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Aeterna Roma RPG

Small tasks to keep one busy (open)


Jenn
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October 74 AD (location: Sitting just outside of the Spurius' Slave market)

 

She had been in the household about 7 months and felt like she had a family. Her immediate superiors were Corva and her husband Linus and they were good to her. To her they replaced the parents she never knew. Corva had sent her out to the garden to pull a handful of herbs and produce. Once that was done and delivered to the kitchen, she was given a basket of food to deliver to their Dominus. Tacita changed into a clean tunic as she was going to his place of work and knew she was expected to make a good impression. “Stay at the warehouse until you are sent back" Tacita nodded her head, grabbed her carry bag and headed off with the basket.

 

She arrived in the Emporium Magnum- if she hadn’t been born and raised in Rome seeing the number of people milling about would have terrified her, especially with her deficits, but she knew the merchants that they usually dealt with and those merchants had gotten to know her unique circumstances. Tacita pulled the basket in close so that it didn’t get bumped.  She wove her way between the stalls until she arrived at their warehouse. Tacita entered the building and after her eyes adjusted to the light change, she saw the various slaves for sale as well as the staff that he employed. She got the attention of one of the workers and gestured to the basket. Tacita was informed that he wasn’t present at the moment but she could leave the basket in his office. She nodded her head and delivered the basket. Once done, she stepped back out into the main room where slaves were milling about. With everyone milling about and her being a young woman, she was careful to make sure she was staying out of the way and cautious with those she didn’t know. Tacita had a basket of mending thrust into her hands. She found a spot just outside the door where she could maximize the light and enjoy the fresh air. She took the first item to mend and after checking for what needed to be done she began to stab the fabric with a needle.

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True to his promise to Aulus, Felix had been going out into the city more when he had the time. He was slowly becoming accustomed to the hustle and bustle again, visiting some of the baths, admiring the markets, praying at some of the temples. Growing up, back when he was a household slave, chores kept him busy, and the city changed remarkably a lot since his years spent abroad in Aulus' service. But in the end, his trusted master was right: one had to start somewhere. And Felix was getting to like the city again.

Well, except for the slave markets. They always made him feel uncomfortable. He had never been sold or bought, as he had been born into slavery, but he had no illusions about the less fortunate fates some of the other slaves had to endure. While he liked shopping for other things at the Emporium Magnum, he usually avoided the live merchandise. Today, he was mostly just enjoying the life of the market, since he hardly had money to spend. 

Maybe enjoying it a little too much. He came face to face with some people in a doorway, and he scrambled to get out of their way; they were wearing togas, and togas meant he'd better not be under foot. Not watching where he was going, Felix' foot got caught on a basket someone had placed on the ground by the door, and he stumbled, trying to avoid crashing straight into the woman sitting next to it...

@Jenn

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Tacita sat quietly by herself outside the door to Spurius’ shop. People came and went, walking right by the young woman with her basket. Occasionally, she would look up and scan the area around her but mostly her focus was on the two feet space around her, the basket and the item of mending in her hand. Finishing the tunic, she placed it into the basket and was about to pick up another item when a foot connected with the basket and someone much taller than her stumbled. She gave a startled squeak and attempted to pull the basket and herself out of the way but she didn’t know if it would be enough for him.

 

She threw the item into her basket and pulled herself to a stand. Tacita looked at the man in front of her and began to get a little anxious. She felt like she owed him a huge apology, but she had no way to tell him- she had been forbidden to write for anyone but Spurius or Linus…and she didn’t even know if he would be able to read it if she could. Would he be angry that she wasn’t offering an apology? Did he have any idea of who she was and her deficits?

 

@Chevi

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Felix stumbled, managing to catch himself on the door frame before he could crash into the woman sitting nearby. He did kick the basket, and did not look much dignified trying to avoid disaster, but at least he did not fall flat on his face. Or worse, her face. He stepped back, holding his hands up in apology as she jumped up too, looking confused and a little scared.

"Gods, I'm very sorry" Felix hurried to apologize "It was an accident, I didn't mean to... uh." he looked down, trying to she if he'd spilled any of her belongings on the ground. She was not saying anything, which was strange, but at least she was not yelling either. She was a slave, judging from her collar. Did she belong to one of the shop keepers. "I should watch where I'm going. I apologize."

@Jenn

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As she popped up out of his way he managed to catch himself on the door frame. Not the most graceful recovery for either of them, but at least neither of them seemed to be injured. He stepped back holding his hands up in apology. "Gods, I'm very sorry. It was an accident, I didn't mean to... uh." He looked down at her basket and her gaze followed his to the ground. There was no damage. “I should watch where I’m going. I apologize.”

 

She knew she owed him a bit of an apology as well. Tacita pointed to the ground then placed her hand on her chest. She tapped her hand twice and attempted to look apologetic. Hopefully he would be able to figure it out…if not she would duck inside for a moment to find someone to translate.

@Chevi

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The woman was still not saying anything. In Felix's (limited) experience that either meant that she was scared of him, or that she was gathering her breath for screaming at him. He was not really comfortable with either, so he tried to look as apologetic as he was feeling. They were both slaves, but that didn't mean she wouldn't cause a scene if she started yelling.

She didn't. She made hand gestures instead. The basket had not been turned over, and she looked a little sheepish herself. It took Felix a moment to understand.

"Oh." she couldn't talk. Or wouldn't, it was hard to tell. "Do you... not talk?"

@Jenn

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He wasn’t saying much. Tacita suspected he was trying to figure her out. They were both looking very sheepish regarding the current situation. He suddenly seemed to put the situation together “Oh…Do you…not talk?” Tacita pointed to her throat and shook her head no. He would know the extent of her voice if he remembered back to a moment ago when she gave a rather undignified squeak as he just about tripped over her. As long as he asked things in a yes/no format she would be able to carry on a ‘conversation’

@Chevi

 

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No, she didn't talk. That much was clear from her gestures, and how she pointed at her throat. Felix remembered her making a sound earlier, but that didn't mean she could form words. She would not have been the first person Felix had seen who had their tongue cut for some offense or another. She could at least understand his words.

"Oh. Alright... Well, I apologize." he reiterated with a sigh "Do you... uh, can I help you with something? Are you waiting for someone here?

@Jenn

 

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One of the often-misunderstood things about her was the reason why she was unable to talk.  It was commonplace for slaves to have their tongues cut as punishment however that was not the case with her. If she were to open her mouth he would see that she had a full tongue. The disfunction was specifically her voice. She could form sounds but not concrete words.

"Oh. Alright... Well, I apologize…Do you... uh, can I help you with something? Are you waiting for someone here?

Tacita shook her head no when he offered to help her with something. She was often given small tasks to keep busy and today it was mending. Was she waiting for someone? She pointed to the narrow collar she wore and then pointed into the warehouse. Her Dominus owned the warehouse and she had been sent in from their Domus to bring him lunch.

@Chevi

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It required effort to talk to someone who could not talk back. Felix understood that she heard him and could make herself understood, and he wanted to make sure she was alright before he just walked off. It could not have been easy, not being able to make oneself heard in a place like Rome.

She shook her head. She didn't need help. She pointed at her collar. She was a slave too. She pointed at the warehouse... did she belong there? Must have been some merchant's slave. Or... was she the merchandise?  She did not look like someone who was being offered for sale. She had her basket of... things to do, but still, she was sitting out here alone.

"Are they... selling you?" he ventured.

@Jenn

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"Are they... selling you?"

Tacita was glad that he seemed to be understanding what she was saying, and that he had figured out to ask questions or make comments in a simple yes/no format. Not being able to communicate with words was her greatest challenge, but she was alive therefore she was determined to make the most of whatever life she was given. All in all, she had been very lucky. She had gone through a couple of masters, but each of them had been understanding and patient with her challenges.

When he asked if they were selling her she shook her head no. She had been up for sale through Spurius’ warehouse a short 7months ago but Spurius himself had decided to keep her. 

@Chevi (we have probably reached a pretty good place to wrap it up if you want to do one more round of posts each- I can have another slave come out to 'get her' so he can at least learn her name lol)

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She shook her head. She was not for sale. He was not sure why, but Felix felt relief about that fact. Some masters were good, like Aulus, but being sold to a whole new person must have been very distressing, even if it worked out in the end. The girl was sitting by some merchant's warehouse, so her master must have been wealthy, and she seemed to be alright with everything, short of random strangers tripping over her.

"Well... alright, then" Felix sighed "I'm sorry for... stumbling into you. I hope you have a nice day..."

@Jenn (yes we can wrap, maybe they will run into each other again under different circumstances 🙂 )

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