it might have been that it was his and his alone. That was a first. But, ultimately, Darius felt it had more to do with the horse's personality and capabilities. Argentus was utterly fearless. The horse showed no reluctance to follow any command Darius delivered. He was sure it would have marched off a cliff without hesitation, if he wanted it do. He would have liked his slaves to show such obedience.

He was returning from the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill, now. Darius made sacrifices very regularly, and he usually stopped by to hear his auspices at least twice a week. He saw a direct correlation between the two activities. His life tended to augur well, and he felt that was due to his consistency with both prayer and sacrifice.

The youth dismounted smoothly, and offered Argentus' reins to a stable boy.

"Have him well fed. I am likely to take him out again tonight." Darius instructed, turning to walk back toward the palace proper...Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Feb 24, 2009, 4:49pm

The senior military advisor to the emperor--or, rather, by recent Senate decree, the coordinator of all imperial military efforts--was a busy man in the palace of late. Not because there were any wars to be waged or anything like that, but because there was just so much else to be done with Caesar incapacitated. Half of what Camillus of the Julii did, though, was done in secrecy. He was sure that things would turn out poorly if some of his dark habits were brought into the light.

The charming man, explained as being a mixture of genius and madness, had just finished a round of inspections of the Campus Martius and the Praetorian barracks and was now returning to the palace to see if there was any business to be conducted there, or at the very least to get some of the latest news from his many 'friends' around the palace. As Camillus arrived, though, he noticed none other than the eldest child of Lucilla beginning to leave the area and return to the palace proper. This could be an interesting conversation, thought Camillus as he dismounted. He had never actually held a conversation with Darius before, mostly because he did not consider the young boy to be a threat and because it constantly reminded him that Lucilla was having children with other men that were not Camillus, which annoyed the obsessed fellow greatly. He decided to cast annoyances aside, though, mostly by adopting a fantasy that Darius had been born of Lucilla without the help of another man and that no other mortal had impregnated his dear Lucilla before he had the chance.

Moving swiftly to catch up to Darius, he put on the charming exterior he was known for in public. "Salve, Darius Honorius," called at Camillus as he approached the youth. The scion of the Julii was dressed in his typical military uniform. "How are you this day?"

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Feb 24, 2009, 9:52pm

It was easy to imagine that Darius had sprung from Lucilla independent of paternal involvement, given his features. Externally, he might have been conceived immaculately. He sometimes fantasised that it was, indeed, some errant deity that had impregnated his mother and not Marcus Rufus Honorius. Not for lack of love for his father, but because he liked to imagine that he was favoured of the gods and, perhaps, at least partially, related to them.

"Ave, Camillus Julius." He said, casting emerald eyes to match Lucilla's in the direction of the Military Advisor. "I am well and I thank you for the inquiry." He was well, indeed. There was always something refreshing about making a sacrifice. And there was nothing like the confidence one felt after a favourable augury, like the one that had just been taken for him.

"What of yourself?" He realised, just then, that this was the first time the man had offered him more than a passing nod of the head. They'd never exchanged words. He could not, but note the timing. Now, with Caesar's authority in question... now, with questions in the air as to succession... now, he took note of Darius. That was not to be overlooked. He smiled, disarmingly and turned to face him directly, his height might have been somewhat intimidating if he weren't so damnably skinny.
Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Feb 26, 2009, 9:08pm

Camillus watched the boy closely, trying to size him up. He was good-looking, but Camillus liked himself more. He certainly had the regal demeanor of his mother, Lucilla. His lineage was strong, too, though the conspiring man was quick to codify in his mind that his was greater. The Julii were descended from Aeneas and therefor the children of the goddess Venus. Camillus was merely convincing himself that he had more right to sit on the throne than anyone, even Lucilla's son.

Pulling himself from his thoughts again, Camillus smiled charmingly at Darius. "I am doing quite well, thank you, considering recent events," said the powerful imperial advisor, alluding to the recent happenings in the palace. "Were you just coming from a ride through the city or something?" asked Camillus, feigning curiosity. He was curious, but more about the personality and opinions of the boy rather than what he had been up to.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Feb 26, 2009, 9:20pm

Recent events? It took a moment for Darius to even register what that could mean, coming from Camillus. But from that source it was a layered answer, all leading to the Emperor's situation.

"Ah yes. Caesar's condition is most... unfortunate." A layered response from Darius, too. And then a personal inquiry. Darius was aware that he was over-analyzing this man, but he thought it far wiser than underestimating him.

"I was visiting the Delubrum Jupiter Capitolinus." Visiting made it sound a bit more detached than 'performing a sacrifice at', which Darius felt wise for the moment. He was unaware of this man's religious leanings, save that he was fond of his claim on descent from Divine Venus. That kind of certainty must have been nice. But ah, so many mortals had since diluted that blessed blood. And if the gods had so favoured the line of Julius, then why had Gaius Julius Caesar met such an end?

"I suppose some congratulations are in order? I've heard you've been afforded certain provisions by the Senate, while poor Caesar malingers in his chambers. You must be very pleased."Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Feb 28, 2009, 12:37pm

The gaze of the power leader of the Julii remained steady on Darius, his face sporting a charming smile but his eyes concealing ruthless penetration, as if trying to seeing into the soul of the son of Lucilla. He needed to determine how much of a threat this boy would be once Camillus was on the throne. It was Roman custom to, in particularly troublesome barbarian villages, kill not only the old men, but the young men as well, so that they did not grow up to avenge their fathers. He was hoping that it would not need to come to that, but would readily slice the boy's throat if it did.

"Yes, most unfortunate indeed. I do pray that they soon find the perpetrator. I hear that the Praetorians are viewing Manius as their chief suspect," said Camillus, again distancing himself from the poisoning. "To think that the wretch would try kill his own uncle." Irony was hidden very, very deep behind the words of the man that had killed off most of his direct family.

"Ah, praying to great Jupiter for some guidance for something? It is very good to gain the favor of the gods... especially in such treacherous times as these." Camillus, too, had been often to the temples of late to pray. Though, not to Jupiter; not yet. Mars, Venus, and Pluto had received the most sacrifices from him of late, war, lust, and greed ever on his conniving mind.

The military strategist tilted his head to the side some; the boy was clever, and fishing for insights just as much as Camillus was. Yes, he was certainly a son of Lucilla. "The Senate has merely officiated what was already in practice. Nothing but mighty Scipio's way of attempting to assert the Senate's authority over the military at this point in time," responded Camillus dismissively. He knew what game Scipio and the Senate were playing.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Feb 28, 2009, 8:57pm

"Well, leave it to Manius to botch something so delicate." Darius offered, electing to show a glimpse of his hand. He'd have been particularly surprised if Camillus had any great respect for his overt adversary. "Yes, I've heard he was the chief suspect as well. Though I haven't heard anything to indicate he is the sole suspect." A dismissive shrug of the shoulder. "At any rate, my little uncle Octavius has been designated to investigate on behalf of the Senate, so I suppose we'll see how that goes, won't we?"

He clasped his hands behind his back as they walked. His own gait, might have been described as stalking. His height lent to that sort of thing.

"Quite right." The boy agreed with Camillus' assessment of the pronouncement from the Consul. "But I am one who believes any accolade, however ornamental, is worthy of note." Because there was significance in the fact of its having been proffered at all. Scipio was, in fact, making several very strong statements with that proclamation, not the least of which was; I'm onto you.

Even as they walked, Darius locked his eyes on Camillus' with what may have been a discomfiting steadiness. He maintained eye contact with an unusual constancy, in this conversation. And with eyes as piercing as his, it was hard not to notice.

"So, forgive my ignorance if you will, but to whom does a military adviser answer when Caesar is incapacitated? Is it Scipio?"Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 1, 2009, 8:12pm

A chuckle escaped the lips of the treacherous charmer as Darius spoke of Manius. "Yes, indeed. I think the only way the man has managed to get this far in life is strictly through his relations to Claudius," commented Camillus. He found Manius to be even more annoying than Claudius, for at least the emperor managed to wield some authority and rose to the throne of his own right. Manius, in the eyes of the leader of the Julii, had only half-hearted ambition and a lack of any skill or savvy to act on it. As soon as Camillus was emperor, he planned to ensure that Manius was either executed or, worse, made prefect of Judea. "Yes, I heard that the Senate was distrustful of the Praetorian investigation and wanted their own eyes and ears. Good for them, I guess," murmured Camillus. If anything, by worrying about the investigation, the ever-argumentative senate would be somewhat distracted from the other plots of Camillus.

Except when those accolades come with strings attached, thought Camillus, holding back from letting a scowl as the thought crossed his mind. It was the Consul's clever attempt to contain military power. Little did the fools and their togas know what Camillus had up his sleeve next with this authority. "Yes, yes. I am grateful for the honor," said Camillus unenthusiastically.

He noted the piercing and inquisitive nature of the boy, only continuing to reinforce his relation to Lucilla. Camillus was quickly concluding that the young Darius could be dangerous to him one day, unless something could be done before such a day arrived. The boy could be useful.

At his question, the side of Camillus' mouth twitched slightly. He thought of himself as answerable to no one; not the fool Claudius nor the damned Senate and their witty little orator of a leader. Nonetheless, he knew who people expected him to answer to. "With Claudius in such a lamentable state, I answer directly to the next executive in line, and yes, that would be the Consul, especially as, by a chance of misfortune, there are only one at the present time," said Camillus. If there were two consuls, competing with each other and balancing each other out, Camillus was sure that Scipio would not be nearly as much of a road block as he was. "However, I afforded a certain degree of autonomy. The Senate knows not to micromanage things they know so little of, like military conduct."

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 2, 2009, 12:44am

"Although..." Darius was quick to mention, "The Consul, to whom you admittedly answer, knows a great deal about military conduct." It was posed as gently as such a suggestion might have been. "...Acclaimed as he is for his military endeavours." Moreso than most. Moreso than Camillus, in fact, and a sight moreso than Darius. He pursed his lips.

"It is obvious that Manius seeks the throne." There was common ground there. He thought to expand upon it. "I think it is plain to see that if he acquires it, Strategos, he will lose it in short order. In earnest, it would not be the worst thing for Rome if such a thing were to occur... provided the pursuant claimant was more apt as a ruler." His eyes trailed up and down Camillus' form. "But, of course, there would be the ever-present Republican threat. Every bad Emperor threatens validation to the Republicans of the day. But their strength wanes with each coronation." He smiled, as he looked down at the ground as they made their way up to the palace. Darius nodded to the Praetorians guarding this entrance, allowing Camillus to walk ahead of him inside.

"Hm. Such a lovely day." He noted, as he abandoned it to the cool indoors. "I'm told my Uncle Quintus aspires to the throne, as well as Manius..."Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 2, 2009, 5:09pm

Camillus bit his done, almost quite literally, as Darius pressed further the subservience of Camillus to the Senate and its Consul. "So it would seem," he managed to mutter, again unenthusiastically. When Camillus had his way, he would ensure that the military victories under him would eclipse anything done by that wretched little orator of the Senate. "At least not everyone in the Senate is a fool, hm?" Despite his jealousy, he knew he had to throw the compliment out there. Scipio was a worthy opponent, but an opponent nonetheless, and obviously favorable in the eyes of the young man beside him.

"Yes, Manius is too weak-willed and incompetent to capably wield imperium. The man would only hold the throne for a month before civil war broke out and the provinces rose in rebellion. I am surprised that neither the Senate or the Praetorians have called for his head yet after his attempted seizure of Caesar's bedchambers," said Camillus. The senior military official nodded calmly to the Praetorians, having nothing to hide from them-- or, rather, acting like he did not. Neither were ones he particularly recognized, so they were not probably any of the few he had bought off and were therefor probably suspicious of him, as the Prefect was. "Republican fools cleaning to childish ideals they lost long ago. A strong emperor is needed to run something as grand as Rome; the Senate is too incompetent for such an endeavor."

Whilst they began to walk through the palace, Camillus became much more alert of the surroundings. He knew that Tiberius would have eyes and ears everywhere, and did not trust his own tongue around the man's spies. "Quintus Alexander, you say? Odd, seeing as he is marrying the daughter of Senator Imperios," noted Camillus, hiding the irony from his voice. Little did many know that Nefertiti Imperios was one of his largest supporters in this little plot of his.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 2, 2009, 6:48pm

Darius took in everything that Camillus said. He was quite bold in his statements about some things, and quite reticent in other regards. But he made a strong enough statement about his well-known imperial leanings, on which Darius elected to comment.

"A senate is too slow and divided a thing to rule the Rome our... Or rather, your antecedents engendered." He said, making a milder statement along the same lines. "So, in essence, I agree." And of course he did.

On the matter of his uncle, he smiled a bit.

"Is it odd, though? He's marrying the daughter, not the Senator." And it was hardly a strange thing to see divided loyalties within one family. His own Uncle Octavius was a Republican, whereas Darius and most of his relations were Imperialists. "And, I don't know if you've noticed, Strategos, but it seems the possibility of becoming Emperor is the most assured cure to Republican sentiment. It erases it almost completely. I'm sure the same is true for women married to a man who might become Emperor." Beat. "Are you yet betrothed, Strategos?"Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 2, 2009, 11:40pm

"Yes. Power has a way of making people see everything in the world differently," murmured the military strategist. Camillus allowed a small smirk to form on his face; the boy was bright. Indeed, the allure of power was enough to corrupt anyone into seeking it. Only two men in Roman politics seemed to be resistant to such an allure, and they were two who were so close to seizing the reigns of power that it would be enough to drive most men to the farthest limits. Flavius Germanicus and Scipio Dacicus were fools, in the eyes of Camillus. It meant, of course, less competition for him if they were going to throw away such a golden opportunity as the imperial throne of Rome. Their loss.

At the question of his marital status, Camillus worked hard to resist his twitch from appearing once more. Oddly, the question seemed to be coming up more than usual. People rarely wanted to know of the marital plans of Camillus; everyone else seemed so damned focus on Scipio and the Alexander brothers when it came to marriage, his name only appearing now and then in certain circles. "No, I am not. I loved a woman once, but things did not work out," said Camillus darkly. He still planned to wed Lucilla some day.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 3, 2009, 12:41am

"Really?" Darius was genuinely surprised that Camillus had loved, before. It wasn't until this moment, but Darius realised that he'd thought cruel, ambitious Camillus and he might have had something in common. He thought, perhaps, Camillus was as disinclined toward such things as he. Which turned, what had been a pointed jab of a question, into a point of genuine interest to young Darius. And he allowed himself a precious rare voluntary comment on a subject he usually sought at all cost to avoid.

"The notion of romantic love has always vexed me." He said, shaking his head slightly. Although many girls and boys, woman and men had pointed love's dagger toward his heart, still it vexed him. He understood love of country; of family; even of possessions. But it was that undefinable X factor that he didn't register. He almost wanted to ask advice of Camillus, but then he regained his senses.

"Well. You are young, yet." Perhaps odd, coming from a fifteen year old boy. "And, from what I'm told, much sought after. I'm sure you'll have a wife, if you seek one." As Darius would one day have a wife, whether he liked it or not. Which, in truth, he wasn't sure of either way yet.Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 3, 2009, 1:27am

Camillus noted the surprise in the boy's voice when the Julian leader revealed his past feelings towards someone. His first thought was to be indignant, but then he decided not to waste the time with such a mood. He knew his reputation; if he was not considered cold and heartless by some in the upper circles, he was considered a sex-addled drunkard with a questionable ambiguity about who he took to his bed on any given night. So, when he confessed the feeling of love, it probably caught some people off guard.

"Indeed. It is a considerably vexing subject. That is why, since my past misfortune, I tend to just focus on more carnal desires and wait to see if any opportunity presents itself," said Camillus, mostly truth to what he said. He had not bothered pursuing another for love interests, instead just satisfying his cravings for sex; this tended to cause problems, particularly when, among his slaves, the rumors would arise of his not-entirely-female-wanting sex drive. Occasionally he'd bed a certain noble woman here and there and consider marrying for political or financial gain, but had yet to find one appropriate enough in his mind for such an endeavor.

The senior military official cast Darius a curious frown; Lucilla's child was perplexing, and Camillus felt his desire to drive some sharp and pointy threw the boys heart waning considerably. "Yes. I just lack the want to seek one at the present moment," said Camillus, again with some truth. If a suitable woman presented herself, he would take her. Otherwise, he would continue to imagine himself married to Lucilla. "It is quite an annoying enterprise, courting. However, men like you and me, privileged and well-known that we are, can find things to be a tad bit easier than the common pleb or soldier."

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 3, 2009, 1:43am

The conversation had taken an oddly personal turn, Darius thought. It was his own fault, but he'd turned a nuanced political tête-à-tête into a warped sort of male bonding. With a man he knew to have murdered the majority of his family, and sold a very nice young lady with whom he shared a passing acquaintance, into slavery. Camillus was a patently terrible person, and so it was very difficult for Darius to resolve with himself these very human qualities. Especially those he actually shared. Was Camillus once like Darius? Was there something that had changed him, or had he always been amoral? Or was Darius amoral, and just unawakened to the fact? It was more than love that vexed him now.

"You mean we can be more discriminating in our choices?" Darius took a shot at why in Tartarus it would be easier for the privileged and famous to court. "True enough." He had to agree on that point. His mother had essentially given him his pick of the litter, and given his pedigree and his appearance it was doubtful that there would be many young ladies inclined to turn him down. Courting might have been easier, but that didn't make it any more desirable.

"Hm. Yes, I'm with you. No desire to seek it at present." Darius wrinkled his nose, thinking on that. The salient difference lay in the fact that Darius didn't pursue the carnal desires either. "There is probably a great deal too much import placed on love." He said, trying to recall which Greek said that first, and more eloquently than Darius.Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 15, 2009, 11:30am

As Camillus and Darius walked the talked, the master of the Julii felt himself growing fonder of the boy. He seemed agreeable of sorts, though perhaps a little boring in his apparent personal conservatism. Nothing at all like the rest of his family. Even the ever-Stoic Scipio was known to play the part of the young aristocratic playboy in his younger days, and several of the Alexanders were certainly not the paragons of virtue as younger men either. Nonetheless, there was still an attractive quality in the boy. He reminded Camillus so much of Lucilla...

"Yes! Any woman would readily throw themselves at our feet. They would happily share a bed with men like us if not a house," said Camillus. He often used his prestige to get what he wanted out of women. Not only would it make them easily fall to his whims, but he enjoyed to stroke his ego by talking himself up to them as well, vain man that he was. Then, a thought struck the strategist, and he glanced at Darius somewhat incredulously. "...Have you been with a woman before?" he asked, his mind putting things together. It seemed like such an odd and foreign concept that a boy with the bloodline and looks of Darius would not have used that by now, especially under Lucilla's roof! But, it would certain explain some of the naivety, he supposed.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 15, 2009, 2:01pm

"I have not." He said, displaying no semblance of embarrassment at the fact. It was as if it didn't occur to him that there would be any reason for shame in virginity. For him, it was actually a point of pride. He was a master of his desires, he thought. Sex, to Darius' mind, was a poisonous distraction from more important matters. That is not to say he did not think about sex. He did. All the time. He was a teenage boy, after all. But he denied his impulse to copulate, just as he denied himself so many comforts and luxuries a prince usually enjoyed.

"Much to Mater's chagrin." He said, pursing his lips. "She really wants me to take a courtesan soon. I think she is worried I'll go the way of Tiberius, if I don't have a pleasant first experience. And soon." He chuckled, clearly not so worried about the issue. He really didn't understand why people were so concerned with his sexuality. He'd promised to carry on the line, what more did they want? "May I ask... What was your first experience like?" It had to be better than his mother's.Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 15, 2009, 9:38pm

Camillus hid how perplexed he was by the boy's apparent lack of embarrassment at his virginity. Could Darius actually be truly virtuous like some boring Stoic? The thought was so foreign to the scandal-attracting Camillus of the Julii; he thought all good young aristocrats ought to enjoy some decadence now and again. As he mentioned Lucilla's push to have him engage a courtesan, the descendant of Caesar gave a half-laugh; at least she was on the ball with things. Then a thought struck Camillus, piquing his interest; perhaps women were not entirely what the boy desired. He subconsciously made a note to pursue that interesting avenue later.

At the question that Darius posed, the conniving conspirator's memory was flushed back to his young days in Pompeii, the town known for its debauchery and corruption, where he grew up. Oh, there was much to do there indeed when it came to the carnal pleasures. He thought briefly to his first time at one of the resort city's premier whore houses. "Well, I had just reached maturity and was taken by a businessman"--in actuality one of the biggest slave dealers in southern Italy--"I had befriended to a house of Venus. There, I had my pick of a large assortment of women, and chose a pretty young thing from some silly backwater province. Oh, it was glorious... Of course, I could hardly contain myself our first go at it, but I had her for the entire night and made good use of it. My first night of heaven. After that I visited the house again occasionally, and then of course had a few trysts here and there with some local nobility."

By a few, though, Camillus meant almost nightly. He had gotten a taste of something and liked it. By local nobility, he subtly meant both women and a few other young men. He kept that very secret, though; any ambitious Roman hoping to get somewhere could not have such rumors flung at him. "It was glorious, as it always is for young men when it is there first time. Also fun for men when it is the woman's first time as well, though not as fun for them," said he with a slight chuckle. "Take your mother's advise. Find a good whore and fuck her from dusk 'til dawn. I'm sure you'll feel better about everything afterwards."

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 15, 2009, 10:13pm

Darius listened with potent interest to what Camillus revealed of his past. But it was nothing as scandalous as he might have liked. Camillus' account revealed nothing personal, other than the legendary adoration he felt toward himself. It was so ordinary. Perhaps, Darius realised, that was what he feared from his own first foray into the sexual world. Normalcy.

But maybe that wasn't the worst thing in the world. Camillus' rather run-of-the-mill first time didn't seem to dissuade the man from constant pursuits from his remote youth in Pompeii up to the here and now. It was only now that he recalled his mother's comments and recommendations in reference to Camillus' questionable sexual background. It was interesting, if unsurprising, that it hadn't come up. He glanced curiously to Camillus' face.

"Hm." He said, looking down again, as he considered Camillus' advice. To follow his mother's wishes. "Perhaps I will." Camillus' first time had clearly been a sight more amusing than his mother's. But which, he wondered, had built more character. "Fitting that a son of Venus should lose his childhood at a House of Venus." From the sound of it, that was as good as a temple to Camillus.

"I'm sure it will be... Enlightening, whatever transpires."Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 15, 2009, 10:42pm

As Darius spoke of perhaps taking the advice of Lucilla like he suggested, Camillus nodded approvingly. Perhaps a few women sharing his bed would introduce the boy to some of the pleasurable vices expected of young Romans. The Roman prince's comment caused a smirk to cross the illusively charming face of the scion of the Julii. "Ah, yes, most fitting, as if the goddess Venus herself saw to it that it was so," said Camillus. The House of Venus in Rome, much more upscale and enjoyable with a wider selection than the hole in Pompeii, was frequented by Camillus, or at least agents of his going to pick up women for him. He revered it as most Romans revered the Temple of Jupiter, and sought solace there as much as other Romans sought solace in the other temples.

Camillus tilted his head to the side some, deciding to throw some bait out in order to see if the scent caught the attention of young Darius at all. "Yes, enlightening. Of course, some men engage the services of women and find that they enjoy the company of a different sort at times instead," he said, his eyes flashing to Darius to see the boy's reaction.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 15, 2009, 10:53pm

The first thing that came to his mind, and somehow escaped his lips was:

"You sound just like Mater." She constantly questioned his tastes, seeing his indecisiveness as a sign of homosexual inclinations. The frequency of her queries made him take the question more seriously, but the jury was still out for Darius. Another moment's thought, and Darius considered Camillus' question in another light. Perhaps it was his way of testing the waters. Perhaps, as his mother had suggested was possible, Camillus was interested in him sexually. It was an odd and disconcerting notion, but hardly outside the realm of possibility.

He thought of his mother's words to him... How she'd almost suggested he flirt with Camillus of the Julii. He pondered this, staring at Camillus' face all the while. He knew that Camillus was not proud of his own homosexual leanings, and so he thought it unwise to imply outright that he shared them. Better to proffer a more neutral reply.

"But I suppose you're right. One doesn't know ones favourite food until one tastes it for the first time. Why should sex be any different?" He shrugged, absently, and looked quickly away from Camillus' face.Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 15, 2009, 11:21pm

The words that first left the prince's mouth surprised Camillus some, and however unintentionally stroked his ego somewhat, comparing him to his secretly beloved. Though, he supposed he could see why he and Lucilla would make both the same type of statements. The two had spent much of their childhood growing up together and viewing the world very much the same way. Of course, they were different-- Lucilla was far more reserved and Spartan than Camillus, who tended to embrace debauchery and enjoy openly wielding his power, wealth, and influence. They were similar, though, in their ruthlessness, intelligence, ability to discern things, and knack for warfare. One reason why Camillus found her so much more attractive and worthy of being at his side, some day.

He supposed, too, that is what intrigued him so much about Darius. There was so much of Lucilla in the boy, it added a certain sense of attraction to him. As Darius cleverly responded to his bait and looked away, Camillus resisted the urge to grin broadly. There it was; bait taken. His mind on the subject was a bit more malleable than Camillus would have thought, obviously more open to such ideas as his mother was rather than strictly opposed to them like his cousin the consul and some other snobby patrician elites in Rome. "Ah, so the young master would like to taste different dishes before making a final decision, then. Understandable and enlightened," replied Camillus coyly, a small grin playing across his misleadingly charming features. "There are plenty of places to do that as well, and plenty of willing partners in a city like this." More bait.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 15, 2009, 11:55pm

Darius' ego could also be stroked. Hearing himself called enlightened was flattering, he thought, a smile appearing on his youthful face.

"My mother told me that, as well. It was a rather unconventional conversation to be shared between a boy and his Mater. But I have an unconventional mother, haven't I?" He mused, one hand reaching out a bit from his side so his fingertips trailed along the wall as they walked.

"At any rate, I don't know what I'll end up trying. I'm... still rather reluctant, truth be told. But mother has her mind set on my doing this before I leave for Gaul. I'm certain she won't rest until one of her trusted slaves has seen me in coitus." He wrinkled his nose. "I know she means well, but I have no idea how I'll function under such scrutiny." Darius was starting to grow uncomfortable, with this line of conversation. He decided to deflect.

"So, Camillus, would you consider yourself... 'enlightened'?"Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 16, 2009, 3:03pm

And it is her lack of convention that makes her all the more attractive and spectacular, thought Camillus to himself as he listened to the prince speak on his conversations with his mother. No doubt it was probably a bit of an awkward conversation to have, but such was to be expected between a mother like Lucilla and her son. She quite obviously had a vested interest in the love life, or lack thereof, of a claimant to the imperial throne.

"Your mother is a hard and stubborn person. I learned the hard way when we were younger that it does not pay to hold out against her wishes for too long," said Camillus rather truthfully. The personalities of Camillus and Lucilla had clashed often throughout their live, as one would expected two stubborn, ruthless, and intelligent minds to do. More often than not, Lucilla appeared to win such contests between them.

As Darius returned the spotlight to Camillus, the military master paused briefly, thoughts flying through his mind. He had found himself growing increasingly attracted to the young man, seeing so much of Lucilla in him. However, he also had quite the urge to not act on certain urges. Yet, perhaps this boy was the key to Lucilla and survival should a war break out. Perhaps Darius was a way for Camillus to remain on top. These thoughts quickly filtering through his mind, a mischievous smirk settled on his face. "Oh, I am certainly an enlightened man, but I prefer to keep my brilliance on the downside so as to not intimidate my enemies," replied Camillus, his gaze shifting once more to Darius.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 16, 2009, 3:53pm

Darius laughed a little. He'd never have imagined the word 'brilliance' to become a euphemism for homoerotic urge, but he had a feeling there were quite a few Greek philosophers past and present who would applaud Camillus' usage.

"Plato would be proud." Darius offered, still smiling in amusement at that. Darius glanced over to Camillus and, when their eyes met, he looked quickly down again. His mother had recommended a coquettish approach in dealing with Camillus. Perhaps it would keep him alive. Even if not, it was fun for the moment, and what was life if not a series of moments, pleasant and otherwise? It couldn't hurt to indulge the former every now and again.

"You grew up with my mother..." Darius had heard it said often by the Empress, "What was Mater like when she was younger? Was she very different?" He wondered whether she'd been the same woman prior to her brutal first marriage, or whether that had created the image she now presented to the world. It would be strange to think he might have inherited traits that were initially formed in response to a rape. Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 16, 2009, 5:52pm

A good laugh pranced forth from the lips of the military master of Rome, sharing in his own amusement with Darius. Camillus was certainly no grecophile; not like his annoying sister or the ever-Greek-loving Scipios. But he did enjoy embracing some of the luxuries and debaucheries of the Greeks and, like the noble Alexanders, embraced the Spartan method of military training. That was his biggest split from the Alexanders; while they embraced solely a Spartan lifestyle when younger, Camillus grew to wield the scandalous modes of the rest of Greece on top of the military modes of Sparta. The rest of Spartan lifestyle was just too pointless and boring.

He continued to watch the boy some, more approving of him now. No, when Camillus finally had his opportunity to seize power, he decided not to kill the boy. He was too enticing and attractively like his mother; he would be nice to keep around, concluded the master of the Julii. Provided, of course, he did not become a nuisance, as was always a bothersome possibility among Romans.

Camillus' mind flashed back to memories of childhood; fond ones, and painful ones. He remembered so clearly time spent with Lucilla. "No, your mother was not much different at all. She was always incredibly intelligent and cunning, and she has always excelled in the art of war. It was always said that if she were but male, she would have made a fine general," said Camillus, silently thanking the gods for making her female, though, so that he could make her his wife rather than an opponent for the throne. "She has always been rather stoic and reserved, though she was a bit warmer when we were younger and a bit more open to others, from what I remember." Then that wretch of a senator had gotten a hold of her and tried to ruin his Lucilla. Camillus would have killed the man if she, in her ruthless mode of things, had not seen to it herself. "I can see a lot of her in you," he commented off-handedly.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 17, 2009, 12:04am

The blush that answered that comparison was no attempt at manipulation; The warm feeling was genuine. He kept his eyes downcast, for the moment.

"I hope I evoke her in more than appearance." Darius said, softly. "I know that our physical resemblance suggests I sprang fully formed from her cranium sans paternal involvement," He said, with a jovial smirk, "But I have learned so much from her, and it has every been my intention to emulate her finer qualities..." A pause, before adding, "At least those that translate well to a male."

"I know so much about you, Camillus, and so little. I know accolades and gossip, but little of what lies between the hero and the wretch. I've heard both described in great detail. How would you... enlighten me further to Camillus the man?"

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 18, 2009, 3:04pm

Camillus indeed so much more than just a physical resemblance of Lucilla in Darius, though that physical resemblance was strong. No, there was something ingrained in the personality of the boy that he saw from her. And yet, something so entirely different. This prince of Rome did not seem to be as ruthless or conniving as his mother could be, at least from the impression Camillus got-- and one thing that Camillus of the Julii was skilled at was reading people. No, he seemed a bit softer than his mother; perhaps more politically inclined at the moment than militarily inclined. Such an inclination was somewhat respectable, even to Camillus. After all, while his forefather Caesar was a master of the military, his forefather Augustus was solely an intelligent and incredibly savvy politician. All had their uses, he supposed.

The next question posed to him was incredibly blunt, and probably would have offended or at least disturbed many other men. Camillus, though, was unaffected. He was used to such bluntness, particularly when concerning him. Even though the mentioning of him being described as a wretch in great detail tended to rouse his suspicious anger as to who talked of him, but he did not let this surface to his face. "Yes, there are many who seek to sully my name by twisting my words and actions or spreading lies about me. Such a thing happens to those in a position of grandeur; we are so high up it is easy for us to be shot at by those jealous of us," began Camillus, carefully dancing around his words but not making it seem so. "I am what I am; a loyal Roman who seeks to ensure the glory of the empire that my family created and to save my family from obscurity. I am a very proud man, and am willing to fight to the extremes for that of which I am proud. All else of me stems from that."

He glanced curiously at Darius. "Is there anything particular you'd like to know?"

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 18, 2009, 3:13pm

"The hero." Darius said, after hearing Camillus' description of himself. "I don't believe you have anything to worry about insofar as your family name falling into obscurity. Your ancestors, on top of shifting paradigms, were also very quotable." He said with a playful grin.

"What would I like to know?" Darius repeated, contemplating the question as he asked. "I'd like to know what you love and detest about Rome. What makes you proud of the Empire, and what disappoints you? Where are the poisons and where are the remedies? What ideologies lessen us, and what philosophies aggrandize us?"

He was, essentially, asking what kind of ruler Camillus sought to be, without plainly asking a question that would demand a treasonous answer, if given an honest response.Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 18, 2009, 8:54pm

A hero. He liked that, a lot. Yes, Camillus did fancy himself to be a hero of sorts; he would save Rome by placing its control in the capable hands of the Julian Clan again. Under the guidance, and with the prestige, of his noble ancestors, Camillus of the Julii believed he could accomplish great--heroic--things. Of course, his idea of a hero tended to be different than the idea held by others.

Then the inquires continued, and Camillus saw the cleverness of the boy at once. Clever, clever indeed. Perhaps he would become a danger sooner than Camillus thought. Yet, the man found it to be another attractive quality of the prince. "Oh, easy questions," he said with humorous sarcasm, pausing a moment to gather his words. This was what Camillus, and indeed his predecessors, was good at; proclaiming problems and setting solutions. "I love our might and our universality. Rome is the world, and the world is Roman. Everywhere our standards go becomes ours, and people are led from barbarism to being ruled by the greatest empire the world has known, and ever will know-- Aeterna Roma. Our monuments to our might and our gods are greater than anything the Greeks ever erected, and even surpass the Egyptians and their pyramids in beauty. We are truly the greatest empire ever."

He paused a moment, tilting his head slightly to the side. "And yet, we do have our demons. The Senate, a shell of its former self, has always been the biggest detriment to Rome. They are not but aristocrats trying to maintain their power and keep the plebs down. Even the ones who claim to yearn for a republic only want it so that their Senate is given more control of things. This is why I have not received a great military command. Flavius Alexander was given Gaul, my family's traditional base of power, because the Senate wanted to reward his rise to glory. Vibius Brutus was given control of the Asian provinces next to Parthia, for he is a republican. And mighty Scipio was granted Dacia because of his pretty words and ancient patrician-friendly family," said Camillus with obvious indignation. The Brutii and Scipii had fought to undo Caesar during the civil wars. "Even now the Senate is a thorn in the side of our society. They try to counter the emperor and the military and are still only representative of the aristocrats, and not the plebs. I fear that they seek to use this power vacuum to enhance their authority.

"The remedy for our problems is quite simple; enhance the power of the military and the Emperor even more. Get rid of the Senate; confiscate the land of those ancient families that are a leech on our society and give the wealth to the people. Play no more games with the Parthians and northern barbarians; march in and wipe them out. Steal their wealth and let it enhance our treasury, and enslave their people for the benefit of all Rome."

Obviously, the Julii was quite set on enhancing the autocratic power of the emperor and giving more support to the military; that was clear enough. His position as a champion of the people had always been the line of his family; playing the mob to outdo the Senate and the rest of the establishment. Camillus had no intention of changing that; the mob was so much easier to manipulate than the Senate.

"These notions of republicanism, democracy, moderation, freedom for slaves, balancing of power... All these do is slow down the progress and lessen the power of our empire. Men like Titus Imperios and the Brutii constantly push republicanism on us, distracting us from looking at matters of importance. Grecophiles press democracy and freedom for slaves, threatening our way of life. And then the so-called moderates, like most of the Senate, preach of a balance of powers and moderating of ambition, which only acts to slow down our progress even more," said Camillus. "Anyone who does that should be removed from power as an obstacle to Roman glory."

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 18, 2009, 10:01pm

"Res Publica... Democracy." Darius spoke the words slowly, and thoughtfully. "There is no doubt they were novel ideas that changed the world. There is no doubt that they were well intentioned philosophies at the outset. A tribute to civilisation. But, like all things, they were corruptible. And are now corrupt." He paused in his steps, and lowered his voice.

"The patricians of the Senate are overfed and overindulged. One need but sit outside the Curia Julia," As Darius obviously had, "To see the revolting swine that waddle up those steps to make decisions that effect the starving soldiers who give bile and blood for Roma, while they give only words. Strong words from weak men. Were our arguments settled in the Harena, rather than the Senate," Darius chuckled, "They would be far more reluctant to speak so freely of such potent matters. I, a skinny boy of fifteen, could overtake the majority of our senators in combat with ease." And the notion had crossed his mind on more than one occasion, after hearing some of the vitriol they spouted toward his family.

"And as for the Grecophiles. I would direct their attentions to Plato, rather than Pericles. For it was esteemed Plato who suggested the best form of government would be under an enlightened despot." Something he'd taken away from his tutors years back, and clung to as a strong belief.

"Yes, there are toxins in our city need purging." Though Darius would not go so far as to specifically note what he believed them to be. He agreed with parts of Camillus' speech, but he would not elaborate on which, for the moment. Not while he still felt at such a disadvantage. But that gap had significantly lessened since hearing Camillus' most illuminating and verbose answers to his relatively broad-scoping questions.

"I hope you will come to see me as an ally in the endeavour to improve our beloved Mother Rome."Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 18, 2009, 10:28pm

Now the little game between Darius and Camillus had just become spectacularly interesting with the proclaimed hope of the son of Empress Lucilla that Camillus would view him as an ally. Now, they had stepped completely into the realm of the game being played in the highest levels of Rome; outside of the theoretical and into the very real. This would be fun.

Camillus listened to the prognosis of his words and Rome closely; there was something very similar in the ailments they saw, particularly in relation to the uselessness and depravity of the Senate. Though, the boy mentioned the Platonic idea of philosopher-kings; Camillus chose to hold his tongue--a rare occurrence for him--on the subject. Growing up, Lucius Scipio had always been on and on about philosopher kings, usually resulting in him getting poked fun at by the likes of the more militaristic Alexander brothers, Camillus, Scaurus, and the rest of that generation when they were growing up.

He noticed Darius playing a little coy, but did not think too greatly into it; one had to tread carefully in this little dance. One misstep could spell disaster for someone. Camillus raised his head, staring for a moment at the boy; as pretty as his mother, with the intelligence and insight one does not expect to find in one his age, and obvious ambition and potential. The wheels in the head of the ambitious master of the Julian Clan began to turn, thoughts racing through his mind. The opportunities now available seemed almost endless.

The cunningly charming man cast a smile as Darius, reaching forward and placing a hand on his shoulder. "From what I can tell, young master, I do not think it would be difficult at all to see you as an ally in the progress of our empire," replied Camillus.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 18, 2009, 10:43pm

He tensed ever so slightly at the touch. Not because it was Camillus, but because he was not terribly accustomed to physical contact. It was rarely offered by his mother, and never by his father. His green eyes darted to the hand on his shoulder, and then he relaxed into it, smiling as he turned his gaze to Camillus' eyes.

"Well, I'm glad we happened upon each other..." He found the tip of his tongue perched gently between his teeth, for a brief moment and he felt his cheeks warming again. He cleared his throat, and glanced away out of necessity. This would have been a terribly inauspicious time to tempt arousal and, being a teenage boy, it wouldn't take much to pitch his tunic.

"Gods, I've lost track of time. I hope I'm not keeping you from something..." If he'd asked where Camillus was headed at the beginning of their conversation, he'd long since forgotten to make room for the far more intriguing revelations that had developed on their stroll.Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 18, 2009, 11:04pm

Camillus watched the reaction of the teenaged prince closely, noticing the immediate tension. For a flash--a brief moment only--it occurred to him that perhaps he had overestimated the ground covered with the boy, and that he had just made a mistaken by laying a finger on him. Then, though, he felt Darius relax beneath his touch, and caught the hardly noticeable flush in the young man's face.

After a brief moment, Camillus casually withdrew his hand from Darius' shoulder, casting him another charming smile. "Oh, you are certainly not. I've felt privileged to have this short amount of time with you," replied Camillus, truthfully so. He had only come to the palace to catch up on gossip, sign some papers, and maybe get in contact with his Pavo or any of his men in the Praetorian Guard. Things were moving swiftly now, and Camillus was preparing for another advancement in things. He just was not entirely sure what he wanted, though. "I do hope that I've not kept you from anything either. Time can fly when one enjoys the company, and I know how unyielding the schedule of a son of an empress can be at times, especially one with such a future as yourself."

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 18, 2009, 11:11pm

"I'm glad you see a future in me." Because, if Camillus didn't see a future in him, that probably meant he intended to snuff it out. "My schedule has been largely my own, since the decision to send me to Gaul. Not that I haven't been keeping busy with my studies, my training and a few necessary social calls, but... Not nearly so rigorous as the recent past. I'm nearly a man, now." And he was being treated as such by his Mater, who had never really been one to tolerate childish antics. Hence Darius' maturity.

"No, I've completed all I'd hoped to accomplish today. Now, I was only hoping to find something worthwhile to eat." He leaned his back against a wall, crossing his arms behind his back as he faced Camillus. "This conversation has been quite a welcome distraction. If you're not busy, you're more than welcome to join me." He offered, somewhat sheepishly. An odd and awkward look on Darius, who was usually so sure of himself.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 18, 2009, 11:22pm

From as far as Camillus could tell, the young prince was certainly already a man in several aspects. His physique certainly tended to support such a claim, for one. More importantly, he was very astute for his age, and even appeared to be more savvy than the majority of the old fools who made up the Senate. Yes, quite a man indeed; one that might prove to be very useful to Camillus, and he was sure that such usefulness would be reciprocal.

As Darius leaned against a wall, Camillus watched him for a moment, a hungry expression in his eyes, perhaps for more than one reason. "I would love to join you for some food," replied the military master, deciding to enjoy to steal some more time with Lucilla's son. It might prove to be very beneficial, or at least entertaining for a while. "Where shall we dine?"

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 18, 2009, 11:38pm

"I actually enjoy dining in the Atrium Convivium, believe it or not. I find it wasteful to leave such a grand space to cobwebs and dust between banquets. And banquets are precious rare, these days. So at least I give the slaves a reason to clean it." He looked Camillus over quickly, and then started off in that direction.

"You." He regarded the nearest slave, who was walking by. "Have supper for two sent to the Atrium Convivium. I don't care what. See that it's diverse." He wasn't really sure what he was in the mood for, so a varied array would suit him best and he assumed there would be something Camillus fancied in such a spread. He shooed the slave away, and glanced to Camillus.

"That one is Pavo. Personal slave to Caesar. Old Claudius treated him like a second wife, before he found religion. Now he swears up and down that he only has eyes for women and Yaweh or whatever." Darius rolled his eyes. "But I'm sure you've been briefed... Anyway, gods know what he's doing down here right now. He usually stays in Claudius' chambers."Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 18, 2009, 11:53pm

As Pavo came into sight, Camillus felt only the slightest twinge of fear somewhere in the back of his mind; it quickly passed, though. Camillus was not one to get particularly nervous about things, and was capable of keeping his cool. Yes, he was paranoid as paranoid can be, but only when it came to trusting others. He could trust himself to keep his cool if he were to say bump into one of the linchpins of his plot to murder the most powerful man on the planet and steal his throne while in the presence of the stepson of said man and probably the individual with the most legal right to the throne.

Avoiding any eye contact with the slave--not unusual--Camillus nodded his head. "Perhaps he needed a stretch or something. I'm sure it would get incredibly annoying listening to Jewish rubbish all day long," offered Camillus, deciding to slowly shift the subject away from the slave. "Pity what has happened to Caesar. Disgusting thing, Judaism. A perpetual pestilence, I have offered advice on how to rid us of the problem; level Jerusalem and send a message telling the damned Jews to stop being a nuisance. It worked in Gaul, leveling villages, and when I ordered it in Dacia."

Camillus walked alongside Darius towards the dining area, chuckling lightly. "That had been a fight. A product of Greek philosophical garbage, Scipio was opposed to wiping out entire villages as an example of what happens to those who rebel against Rome, and refused to make the call himself. Took a lot of convincing against the man's constant letters to finally get Caesar himself to make the order to put all of the residents of two villages to the sword," said Camillus, casually speaking of such slaughter as common practice. "And after that, villages were much more likely to obey our commands. Works every time."

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 19, 2009, 12:34am

"Hm." Darius listened to Camillus' interpretation of that exchange. He would mark that in his mind, to inquire after Scipio's rendition at a later date, out of curiosity. "I have no aversion to the practical and strategic use of extreme force, when necessary. Though I do not believe it is universally effective..." A pause. "Not to say that you believe that." He didn't want to sound condescending. At all. "But there does indeed come a time when it is more beneficial to simply decrease the number of ones enemies by annihilating a large group of them."

He led the way into the Atrium, though Camillus knew the course just as well if not better. That was something of a harrowing thought. Camillus was a contemporary of his Mater. Old enough to be his father. He tilted his head at the notion, wondering if Lucilla and Camillus had ever... No. He was sure they hadn't.

"Caesar will need to be dealt with soon. We cannot continue to pretend he might recover, if our government is to subsist. He is decidedly unfit to rule, and the Senate, as ever, is plodding along like any given obese member of its ranks." He was fishing, now. Parts of what he offered were not entirely genuine, but they were not by any means untruths.Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 19, 2009, 8:08pm

The last words that boy made caused Camillus to glance around as they walked, eyeing to see if there were any Praetorians nearby. What Darius uttered could be considered borderline treasonous by any devout followers of Claudius, and Camillus was certainly not going to follow up if any unfriendly ears were listening into the conversation between the military master and the prince. Not spying any, though, his gaze shifted back to Darius, and he decided to play this game.

"Indeed, drastic action is needed. The Senate must be forced into compliance. I would suggest turning to the military for support, but legates are conniving and traitorous. They betray even their friends in order to gain further military glory," said Camillus, an almost reminiscently biting tone in his voice. "Instead, it would be wiser to turn to the People. They can influence the military, making it up of course, and certainly understand how incompetent the Senate is."

The wheels in Camillus' head began to turn, but he would not focus too much on any type of elaborate plans right now. He was trying to enjoy and learn from his company. Entering the Atrium, Camillus made his way to a seat. "However, what is one to do if a senator or a legate decide to seize power for themselves? They must be dealt with quickly if that is the case, and harshly," said Camillus. No matter who they were. Of course, he quietly only meant those whose seizure of power would limit his own, or those who would make great scape goats.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 20, 2009, 7:08am

Darius sat down across from Camillus. He looked somewhat awkward in the palace furniture, his legs being too long for pieces so close to the floor.

"The people." An acknowledged flaw of Darius' was his distance from the people. They didn't know him, nor he them. He was only beginning to negotiate control of his own celebrity recently, and he hadn't the Julius name nor a military career of any kind to stand on.

"Yes, I'm sure there are more than a few ambitious men of influence who currently seek the throne via one avenue or another. But the majority of them have tenuous claims indeed, and if faced with even equivalent power from another, worthier party they would have to fold. But, as you say, worthiness is deemed by the people." And so it was largely a matter of spin, to Darius' mind. A slave entered, with a flagon of red wine and two cups, pouring a portion into each.

"Do you have any guesses, or better yet, leads as to who intends to make a move?" Darius had his suspicions. And a few rumours, as well. But he tended to think Camillus, being an active competitor, was more likely to know of enemies that might not even occur to Darius.Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by camillus on Mar 20, 2009, 2:07pm

Now the boy's intelligence was really beginning to shine. The People were, in the end, the final say on matters. The families of soldiers, the military would not readily move against the people. Far outnumbering and surrounding the Senate, a mob could force the aristocrats into doing what they wanted if they clamored loudly enough. Yes, the people was where the power was. If one could align the people with the military and the Senate, that one would become extraordinarily powerful if they chose. At this point in time, the only man with that type of popularity was the consul who, dreadfully boring as he was, did not want a throne. Flavius Germanicus had the military and a lot of people, but not the Senate. The Imperial Family, for what they were worth, still controlled all three, though support among the Senate and the mob was waning rapidly. The three groups were key to power.

Camillus picked up his cup as it was set down in front of him, his eyes focusing on Darius. So many men claiming the throne, only a handful of legitimate successors, though-- Darius and Camillus among them, with the former maintaining the greater legal bend of support. "Oh, yes, the dark streets of Rome stir with whispers of who will take it. Several legates, most of the supremos, and a handful of retired military men all top the list, of course. Then there's that rat-faced Darius Armandus in the Senate. The Senate Republicans, led by Titus Imperios and the various Junii, are also keen to make a move; they've been known to be speaking with influential military men too," said Camillus, speaking rather freely to Darius. He decided that was best, if the boy was to become an ally. "The biggest threat within the palace itself is your step-cousin, Manius. He can claim legitimate succession, like yourself, and he has some support among the Senate and the military, though it is quickly waning. A few Praetorians are also on his payroll, even though he is now the chief suspect in the assassination of Caesar given his attempt to seize the bedchambers." Which was all the better for Camillus and his supporters.

Re: If Wishes Were Horses. [Camillus]
Post by darius on Mar 20, 2009, 2:33pm

"His potential for legitimate succession is compromised by his wholesale lack of support from any of the pertinent power bases in Rome. He hasn't the Senate, the Military, or the people. He is seen universally as a cad and a loafer and I believe his lust for slave wenches far exceeds his ambition for the throne. If Manius takes the throne, he will be merely a placeholder until a stronger man wrests it from his feeble grasp."

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