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Aeterna Roma RPG

A study in Brythonic


Attis
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Britannia, 67AD

Attis had grown used to the life of a Legate's personal slave with the Legions in Britannia. He was still growing used to the weather and the wet and the mud, but after that first time tripping over a grass hummock, he hadn't manage anything quite so ignominious again, certainly not where anyone could see. Oh, for paved roads again, though - they were building some outside the fort, but the fort itself was still a ditch, a wooden palisade and rows and rows of tents, with one or two more permanent structures like the bathhouse and the Praetorium and prison.

It hadn't taken him too long to find his way around, Roman army camps were laid out in nice neat straight lines with all the important buildings (or tents) in the middle and the less important ones outside of them and so on, right to the edges of the camp by the palisade. Which meant that at least his master's tent, one of the nice big ones, was near the middle of the camp.

Longinus was elsewhere at the moment, either on the parade square or in the Praetorium, and Attis wasn't needed, so once he'd finished his current chores, he ducked out of the tent for some air somewhere. He pulled his cloak around his shoulders; autumn here might be pretty but there was a chill in the air that he really wasn't used to, and he'd been told it would only get worse as winter wore on.

There was a familiar slight figure up ahead, the interprex Aius - Attis had seen him around, of course. Longinus didn't always dispense with Attis when he was doing Legion business, and occasionally had need of an interpreter while doing Legionary business.

"Salve," he said, stepping out of the way as Aius approached - Attis the slave was marginally beneath Aius the free peregrinus in the grand scheme of things. It seemed they were both going the same way, to the cookhouse for food. Of course.

 

@Chevi

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The cold was settling in for another long winter in Britannia. The chill went straight to the bones despite the autumn sunshine, but Aius was still grateful for it: colder weather meant more clothes, and less questions about why she was not willing to undress in front of others. She was the subject of jests for being a shy boy, but that was still better than everyone finding out she was not a boy at all.

Decimus was on guard duty at the moment, so Aius headed out to get some food. Whenever she was not interpreting or running errands, she stayed close by her friend, the only one who knew her secret. It made her feel less alone. For now, she would have to do with warm food. She was jolted out of her thoughts as someone greeted her.

"Salve" she returned the greeting. She liked to know who was who in the camp, and she had seen the young man around. "You are... the legate's secretary or something, right? Sorry, I forgot your name."

@Sharpie

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"The 'or something' - I'm his body slave," Attis said, then realised that the other man probably didn't care for his humour even if Longinus did, before his eyes widened. Not many people would care to learn a slave's name, after all. "Attis. You're one of the interpreters, aren't you? Ajax, Aius, something?"

The other man had an excuse for not knowing Attis' name; Attis had less excuse for not knowing his.

He shivered, pulling his cloak tighter around himself as a sudden gust caught it. "Brr! It's colder than Minerva's tits - how do the British stand it?"

 

@Chevi

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"The 'or something' - I'm his body slave. Attis. You're one of the interpreters, aren't you? Ajax, Aius, something?"

"Aius" she nodded. She was used to the name by now, she had had it for a long time.

"Brr! It's colder than Minerva's tits - how do the British stand it?"

"They kill Romans for exercise" Aius quipped with a smirk. Honestly, she could not imagine living comfortably in this climate at all. "Warm food probably helps too. Were you going for lunch?"

@Sharpie

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"Well, I probably don't count - I don't have the armour and the sword to look Roman, even if I was born in Italia," Attis replied. "Anyway, we're in a nice organised military camp, I don't think anyone is going to get that sort of exercise for a bit."

Warm food probably would help quite a lot - and a good amount of alcohol, even if it was that barbaric mead stuff rather than proper wine. Good luck getting vines to grow up here, thought he was willing to grant that they might further south. It was almost civilised further south, so of course his master had to come up here all the way to this wasteland of mist and moorland.

"Warm food - yes, I was. I wouldn't want to impose on you, though," he added. He knew his place when it came to the queues at the mess tent - right at the back after all the free people had had theirs. If he was lucky, he might get to the head of the line before all the actual legion slaves, but he wouldn't bet on it.

 

@Chevi

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"Well, I probably don't count - I don't have the armour and the sword to look Roman, even if I was born in Italia. Anyway, we're in a nice organised military camp, I don't think anyone is going to get that sort of exercise for a bit."

"Well, I wasn't born in Italia, and yet one of the fuckers tried to stab me" Aius pointed out with a smirk, pressing a hand against her ribs where her scar was hidden under the bindings. The last time the barbarians had broken into the camp had been almost a year before. The Romans were more wary since then. But if another attack came, it was not like they were going to check personnel records to see who was Roman and who was... a woman from Gaul.

For now, food was in order.

"Warm food - yes, I was. I wouldn't want to impose on you, though,"

"You are not imposing. I don't really have company for the day." Aius shrugged. Decimus liked her company, but most of the other soldiers did not have a lot in common with an interprex. She was free, that made her outrank Attis, but only barely. "Come on."

She headed to the cookhouse, following the smells of food. Hopefully there would be a bowl of something for the both of them. "So, you think the province will settle down soon?"

@Sharpie

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"I hope you got him back," Attis replied. A peregrinus interprex would be far more likely to carry a blade than a Roman slave, though Attis did sometimes wonder if he should ask his master about being able to have at least a dagger. Just in case.

"I don't really know - if the barbarians have any sense they'll stop with the fighting and least appreciate the nicer aspects of civilisation. Like bath-houses and heating and proper roads."

The cookhouse was one of those nice new permanent buildings in the camp, with actual proper heating that made Attis let out a sigh of appreciation as they entered. If the other man didn't mind eating with a slave, Attis certainly didn't mind eating with him - better him than some of the coarser legionaries, anyway. Some of them knew how to make you very aware of your lack of standing around citizens, in a way Attis did not appreciate.

Though he had direct access to the Legate and they didn't, so who was the one with the lack of standing, again?

"It's more civilised in the south, though, I think - but that's why we're up here not down there. They don't need legionary forts in nice civilised parts of the world, so much, do they?"

 

@Chevi

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"I hope you got him back,

"He's dead." Aius shrugged. She had not killed the man, it had been Decimus, or one of the other soldiers that had jumped into the fray, she was not sure. She had been too scared about being taken to the medicus at the time.

"I don't really know - if the barbarians have any sense they'll stop with the fighting and least appreciate the nicer aspects of civilisation. Like bath-houses and heating and proper roads."

"Now that makes you sound very Roman" Aius grinned at him. She didn't mind all the trappings of Roman civilization, but she doubted the Britons saw it quite that way. They seemed to like their wilderness untouched.

"It's more civilised in the south, though, I think - but that's why we're up here not down there. They don't need legionary forts in nice civilised parts of the world, so much, do they?"

"Not in Italia, as far as I know. But I have never been" Aius noted. They walked into the building, and she joined a line, hoping to get to the food soon.

@Sharpie

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"Well, I should hope so - I am Roman," Attis pointed out. "As Roman as chariot races and garum. Though I've never had garum with my chariot races, that would be... odd."

He joined the queue after Aius, hoping that he didn't get pushed to the back of the line as more soldiers came in. He might be a slave, but being the Legate's slave had to be good for something.

Well. For something other than half-decent sex, anyway.

"You've never been to Italia?" He was sure his eyebrows were halfway to the ceiling. "Never been to the heart of the Empire? You haven't lived!"

Attis missed it; Italy was a sight warmer back there than it was here, for one thing. He missed his friends, though he was perfectly willing to make new friends - the lixae were mostly rough labouring sorts, but there were clerks and other body slaves, and even some of the lower-ranking free people. Perhaps even this slight, quietly spoken young man might come to be a friend in time.

 

@Chevi

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