Jump to content
Aeterna Roma RPG

Being Stupid Is An Art


Recommended Posts

Why the fuck did they always stick him against big Germans?!

Here he was, rented out to perform for the very finest of his captors, and he was losing. The bugger was three inches taller, about six wider, and he was wielding a bronze axe that probably cost more than...than Owyn did, actually. He'd smashed up Owyn's collarbone, the links of his ringmail just barely holding, so now the Briton was looking like he was going to be out of it. The haze of combat was still right up inside him, so most of the pain was a buzz in the back of his skull. The spectators weren't the rough sort - they didn't cheer, but you could see them thinking about whether or not to let Owyn live.

Bad news, but the German had lost, he just didn't know it.

See, Owyn had got a nick to his back leg near the start of the match. Now he could see the wound opening up more and more, and the brute's left foot was starting to drag. Owyn was right handed. Didn't take a fool to work out what came next.

The German came up high in a big swing, Owyn traversed to his right, and leapt past the man's left shoulder. As he did, he switched his sword to his left and lanced out at the other gladiator's kneecap. It hurt like everliving fuck, with his collar screaming across his chest, but it was worth it. Usually, a decent fighter could get their leg out the way, but not this time. Owyn felt muscle and sinew give way beneath his tip, and it was all done. The German was down to one knee, bleeding like a pig, and becoming faint.

A look, a signal, and that was that. His opponent had been allowed to live, and 'Marius' saluted his hosts with one arm, and was dismissed.

But now? NOW HE HAD TO FUCKING WALK BACK.

He was removed to a slave's quarters to wait for his escort back to the Ludus, and he didn't bother to remove his chainmail. They'd taken his sword off him, and bound a few of his cuts. Once he got back, he'd acknowledge the pain. Until then? Best just to sigh and pretend to be a big dumb animal.

@Atrice
 

Edited by Knight
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynane was just a bystander here. The Imperial family had plenty to do at the moment, it seemed, what with the shift of power and all… and they wanted some time to just relax and have fun. And like any Romans, watching slaves beat up each other was considered fun to them. Well most of them. She honestly wasn’t sure Claudia was a huge fan, but she was there, because she had to be. Her brother now held the power, after all. It would be noticed, if she wasn’t there.

 The fight was interesting to watch though. She saw what the Briton was up to way before any from the high and mighty family did. She saw the German bleeding and she looked at the Briton, who got beat up too, but apparently he knew what he was doing. Of course he did, he was her countryman, even if he might not be from her tribe. It was just like with Charis, Florus, Annis… just to count some of her Briton friends in Rome. Some were stronger than others, of course, but she admired every one of them.

 Now the fight came to an end, she didn’t think the German was dead, but he’d need a lot of help to survive that bloodloss. He might die later. She couldn’t spend too much time thinking about it, because she couldn’t do anything about it anyway. The Briton was escorted away then and Cynane was waved over to the Romans. She was to escort him back to his ludus. She sent her mistress a glance, she’d honestly rather stay here… but she was a slave and she did as told, went to the slave quarters where the guy was supposed to be waiting. And there he sat. Bloody and beaten, even if he had a few bandages on now.

 She leaned against the doorframe, watching him, “I’m Cynane.” She said, giving him a nod, “I’m supposed to escort you to your ludus. How are you? Can you even walk?” It didn’t seem like his legs were broken or too injured, but he honestly looked like he’d seen better days.

@Knight

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, fuck, a Briton. Attractive, tall, fierce - they were going to kill him? Set a hound on a hound? Maybe the German had been an imperial favourite? He didn't have a blade, and his collar bone was making a strange grinding noise and -oh- absolutely fucking hurt to the Underworld and back. Let her get close then headbutt her? No, she was armed. Go for the eye, ignore the pain, then run. He'd be hunted down and killed but...Eh. What was the point? Owyn didn't make a move as he she leaned against the doorframe. She could kill him for all he cared. He'd be laid up recovering for a few days, atleast. Might aswell put him down, he was going to get bored.

Ah. Escort duty. Too valuable to allow him to just walk off.

"Owyn." He nodded at her, moving his left arm to knuckle at his collar bone - it moved beneath the ringmail and the tunic, and he bravely soldiered on, not showing any pain...Nah, actually, he hissed and bit his lip damned hard. It absolutely fucking hurt to buggery. He flexed the fingers of his right hand, and rocked onto his feet. Walking? he could walk. Punching might be an issue though. "He broke my collar, but it'll heal up. Say what you will about our masters, they make decent armour."

Shame they're such vapid fuck-knuckles.

Maybe if he ever got home...Nah. Best not to dream of the impossible. He was going to die a slave, get used to it.

He went to move past her, his strides long and slow. He was taller than her, and broader by a fair margin, but they had the same blonde hair. Still, slaves often got dirty work,. so he was absolutely expecting her to stab his throat out any second. Briefly, he gave her the look that his father had always labelled his 'stepped in shit' look, but was actually his way of judging if he could kill someone.

Nah. Not like this.

@Atrice

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

She noticed how he seemed to look her over and fought the urge to roll her eyes. She wasn’t used to men checking her out to see if she could handle herself in a fight – no, most men thought of other things and especially when they saw a fierce guard and former gladiatrix. They’d think about how they could most easily conquer her, and they weren’t thinking about how to conquer her in a fight. At least Claudia didn’t lend her out to this and that man to have his way with her. With Claudia, she felt safe from that at least. But that didn’t mean she liked it when men looked her over like the gladiator did. Didn’t he know better? Wasn’t he a slave too?

 He introduced himself as Owyn and touched his collar bone, hissing as he did. Why in the name of Hel did he do that? If it hurt? He said the German had broken his collarbone and commented on how the Romans made armor.

 “Yes, they know that at least.” She said and watched him get on his feet, he could walk. He walked past her, even. Taller than her and with blonde hair – the Romans liked that in their gladiators, that they looked so different and even exotic. She moved to keep up with him, showing him the discreet way to leave the palace instead of through the large halls and the official entrance. They'd use one of the slave entrances to exit from, that was better.

 “Hopefully your medicus at the ludus can patch you up again. Maybe next time, focus more on the fight and defending yourself… instead of just letting your opponent bleeding out? Or do you want the Romans to think you’re weak?” Because Cynane had definitely never wanted the Romans to think that. Never.  

@Knight

  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The urge to use the words 'you fucking fight him then!' crept up Owyn's mind as they exited the Imperial slave entrance, but he wasn't a young idiot anymore - pissing off people who could have you beaten wasn't really on his 'to do' list. Still, he briefly looked back at her and snorted.

"I don't care what the Romans think. They won. We fought them, then our own people betrayed us and we lost. You can't fight Rome, believe me, I tried." And he gave a one-armed shrug. He remembered the battles they had won under Eppitacos, when he was nothing but a young lord. He remembered Ysolda's betrayal, and the moment a boy had run into camp speaking of the war's loss. A bit quieter, he continued "I couldn't smash him down, so I took the hit to slice his leg. I fucked up by underestimating that axe." He admitted, tilting his head to concede the point as he held part of his collarbone still as he moved down the steps. "How would you have fought him?"

Best to know. She belonged to the Imperial Family, so they'd probably never fight, and he could learn. He lived to fight, and if she had something insightful to teach him, best to learn and do so quickly.

@Atrice

Edited by Knight
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynane would not mind having fought the German instead of Owyn here. Not that she liked fighting and hurting other slaves, but if that’s what she was ordered to do, she’d give them something to look at. And she’d win a more fair fight – she was confident she would win, after all. She knew what she was doing. It wasn’t her fault that her party was betrayed during that battle years ago, causing her to get caught by the Romans.

 Owyn snorted at her words though, stating he didn’t care what the Romans thought because they already won and he didn’t think you could fight Rome - because he already tried. She gave him a look.

 “So did I.” Cynane just said. So he was a war captive too? But newer in Rome, she thought. He didn’t seem to have been here for as long as she had; he hadn’t settled yet. Not that she liked the fact that she had settled, but what else could she do? It wasn’t like she could run away and expected to survive it. Besides, she liked her mistress, at least. She wouldn’t betray her. The only good Roman in a world full of bastards. Owyn broke her from her thoughts, trying to explain himself and then wondered how Cynane would have fought the other gladiator.

 “I would have used this.” She tapped her head with a small smile, “I know, you did too, but I would have given the Romans a show, because that’s what they want. I would have drawn it out, maybe run him tired. I could probably have ducked his axe a few times. It’s not always an advantage to be… large and broad, when you fight. Skill and experience matter much too.” Cynane looked at him, he sure looked the part of a gladiator, didn’t he? He was exactly what she wasn’t. Tall, broad, muscular… she was fit too, and tall among women, but she was also more the agile type than he was, she thought. And she relied a lot on her skill. Not that his looks were bad, she could admire that, but that might be all. In a fight, looks were rarely important.

@Knight

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, she had a point there. Back when he was an idiot, or slightly more of one, Owyn would have danced around the man and laughed and grinned, winked at anyone watching. There would have been a show, and a spectacle. These days, he just tended to kill folk - no spectacle, no nonsense, just a fight. This lass was more of a Gladiator than he was; he could imagine her weaving and ducking beneath the German's weapon, while Owyn had pretty much just taken the one exchange then probed and clipped at him until he saw his opening. The Workman against the Performer. Fair point, they might give him more matches if he had a bit more flair.

He'd been there for 6 years, but he'd been broken, not settled. His mind always drifted home, to halls and fields of golden wheat, but he dragged it back by the collar to reality; he was never going home. He would never have a family, he would die in some piss-ant arena. But he'd be damned if it was because he was stupid enough not to listen to someone.

"You're right." He stated, rolling his right wrist to keep the blood flowing. "I still fight like I'm in a clearing back home. I'm not a warrior anymore. You'd have come out uninjured and probably with a reward for a good show." Oh, that rankled him. He could see what she was saying, and as they reached the bottom of the steps, he gave a low huff. Trust him to go make an arse of himself infront of a fellow Briton; she was beautiful, yes, but she clearly was a warrior, and he thought of her first and foremost as a fighter. Should have danced a bit, dragged it out, then just hammered the fucker to pieces with the pommel. "Cynane? Roman name. Where are you from, back home? Brigantes was y folk." He added, stopping briefly to pull at the collar of his ringmail. It was beginning to pull on his break, and that meant walking home in FUCKING agony.

@Atrice

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynane arched a brow, genuinely surprised, when he said she was right in what she said. What? A man admitting a woman was right about something? Maybe there was hope yet! He admitted he wasn’t much a warrior now and said she would have come out much better than he did.

 “I’d probably be injured, I'm not immortal." She said with a small smile, gossip in Rome would have it otherwise, after all, "But yes… they do reward you for giving them what they want. Which isn’t always bad. That’s how I ended up here, I guess.” She explained. If she hadn’t made a point of fighting well and giving a proper show, who knew if Claudia’s uncle would ever have noticed her and picked her to be Claudia’s new bodyguard? And she liked it way better here than she did when she was still a gladiatrix at the ludus.

 Owyn asked more into Cynane’s own story then and wondered where she was from. That caused her to look his way again, as they were slowly exiting the large area of the palace and going into the streets of Rome. Maybe he wasn't the worst man ever anyway. Definitely better than many and he was Brigantes. That definitely earned him a point too.

 “My name was Cinnia… but trust the Romans to try and pronounce that right. So they gave me a new name.” She said, rolling her eyes, “You’re really Brigantes? So am I… I don’t meet many of ours here though.” Cynane gave him a smile, but then noticed how he pull at the ringmail he was wearing, as if it was annoying him. Such things were heavy though and you needed a hand getting it off, unless you preferred looking completely ridiculous doing it. She supposed she could lend a hand, if he needed one, “Do you want to get that off?”

@Knight

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, there was that old pain. Another Brigante. See, in his first year, he'd met another Brigante. Togodumnus. They'd tried to escape together, but a friend of their's had told their masters - so they crucified Togodumnus. Owyn had been left out of the report. He'd stared at the man for about a week, as his body slowly wasted away. So when she spoke of their people, his first reaction was to shut her out and stop fucking talking...but she seemed settled. Maybe she'd had the same experience. Most escapees usually ended up in the ground, but sometimes you got lucky.

But he was so tired of just shutting up. He was tired of being bored. So he kept speaking, and shoved down the slight grimace - he instead felt the glimmer of recognition. He matched her smile with one of his own, the expression of a shared homeland. "Cinnia." He said, a name he'd heard a few times. His natural accent came through there, for the first time in years. "I should have guessed. Our women were always smarter than our menfolk." He could imagine this 'Cinnia' in ringmail astride a chariot, leading a host against a foe. So he tilted his head and let loose some spark of the man he had once been - "Good to see nothing's changed."

At the mention of his ringmail, he had a brief war with his pride, and promptly rolled over it with the aid of his pain. Finally, he nodded.
"If you could, I'd appreciate it." He was built like a warhound, and the ringmail shirt was well-fitted - that meant it might well pull up most of his tunic, but too many hours of being used and abused by Roman masters had given him too much modesty on that matter.

@Atrice

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It was kind of nice to meet another from her own tribe, even though she’d almost lived half her life in Rome now. She hadn’t been back and hadn’t been with her people since she was captured and brought here. Not really. In Rome, she was just one of the slaves from Britannia. And she was even one from Longinus’ lot, she’d heard there were quite a few of those. Bastard. And he didn’t even feel bad about any of what he’d done. He just tore people from their homelands and sold them here in Rome, for his own profit and other people’s pleasure.

 Owyn luckily interrupted her thoughts, repeating her name in their own tongue and it was nice hearing it. Then he said that Brigant-women were smarter than the men and she chuckled, “Maybe we are. I guess Owyn is your actual name too… not the Roman name.” She hadn’t paid attention during the fight to hear what his name was and they hadn’t said anything after. But she knew the Romans liked to change people’s names here.

 Then she’d seen how he pulled at the armor he wore and she wondered if he wanted to get it off. Such things were heavy though, she wondered if he would carry it back to the ludus or if she would. But he’d have to get it off first.

 “Sure.” She said, looking around. They weren’t yet in any of the busiest streets and she spied an archway nearby, “Come… we can do it over here.” She pointed and headed over there, waiting for him. It would seem weird to the Romans. A woman helping a man get his chainmail off… and in public too. But she didn’t care. They could think all they wanted. And all they’d think was that the infamous Cynane was still strong enough to lift a chainmail, which wasn’t bad gossip in her opinion. Hopefully that would be what they thought. Not that she was up to anything else with him. She wouldn’t like that very much. She wasn’t even attracted to him… was she?

@Knight

Edited by Atrice
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

When he was young, his scars had been something to display like trophies by the fireside. Now, standing infront of a kinswoman, he didn't feel like he was showing off. Morrigan's glare, he even felt...like they were something to be ashamed of? Here he was, about to display his physique to a compatriot, someone who understood the beatings, the floggings, the kickings....and part of him wanted to shy away. Owyn followed her into the archway, and for a moment, he hesitated. The pain was just part of life - but revealing himself to this woman...Fuck. It felt different.

Slowly, they brought the chainmail shirt up and over his shoulders, and the dull blue tunic went with it. The pain from his collarbone made Cinnia's aid indispensable - there was a moment or two where the horrendous grinding of his collarbone prevented any movement, but her strength eased the ringmail awat. His waist was covered by cloth wrappings, but his chest was bare, and once, it might have been a pleasant sight. To a certain eye, it might remain so. But the first few years of his captivity, they had broken him with rod and whip, after numerous acts of rebellion and disobedience. Most of his left pectoral had been burned, so that the flesh was scarred and puckered. A retiarius had stuck him in the stomach a year before, so three puckered marks were clear just to the right of his navel. A thousand other little marks, cuts, burns spoke of a life where injury just happened.

He was nothing but muscle, of course, for he did little but spar, eat, and run, but the marks upon him were ugly and pronounced. As the chainshirt came up and over his head, he quickly procured the tunic from it and set to slipping it over his head. He wasn't proud anymore. He was ashamed to show his failings, his stupidity.
"I'm sorry." The gladiator stated, regaining some composure. "Thank you for your help." He threw the tunic back over his shoulders, and nodded, clarity hitting him. He saw her as a comrade in arms, and to show the evidence of his foolish rebellion to an equal, it was embarassing. "I never thought I'd find another Brigante warrior so far from home. Especially not in such a state."

@Atrice

 

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynane reached the archway first and waited for Owyn, this was nothing more but one slave helping another, one former gladiatrix helping a gladiator. That’s all it was. He was in pain and she’d help him out, because that’s what you did. Plus he was Brigantes, like her. All the more reason to try and befriend him and help him out. Now he stood there, seeming oddly uncertain, as he bent a bit over to shrug off the chainmail while she pulled at it. His tunic came with it, it was a worn and old blue tunic, worn compared to the light blue tunic that Claudia let Cynane wear underneath the leather armor. It was kind of a uniform by now; something she always wore. Owyn’s was a contrast to hers.

 The same applied to his body; his torso and his arms now visible and very scarred. As if he’d been through a lot of rough fights and he didn’t take them well. Cynane had luckily ‘only’ been a gladiatrix, they were mostly there for entertainment before the real gladiators came in. Something to amuse the fancy Romans and turn on the male ones especially. Gladiatrixes had to put on a good show. They weren’t there to be fierce beasts like the men. And they had to be good looking for the men who wanted them after the fights. She felt sorry for him though, that he’d gone through so much, gained so many scars. It even looked like some of the scars were old burns. Fuck the Romans, she thought. For doing this to Owyn.

 Once Cynane caught the chainmail in her arms, Owyn was quick to put his tunic back on and then he, for some reason, apologized and seemed to avoid her gaze. He thanked her, but seemed ashamed of something… the scars? His need for help? Maybe both…

 “Don’t worry about it.” Cynane said, “It’s not like it’s your fault. It’s those bloody…” She trailed off, fearing someone might hear her and run off to tell those at the palace. Often the streets in Rome had both eyes and ears, after all, and they weren’t all friendly, “Maybe we should talk about something else. Unless…” She smiled a bit, “You haven’t forgotten our own tongue, have you? You still speak our language?” She asked the last question in the language she grew up with, that he must have been growing up with too, since he was even from the same tribe as she.

@Knight

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Now, that was something he hadn't heard in a long time. Five years. Five years not to hear the words your father taught you growing up, five years speaking the language of the kith who enslaved and broke you. It was...both an unsettling and thrilling experience. Owyn's eyes widened, and he looked about, as if expecting all this to be some trick of the light - she must be some spirit, sent to torment him, or some frightful creature from the realm of the Gods, punishing him for his impiety. But no, it was all frightfully mundane - a kinswoman was speaking his tongue to him once more.

"How could I ever forget it?" Owyn replied, his mouth smoothly slipping over the syllables of his mother tongue with eager familiarity. Oh, his accent was a bit rusty, but you could hear that aristocratic lilt to it. He had been a nobleman, a lifetime ago. "They're just...Romans.  They do as they please." He wasn't eager to move again - the little archway provided shelter, and he was excited to speak his own language again. Talking in it with a beautiful warrior-woman...it called back memories of a life he had forgotten about. "Cinnia. Cinnia. Owyn. Cinnia. Owyn Owyn, Owyn, Cinnia, Cinnia. Owyn. Owyn. Lugu. Eppitacos. By Lugu's spear, I've missed speaking as our kinsfolk do." He did not speak in the hasty manner of a youth, but seemed to revel in every word, dance his tongue over them. Once, he'd been able to sing. Once, he'd been able to tell jokes, to laugh, to whisper sweet nothings and grand boasts. The agony in his collar seemed to deaden against the little spark.

"I know I should not be shamed by my wounds, but...many were not fairly earned in combat. You seem free of such injuries, while I seem little more than a prize warhound, scratches and all." Owyn was clearly getting back into the feel of the language now, but he slumped against the archway. 

@Atrice

Edited by Knight
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Cynane often spoke her own language… or, well, not often, but when she could. When she was alone with Charis, away from Charis’ owner, they usually spoke their own tongue. And also with some of her other Briton friends. She had certainly never forgotten it and never would, because she might be a Roman slave, but she’d never forget where she was born and raised. To this day, she was still a proud warrior of the Brigantes.

 Owyn seemed surprised though, when she spoke to him, and then he replied. He hadn’t forgotten and that made her smile. The more he spoke, the more it sounded right, as if he had to re-remember some of the words. He mentioned that the Romans did as they pleased and she huffed, that was right! And then he repeated her name… and his own and others. Eppitacos’ name made her look at him. He knew Eppitacos? Fucking Eppitacos? She still had a few bones to pick with him, even if he lost an arm now and had been sold off, his years as a gladiator over. He and his men still failed to rescue Cynane and the party she was in, at that battle. The story went, that it was the battle that the Romans did not win. But they weren’t entirely defeated either. And the survivors of the Britons they did defeat, they took as slaves. That’s why she was here. Because of fucking Eppitacos! He hadn’t been so bad when she met him again. And they’d been close when she was younger, since she met him at the betrothal party. But she still hadn’t forgiven him for the battle.

 She’d been lost her in thoughts and leaned slightly back against the wall of the archway, when Owyn spoke of how he was ashamed of his wounds and she seemed free of them. And since they already begun and these were kind of tense subjects... she continued speaking in their own tongue.

 “I’m not entirely free of them… but I was a gladiatrix, before I came to the palace. Gladiatrices are just there for their fun and pleasure. In many ways. So they make sure the gladiatrices know to not injure each other too badly.” She said in a bitter tone, she’d been forced too many times to count and she could barely remember if it had ever felt good. Which meant it hadn’t. Being violated was not amusing to her. She shook her head, trying to get rid of the memories that came back.

 “Anyway… you mentioned names… you know Eppitacos?” She tilted her head, also making no move to leave the archway, it was kind of nice to just be here and just… talk. Owyn wasn’t so bad after all.

@Knight

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

You forgot how the other half lived, and you forgot how the other half suffered. Men were chattel, women were playthings. You had to be realistic about these things - and Cinnia had probably been raped more times than he could count. Part of him felt that same noble wrath he'd always felt at such atrocities...but that was a childish, old emotion. It wouldn't rewrite what had happened to them. In the same way she perhaps looked at his wounds and winced, he dreaded the thought of being constantly abused in such a way. Atleast there was always a way out for Owyn - just give up. For her? Not so much.

"I must confess, I never truly thought about it. I...I think you rather got the rougher end of that slice of ill luck." The gladiator replied, his aristocratic tone and vernacular starting to peek out more and more. Bones healed. His scars only really pained him in the morning, or when he slept. He couldn't sleep on his left, and his ankle went rigid in the cold, but he was never terrified of grasping hands in the darkness.

Eppitacos? He'd not known the man, only followed him! Fought as a young warrior, proud and strong! Oh, those were the days!

Back when Owyn had been a young idiot with no sense, no brains, and spiked lime hair. If he couldn't fuck it, drink it, or kill it, he found a way to do so. No, he and the great leader of the Brigantes had never met, but he'd shined as an idol in the man's mind for years. Only in slavery had Owyn come to quietly despise him. You couldn't fight Rome.
"Our great leader. I fought under him, as a charioteer. When he was lost to us, I spent near on 6 years raiding and killing, the usual sort of brigandry. What of you?" The great brute of a man moved to stand beside Cinnia, to take up less of the archway and thereby less attention. To his nose, she smelled of woad and wine, of roads and tilled fields. A thin wisp of desire stirred, but he sternly strangled it in its' crib. Here was a country-woman he could talk to and enjoy, he wouldn't ruin it with some clumsy advance.

Especially not after all she had been through.

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn’t often she got the chance to talk about these things – her actual opinions on Romans. She just hoped Owyn wouldn’t tell on her. Gods, why was she talking about this to him? What if he did betray her? She’d see the arena again. Probably for the last time. But it felt good, talking! She always tried to not talk about these things, because she feared what would happen if she did. Still she had her opinions though and she was still proud, so she would never forget what Rome had done to her and how unfair it was. And it wasn’t much better to men like Owyn, especially judging by his scars! She’d met other gladiators and they didn’t all look as scarred as he did, perhaps some did better than he did. Or perhaps he’d tried to resist their treatment, which meant they just made it even worse. Fucking Romans!

 Owyn said he never thought about it, what happened to the female gladiatrices and he thought she got the rougher end of it, “It definitely was... rough, as you say. But I don’t know. You don’t seem very well either. They mess with all of us, just because they can. I’m glad I did well enough though, to be removed from that life. Being a bodyguard is much better.” She explained, she was glad that she was with Claudia now. She kind of wished Owyn could share a similar fate, perhaps he could prove a good enough fighter to be put into some other, more decent service. Honestly though, she thought she’d rather have a thousand scars on her body from fights than have one more man force himself upon her.

 She tried to change the subject though, because Owyn mentioned a name she recognized. He named Eppitacos their leader and said he fought under him and continued after Eppitacos was lost to the Britons.

 “I knew him, when we were both younger. He married my cousin, after all.” She explained bitterly, both because Ysulda betrayed them all and because if it hadn’t been for Ysulda, maybe she would have had a chance with him. She’d liked him, when they met at the betrothal party. But after that, things didn’t go well and now she felt betrayed by Eppitacos too, “And he failed to… come to our aid. I fought a battle under him, when I was 17. The Britons won, or so I heard. But the Romans were not entirely defeated, because they managed to take down a small party of our people in an ambush. I was one of those.” She sighed, “So I don’t feel I owe Eppitacos anything.”  

@Knight

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, that was how it usually went. He knew the battle, and he'd been a few years younger than her, serving beside his father as a weapon-bearer. As a nobleman, he'd thought it such a fine thing, and he still remembered the taste of wine on his lips after the battle. Still, he was more than willing to move the topic of conversation - he still got nervous anytime he saw a notched rod. Regardless, he realised now he was speaking to an important warrior, if she was cousin to the traitor, Ysolda. Should he bow? Should he kiss her feet, and beg forgiveness for not recognising? No, he supposed they were both just slaves now.

"I don't suppose any of us do." Owyn noted, with a sigh and a sour look. "Strange. It all seems a lifetime away." He touched a hand to his scars, and then found something around his neck. An old carving of the Brigante war-god, Belatucadros, tied in a leather pouch. She clearly had poor luck in regards to battles, and...well, she was the first of his kinfolk he had found in a long time. He had a larger carving at his quarters. Standing in that little archway, with one arm agony to move, he pulled the little carving from around his neck and offered it to Cinnia.

"Technically you're royalty, so think of this as my tribute." He said, a slight smile gracing his lips for the first time. His hands had become innately talented over the years, and the carving was a fine thing, elegant and with the symbols of their home scratched in with care. "You've better weapon-luck than me, perhaps Belatucadros favours you more."
See, it was the first thing he'd been able to give in six years, and it felt like flexing an old muscle. Offering something to someone for no other reason than...well, she should have it. It seemed the right thing to do.

@Atrice

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in Britannia, when she was young, it had almost been a big deal that she was related to Ysulda. And if she had not been captured, they probably would have married her off to some nobleman either from their own people or another tribe. She would have been part of an alliance and once she had kids, life as a warrior would have ended. If she had kids. Cynane had a vague idea that she might not be able to, but she rarely thought about it. It wasn’t on the table anyway. And right now, talking with Owyn was much more interesting. She told him how she got captured and how she knew Eppitacos and Owyn agreed that they owed Eppitacos nothing.

 She smiled sadly at his words, “Maybe it is… a lifetime away.” It felt like it. She had been young, when she came here. Now she had lived more than 30 summers and winters. She didn’t feel so young anymore. She was in her own thoughts, not seeing what Owyn was doing, until he suddenly offered her a little figurine, a little carving that seemed somewhat familiar.  

Cynane took it, thinking he’d just show it to her, but then he began talking and it sounded like he would gift it to her. She was surprised. It was very fine work, the carving, even beautiful, and it reminded her of home. Owyn called her royalty and the figurine was his tribute to her. He was smiling as he spoke and Cynane curled her fingers around the carving, hiding it in the palm of her hand. Owyn was really being too kind. She’d spoken so harshly to him to begin with. She didn’t deserve this.

 “You don’t have to give it to me. I don’t need any tribute…” She said, this was so unexpected and she felt touched in a way she rarely did. Cynane wasn’t sure about what to say or what to do. And she usually always was.  

“Maybe we should keep on walking…” But she made no move to leave the archway yet. Just turned the little carving between her fingers.

@Knight

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Pain like a collarbone tended to numb after a time. He was used to that fracture pain, and it only really moved if he pressed on it, causing the two segments of bone to grind against each other - but it was starting to swell. A medicus would likely review his condition, determine how long he would need to recover, then half it and take their money. He was a commodity. But...he didn't feel any motivation to move. Pain was just pain. You got used to it. Standing here with a fellow Brigante was unique, and he wished to prolong it.

"You're right. I don't have to." Owyn stated, definitely, and then, lightly as a bird perching upon a thin branch in the forests of their home, he moved to press his hand over her's, as if to curl her fingers even tighter over the carving. "Nevertheless, I would that you have it. Without obligation or cost, only that you might never forget our home." His aristocratic lilt had come back in true strength now, but then he caught a curious glance from a slave as they passed in the main road, and suddenly the world came rushing back. He had to make it back to the Iudus, and be ready to be looked over. It might well be far worse than he thought. Time to head back to slavery, and likely never to see Cinnia again. Perhaps he would never meet another Brigante, or another Briton. Home seemed so far away, but for a few minutes, speaking to her in his home tongue, the fields of Britain had seemed just beyond the gates. He could almost smell the daffodils blooming outside their hall, hear their horses prancing in the meadows, catch the scent of their hounds mingling with hay and soot and meat and people - his people.

No.  

Best to forget it. He was never going home.

"You're right." 'Marius' stated, in Latin. He huffed through his nostrils, and pushed away from the wall.

@Atrice

  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Standing here, leaning against a wall, just talking to Owyn… it felt nice. Cynane had almost forgotten why they stood here – because they would remove his chainmail because his collarbone hurt, after the fight at the palace. The chainmail rested by their feet on the ground, one of them would have to carry it the rest of the way, but it didn’t matter who did it. Cynane had to stay in shape too, to protect the princess. She wasn’t weak. She was never weak. Apparently except in moments like these, with Owyn, when he suddenly gifted her a carving of an almost forgotten part of her past. It touched her deeply, more than he probably knew.

 She told him he didn’t have to give it to her, which he confirmed, but then he pressed his hand around hers. His was rougher than hers, larger… warm. Gods why did she feel so touched by all of this? This wasn’t what she was here to do… or feel. He said he wanted her to have it, so she would never forget their home. She looked up at him, “As long as you promise me, that you won’t forget either. Never forget where you came from, Owyn. They have done nothing to deserve your submission.” She said, there was a confidence and a pride in her voice, although she felt it was on the verge of breaking, but it didn’t. Thank the gods it didn’t! She would have been embarrassed.

 She suggested they kept on walking, because this was almost too much for her. Cynane was always alert and hard and silent, because that’s what she had to be. Owyn brought out something else in her. It was unexpected and she didn’t know what to do. Owyn agreed with her and pushed away from the wall. Cynane picked up the chainmail and followed him.

 “I hope they’ll be able to fix you properly.” She said while they now walked again, the heavy chainmail resting over one arm and the little carving was in her other hand. She had a leather purse she could place it in, but not yet. She liked holding it, “Do you make many carvings like the one you gave me?”

@Knight

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...