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Paullus


Paullus
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Paullus

21 | July 8, 56 AD | Slave | Charioteer | Heterosexual | Original | Thomas Doherty

 

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Personality.

Competitive, arrogant, and loud-mouthed, Paullus is one of the rising greats in the chariot racing scene. He is also not-no-subtly obsessed with looking perfect, being sure to wash up before and after each race. Additionally, it’s no secret that he’s a massive womanizer and will eagerly hook up with any particularly beautiful fan of his. A flaw of his not helped by his dependence on performance-enhancing tinctures is his short temper. Why is everyone so slow? Have things always been this frustrating? Sure, maybe he’s a little too aggressive sometimes. Paranoid. But that’s what the crowd wants. It’s everything Effrenus, his racing persona, is about. 

The pressure to be the best, along with his inability to adequately deal with his trauma, means Paullus easily gets anxious. These feelings manifest in his physical actions; he cannot sit or stand still for too long, and absolutely has to spend all his free time training, racing, or getting drunk out of his mind. He walks fast, talks fast, and people find him hard to keep up with. He becomes worried and snaps when he’s told to relax, and one of his worst fears is being contained. Losing a race can sometimes be followed by a complete mental breakdown due to how much he’s tied his career with his self-worth. 

Hidden under that facade of Effrenus, however, is the sadness of a man who made a terrible mistake as a kid and continues to pay for it. When around somebody he’s close to, he’s quieter and more subdued. If one gains his trust, he can be a kind and loyal friend. That task is about as easy as beating him in a race.

 

Appearance

With a chiseled jawline, tanned skin, fluffy brown hair, and piercing amber eyes, Paullus has become a heartthrob for men and women alike. His build is lean and wiry with a hidden weight to it. Surprisingly, his height is more similar to that of an average Roman (5'6); he says it makes him perfect for charioteering. Unless he’s wearing his competition gear, he can usually be spotted wearing a plain tunic.

Paullus has a fair share of scars from races gone wrong and whatnot, but the most prominent, albeit unrelated to racing, is a vast network of crisscrossed scars on his back. He is meticulous about his personal hygiene and appearance, almost always wearing a leather cuff or cloth binding on one arm to hide a brand he received years ago designating him as a runaway slave.

 

Family

Father: Inam (deceased)

Mother: Alauna (deceased)

Siblings: Boduoc, Corio, Gleva, Totia (whereabouts unknown)

Spouse: N/A

Children: N/A (at least, not that he knows of)

Extended family: N/A

Dominus: Titus Didius Gallus, head of the Red Faction

 

History

56-70 AD

Being born to the Dobunni tribe, Paullus was used to life in the hinterlands. His family, having been especially friendly towards the Roman fort in the area, were afforded a few business opportunities beginning from the time of Paullus’s grandfather, namely reliable clients to support their horse breeding business. 

Paullus grew up with the wind roaring in his ears and grass hitting his shins wherever he ran. As he became older, his responsibilities expanded from merely feeding the horses to herding them to training and breaking in the new ones. He rode without need for a saddle or blanket, and became able to tell what the creatures under his charge wanted at a moment’s notice. He was free. He was happy. All except for one thing—friends who were not horses. The boys closest to him in age, while initially friendly, disliked how closely his bloodline collaborated with the Romans in their area. There were plenty of others he could have made friends with; however, young Paullus very much wanted to impress this group in particular. In his later childhood years, he began to act differently and shirked many of his duties in order to fit in with them. His family had a lucrative career and a good name with the Romans.

Of course he had to ruin all of it in one moment.

In a last-ditch effort to impress some “peers,” Paullus joined these so-called friends in a small rebellion, vandalizing the Roman fort with pig’s blood and terrorizing a few unsuspecting legionaries. As teenagers, especially young ones, are not especially good at thinking things through, Paullus and his friends were caught and summarily punished. Now that he threatened the very power that gave his family their living, the Romans easily switched their loyalties and dealt some very severe repercussions, and it didn’t help that his family was already well known. Paullus was dragged before the rest of his family for a flogging. The punishment hurt terribly, and so did the horrified looks in his parents’ eyes.

It wouldn’t have been a proper Roman disciplining to end it at that, for the Romans didn’t take half measures when it came to traitors (or, in this case, rebellious teenagers) and their associates. Paullus was forced to watch as they executed his parents and hoisted away his siblings for lives of servitude. He passed out from pain before he could see the untethered horses running away. 

71-77 AD

His hair was shorn, a new name given: Paullus. Small. Insignificant. The name stung. However, even that could not quell Paullus’s inner fire. He tried to run away as soon as he was sold off to an old nobleman needing a young man to do manual labor, but ended up with nothing but a brand on his arm for his troubles. For two years, he was resold so often that he lost count.

Finally, he made his lucky break when he was assigned to a middle-class farmer. The open ground provided familiarity, and there were two horses. They did not judge him for his background, only for his treatment of them. Paullus tapped into what he'd learned as a child and eventually turned the two slow-minded beasts into eager and obedient workers. 

Perhaps that’s why, when the farm went downhill and the farmer sold off his major assets, he exchanged Paullus with a distant friend who managed a racing guild and desperately needed someone to replace a charioteer who was suddenly killed during a training accident. Paullus got an edge in the ranking process, being designated to care for horses almost immediately after arriving in Rome. Half a year later, his owner, wanting fresh blood on the tracks (metaphorically, that is), arranged for Paullus to receive charioteer training. The fire inside him was fanned by the flames of competition and the prospects of being loved once more, this time by a crowd instead of six people he’d never see again. He threw everything into his new role, spending days and nights doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and training (often cutting down on the first two). 

During the first race, he surpassed his owner’s expectations by blasting the other competitors out of the park with his quick thinking and excellent horsemanship. Paullus was signed on again and again to do more races. While charioteering is an incredibly dangerous profession, with many of his rivals losing life and limb on the tracks, he had never felt more alive. His manager, who appreciated his initiative (though not without a healthy amount of worry), allowed Paullus to take part in all sorts of stunts and derbies. These contests let Paullus release years of pent-up anger over the Romans and himself. 

Paullus made a name for himself. He was no longer a lowly slave, but a maverick, a bad boy, the type of guy women wanted to date and men wanted to be. He gained a new nickname: Effrenus, meaning “unbridled.” He tugged at the reins, kept an eye on the lap counters, maneuvered his way around the inside bend, made a final dash, and threw his head up to capture as much of his fans’ attention as possible at the race's end. Despite this, he feared, and continues to fear, losing his newfound glory. 

To improve his focus and continue to fuel his adrenaline-chasing lifestyle, Paullus began taking a stimulant tincture recommended by one of his gladiator buddies right before races, and it turned out to be far more helpful than he expected. The residual fog in his brain cleared away and he focused using his whole body. He may have been a good charioteer before this, but now, he’s an impeccable one. At least, that's what he thinks it does. Unbeknownst to him, too high of a dosage can cause vivid hallucinations or even death. Being a young man dealing with a lot of unresolved problems, it's the least of his worries.

No candle can burn forever; just the other week, one of his training acquaintances suffered a series of violent injuries during a passing maneuver gone wrong. But Paullus is different. He’s not weak, and he won’t go out like a she-dog. He’ll do anything to keep on winning, if only to hear the cheers of the crowd one more time.

@Gothic

Insignia | PST | PMs, can also request Discord

Edited by Insignia
Edited for clarity and to be more realistic with canon Red leader
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