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20 | 15/5/54 | Slave | House-slave/Body-slave | Bi | Original | Eddie Redmayne





Rufus is a willing young man, wanting to please his master mainly because that leads to an easier life for him. He is generally cheerful, yet hides a slightly cynical side beneath his cheerful exterior. Despite what people may believe thanks to his hair, he does not have a quick temper. He is intelligent and possessed of more curiosity than is entirely healthy in a slave, but tries to hide it and limit the number of questions he inevitably wants to ask. He learned at a young age to say, "As it please my master" and "As my master says". He has not been in Rome very long and has seen almost nothing of it other than the slave dealer's pens, but knows that it is the greatest city on earth. He is sensible enough to realise that he will have to stick very close to whoever buys him while he learns his way around, but he has been blessed with a good sense of direction, at least.



Possibly a little on the short side of average at about 5' 3", Rufus has all the appearance of being British (or at least, coming from some far-off barbarian country in the north of the Empire). He has fair skin which is apt to freckle in the Italian sun. It is accompanied by grey eyes and hair of an unusual shade that is pure red rather than having the more common (yet still highly unusual) ginger shading. Rufus wears what his master gives him; his usual clothing until now being a linen tunic in some plain serviceable colour. Like most slaves, he is generally barefoot in the house, though he may be allowed sandals when running errands of one sort or another - no master wants their slave to bring in something nasty on their feet, after all, if the issue is easily remedied.

While he looks foreign, he is as Roman (as Italian, anyway) as anyone, speaking Latin like the native he is. He also fluent in the Greek dialect of rural southern Italy (which had, after all, once been a Greek colony). He has no defects that would put anyone off wanting to buy him, he is healthy and strong, clear-eyed and with good teeth - all the things he knows a potential master will be looking for.



Father: Unknown (probably his first master, Gaius Tullius Messala, but it's never actually been confirmed)

Mother: Phoebe

Siblings: One older sister, Bretta (age 22) who was sold away about five years ago

Spouse: Unmarried

Children: None known

Extended family: Unknown




Rufus is - or was - verna, a slave born in his master's house. Born to one of the maids, the baby's obvious red hair led to the master inevitably naming him Rufus ('Ginger'), and the hair has not lost any of its redness in the years since.


He grew up learning all the sorts of things a slave generally learns - how to keep the house clean and tidy, how to serve at dinner in a way that won't draw attention to you and upset your master, what errands really need to be run fast and which will let you dawdle on the way back. Rufus grew up in Paestum, in Campania, near the sea, where his first master's family lived. It wasn't a bad life, even for a slave, all things considered. The area had been a Greek colony, part of Magna Graecia (Hellas Magara) and Greek is still spoken in some areas, so Rufus (being a quick-minded sort, and young) easily picked up the local dialect during errands to the market, as well as the Latin that was spoken at home. It might not be on the same level as the Greek spoken in Athens, but he could get by, if he needed to.


His master, being a kindly sort (and suspected by everyone to have fathered Rufus), spent time teaching him to read and write. It might have been only for a few minutes a day, but with Rufus' natural intelligence, coupled with his knowledge that he was being offered a rare thing for a slave, plus the advantages that Latin is a very easy and logical language, a few minutes a day was all that was required. It isn't a skill that he has really used much, but in his current position, it can only add to his value - and it remains to be seen whether that is a good thing or not. While he can speak Greek (or a dialect of it), he was not taught to read and write in it.


Change was on the way, however, and not necessarily for the good: His mother died when Rufus was fifteen (in 69CE). Losing his one sole actual relation sent him into a depressive phase where while his service was outwardly as good as ever, his spirit had vanished. It took time but his natural buoyancy eventually reasserted itself, slowly but surely. Life moves on and at least his mother was free, now, as she had not been while she was alive.


His master has recently died and his son, the new master, is away from home. This chance (and some similarity in Rufus' appearance compared to his late master) has led to his mistress selling Rufus to a slave trader who will sell him to a new master, preferably (at least for his mistress) someone who does not live anywhere near Paestum. All Rufus can hope for is that his new owner, whoever it is, will be a master who treats his slaves well and does not resort to punishment too often, or for perceived (rather than real) mistakes. He hopes, so far as he can allow himself to hope, to become a house-slave somewhere, or perhaps even a body-slave.



Sharpie | GMT | PM/Discord (#4424)





Edited by Sharpie
Added an older sister
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