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Aeterna Roma RPG

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Peregrinus was against her chest, tied to her with a piece of fabric wound over him and around her back, finishing with a knot at her waist. The six month old boy seemed unperturbed by it, and it had the benefit of keeping her hands free - something she sorely needed. In one hand she carried a rough woven sack filled with blankets and cloth for Peregrinus, and in another bag slung over her shoulder she carried a spare tunica for herself, what little food she'd been able to swipe and a wineskin filled with water. She was shrouded in a cloak, but besides that and the bags she carried and her son, that was all she had in the world. She bit back bile at the thought. 

It was late, or was it early? Somewhere after midnight, either way, but the streets of Rome were full of laughter and merriment of some festival that Charis had never learned the name of. She looked a little out of place; child strapped to her body and lugging her bags, but the city was full of unusual sights and most people paid her little heed. She drew to the appointed spot, at the gate leading out to the via Flaminia. What are you doing. Cynane wasn't here, she should be here by now, shouldn't she? Charis was sure she was already late and her courage was failing her. She shouldn't have done this, she shouldn't even be thinking about it - she was positive that even the thought of escape warranted crucifixion. She felt the bile rise in her throat again and fought the urge to be ill. Hold your nerve.

This hadn't been planned for long, only a matter of weeks ago she had been contented enough in her life - Peregrinus was growing, strong and healthy and things with Tertius were a little less awkward and then she had met with Cynane and it had all unravelled. The thought of trying to do this, be here, forever without her friend - who was so determined to leave and forge her way back to Britannia...Charis could have cried - and she was not a cryer by nature! The image of her son, growing up free and happy and healthy in the wilds and forests and fields of her homeland, away from his fathers pervasive, insidious influence, with her - and not just her as a slave, her as a free woman and his mother...it was too much for her to refuse. She had agreed, and now here she stood. But the nagging doubt did not escape her and the longer she waited in silence, alone, the more she wanted to turn on her heel and make haste back to the domus. Where are you Cynane. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

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Cynane had her doubts too, even as she stood there, looking at Claudia one last time. Volusa slept peacefully on the floor by Claudia’s bed and Claudia just as peacefully in the bed. She was beautiful, in her sleep. Her dark and wavy hair fell over the cushions and over her face and she was smiling with closed eyes. Cynane sighed, but there was nothing to do. She had waited long enough for a freedom that might never come. Claudia would never part with her and she knew that if she freed Cynane, the desire to return home would just grow stronger. So she had to take the matter into her own hands; she couldn’t stay.

Around her and over her shoulder she held a bag with her personal items and in her arms a bundle that was her warmest cloak. She reached out a hand to brush Claudia’s hair away from her eyes, but stopped herself. She couldn’t risk the princess waking up. She could not risk touching Claudia one last time. Quietly she left the chambers and avoided the praetorians on guard tonight. Once outside, she put on her cloak. Somehow she managed to escape the palace unseen and then she made it through the dark streets of Rome. People were out celebrating for something, but it didn’t matter. The crowds that gathered in certain places might just make it easier for Cynane and Charis to disappear. Gods, she hoped Charis would join her! She’d hate leaving her friend behind here. Peregrinus deserved what she believed was a better life, than what the young boy’s Roman father could offer. A man who would violate his own slave just to prove his control was not a man Cynane thought would be a good father. Peregrinus would be happier without him, she was sure. And so would Charis. If she didn’t get cold feet tonight.

The gates were not far away now. She had this feeling that Charis might not show up. That she would choose to stay with her master anyway. Cynane felt sad just thinking about it, but she could not afford such emotion now. She had to stay strong, else this would never work. And she didn't even want to think about the punishment if they were caught. It wasn't worth it, to think about it. She could use fear as much as she could use sadness. All she had to do was stay focused and determined. Then she was finally there and looked around and found Charis in the dark shade next to the gates, “Erea!” She said and ran the last bit of the way, “You came!” She would have embraced Charis, if she wasn’t also carrying Peregrinus, “Did it go well? You weren’t seen… or heard?”

@Sara

Edited by Atrice
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Charis jumped out of her skin when she heard her name called. Even after her time in Rome, the sound of her British name called her attention and she snapped her eyes round to see her friend, her best friend, looming out of the darkness. "Cinnia." She breathed, relieved, and immediately she felt her nerves settle. She wanted to wrap the blonde woman in a hug but the squirming of Peregrinus - even asleep as he was - made her hold herself back. 

She shook her head and glanced round furtively at those nearby. "Nobody saw me," She confirmed, "Everybody was asleep or in the kitchens and I slipped out of the garden door." It would be hours until anybody realised they were gone - possibly not until mid-morning. Peregrinus had not been sleeping well, and the other slaves knew not to disturb Charis or the little one in the mornings to allow her some hope at sleep. 

She let out an unsteady, shaky breath. She had always thought of herself as confident, certainly back in Britannia she had been self-assured with an easy smile or sarcastic quip here or there. But her time in Rome had changed her, made her more cautious, more afraid. She needed courage now and it was failing her. Gingerly she reached out a hand to squeeze her friends. "We can do this." She said, but more to herself than Cynane, as if trying to convince herself that this wasn't impossible. "Shall we start?" She didn't really know what the journey had in store for them, nor how taxing it would be. On the reverse journey - when she had been brought here - she had been in a cart and spared the aching miles on foot. 

 

TAG: @Atrice

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