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1st May 74CE

Thus far, the dead had never bothered him when it came to dealing with his business. His ancestral spirits must have been pleased with him for the work he had done. He was a good father to his girls, he treated his slaves well and did not deny them their holy days. His parents passed away, as did not of his siblings except for a brother who was off serving in the legion somewhere and Gaius was sure he would not even recognise him. 

He awoke in the darkness and stretched, cleansed his nude body with clean water and dressed with only a tunica. He yawned in the darkness and walked towards the Lares. The household figures who were represented by well-worn wooden figurines. Gaius prayed to them for protection, guidance and a chance to ensure his family would be protected during this time. He hoped none of the spirits within the walls of his home would be harmful or hostile towards them. Gaius' tunica was loose and without a belt, his feet were bare, and he placed nine beans in his mouth. One at a time. As he walked around the domus, he spat them out one by once with his thumb between his forefinger and middle finger in the mano fico and recited the ancient words meant to drive away the wicked spirits. 

Haec ego mitto, his redimo meque meosque fabis." ((These I cast; with these beans, I redeem me and mine!)) He called out and wondered if the spirits really did follow the beans as they were thrown away. They must have for no wicked spirits remained in the family home. It was repeated nine times as he waked around the home and imagined foreign spirits now being forced to vacate the home. He then washed his hands in clean water then walked back and forth throughout the home. Lastly he lifted up a gong and struck it and allowed the noise to move through the home. 

Nine times he shouted. 

“Manes, exi paterni!" ((Ancestral spirits, depart!))

Sunlight began to creep up over the horizon.


@Gil @AzraelGrim


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Posted (edited)

In her father's wake, Caia had moved, noiselessly at first, trying hard to avoid the notice of any malevolent spirits. She had risen when he had, and as he had washed and prepared himself for the ritual, she had fetched a pot of hot water, kept ready for just this purpose since when they had gone to sleep earlier. As Caius moved from room to room, Caia took the pot and a spoon and spun about in his wake, cleansing each room with the water, casting it about in a circle. By the time her father was done, her sister and the slaves who slept in the apartment with them were all awake and ready, and they each began to beat upon metal pots or cups or plates - whatever was available, doled out between them. Caia joined in, beathing her spoon against the now empty pot she carried, as they all began to howl and make a great noise, to scare away any last remaining spirits who might have lingered. Then they all fell to, with more water and soap, and began to wash every nook and corner, every surface and piece of furnishing, missing nothing until the sun was well risen and the house was pure and clean from top to bottom.

Then it was the time to pay homage to their ancestors with offerings set before the lalarium. It would be a bittersweet day for Caia, as the loss of her mother was brought home in such a marked way. Yet knowing too that her spirit watched over them brought great comfort to the young woman. With this in mind, she approached her father and laid a gentle hand on his arm. "Alright, father?" she asked quietly, looking into his familiar face. She was certainly old enough to note how it had aged, as she had grown. It was lined with hard work and toil, cares and setbacks, not the least of which was the loss of his wife. But it was rugged, and strong, and inspired a great deal of faith and certainty in Caia. She always believed her father would be there for her, and take care of her, and her sister. When it came to family, Caius was in every sense of the word a good Roman family man.


Edited by Gil
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