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Hallowed ground

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April, 77AD

For a storyteller and guide, the best place to be was always the Forum Romanum. It was the place where things happened. Past and present. Past, few places in Rome had more stories that the Forum, and present - it was always crowded with people, often the first stop of anyone who came from the provinces to the city. And those were the people Iophon got most of his income from. Guiding them to places they needed to find, taking them on tours of the city, or just spinning a story or two from to magnificent past of Rome. 

Iophon stood in his favorite place, on the elevated block of marble that supported the statue of Vertumnus. It was at the junction where the Vicus Tuscus fed into the Forum; a good vantage point, and also close to the booksellers' stalls. He watched the crowd milling about. he had a lot of practice noticing people wandering around, seemingly in need of company. Or guidance.

He spotted the young lady. She looked elegant, somewhat younger than him, and wasn't walking anywhere with purpose. Was she a little bored? Maybe. Many rich girls were. Iophon hopped off the statue foundation with a friendly smile and approached her. "You, domina, seem like the kind of educated lady that would appreciate a good story well told."


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