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Varinia


Sarah
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Varinia

41 | 12 April 35 | Slave | House slave | Bisexual | Wanted | Annabel Scholey

 

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Personality.

A quiet, pragmatic woman, Varinia is what happens when the romantic young girl grows up. She has loved, and she has lost, and she feels she's lost more than she's loved. She didn't ask for this life, but it's the one she has and she makes what she can of it. Obedient and dutiful, if sometimes wistful, she holds her eternal sadness close, adding to it as life's disappointments grow over the years. But she is never without the tiny spark of hope, the young girl with big dreams is still in there somewhere.

 

Appearance

Tall compared to most Roman women, Varinia has a willowy build and lightly tanned skin with a few freckles across her nose. Thick, wavy brown hair frames her face, with a few grey hairs at her temples. Her eyes are grey and deep set, sometimes appearing dark at a distance. Time has given her lines around her mouth and across her forehead, suggesting that she's frowned more than she's smiled, which is a shame because her smile lights up her face.

She keeps herself neat in appearance, and as well dressed as what she is provided with allows. Particularly she takes care with her hair, to brush it well and do it as elegantly as she dares. It's her one little indulgence. Otherwise is a practical woman of necessity.

 

Family

Father: Vopiscus

Mother: Danu

Siblings: Litogena, Cathirix, Viction, Sama, Indercilia, Perula

Spouse: None

Children: Teutus Quinctilius Varus

Extended family: Unknown

Other: Tertius Quinctilius Varus is the son of Varinia's former owner, and father of her son Teutus.

 

History

Childhood

35AD, Born the second child - and second daughter - of a Gaulish farmer in the north of the province, the young girl they named Viriana was a lively and energetic child. She loved the farm, working with the animals, spinning the wool, tending the crops and helping her parents, especially her mother as Viriana grew older and her parents' brood grew. The next two children were sons, and three daughters followed, with only one child lost between them. Their neighbours whispered that they had the favour of the Gods, to have so many healthy children.

And so it seemed until 48AD, the dry year, when the soil turned to dust and baked beneath the sun. Suddenly having seven children with huge appetites was no blessing. By this point Viriana was well grown and beginning to show the first hints of womanhood. An officer in the local garrison took an interest with her, and her parents made the decision to sell her to him, for coin to buy food for the rest, and so that she would be cared for. She'd cried, screamed and begged when the officer had come to take her, her father's face stony and uncompromising. Her older sister cowering in the corner, her mother pressing something into her hand as she said goodbye, then ran weeping from the room. That first betrayal was a strong memory. She'd kicked and screamed, been carried away, and thrown into a room at the garrison fort. Eventually the officer who'd bought her had cowed her, all the while cursing barbarian slaved for their insolence. He called her Varinia, which was as close as he cared to come to her name.

She lost count of her tears, but through it all she kept the stone her mother had given her; it had a hole through the center, and such were said to bring luck. When her days seemed darkest, she would touch the stone, carried on a thong around her neck, and remember the day that she and her mother had found it in the nearby stream. The sun, the trees, the warm grass, her mother's voice and warm embrace; that day now seemed like heaven. And it was gone.

Youth

She didn't stay in the officer's possession for long. When his legion returned to Rome she was sold, presumably for the coin it would get him, and purchased by a man named Publius Quinctilius Varus Major. The name meant nothing to Varinia particularly, but the home that she arrived in was large and comfortable, and the other slaves there told her that he was powerful and important. Her skill at spinning wool was noted, and her mistress would set her to spinning for the clothing she would weave when Varinia had nothing else to do.

She became a body slave to her new Domina, Laelia Calida, and general house slave, learning how to keep a Roman Domus and how to cook food to Roman tastes. At first the garum made her feel ill, but she got used to it. Not that the slaves had to eat it, but her master and mistress seemed to feel that food wasn't complete without it. They had two sons - had had three but one had died - and a daughter, and the younger of the sons, Tertius, was only a few years older than herself.

In the eyes of a girl growing into a young woman, he was strong and handsome and clearly destined for greatness, and she developed a youthful crush on her master's youngest son, and entertained dreams that one day he might free her and they could marry. So when they came his advances were welcomed, and for a few at first awkward and then more pleasurable nights, it seemed like her dreams might come true. Then something changed. Whilst her dreams had included bearing Tertius's children, that had come after they were wed, so learning that she was pregnant came as a nasty reality check. All the more so when she bore Tertius a healthy baby boy, and he refused to touch him. Even if she remained a slave, the thought that her son could be a free Roman citizen and heir of a man who she knew would be powerful had bouyed her, but the day she presented her new son to the man she loved and he refused him shattered those dreams forever. The boy they named Teutus would remain a slave. That was the second betrayal. She began to wonder whether Tertius had ever loved her.

Young Adult

It was only later that she realised that it had probably been at his father's direction that Tertius had refused to take Teutus. And it was her Dominus's work again when Tertius and Secundus were sent off to serve in the legions, away from the Domus and away from her. Her heart fell further as the young man she still loved left, and she could only hope that he would return soon.

In the meantime her life settled into the kind of comfortable monotony that was probably the best a slave could hope for. She served her Domina and Dominus, she raised Teutus as best she could, and life rolled on, the years passing as her boy grew, but with little else to mark them. She made herself as useful as she could, and she ensured that Teutus learned every useful skill that anyone would teach him, in the hope that he would at least be a valuable slave with a comfortable future. There was that, at least. She still remembered, a lifetime ago, that year of drought and famine when she was sold; here they did not want for what they needed, Publius ensured that.

In 65AD rumours began to circulate through the household that Secundus and Tertius were returning. By now Teutus was a grown youth, old enough to take his toga if he were free, and Varinia was comfortable in the current state of the household. She had her place. Suddenly things were about to change again. Older now, she doubted that Tertius's interest in her had persisted, or perhaps even been more than teenage lust in the first place, but she held some hope that when he returned and saw Teutus - who was grown to be so very much like his father - he might have some change of heart. Indeed the whole household seemed energised by the idea of the boys, now men, returning.

And then she was sold. Away from her beloved son, away from reuniting with the man she still hoped held the key to their freedom. It was the third betrayal. Before she left she gave her son the stone her mother had given her, with the silent hope that it might bring him more luck than it had brought her.

Adult.

Since leaving Publius's household Varinia served a family of Equites who valued her house keeping skills, and wanted her to supplement the older woman who ran the household. Tana was slowing due to age, but was sharp as a blade mentally, and when she saw Varinia's fine spinning she showed her how to use the weighted and two-beam looms, which she also proved to have a knack for. Varinia threw herself into her new duties and learning this new skill as a way of taking her mind off the loss of her beloved son who had been her world, and the hope that her erstwhile lover might still free her.

Whenever she went to the markets for her master and mistress she listened for any news of her former owner and his family. She heard when Publius died, as someone mentioned his funeral, but that was all. She accepted that this was her life now, but she longed most to hear of her son.

Sarah | AEST - GMT +10 | DM or Discord

@Gothic

Edited by Sarah
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