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Vibia

Vibia

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'Vibia' 

(Aemilia R. L. Mellusa).

24 | March 50CE | Freedwoman | Occasional Prostitute and Musician | Bisexual | Wanted | Alicia Agneson

 

Vibia2.png

 

Personality.

Vain, cold and stubborn to a fault, Vibia is not a woman easy to get to know. Her years in slavery and now in prostitution have hardened her through and through and she struggles to be personable unless in the company of clients. That doesn't mean, however, that she's unemotional. When frustrated or angry, the slaves in Domus Venus can feel her wrath, as can any furniture in her vicinity which is often left upturned and scattered. One of her predominant personality traits is her ambition and the ruthlessness that accompanies it. It's what earned her her freedom after all, and when she wants something she is likely to do everything in her power to get it. She has a sharp wit and is surprisingly intelligent but often feigns ignorance when it suits her to do so. 

She is, however, almost the complete opposite in the presence of clients. Quiet and demure (but always watching), or playing the lustful woman with abandon, she can effortlessly change persona to suit the men and women that frequent the brothel. Her skill in music has also afforded her an advantage as she only takes clients when she needs to, or wants to and can otherwise sit and quietly observe patrons. This ability to transcend the usual position of a prostitute often rubs her fellow workers up the wrong way, but Vibia feels she's earned it. She does, however, harbour ambitions out of her current situation - namely in the great gangs of Rome, but time will tell just how far she can rise before her past catches up with her.

 

Appearance

Of average height for a woman, standing at around 5ft 5, Vibia has subtle feminine curves and a graceful gait. Trained both in her household and now at Domus Venus in taking care of her appearance, she is fastidious with maintaining her looks and dedicates a great deal of time to her looks. Lucky, given her past life as a slave, her body is absent of marks and her skin is very fair for a woman born and bred under the Roman sun. Similarly, she has light blonde hair and bright blue eyes, she assumes inherited from her father. 

She dresses opulently, but somewhat modestly for a prostitute - preferring to hint at what lies underneath her clothes rather than baring all like many of her contemporaries. She nonetheless adorns herself in expensive jewellery, one of her many vices, as she has no need to save her coin like the slaves beneath her who are desperately accruing their money for their freedom. She wears little makeup besides some tint on her lips, and perhaps kohl around her eyes in the evening. 

 

Family

Father: Unknown, but she suspects a slave in her former household called Notus (deceased) 

Mother: Apate (former slave, now freedwoman).

Siblings: None that she is aware of.

Spouse: None.

Children: None.

Extended family: None that she is aware of.

Other:

Step-father: Gaius Plinius Blaesus

 

History

CHILDHOOD [50 – 60 CE]:

Vibia, or Mellusa as she was then known, was born verna in her masters household in Rome. Her master was an equite, and generally a kind and conscientious man - allowing Messula to remain with her mother and grow up in the household. Her childhood years were spent similarly to many young household slaves; helping with menial tasks and general household duties. Her mother did what she could to help her daughter, but remained cooly detached - Vibia now suspects her birth and existence was a reminder of a painful interaction with a somewhat sullen slave called Notus, but nonetheless Vibia found friendship and companionship with the other household slaves.

 

TEENAGE YEARS [60 – 67 CE]:

Her life changed for the better, however, during her teenage years. Her mother still distant and cool, Mellusa befriended a new arrival into the household; a musician skilled at the cithara who her Dominus had purchased at great expense. Slowly she began to be tutored, and whilst not a natural musician - she had enough wits to be able to recite simple pieces. This particular skill also brought her in closer proximity to her Dominus, who endeared her to play at dinners and parties in favour of his more highly skilled slave, owing to Mellusa's wider appeal and beauty. The attention she received was striking, and with hindsight it was her early adolescence and these interactions and the praise she reaped during them that set her on course to be the manipulative and cold woman she now is.

Her later teenage years, and growing looks, also caught the attention of her Dominus for other reasons besides her skill with the cithara. She soon found herself forced into his bed, and whilst initially reticent - the man was going on in years and declining in looks, she soon found that it afforded her certain privileges, as faced with a youthful and charming slave, he was powerless. A widower with no children to follow him - for his son and wife had died in the fire at the docks in 62CE - his life lacked any great purpose. It was during a late night conversation after coupling, that Mellusa discovered his intention to free his slaves in his will, which painfully - given his age - still felt years off. 

 

ADULTHOOD [67 – 73 CE]:

Now a young woman of seventeen, and still being forced into the drudgery of every day life of a slave, Mellusa grew restless. Her life seemed to be in limbo - on one hand she was a house slave, a musician and a lover to an aging man, and on the other she was a young woman on the cusp of life - knowing one day she will be freed, but having no firm sense as to when. But a new arrival into the household snapped her out of her indecision, and set her on a path that she could never escape. A new slave; Briontes, would entice his master more than Mellusa who was soon discarded, and demoted. Stripped of the comforts that being a lover to the Dominus could provide, Mellusa seethed.

She would like to say she hesitated in her actions, but the truth is she didn't. Whether amoral from birth, or simply out of virtue of her upbringing, she snatched up her cithara - immensely valuable - and set off into the night. It did not take long, nor much asking around to find somebody from the Servian Collegium. Bored of her life, bored of the man that had used her and abandoned her, and desperately seeking the freedom she knew his will promised, she did the unthinkable for many slaves and sought an arrangement; her Dominus' life for the cost of her cithara and her free use to the Collegium should they ever need her. Whilst in retrospect she was escaping one form of servitude for another, in her haste she didn't even blink and agreed to it.

It took a month, and for a brief moment Mellusa worried she had been used, but eventually, her chickens came home to roost. On the way back from dinner in a litter, her Dominus was attacked in what was made to look like a robbery. He lingered in their household for a week before finally succumbing, and the household was freed via testamentary manumission in 73CE. It did not take long, however, for the Collegium to come knocking. She was asked (but more like directed) to the door of Domus Venus. Whilst the peace and accord between the Collegium and the Syndicate was established, she supposed in their view it never hurt to have somebody on the inside. Whilst initially reticent to join the ranks of prostitutes in the brothel, her skill with music has saved her the most menial of tasks or grotesque of patrons to service. 

 

NOW [74 CE]:

It has been a year since she entered Domus Venus and adopted the name 'Vibia' - keeping her past well and truly buried. During that time she has earned the respect of her fellow workers and the clients that pay her coin to perform or couple. The last year, however, has seen a change in her fortunes. Whilst not expected to routinely update her handlers in the Collegium, she is now in a predicament - having fallen for the last six months, into a relationship with Marcus Falco. She has yet to make the Collegium aware, but as his attentions are divided on other women in the brothel, and Calvanus, she's beginning to feel that bitter seed of resentment grow again. What she does next, and who she will ultimately end up serving; the Collegium, or the Syndicate, is really anybody's guess. 

 

Sara | GMT | Discord

@Gothic

Edited by Sara
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