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Young Bloods (Open)


Sarah
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It was a time of celebration, of liberation, and naturally of libation. Slaves feasted, masters served, and in the dark of the year society turned upside down in recognition of the fact that they were all as equals before the Gods, and lesser to them. Let that please Saturn and Apollo Helius and lengthen the days once more, lest the year fail to turn and the world descend into darkness.

The Imperial family had attended the rite at the Temple of Saturn, watched the priest with his head oddly uncovered as he said the ancient words and made the sacrifice. The banquet had been well underway for some time and even Tiberius had indulged in some wine and a little too much food, after the palace slaves had eaten.

Now he was sitting by the window, looking out over the city and pondering the future. This was the turning of the year, and the new year would bring the first steps into his adulthood, marked by the beginning of the cursus honorum. Titus, who was of age with him, was facing the same, but he was making a thorough enjoyment of the evening, if Tiberius's last glimpse of him was anything to judge by.

The young Imperial, last son of Caesar Claudius, glanced up with a slightly sheepish smile at the approaching figure.

(OOC: Particularly open to Imperial and Senatore youth)

Edited by Sarah
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Claudia had enjoyed the festivities, she had given her slaves gifted and ate with them. Sitting with them as though they were close friends (and some were) and braided each other's hair. The ceremony had the Temple of Saturn was a day where there were considerable celebrations that were held. She watched as Titus and Tiberius both drank wine and ate more than usual. Celebrations were in the air. The adults of the family had left to tend to their own personal matters, which meant the younger members -- youths and the unmarried now had time on their hands to enjoy the festivities. She had been permitted to indulge in a small amount of wine, since she was in the company of family and soon found her twin, Tiberius. He was seated by a window, and the days of childhood had been slowly retreating from them. Something she was becoming increasingly aware of. 

"Tiberius," She greeted him, her hair was down and she had her slaves remove the various pins from when it was pinned upwards, her chiton was a pale blue that had highlighted her eyes, and she came to sit aside him. "Have you been enjoying the festivities?" She asked, the coming year would bring a range of changes and the Gods only knew where they would end up. They had always been close. 

She wondered if Titus or Rutiliana would soon join them. 

@Sarah

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"Claudia." Her twin greeted her with a warm smile. "I have, and so have others, from the look of things." He gestured to where two of his personal slaves were playing what looked like a dice game with a few others, and finding it hilarious. No doubt they'd taken advantage of the wine served, and even his and Titus' old tutor appeared to be joining in, though perhaps he was teaching the younger slaves how to play. Or how to drink.

"And you?" He asked, blue gaze meeting hers. "Are you enjoying the evening?" It was a time to relax, to let one's hair down as Claudia had, and not stand on ceremony. Where at the Temple he'd been dressed as befit a young Imperial, now he was far more casual in his comfortable dinner wear.

Glancing up and about he wondered who else was still present, and who had found other things to amuse themselves with.

@Gothic

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She walked towards him. The train of her chiton dragged along the floor and moved to take her seat beside him. The twins were both dressed more casually, they had removed the clothing that marked either of them as members of the Imperial class, and gave a small shrug of her shoulders. Over time, the festivals of the Saturnalia was gradually becoming normal for her to attend and see. Naturally the slaves that were around the Imperials were the most trusted. It gave everyone a chance to remember their humanity. 

"It was alright, the festivities have quietened down now," She answered, sat beside him and followed his gaze to see what he was looking at. In the distance she saw members of her family and the family friends who were close. Nearby there was an elaborate silver pitcher with scenes of men racing their horses. It had been their mother's. Claudia lifted it and poured some wine into two metal goblets, one for her and the other for her brother. Once she was done, she leaned forward and took one in each hand then offered him one of them. 

Claudia had always been cautious with wine. There was something about the merriment that came with it. 

She had not forgotten their promise to each other to protect the other. 

"I have to wonder what the barbarians think of this tradition of ours," She giggled with amusement. 

@Sarah

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"Thank you." Tiberius accepted the goblet and took just a sip of the wine, cautious as was his nature. He was not one to get roaring drunk, even when others relaxed. He'd noticed that Claudia practiced the same caution; perhaps not surprising. His fingers traced the embossing on the cup, Hercules and the lion, without really seeing it. Rather he was pondering her question. "I don't know." He admitted, expression suggesting that he found the idea interesting. "Do you think barbarians give their slaves some freedoms at times?" Romans did and their Empire was the greatest, so clearly their system was the correct one and they were right to keep slaves; it stood to reason since they were so obviously blessed by the Gods. "But then, I imagine there are plenty of their traditions that we would find odd." He mused.

"I asked Uncle Octavius if he'd tell me more about his travels one day. I think there'd be a lot to learn from actually seeing the edges of the Empire." It was his hope that he would do so one day. He glanced at Claudia, wondering whether she had any desire to travel, before letting his gaze drift around the room, alighting on some of the more outlandish figures on the other side. "Did he really give you that Amazon slave?" It seemed somehow out of character for the man that Tiberius associated with Libraries and monuments.

@Gothic

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She listened to him and shrugged. The celts, Germanic tribes, and even the savages to the East all had slaves of their own. "I am sure they do," Claudia agreed, not that she knew a lot about the different cultures. Perhaps she could ask Cynane if what she said was true or not. Eventually, there would be a time when all the barbarians would be part of the Roman empire, and later, would be grateful to be brought under the banner of Rome. Claudia nodded in agreement. Many of the barbarians worshiped a variety of things. Trees, fish, a wounded carpenter, and more. It made absolutely no sense to her. 

Claudia listened, they knew about uncle Octavius and the travels he had throughout the course of his military career and for their uncle. "So do I, who knows? Perhaps one day you will travel around the empire and get to see it all." She suggested, smiled and while she was interested. Claudia knew she best served her family here in Rome where a majority of the action were. The next question seemingly came out of nowhere. She had Cynane for a little while now, and had grown used to seeing the tall blonde woman who acted as her shadow.

"Yes, he did. The former gladiatrix, it was," She began, paused and tried to think of the most diplomatic answer. "strange. He said it was so I would have protection when I would enter temples or places men could not follow."

@Sarah

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He wanted to travel and see the Empire, but like his sister he also wanted to be where he could best serve Rome. If the two combined then that would be very well, if not, he would be where he was needed. "Maybe one day." He said simply. She already knew he had itchy feet, no need to bore her with the same.

"Well, I guess that makes sense." The gladiatrix could go where women went and men were forbidden. He wasn't entirely sure about it himself, and she still seemed an odd purchase for their straight-laced uncle, but when put in those terms he could see why. "And do you trust her?" He asked quietly, more from curiosity than from any real suspicion. The majority of the Imperial household was served by slaves who were either Roman or Romanised, so the exotic woman was intriguing. "You have to admit, she turns more heads than a piece of jewellery." He whispered.

But she wasn't a piece of jewellery. She was a barbarian, who had once lived a very different life, before being brought to the comforts of Rome. A life that had taken place in some of the distant lands he longed to visit. "Have you ever asked her about where she came from?" No doubt her point of view would be very different to uncle Octavius'.

@Gothic

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Claudia listened to him. She was curious about certain parts of the Empire although it was likely her life and duty would keep her in Rome. There was always a chance her journey would take her to one of the more prominent cities, and work on building it. There were few people she trusted, from childhood she had seen what happened to those who had been too trusting and shrugged her shoulders. Cynane was one of her favourite slaves, and then nodded. "I do, I generally do not trust a majority of people entirely," She said, the wine had loosened her lips. Claudia laughed, gave him a playful swat on the upper arm and said. "More than me?! Tiberius, how rude!" Claudia jested although she agreed with him. Cynane stood out among the women when she visited a variety of temples. "She does," Claudia smiled, and admittedly had a crush on Cynane not that she would ever speak in length about that. 

Over time she would ask Cynane about her past or things would come up in conversation. Although Claudia could not think of a conversation that had taken place between them. It was something she should do. "No, I can't say that I have," She was tempted to tell him about the techniques Cynane had been teaching her to defend herself. Every so often they would continue the lessons and she found herself becoming more confident in situations. Her lessons from Drusilla and other women in the family helped her to grow into her role. 

"At least, nothing in depth," She added with a hint of sadness, the goblet lowered the rest on her knee and there were times when she wondered what living in slavery would have been like. It sounded like a nightmare to not have that freewill. "I should. What about you? What about your slaves? Do they have any interesting stories?" Claudia asked. 

@Sarah

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Tiberius laughed and held up his hands to ward off any further playful blows. "I never said more than you!" He protested, amused at what his sister read, or pretended to read, into his words. The idea of jewellery and other ornaments was to compliment the wearer. And if one saw a striking slave, the next question was, who owned them? And Cynane was striking; it wasn't like Tiberius hadn't noticed. He had a young man's sincere if undiscerning appreciation of good-looking women, though his nature meant that he generally kept his observations of the ladies at court to himself.

Likely if Cynane was his slave she'd have been well harassed with questions about her origins. "You should." He agreed. His slaves weren't quite so exotic. "Not so much." He admitted, trying to think if there were any interesting stories amongst his mostly Roman-born slaves. "Old Tigris has been to Judaea, all the way to Petra, where he says great temples, tombs and government buildings are cut into the very rock of the hills, rather than built." Which sounded fantastic, yet also somehow practical, if one had strong cliffs to work with. "That would be something to see." He mused.

Glancing around the room, the young Imperial sipped his wine. "I wonder what mischief we're in for tonight." He mused, eyeing both the slaves and the nobles who took their ease amongst them. These were, of course, only the trusted inner court. Likely things in the city would become far more raucous, if stories were to be believed.

@Gothic

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