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Servius Calpurnius Eppitacus


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SERVIUS CALPURNIUS EPPITACUS

33 | 14 JUN 41 CE | Freedman | Apprentice Blacksmith | Hetero | Original | Henry Cavill

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Personality

Eppitacus is a man who has survived serious falls twice now in his life; not falls in the physical sense, but in status, profile, importance, notoriety, importance, wealth... all of the above. From warrior-king of the Britons where he led his people in their fight against Roman invasion, to a gladiator with so much success and acclaim in the arena that he arguably lived a more lavish life in Rome as a slave than any king of Britannia ever had... and now, a simple commoner. In the ten years that passed from Eppitacus' capture to the peak of his stardom, he had struggled with the idea of who he was, whether he was more Briton, or more Roman. In youth he had been tormented and banished because his father, the warlord Caratacos, had taken a Roman slave to bed and then disowned the son born of the relation. He had fought with all of his might and guile to prove to his people that he was Briton, and in the end they betrayed him. That was the thinking that got him through the first few years of slavery, and little by little he became more Roman.

When Ysolde appeared in Rome, the wife of his master and a Roman noble, a flames of revenge sparked within him,, though once again she beat him to the punch and in a strategic move that surely was meant to kill him, he instead escaped alive, though he lost his sword arm and thus everything it had brought him. Everything that he had been was in that arm; a warrior. Rage burned inside of him, a fire that surely would have swallowed him whole were it not for Calpurnia who showed him that he was more than a fighter. His second owner, she employed him on the grounds of the Vestals, and often spoke with him.

Now, Eppitacus has found a sort of peace. He has accepted what happened to him, and believes he has rediscovered his faith in the gods - be they Roman or Briton. Though always calm and one to listen before speaking, he now attempts to focus his mind on the tasks ahead of him each day, and harbors hopes to one day live in the countryside where he can farm and raise a family.

 

Appearance

Though to Roman standards Eppitacos is quite tall, he is average-sized for his own people. His frame is muscular and trim from years of hard living and warfare. He wears his hair short and face shaved in the Roman style.. His body is marked with scars from battle; small lines or nicks. The most noticeable of them is a vertical scar that crosses over his left brow and partly down his cheek. If he is seen without a cloak, you can also notice that the front half of his right arm has been amputated. He has a wide, white smile, and more than any other time, his youth shows when he laughs.

 

Family

FatherCaratacos (deceased)

MotherSerwya "Servia" (deceased)

Siblings: None

Spouse: None

Children: None

Extended Family: None

Other
- Spurius Cassius Albinus (first master) & Flavia Isolda (his wife; also Epp's former fiance)
- Calpurnia Praetextata (second master and patron)
- Name TBD (current employer)

 

History

CHILDHOOD [41-55]

The birth of the child who would come to be known as Eppitacos came on the morning of a regular day. The sun was hidden behind thick gray clouds in the middle of summer; the screams of his mother preceded his own. His father was Caratacos, a warlord and noble within the Briton tribe of the Catuvellauni. His mother was Serwya, and she was not the wife of Caratacos, but rather a prostitute. She had come from Amorica (Brittany) in Gaul and was the daughter of a Gallic slave and the slave's Roman master. Her journey to Britannia came as the result of a sale, that saw her and her mother living with a Roman merchant situated in the makeshift merchant town of Briga (a trade hub for Romans prior to their invasion) for the first fourteen years of her life. 

The death of Serwya's mother led to her sale to the leader of Caratacos' own clan, who received her and a handful of other women to be used as courtesans in a trade with the Roman merchant. Caratacos' interaction with Serwya was not one of love, but of lust. He used her and found shortly that she was pregnant. With his slave ruined, Caratacos' clan-leader demanded that she was bought, so that he might not lose his investment. Caratacos did as honor demanded, and in the process gave Serwya her freedom. Nine months later she gave birth to a son, though she died in the delivery. There was a belief that mothers who died in birth passed on pieces of their soul into their children. Serwya's being, which had been contained in the body of a powerless slave for the whole of its existence, saw opportunity in the birth of a nobleman's son. Thus, as the son came into life, the soul of the mother passed into him. It was upon such a revelation that Caratacos decided his son's future.

It was a priest, one of the Druwides, who told Caratacos that his son had inherited the mother's spirit; that he would be almost Roman in his demeanor, and could pose a threat to Caratacos' legacy. When Caratacos asked how he might rid his son of such a taint, the priest suggested that the son be offered to the gods, and be raised in their mists - that the son become a druid himself. Caratacos saw this as the best option, and thus did not give the child a name, but instead gave him to the gods. The priests called him Diolain, meaning 'bastard'. In time the name came to take on a different meaning. Those boys with whom Diolain trained and studied did not know his origins. As he showed an affinity for communicating with the gods, and as the gods showed him favor, rumors spread that his name was a result of his godly parentage; he was the hidden offspring of the gods themselves.

His course of study was to take the young Diolain away from all civilization. For the next eighteen years he was to live with nature; he slept in caves, ate fish fresh from streams and rivers, came to know the sound of the wind against tall grass, came to learn the meaning of a bird's flight, and portents of the future from the lesions on an animal's guts. In time he learned the philosophy of his religion, that a soul never died, but only moved from body to body. Yet, he was told, that his body was filled with two souls, and that the differences and imbalance between them would lead to their mutual destruction if he did not suppress one and support the other. From a young age, Diolain was a headstrong but confident young man. He was eager to explore on his own, to learn more of the world at a quicker pace than his leaders wanted to teach. Time and time again he found himself in situations of conflict; battles between tribes or clans, caught in the midst of a hunt, threatened by wild beasts or inclement weather. Time and time again he found that prayer to the gods brought him invulnerability to such dangers.

--

TEENAGE TO EARLY ADULT [55-61]

His world, and life, changed just after his thirteenth birthday for it was then that Caratacos united the southern tribes into a loose coalition and traveled to the heart of Britannia to consult the Druwides. There, in the depths of the deepest and most sacred of caves, Caratacos called on the Druwides to commune with the gods and grant him the title of Great King. After much deliberation amongst themselves, the Fathers called upon the gods and for the course of a week remained in constant meditation. In that time Diolain, who was still an apprentice despite his aptitude, spoke with the lord Caratacos. He explained that he had a gift to see glimpses of a man's future if there was a bond between them. Caratacos, ever a religious man, consented. In the vision that followed, Diolain understood exactly who Caratacos was - his father.

It was Diolain, then, who disrupted the meditation and prayer of the Fathers, not to question why knowledge had been withheld from him, but instead to report his vision of Caratacos at the head of a great army that would stand to defend their sacred isle from foreign invasion. Aware of the strength of their young apprentice's visions, the Fathers broke their prayer and delivered the title that Caratacos sought. Weeks later the Great King attacked a Roman trading town and massacred its citizens; months passed and then the Romans came in force. Diolain immediately found a place amongst the army of Caratacos, serving as a warrior-shaman in the ranks of scouting and raiding parties. The war did not last long; within six months the confederation had been defeated, with several of the tribes conquered, and others offering tribute in exchange for peace. Caratacos was killed.

In the aftermath of the war, Diolain journeyed to the mystical and sacred island of Hibernia to continue the last years of his apprenticeship. Yet, news reached him that the Romans had begun slaughtering all druids, as they had done nearly half a century before in Gaul. Diolain returned to his enclave only to find it in ruins and his brothers and teachers killed. At the age of 17, with the only home and only family he had ever known destroyed, Diolain left his enclave and embarked on a quest to halt the aggressive Roman expansion. He joined with raiders from the western shores, mostly Silurians, and served as a battle-priest. He conversed with the trees and streams, rocks and winds, and led small bands on raids against Roman settlements and caravans. Within two years, Diolain had attracted a following of other nationalistic young Britons.

In 60 AD news came that Cogdobunos, the Roman-installed chief of the Catuvellauni had fallen sick. Cogdobunos was the brother of Caratacos, who betrayed the cause of his people and accepted half of their traditional lands as his kingdom, which was subservient to the Roman governor. Diolain saw an opportunity. He decided to officially withdraw himself from his search for truth and changed his name. He adopted the name Eppitacos which was a combination of the names of his father and grandfather, and let rumor spread about who he was and with what purpose he had revealed himself. In time he went to his uncle's lands where he supplicated himself.

The supplication lasted only long enough for Eppitacos, the charismatic, religious young son of Caratacos to win a majority of the nobles to his side. Cogdobunos raised a complaint with Proconsul Silanus, who insisted that Eppitacos and Cogdobunos travel to his capital to explain their situations. Eppitacos refused, and instead lead a coup against his uncle. He killed the man in single-combat and was shortly proclaimed King of the Catuvellauni. Silanus moved his legions into formation shortly afterward, and a second war began. To shore up his power among the remainder of the Briton tribes, Eppitacos entered into a marriage arrangement with the young princess of the Brigantes - arguably the strongest tribe in Britannia - and was named war leader of the kingdom. In marriage his wife, Ysulda, would become queen, and he would pass the combined lands of the Catuvellauni and Brigantes on to his children.

Though the Romans proved to be formidable opponents, Eppitacos managed to exact a string of important victories - including a victory over Proconsul Silanus wherein the governor was killed in battle. His victory and growing popularity did not sit well with the kings and nobility of Britannia's other tribes, and soon Eppitacos found himself fighting his own people politically as much as he fought the Romans in battle.

--

ADULTHOOD [61-74]

Eppitacus' war against the Romans continued for the better part of the years 61-63 until the new Caesar arrived in force with fresh legions and improved, patient, tactics. Eppitacus' realized that his war against Rome was impossible to win in the traditional way; the Romans were no simple tribe to be conquered and absorbed. He came to the decision that the only course of action that would save his people and their way of life was to avoid complete defeat and submit to the Romans with an agreement that would see Britannia as a "kingdom" beneath Rome's thumb - to pay taxes to her governor, levy troops for her armies, and allow her mines in Britannia's lands. When Quintus Caesar arrived in Britannia, Eppitacus treated with him and reached such an agreement... but it was not to be.

Upon his return to the lands of the Brigantes, he was attacked by troops loyal to Ysulda, his betrothed. Ysulda, whom had grown into a fierce young woman, was unsatisfied with her position as "queen-to-be", and with the support of her uncle gradually spread the idea through the nobility that the Brigantes should be the sole power of the tribes; that with the other tribes assimilated -- not allied -- they would be able to avoid costly disaster and defeat, such as had occurred with Eppitacus and Virico's expedition to the mainland. A small group of nobles and warriors loyal to Ysulda helped her overthrow her mother, and it was the same group who ambushed Eppitacus, killing his men and putting him in chains. Shortly afterward he was sold to the Romans as a captive. The war was brought to an end, and Ysulda was recognized as the Queen of the Brigantes.

From there, Eppitacus was a prisoner to Caesar himself in the Roman city called "Colonia", which served as the capital of their province of Britannia. From his capture until Caesar returned to Rome, Eppitacus was kept as a prisoner. Though kept in a stockade with other prisoners, he was well-fed, allowed to bathe, and often met with Caesar to speak of Britannia. Eppitacus found it interesting that Caesar never asked about the British military, their tactics, manpower, or locations of defenses -- his interest was solely in the people he was fighting. He would later learn that Caesar's opinion was that in order to defeat his enemy, he needed to know how they thought as a culture, because the way they organized themselves wasn't too different from the German or Gallic tribes.

In the year 66, Caesar returned to Rome, his campaign in Britannia considered complete and successful. Eppitacus was a part of the parade through the city -- his first view of it -- and at the end of it all was spared execution on account of his mother's Roman heritage. To appease the people, he was made a gladiator, under the watch of lanista Spurius Cassius Albinus. Because of his slim build, Albinus enlisted Eppitacus as a "velites" -- a quick spearman -- and trained him relentlessly. Though many expected him to face impossible odds and die as an enemy of Rome, it was Albinus' mission to make the most profits he could on the British warrior. For ten years, Albinus has been profiting, and Eppitacus is yet to lose a death match in the arena.

In the past year, as the veterans of Britannia have returned home with their spoils of continued conflict, Eppitacus has found it increasingly difficult to be at peace with the demons of his past. To make matters more difficult, his lanista, Albinus, has recently married the very same woman whose betrayal led to Eppitacus' enslavement. Ysulda had been betrayed by her uncle and given save haven in Rome, along with honorary citizenship, becoming Flavia Isolda. Once her kingdom was conquered by Rome, she found a husband, and has now become the domina of her former betrothed. Time will tell whether or not Eppitacus can find his escape, or force one.

Time came to prove that despite their one-time engagement, Eppitacos and Isolda could not survive together. The prize fighter of Albinus, and one of the most recongized and popular fighters in Rome, Eppitacos had come to enjoy his position of influence. It was understood that despite his status as a slave, he had some liberty to do what he wanted, say what he wanted, and refuse orders when he wanted. Gradually, though, Albinus lost his grip on Isolda, her ambitious nature too much for his progressing weariness of age. Week by week she took greater control of the domus. She gradually replaced the guards with veterans of campaigns in Britannia... men whom had fought against Eppitacos. Her uncanny ability to learn the market proved effective as she was able to flip almost all of Albinus' fighters for a profit for new slaves.

Albinus was happy with the money, and quickly saw that Isolda's leadership could lead him to riches beyond simply being a lanista. She spoke to him of leaving the trade and establishing himself as a merchant. She had friends and allies in Britannia, after all, who could connect them into the slave trade, and the very lucrative metal industry. Albinus, though, wanted a son beyond everything else. So, he told Isolda she could do what she wanted if she gave him a son. What he didn't know was that all of Isolda's maneuvering was to rob Eppitacos of his allies.

And then, eventually, she made her move and hired thugs to kill Eppitacos in the streets. He barely survived the attack, but lost his arm from the trauma it received. Albinus, suddely in his right mind, realized the monster he had been supported. Not wanting to see Eppitacos die in such a dishonorable fashion, he arranged for the fighter to be sold.

As Eppitacos was technically Caesar's slave, he was transferred to live with the rest of the palace servants. All the riches he had enjoyed as a prized fighter of Albinus were nothing compared to the luxury of Caesar's household. Though he was set apart from the majority of the slaves who directly dealt with Caesar, the lower household laborers enjoyed speaking with him. And when he was healed, Caesar hosted a private auction party where Eppitacos was to be sold.

Caesar understood the precarious position he was in. Britannia remained a hot spot of contention in the empire. Rome had been flooded with Briton slaves, freedmen, and traders and the slums had already sprouted a 'Little Britannia' block of mostly Briton-born inhabitants. Caesar knew, then, that he could not simply execute Eppitacos, a man whom he had already pardoned; a man whom had won great popularity in the arena, and whom the people at large enjoyed. Thus, it was better for his image to sell the useless fighter to the highest bidder and use the money as a donation to the people to repay the damage the wars in Britannia (all Eppitacos' fault, by the way) had done to them.

In the end, Eppitacos was purchased by a proxy for none other than a vestal virgin: Calpurnia Praetextata.

--

A SECOND LIFE [74-NOW]
Sparknotes: Calpurnia puts him to work cleaning the grounds of the temple. He's not allowed to speak with her or any of the vestals unless spoken to first. He mostly uses the proxy - a woman - to speak to them. He goes through depression and trouble finding himself and his purpose. He desperately wants to find his beliefs and speak with the gods again, but worries that by being so close to Rome's gods that he will never hear his own gods again. Eventually, Calpurnia frees him.

He takes her family name, and adds the name of his mother, and keeps his Briton name to become Servius Calpurnius Eppitacus. He decides to find work in the city and becomes a blacksmith apprentice. The blacksmith, Burrus, gladly welcomes Epp and promises to teach him the trade - and fashion him an arm of sorts that can hook over his shoulder and stump to give him some functionality. Epp starts out mostly doing deliveries. The delivery service by a famous gladiator such as Eppitacos proves to be a huge boost to Burrus' sales, and Epp enjoys some of the fruits of that added income.

As of summer 75 he's only just started actually learning how to smith.

 

CHRIS | US-EST | PM/DISCORD (aerochris)

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