Jump to content

Recommended Posts

April, 77AD

Hilda tilted her head to the side, squinting up into the sun and the hill in front of her. She'd been told this was where their chief rested his head. Why the chief needed such an ostentatious home was beyond her. She'd been in Rome a handful of days and yet she had been surprised almost every hour. She'd still not found Wulfric, as it turned out 'the subura' was a very vast place with too many people in it to count. She'd countenanced going back to Varus and demanding his specific address, but she'd scrapped the idea. Even the vaguely helpful instructions of 'he works at this warehouse' hadn't led her to her brother, and so she did what she knew - she walked to the most important part of the settlement (city) and decided to seek help there. 

She was under no illusions that their chief, their Emperor, would know where Wulfric was but she did have a thought that perhaps he'd loan her assistance to find him. She was the granddaughter of the chief of the Chatti. She was a princess, in almost all respects, and she was to be respected. Smoothing down her long-sleeved shift and the sleeveless dress that lay on-top and then adjusting her belt and the gleaming broach at her shoulder she huffed in annoyance. People were avoiding her eyes and she tried to will her features into something friendlier. It didn't seem to work as people continued to scurry past her; men in pristine white drapery, women with their heads covered and hair twirled up, and small people in shabby looking clothes rushing with their arms laden. Nobody wanted to help. She huffed again and placed her hands on her hips. 

"How do I see the Emperor?" She called out, to nobody in particular.

 

TAG: Open!

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Up here on the Palatine hill was where the highest of Roman society moved, and it was well regulated. Especially this close to the Palace. As Hilda huffed indignantly and called out into the general confusion, one of the Palatine Guards who'd been watching the clearly foreign woman nudged him compatriot and chuckled, wagging his eyebrows in a 'watch this' kind of way.

"You don't." He called back to her, grinning. "Only the Patricians see the Emperor. The highest of Roman society." Which she plainly was not. "So why don't you just run back to your little mud hut, where you belong?"

Ignorant foreigners who thought that the Emperor of all Rome was like some two-bit chieftain in a smokey hall in the middle of nowhere. At least Rome was bringing civilisation to them.

@Sara

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hilda was a woman very easily riled. Everybody knew that and knew to keep a wide berth when her jaw set in that particular way or when she rolled her shoulders back. The Palatine guard was clearly not au fait with her moods though and as she took a stride forward, smirk on her face, he shot a quick glance to his colleague, momentarily confused why she wasn't leaving. 

"I am the highest of my society." She shot back in accented Latin, "My free society. You have heard of Germania?" She quirked a brow, smirk still tugging on her lips as the man recovered and squared up to her, "I think you Romans tried to visit us once. Why don't you ask your Varus how that went." She grinned openly now in amusement. The irony of her mother bedding an ancestor of the biggest fool in Rome's history was not lost on her. But she knew she'd get nowhere with taunts and smirks. She cleared her throat and took a half-pace back from the guard. "I'm here as an envoy. From the Chatti. You'll turn away an envoy from a neighbouring land?" She tilted her head to the side. "Really?" 

 

TAG: @Sarah

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Palatine guard stood his ground as the angry barbarian woman stormed up to him as though she were as good as any Roman woman. She was certainly fiestier, and he wondered if she had the same energy in the sheets.

"Which one?" The guard asked, grinning. "Germania inferior or Germania superior?" He asked, naming the two small regions the Romans had conquered. "Ooooh, you're from the other side of the Rhine." Magna Germania was the much larger region, never conquered. Still, the name the woman mentioned was known; the Varian Disaster was well described in the history books. A fragment of doubt started to seep into his mind.

I'm here as an envoy. From the Chatti.

The guard looked at her, then around the square, then back to the fierce woman in front of him. "Then where's your entourage, envoy?" He asked, thinking she could hardly be that important, if she'd come alone. "Did you walk all this way, alone, in the snow?"

@Sara

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She was on to something now, she could feel it in her bones and her feline smirk and the way she tossed her long, neat braid over her shoulder suggested as much. Roman fools, and they called Hilda and her people the Barbarians. Her people would never offer such indignity to visitors…unless they were Roman, of course.

“No, I didn’t, but I didn’t think I needed my entourage for a meeting.” She scoffed and quirked her eyebrow, placing her hand on the curve between her waist and her hip, fingers drumming an impatient rhythm against the flat of her stomach. “What is your name?” She jerked her head at the least helpful of the pair of them, “So I know who to name specifically when my message doesn’t get through? You are strong enough in your convictions that I shouldn’t see your Emperor, yes? So give me your name because if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have no reason to fear a complaint…no?”

 

TAG: @Sarah

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Palatine Guard wasn't about to be cowed by this little nobody from the barbarian lands. She might be big where she was from, but here she was nobody much at all. He smirked when she demanded his name, absolutely certain that he was doing his job of protecting Caesar from the general rabble correctly. "Publius Caecius Camerinus. Don't forget it."

His companion, who'd been watching the exchange silently, nudged Camerinus with his elbow then leaned over and whispered something in his ear. The guard who'd been giving Hilda a hard time gave his companion a dubius look, but the quieter fellow just nodded slightly. Camerinus sighed in a very put-upon manner, before turning his attention back to Hilda.

"If you wish to ask Caesar whether he will grant you the honour of an audience, you can send a written request to his secretary."He said at last. "If you are deemed worthy, envoy, you'll be given a time to attend the palace." Which he considered extremely unlikely. "You can write, can't you?" Or if she was what she said, she could pay someone to do it for her.

@Sara

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hilda noted the name (and mentally thought it was stupid, who needed that many names?) and gave both the men a smug smile as they conversed in whispered, hushed tones. It didn't stop her from swearing under her breath in her own language though as they clearly deliberated. 

Oh. A letter. She frowned and then glanced behind the two men - peering up as she stood on her tip-toes to see the gate. She could pay somebody  to write it for her, she could speak Latin fluently by virtue of the tribe she married into and their proximity to Romans over the Rhine, but she couldn't read or write. The prospect was also disheartening because she had absolutely no doubts any letter would be immediately tossed onto the burn pile without ever being opened. 

She gritted her teeth and shot both men a glare. "And that will happen quickly, will it? If I write a letter?" She glanced between the two men, "Because what I have to say can't wait." She emphasised the words with a slightly panicked expression as if she was dealing with a matter of life and death. She was digging herself into a very deep hole which wasn't great given all she wanted was the Chief...Emperor's resources to find a Prince of the Chatti, but she had very few options. She hadn't banked on being quite so disrespected by some pathetic little worms like the men in front of her. The great gates behind the men, however, started to creak and clunk open and Hilda rejoined to her tip toes to peer in.

 

TAG: @Sarah

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And that will happen quickly, will it? If I write a letter?

The smug grin on Camerinus's face strongly suggested that it wouldn't. But whatever his compatriot's discomfort, he was having fun and could do this all day. The angrier barbarian woman got the funnier she was. 

Because what I have to say can't wait.

"Oh, well, it must be important then." Said Camerinus with all the conviction of someone with a tame whale for sale. Behind him, other members of the Palatine Guard started to open the Palace gates for someone inside, but he was more intent on keeping Hilda out. "So, how many people should I say will die if you don't see the Emperor right now?" He grinned, oblivious to the fact that he could well be the first. Everyone's concern was an emergency in their eyes, and as far as he was concerned very few of them actually were. Caesar dealt with real emergencies, like civil uprisings, food scarcity and potential invasions. If this woman was the forward vanguard of an invading army, he reckoned they were pretty safe. 

The gates swung wide and a gaggle of people emerged, including another man in the Palatine uniform, and several dressed in the simple manner of high class slaves. In their midst was a slim figure in a toga with heavy purple borders. The two guards before Hilda glanced in their direction, before Camerinus yelled "Make way!" And began to move back, automatically grabbing Hilda by the arm as he did so to prevent her accosting what looked to be the Imperial prince and his retinue. 

@Sara

  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"At least two." She snapped back, glancing pointedly at each of them in turn until the quieter one took an involuntary step back at the heat of her gaze. The other one seemed to take a moment to cotton on to her meaning before he glared and drew up taller; "Watch yourself woman..." But he was cut off by the gates creaking and then swinging open to an array of finely dressed people crowding out. Hilda blinked as they ordered her to make way and immediately shrugged off the hand that grasped her, stamping down hard on Camerinus' foot and deftly moving through a gap in the retinue to the opposite side  than the two guards. She gave them a smug smile for their trouble.

It was not difficult to spot the Chief, or who she presumed was their Emperor in the retinue - he was younger and dressed in brighter, whiter fabric. He didn't look like much to her - even her shitty late husband was a more imposing figure but if he was the Chief then she wasn't going to complain, at least she got to see him. Hurriedly, she began walking next to the retinue and called to the man in the middle, her voice softer than it had been with the guards and much more feminine. There was a time and a place for coyness and this seemed very much it. "Sir...sir do you have a moment? My people have sent me to you from across the Rhine and your guards would not allow me entry..." 

 

TAG: @Sarah

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The crowds pressed back as the Imperial entourage emerged from the gates, and with a deft twist and stamp of her foot, Hilda left Camerinus hopping and cursing. Surely the barbarian woman should be easy to spot, but she had disappeared into the throngs.

The retinue moved through the parting of the crowds, some people drifting closer whilst others gave them a wide berth, but always under the wary eyes of the prince's guards. As Hilda closed the distance and began to walk alongside she was given wary looks by both the slaves and the Palatines, but it wasn't until she called out to the young man in their midst that the nearest guard began to take a real interest, lowering the tip of his spear in her direction. Unlike Camerinus, who was happy to waste time and create annoyance to while away the boredom of gate duty, this fellow's expression suggested that he was all business.

"Move off!" He snapped at the barbarically dressed woman, and made as though to make his point with the point of his spear. 

"Stop." The word wasn't loud, but it carried and held a certain gravitas, the authority of someone who was accustomed to being obeyed. The retinue paused, and the slaves parted slightly to allow the man in the purple-edged tunic and snowy toga a better view, without actually making it easy for Hilda to get to him thanks to the spear in her way. He had dark hair and blue eyes, and was a few years younger than the woman herself. "From across the Rhine?" He echoed. That was beyond the Empire's borders, despite their best efforts. She didn't exactly have the trappings of a formal visitation, but Tiberius was quite prepared to see opportunities in unusual places. Sometimes he looked for them.  "You speak Latin very well then. Who are your people?" He asked. How far across the Rhine?

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hilda had to calm herself down as the spear was dropped to the height of her chest, ready to plunge into her if she  took one more step. She exhaled sharply through her nose, the set of her jaw and grind of her teeth the only thing preventing her from snapping back. She flexed her fingers at her side, balling and bunching them before releasing them, trying to shake off the tension brewing and bubbling in her chest.

The chief approached, parting the sea of slaves and guards with comfortable ease. In Hilda's estimation he was even less impressive up close, but she was not going to say as much to the only one of these men that actually seemed intrigued by her. "Across the Rhine." She confirmed with a small, curved smile. Her eyes were searching though and her gaze on the man was firm. She paid no more notice of the spear hovering a few inches away from her body. "Thank you, I thought it prudent to learn." She chuckled and tossed long, golden blonde hair over her shoulder. "My people are the Chatti." the name might be familiar with those au fait with history. "Hilda," She gestured at herself, "Granddaughter of Hrodulf, Chieftain of the Chatti. I suppose in your terms that makes me a Princess?" She quirked a brow and then turned the weight of her glare to the man with the spear and the guards a little way off, watching this exchange stupefied, "What an odd reception you give to Princesses." She turned her attention back to Tiberius and inclined her head a fraction, trying to demonstrate respect. "Do I have the honour of speaking to the Emperor?" 

 

TAG: @Sarah

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Chatti. Across the Rhine.

The people his own had tried to conquer and failed, and their closest neighbours to the border in that region. She declared herself a grandaughter of a (the?) chieftain of the Chatti, and therefor a Princess. Tiberius smiled faintly. Depending on the people, a chieftain could be leader of just a few families, making him more equivalent to the pater familias a large family than an Emperor, yet each seemed to think themselves comparable to the latter, with all the same hauteur.

Still, if she was a representative of a people who were not yet a part of the Empire, she was worth wooing.

"I'm afraid we're not accustomed to Princesses arriving so discretely, nor unexpectedly, at the palace gates" He replied mildly. Someone who was truly the equivalent of, or close second to, an Imperial Princess would be expected to arrive with a full entourage. This Hilda didn't even appear to have a chaperone, or perhaps her people didn't care? Barbarians did all kinds of strange things.

Do I have the honour of speaking to the Emperor?

Tiberius made an effort not to appear condescending. Likely if one approached another Germanic tribe, one might speak to the chieftain on request. No doubt Hilda had no idea of the layers of bureaucracy that surrounded Caesar, Emperor of Rome. But ignorance was not a crime, unless it was wilful ignorance. Even if her reason for being here didn't really warrant Imperial attention, he could perhaps help forge diplomatic ties. "I am Tiberius Claudius Sabucius. The Emperor's brother." He said mildly. "And his closest advisor." He added. "What you say to me, he will hear. If it warrants his attention, I will bring you to him." Then he smiled mildly. "But I may be able to assist you myself. Will you walk with me?"

With a gesture, he indicated that the Palatine Guard should stand down, and the spearhead was no longer pointed at Hilda's chest.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's because your women are weak, Hilda bit her tongue. She couldn't imagine the little woman Tertius had taken to wife walking half-way across the Empire to get here, and then standing up for herself when she arrived. Instead of saying anything though she merely gave him a tight smile and a little, apathetic shrug. 

But apathy soon turned to disappointment as the man said he was the Emperor's brother. His brother. But...as the man asked her to walk, she let out an exhale and nodded. He was better than nothing and either way, as she gave the guard that had refused her a smug smile, she reasoned it was probably better to speak with a slightly lesser man. She wasn't exactly here on official business after all. 

Angling her body in between the guards so she was next to Tiberius she smiled at him, a slightly softer smile than usual. Hilda wasn't known for her warm or friendly personality, nor her diplomacy, but she could turn on the charm sometimes"I was petitioning to see your Emperor, it must be said people have not been the most welcoming since I've arrived. I'm in search of my brother." she added, "I don't expect people to know where he is but I'd welcome resources to find him. I might be a Princess but he's a Prince." And it was ever thus that a man counted for more than a woman.

 

TAG: @Sarah

 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The barbarian woman inserted herself into the group at Tiberius's side, though the Praetorian Guard who'd initially levelled his spear at her fell in just behind them, ready to jump between if she tried anything. She was a woman but she was a foreigner, and few were trusted in the Imperial presences.

Tiberius on the other hand trusted his people to do their jobs and was rather more intrigued by their visitor, who complained of a lack of welcome since her arrival. "I'd put that down to cultural differences." He said mildly. "The average Roman only knows our own Princesses, and clearly our peoples do things differently." Certainly no Roman princess would dream of or be allowed to make a pilgrimage so far on their own. How had she not been accosted or assaulted? Or had she come with some of her countrymen and simply thought to come to the Palace on her own? Yes, surely that was more likely.

"The Emperor is busy; the Empire is eight times the size of all of Germania Magna." He explained evenly. Perhaps that would give her some idea of the difference in scale between a Germanic Chieftain and the Roman Emperor. "But if it's your brother that you seek, I am sure that I can help you." Surely one man, one barbarian prince, couldn't be that hard to find? "Do you know what his business is here in Rome? Or whether he has a particular friend or contact?" He could probably find a known citizen more easily than a barbarian, though her brother was likely to stand out. It also begged the question of what her brother was doing here, that she needed to come and find him.

The group made their way away from the Palace and down the Argiletum, past temples and thermae, down to the valley between the Pincian and Quirinal Hills, where the Gardens of Sullust and several other horti were located.

@Sara

 

 

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

"Clearly." She said with a tight smile as she fell into step with the man and his ridiculous, ostentatious retinue. Why a man needed so many guards and slaves puzzled her, unless he was an invalid and couldn't defend himself. Or maybe it was just a show of power...which suggested to her that perhaps the Princes of Rome weren't on such favourable terms with their people. Interesting. 

She smothered the eye-roll at his explanation. Yes she knew the Empire was big, she'd travelled halfway across it, and it had only been a faint hope that her standing with her people might have meant something  here but there was no need  to be arrogant about it. At least he offered help, which is more than Tertius had. She had the meeting with his little wife to attend in a few days time, but she wasn't expecting much from that either. Maybe this peculiar Prince could help more. "He came to visit a family friend." She explained. Much as she might like to air his dirty laundry in public for all to see, she knew that Wulfric's parentage was a relatively private matter and had the sense not to publicly shame Tertius in front of a Prince. "I don't recall his name." She said with the faintest hint of a smile, "But I've tried looking across Rome and nobody seems to know where our errant Prince is." She shrugged and took in their surroundings as they walked. "How can you help?" She asked, direct to the point.

 

TAG: @Sarah

Edited by Sara
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clearly.

As brother of the ruler of the majority of the known world, Tiberius felt his words weren't arrogance, but simply stating fact. The Roman Empire was eminently successful, so their way must be best. Right? Although Tiberius would admit that he was always of the opinion that there could be improvements. Never the less the hubris of this barbarian princess was amusing. Would the prince be the same?

How can you help?

So blunt and direct, almost a demand. But one did not make demands of the Imperials. "That's a good question." He replied evenly, a stark contrast to the princess's apparent short patience. Tiberius was almost infinitely patient. "It's a shame you don't remember the name of the family friend, as they would be a good place to start." He observed mildly. "If they are a 'family' friend, are they not your friend too?" What with her bring his sister and all. But perhaps something was being lost in translation.

How else could one go about locating one barbarian in a city with a population drawn from many different peoples? Tiberius pondered the question seriously. "Do you know why he was visiting this friend?" He asked, working through the problem. "If it was for commercial reasons, the commercial districts would be the obvious place to start looking." And if he was staying somewhere other than with this elusive family friend, he'd likely need to buy food so the various taverna and thermopolia might yield a result. Not that Tiberius had a host of eyes who regularly patrolled those kind of areas, but he knew someone who did.

Further down the Argiletum they wound their way past where the domi of the rich and powerful spilled down the hills, towards the odd patches of greenery beneath. "Do you have somewhere to stay, whilst you search for your brother?" He asked, wondering whether she might have come through the Gates and gone straight to the Palace. Somehow it would not surprise him.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Alas all Roman names sound the same to me. In any case, my men visited the friend and he didn't know where Wulfric was either. And he's not my friend, he came to Germania some years ago - before I was born." There. That was diplomatic wasn't it? Cutting Tertius out of the equation was probably for the best and it was only a small white lie. Tertius seemed to genuinely not know where his son was and whilst she didn't have men she had a man who had been stationed outside the domus as she rattled the ignorant man and his little wife. Only a little lie.

"He's been in your city for a year." She answered neutrally, "So if he came for commercial reasons I suspect that would have expired. But my brother is," How to phrase this politely? "Perhaps better equipped for Romans, but more ill-prepared. His Latin isn't as good as mine," hers was an anomaly more than anything and she'd only learned it out of a desire to undermine her idiot of a husband, "And he had less funds." Again, she doubted Wulfric had pilfered the coffers of his family members to embark on the trip. 

"We're staying in a..." She couldn't think of the word, "Place on the Esq-...Esquiline?" She shrugged and glanced sideways at him, giving him a conspiratorial smile, "You're not my first port of call, don't worry. But the place is fine." She shrugged and added with a hint of rare amusement; "Nicer than camping in winter on the journey here." 

 

TAG: @Sarah

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So she hadn't come to Rome along - only to the Palace - and she did know where this family friend of her brother's lived. Someone who'd travelled to Germania years ago. Well, that could be anybody, especially if they were an ex-legionnaire. But from the sound of things her brother might have been counting on some support from this friend, if he'd arrived in Rome with poor Latin and little funds. And yet the friend didn't know where he was. Certainly that didn't bode well for the visiting barbarian, or for diplomatic relations.

"The Esquiline." He confirmed. "As long as you have suitable accomodation. If not, I can organise something for you." He offered. After all, they were essentially visiting dignitaries, even if she seemed to do things very differently to how a Roman would do things. That said to Tiberius that they had much to learn about each other.

But she had asked what he could do to help her. "Our Vigiles Urbani patrol the city streets, putting out fires and stopping crimes."  And hunting down runaway slaves. "If you can provide me with your brother's name and his description, I will contact the Praefectus Vigilum, the head of the vigiles, and ask that they look for your brother. There are nearly four thousand men serving as vigiles and they cover the entire city." If anyone could find one barbarian prince, surely it was them.

He glanced at his companion, gauging her reaction.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Are you going to house me in a palace?" She quirked a brow in good humour, a smile playing on the corners of her lips. "If so, my accommodation is wholly unsuitable and I'd be delighted if you house me elsewhere." as long as it wasn't a cell in chains. The Romans had a nasty habit of doing so to her people. 

She listened with interest as he explained how he could help, her smile stretching and becoming broader. And to think Gerfrid had told her it was a foolish idea to see their Emperor! Already her heart thrummed at the prospect. Tertius had been a dead end, the man more frozen and immovable than a block of marble but this young man with all of his power and resources...well...he seemed an altogether different sort of Roman. One she could do business with. "He's called Wulfric, Wulfric of the Chatti. He's," She raised her hand to taller than both of them, "About so tall, blue-green eyes like mine, brownish hair and he usually wears a small beard." Which she didn't like, even if it was their custom. "I doubt he'd have adopted your fashions so should be easy enough to spot." she glanced sideways at Tiberius. "Is that enough? I can pay," She cleared her throat, "I'm not asking for charity. If that was what you were thinking. I imagine favours from Romans don't come free?" 

 

TAG: @Sarah

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are you going to house me in a palace?

Tiberius resisted the urge to smirk. However proud this barbarian princess, the chance at some Roman luxury didn't sound like it would be refused. "Part of a palace." He replied evenly. "I can offer you rooms in the Villa Sullusti, which is where I live. It's set in a beautiful hortus and is quite luxurious." He assured her. If that was all it took to win over this foreign emissary, then it was easily done. The place was far too big for himself and Marcus, and he assumed that Hilda wouldn't be staying once she found her brother. And if he could improve relations with the non-Romanised Germanic tribes across the Rhine, so much the better. 

The suggestion of using the Vigiles to keep an eye out for her brother seemed to go down well, and Tiberius listened carefully as she described him, estimating his height from her gesture. If he went bearded and dressed in the way of his people, surely the man wouldn't be too hard to spot. "Wilfric of the Chatti." He repeated, doing his best to match Hilda's pronounciation. Finding this wayward prince and returning him to his people could prove an opportunity. 

Then Hilda asked if she should pay him for the service of finding her brother, causing Tiberius to glance at her. He had no idea how such things might be conducted between Germanic tribes, but he doubted she could offer too much to the Roman coffers. Rather there were things which could prove far more valuable. "Payment is not necessary." He replied mildly. "Consider this a diplomatic favour. And since you are a Princess of the Chatti, I thought we might discuss further diplomacy between our people." He said. As they walked they passed a walled green space with open gates, until finally they reached the largest of the gates, through which a paved, private roadway led a short distance to the main entrance of the Villa Sullusti itself. Unlike those of the hortus, these gates were kept closed until Tiberius's entourage arrived, at which point slaves swung them open. 

"This is the Villa Sullusti. Would you care to join me?" He asked, indicating the considerable, ornate building in the depths of the manicured gardens.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Villa Sullusti," she repeated, trying to perfect the accent. "That's very generous of you." She glanced at him slyly, vaguely amused. She wasn't afraid of her safety in Rome she knew that the tenuous peace with her people was lasting and any move on her was a move on her tribe...tribes, both her own and that she'd married into. Still, Roman generosity was - as history had taught many people inside the Empire and outside - often not what it appeared. Fortunately she had her wits about her and wouldn't be quite so easily led. 

"Diplomacy?" She quirked a brow as they walked, the conversation naturally meandering on, "I don't wish to be indebted to your people." she shook her head with a rueful smile and glanced at him, "Favours to be paid are not diplomatic. I can consider your help a gift with no expectation in return, or I can pay you. Your choice." She shrugged. It had been years and years and years since the tumultuous time of Arminius and Varus, and the pain that came before. But people didn't forget and she wouldn't. She wasn't here in any official capacity - even if she hadn't said as such - and shouldn't promise anything, she knew that. 

She followed as part of the wider group until they drew through the previously locked gates. Her brows rose in surprise as she surveyed the building as it stretched out. "So big." She commented with a mumble. "Why do you need such large homes?" She asked genuinely with interest, but nonetheless followed him inside.

 

TAG: @Sarah

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The idea of viewing the locating her brother as a diplomatic favour didn't go down as easily as Tiberius had hoped; rather Hilda insisted that either she pay, or it be a gift. He glanced sidelong at her, wondering whether, with her so far seemingly non-existent contingent, she might be here in a capacity that was far more personal than diplomatic. She'd introduced herself as a Princess of the Chatti, but she'd come unannounced to the Palace gates. Had she come without the blessing of her pater familias? Was she here purely as a sister looking for her brother? It was an interesting thought. Surely she realised, as a princess, nothing she did was purely for herself, even as, as an Imperial, everything he did reflected on his brother and family. 

A faint, wry smile tugged at his lips for a moment. "A gift then. A gesture of friendship." Certainly in the past there had been plenty of bad blood between their peoples, but if that was ever going to change, it had to start somewhere. Why not with them? Plus, he'd only promised to locate this Wulfric, nothing had been said about what happened afterwards. Perhaps he might like to live in the palace, a guest of the Empire? At least until he knew them better. That might however be at odds with his sister's intentions, but give her a few days in the same and see what she thought.

So big. Why do you need such large homes?

It was big, and impressive, but it had been built with that very intention. "Do your Chieftains not have larger, and more luxurious homes?" He asked, curious. Surely they must. "One must have a suitably fine and impressive place to receive visiting dignitaries, after all." Like stroppy Germanic princesses. Of course, that didn't answer the question of why this villa was so big, when it hadn't actually been built as a palace. "As to why Sullust built his home so big, I think it was because he could." The man was long dead so there was no asking him. "What are your homes like?" He asked, genuinely curious.

@Sara

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hilda gave him a tight smirk. No gift was unreciprocated and she knew that, but for now she was prepared to lounge in his mercy. He was young, and whilst he appeared studious, he also appeared curious. Curiosity was foolishness - how many children had fallen down wells or got stuck in caves because they wanted to see what lay inside? How many men had been beaten bloody by husbands because they were curious at what another woman felt like? Maybe his curiosity was something she could spin to her advantage. She was happy to be a novelty, as long as it guaranteed his resources and his help.

"They have bigger homes." She agreed with a shrug although she added in her head; but nothing like this. "But we do not need big homes to be impressive." She added with a small smirk. Maybe the Roman men were compensating for something with their ginormous palaces? It was an interesting thought and one she'd test out later, no doubt. "But it's different. Fewer rooms." Depending on who's house you were in, there might be no rooms besides the stable to one end and then the other room with the hearth and sleeping quarters to the end. "We're closer, I suppose." Physically and mentally perhaps. There were fewer in her tribe than perhaps an eighth of Rome, so they were naturally a tighter-knit band. Of course there were spats and arguments, but history had shown how they could work together. "You've visited somewhere else? Or only ever been in Rome?" 

 

TAG: @Sarah

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Curiosity was how you found out about the world and how it worked, to Tiberius's way of thinking. Assuming that you already knew everything you needed to know seemed the height of arrogance. How amused might he have been to know her thoughts? Both were young nobles, but with very different backgrounds and different views on the world. 

They have bigger homes. But we do not need big homes to be impressive.

Both the young nobles smirked, though presumably for different reasons. Tiberius wondered how impressive a Roman contingent would find Hilda's grandfather's dwelling. One might call themselves a chieftain, but if they lived in little more than a mud hut, how much were they really chieftain of? That was the thing. Every little valley and mountain had it's own chieftain who acted like he was on par with the ruler of an Empire; they were only comparable in arrogance. Much like their daughters, it seemed. Hilda certainly had the attitude down pat. But Tiberius was more interested in what lay behind the attitude, and the glimpses she gave him into life amongst the Chatti. Closer. It was an interesting thought. For a moment his own thoughts drifted back to the mother he'd barely known, and the father he'd known not at all. It might be nice to be closer. Then again, a plebian family in a small insula were closer. 

You've visited somewhere else? Or only ever been in Rome?

"I've been to countryside villas." He said, knowing that wasn't what she meant. For a moment he regarded the wall decorations thoughtfully, as they moved towards the triclinium. "It's no secret that there was a lot of political unrest when I was young, and quite a few of my family were killed." Anyone could hear about the purges for the asking. "Those of us who remained stayed close." So no, he hadn't seen much of the Empire. "But that will change with my military service; I'll travel with my legion." Which was one of the reasons he was looking forward to the next stage. This first year was all military education so far; interesting but still in Rome. "There must be times amongst your people when who holds the title of Chieftain is disputed?" There were always people hungry for power. 

"I have read accounts of the travels of many." Which wasn't the same thing at all. "But you've crossed a portion of the Empire to get here; you must have seen things of interest." He suggested, wondering whether she'd tell him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...