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Wicked spirits, begone.


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There were many spirits he hoped would be present. He hoped his parents would be proud of the achievements made by his family, and especially him. Octavius was not sure whether his parents would be tending to Quintus or if they had gone with him. Or whether they remained here. Either way, he wanted to conduct the ritual. His Parentes and Lares, ancestral spirits would guide and protect him throughout the ritual. The Genius, the household god of manly virtue and symbolised by a snake. He prayed and made offers of sacred bread to the figures. Thus far, the lemures or wicked spirits had been driven from their dwellings and the home.

Octavius did not consider himself to be an overly superstitious man, he walked around the family home and made sure he went into every room. Every corner. No place within the home would go without. There were many times when he witnessed other people carrying out this sacred duty. Always there was an elder brother within the family home who had the authority to do the ritual. Whether it was Quintus or Jullus in the past, his father before the Gods had taken him, and now it was left to him to conduct the sacred right. It was a further reminder of the role he now played within the family, and within Rome, herself. Octavius wore a tunica without a belt nor rope to hold it in place. 

He threw the beans, recited the sacred lines, and held his hand in the mano fico position. The lines were repeated as he walked through the expansive and mostly silent home during the darkness of night. The hallways were lit and light shone from the braziers. “Haec ego mitto, his redimo meque meosque fabis." ((These I cast; with these beans, I redeem me and mine!)) He called out into the darkness, force behind his voice and he wondered how much this ritual would work. Like the state religion, it was important to do your duty to the Gods and ensure they were well treated. 

He reached out his hand and waited for the gong to be placed it in so he could continue the ritual. 

The household slaves and every member of the family present were aware already. Each of them would participate in the event. Octavius Minor and Valeriana both stood, wiped the sleep from their eyes and waited. Slowly but surely daylight had begun to form. There were no signs that the ritual had failed nor gone astray. 






@Sharpie @Dev Plus anyone else involved in the family is welcome to come. 

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Rufus had never entirely been certain of the efficacy of the Lemuria rituals (why in the world would evil spirits be afraid of a few beans, after all?!) but he'd never known his previous master's house to be troubled by evil spirits, either, so it must work (but why beans? And who'd figured that out in the first place?!).

He wasn't sure why the master had to be barefoot and without a belt or tie to his tunic, but someone had once mentioned, in passing, in his hearing, that the Flamen Dialis likewise wasn't allowed belts or ties, so it might have something to do with the fact that his master was acting as a priest. But most religious ritual was conducted in solemn silence, with the master's toga pulled over his head.

Then again, Lemures and other spirits weren't gods, weren't even like the gods, and shouting and making a racket was more appropriate for them.

The master (his master, his new master - it still didn't quite feel real to be owned by someone who wasn't his old master, especially in this predawn chill) - merely reached out his hand in a silent command, expecting the gong to be placed in it. Rufus stepped forward, handing him the gong and its stick, before stepping back to take his own copper pan and spoon. The cook had emptied the kitchen shelves of all the metal cookware in order to provide everyone with something to beat to drive the evil spirits out.

He merely hoped that the Lares and Penates, the good spirits of the house, knew that this wasn't meant for them, and would stay around to make sure that the store-cupboards didn't grow empty.


@Dev @Gothic (And anyone else in the household)

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Valeria stood behind her children, her hand affectionately combing through the mop of hair on Minor's head and she could feel the slight weight of Valeriana's body leaning against her own. She was grateful the two of them were well behaved while their father began the ritual to protect the family home from whatever evil spirits may lurk, looking for a place to feast upon. This was a ritual that she had seen played out every year since she could remember. First her father's home and now the home of her husband. A ritual she was proud to play her part in.

One day, she knew, it would be her son's duty to honor the good spirits that kept their house welcoming and food in their house. Thus, when she woke them that morning to get ready to witness the ritual, for them to be observant and watch for the cues that their father would give to them.

Solemnly, she watched as her husband reached out for the gong, expecting it to be placed in his hand within seconds and her eyes trailed over to the still yet unfamiliar face of the newest member of the household slaves. It was not her place to question her husband's purchases, but this young man was still new to the family, to her, and she had yet to find the familiarity in him that she had with the other members of their serving staff. But there was no malice in her gaze, instead she smiled encouragingly to the young man, hoping he would his duty in this moment with poise.

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Octavius took the gong and the stick, he held it high above his head and struck it as the sound radiated through the Domus. It must have been favourable as there were no signs of anger nor frustration from the ritual. Yet it was still not complete. He called out the first time. “Manes, exi paterni!" He cried out, as he walked through the large, silent home and continued to cry out the sacred line. Octavius' voice echoed through the halls that had been the home of all his kin, past and present... fortune, would need to be maintained for it to continue for their descendants. “Manes, exi paterni!" Octavius called out, each time the gong was struck and allowed to ring out throughout the domus. It sang the loud song. Again, the ritual was not yet complete. “Manes, exi paterni!" It boomed out again, with another strike of the gong and yet again. “Manes, exi paterni!" He cried out, slowly returning to the atrum once more and imagined any lingering spirits fleeing.

The pained souls, who were they? Men who tried to kill the family? Slaves who did not manage to escape in time? Jealous foes wishing for revenge? It was all difficult to say. 

“Manes, exi paterni!" Octavius continued, making his way through the building and struck again. There was no slowing down. Outside the light was beginning to form and trickle in through the window, sunlight and a new dawn had arrived. “Manes, exi paterni!" Again, he called out, the noise followed and still it was not complete. “Manes, exi paterni!" Again, another.... and again, “Manes, exi paterni!" Again. “Manes, exi paterni!"

And finally, the final line. Octavius' voice boomed throughout the Domus. “Manes, exi paterni!"and struck the gong one last, and final time for the ritual. 

He hoped any wicked spirits would now be appeased and happy. Or completely driven away from the safety and happiness of the home. He lifted the palla from his head and turned to smile at his wife, Valeria, who would now lead the rest of the ritual. 

@Dev @Sharpie

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