Sara Posted May 16, 2020 Share Posted May 16, 2020 (edited) AU - 72CE - Dacia Zia slammed the door to her quarters so loud she was sure the wood would snap off and splinter. "Zia!" The voice beckoned from outside, booming through the wooden walls that made up the Chief's residence. "You have to listen to reason now girl." Zia huffed and kicked at a box that lay at her feet, aiming it at one of the slaves who squealed and jumped out of the way. From down the hall she could hear Luto cry. He hadn't stopped crying since she had broken the news that his Papa wasn't coming home. The handle to the door rattled and then the oak opened up and the face of her father-in-law, stony but sorrowful, loomed into view. "Get out of my room." She swore and aimed another kick - this time at a loose bundle of clothing - which landed at his feet. The man raised his hands, and she could see from few paces away that tears pricked in his eyes. Weak. Pathetic. Scared. Was all that came to mind as she looked upon him. "He's all we have. You have to see reason." She scoffed and shook her head, a glower on her face. "At least meet him with me. And then we can see, hm?" Zia huffed again and appraised her father-in-law Cothelas (or not her father-in-law, now?). She only nodded her assent, and it was reluctant assent at that before clicking her fingers at the slave. "Find me something to wear." Her father-in-law smiled, relieved and inclined his head - backing out of the room slowly. She noted he didn't turn his back to her as he walked away. Smart. --- It was some hours later that she was in the great hall. Those survivors of the battle two days prior were there; a motley court of the injured and the afraid; filling the room but leaving a gap in the middle. Zia was arrayed in her finest, gold glinting from her wrists and her armbands and a diadem atop her hair which was left long down to her waist. Her son sat next to her - between her father-in-law and herself, eyes still red raw from crying but mercifully quiet for now. She could tell Cothelas was nervous. He picked at the skin around his nails and his eyes were red-rimmed from tiredness. She supposed losing both of one's sons in one fell swoop was bound to do that. She dared not dwell on Diegis lest her face crumple. No, keep projecting strength, that was what she told herself. Somebody has to. The battle had been short and bloody. The Ratacenses, her husbands (late husbands) tribe were fearsome and well equipped, and had decimated the legion that had surrounded them. A winner could not be declared; they had both lost their commanders. The Dacian's had lost Diegis and his older brother, heir to the chieftaincy, and the Romans had lost their legate and tribune. The former of which had been sat stewing in a dank little hole for the past two days, but now he'd finally see the light and the Dacian's own particular brand of mercy. Many had called for his execution; something public, something painful. He had taken their hope in the form of the two heirs, and Zia had at least initially agreed. Yet Cothelas, in one of his rare moments of intelligence had held a different idea. Luto, her son, was now to be named the heir. He was, however, only four and utterly fatherless and frail in the way that all children that age are. Besides, Cothelas knew that the Romans would be back - braying for blood - and Luto would be first on the pile. Hence his simultaneously utterly ridiculous and utterly brilliant plan. What better way to appease the Romans than by aligning yourselves with them? And what better way to do that and keep your independence then by matrimony? Zia had been appalled, but understood. If she married this Roman and eventually had further children, they would be of both Roman and Dacian blood. Half-brothers and half-sisters to their future chief, and beholden to two lands. It would show that their tribe was serious about peace, but would not surrender in the traditional way. Yet despite the logic, she didn't like the idea one bit. Cothelas knew that as well as anybody and so had arranged, after a public greeting of the man (whose name Zia had already forgotten), there would be a private summit between his daughter-in-law and her future spouse to...test the waters, as it was. Her nails dug into the wood of the chair as she gripped onto it. The doors at the end of the hall broke open and the room was bathed in light. She squinted those narrowed green eyes at the figures that approached, a man bound in rope at the wrists, escorted by two of the surviving (and purposefully largest) Dacian warriors. She turned to Cothelas when the Roman was in earshot and scoffed. "This is him?" TAG: @Liv Edited May 31, 2020 by Sara 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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