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Artemon
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ARTEMON.

22 | 10th December 52 CE | Peregrini | Odd jobbs | Bisexual | Original | Rami Malek

 

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Personality.

Artemon is a friendly young man with a fatal flaw: gullibility. Always eager to believe that his luck is about to turn round, he falls for the flimsiest plans with boundless enthusiasm and learns absolutely nothing from his failures. He is, however, resilient, as he picks himself up time and again while managing to keep his faith in humanity. His greatest dream is to strike it rich, and to this end he frequently embarks on a number of get-rich-quick schemes and drains his meagre savings in the process. He is a people person and will happily strike up a chat with total strangers in his native Egyptian, fluent Greek or his improving Latin – and being as credulous and naïf as he is, he also falls in and out of love very easily, coming across the love of his life on average twice a week.

Being a dimwit also has its problems, as some smarter people Artemon comes across will think he’s taking the mick because nobody could conceivably be this daft, and despite his frantic assurances that he’s not, every once in a while Artemon will come home sporting a black eye or bloody nose, or sometimes both. He’s a strong believer in magic and superstition and is thoroughly convinced that some unknown enemy of his has put a very strong curse on him that keeps him from succeeding in life - and when he finds out the identity of this person, he will make a sacrifice to Sobek and invoke the most powerful curse known to Egypt on his enemy.

 

Appearance

He is a short and scrawny young man, courtesy of insufficient protein whilst growing up – but then again, Egyptians aren’t known for being tall, and at 167 cm he certainly isn’t. For all his apparent lack of muscle, however, Artemon has surprising upper body strength and is no stranger to loading and unloading ships at various harbours or reeling in a crocodile by accident instead of that humongous fish he was positive was trapped in the fishing net.

Perpetually bug-eyed with deep bags under his eyes that won’t go away even if he sleeps a whole day, he’s got the sun-kissed skin of Nile dwellers mixed in with a bit of Greek olive tones. He keeps his dark hair shorter than his brother’s because it gets in his blue eyes (the latter’s colour inherited from some Greek ancestor, his father would say), but if allowed to grow freely it would be just as curly. Artemon has a strong jaw made softer by the easy smile on his face and keeps it religiously free of hair, because it’s itchy and hot and he couldn’t grow a beard if he tried anyway. On the inside of his left bicep is a tattoo of Sobek, the crocodile god of the Nile.

His clothes are plain and of poor quality, betraying the sorry state of his finances, but Artemon tries to keep them as clean as possible, washing his two tunics regularly.

 

Family

Father: Empedion (b. 18)

Mother: Tsillah (b. 23)

Siblings: Euphemios (b. 40), Apollodora (b. 42), Hermolaos (b. 46), Niketas (b. 49), Chrysanthe (b. 51), Iophon (twin brother, b. 52), Tryphosa (b. 57).

Spouse: n/a

Children: n/a

Extended family: aunts, uncles and cousins

Other: n/a

 

History

52 CE – On a dark December night Artemon and his fraternal twin brother Iophon are born to an already big family in a village near Ptolemais Hermiou. He’s the oldest by a handful of minutes, but time would tell that he is definitely not the wisest. Empedion, their father, gives his new sons good Greek names, as he has done for the rest of his brood – after all, his own father was Greek, and that’s something very important to him. Tsillah, their fully Egyptian mother, doesn’t object any more than she did the previous times, and is just happy that they’re both healthy despite their small size.

57 CE – Their youngest sister, Tryphosa, is born, and Artemon and Iophon are demoted from their positions as babies of the family. Despite his young age, Artemon enjoys going fishing with his maternal grandfather and uncles and is much praised for doing his part in putting food on the table; turns out he does a good job of gutting the fish for a 5-year-old.

58 CE – In a family as large as theirs there are many mouths to feed and not enough food to go round. The Nile’s harvest is bountiful, but only a fraction of a fraction is made available to them and the children often go to bed hungry. Even as his older siblings marry and go off to burden another household or bring another pair of hands to theirs, young Artemon can’t help but lament how everything would be much better if they were rich. The rich never starve, do they? Thus he got it into his head that his one ambition in life was to become rich.

59-67 CE – Although he continues to help out with fishing and is taught the minimum of letters and numbers by his despondent father, Artemon felt like there had to be something more he could be doing to make money. First he tried collecting and selling pretty stones, but everyone could go and pick their own stones off the ground, so that didn’t work; it also didn’t help that the village kids easily conned him into trading his nice stones for others that were bigger but uglier, because arithmetic wasn’t his forte and Artemon didn’t grasp that two of his small shiny stones were worth more than a giant lump of badly-formed clay. Another time a travelling merchant came by the village and was selling herbal cure-alls at a very low price; always one with an eye for business, a barely teenaged Artemon bought the man’s whole supply in order to later sell them to the villagers for a higher price. It might just have worked were it not for the powerful loosening of the bowels the medicine caused, and as constipation hardly ever struck, his enterprise was futile.

68-74 CE – Having joined a small local company of merchants, Artemon and Iophon become another cog in the machine supplying Egyptian grain to the neverending poor of Rome. They sailed up and down the Nile, loading their feluccas with grain from the Thebaid and carrying it down to the port of Alexandria, from where it would cross the Mediterranean to feed the capital of the empire. Artemon was rightly impressed by the city, but after the first year it lost that ‘wow’ factor. When funds were running low, Artemon would team up with his brother and sell amulets against the evil eye to tourists while Iophon told his tales. Though it was steady work, a tiny sliver of ambition gnawed at Artemon: this was no way to get rich! To his simple mind, the path ahead was clear: who was buying the grain? Rome. Meaning there was plenty of money in Rome. Meaning Artemon should go where the money was – Rome! Brokering passage across the sea from himself and his brother was no issue thanks to his passable sailor skills.

74 CE – A couple of weeks after having disembarked at Ostia and gotten a feel for the place, Artemon travels onward and sees Rome for the first time, immediately feeling that this is the place where his fortune will be made. He spends the first few days in a daze, lodging at an old acquaintance of his captain’s, before his dwindling finances force him to look for employment. He found it at a fishmonger’s, gutting fish once more. It did not pay well, but Artemon managed to save a little bit of coin, which he promptly handed to a wise woman to cast a love spell to make Fabia the popina girl fall for him – and as was to be expected, the woman ran off and Fabia did not fall for Artemon. It is at this time that he becomes convinced somebody is out to sabotage his endeavours, and the wise woman was surely bought off by that person so his wish would not come true. After all, only a powerful curse brought on by envy and jealousy would spawn such bad luck.

75 CE, Jan - Jun – Artemon worked in Ostia, making the trek to Rome when his coin purse was heavy enough and returning to the harbour to load and unload shipments when it grew inexplicably empty. The earthquake put an end to that easy routine and Artemon was left scratching his head and deciding to pack up and stay in Rome for a bit – someone had told him they’d heard of a collapsed domus with lots of jewellery and precious items under the rubble that nobody had got to yet. After Artemon paid the man for the rights to inspect the ruins and spent many hours digging and removing dirt, the only things he found were broken amphorae and a putrefied goat.

75 CE, Jul – present – After many a lean week, Fortuna finally smiled upon Artemon and he found himself working for a man named Gallus, moving his merch between warehouses. What said merch is Artemon can’t quite tell, but it smells good and herbal, and if he’s smart this time maybe Gallus will let him in on it. Business seems to be going well, because there’s always work and the pay is steady; steady enough to allow him and Iophon to rent a room in an insula full of funky characters.

 

Liv | GMT+1 | PM/DM

 @Gothic

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