Sarah Posted September 20, 2022 Share Posted September 20, 2022 (edited) April 77AD A week of celebrations had marked the Roman Empire's honouring of Ceres, goddess of agriculture, in celebration of the sprouting of the cereal crops and probability that, this year, the Empire would not starve. There had been races, feasts, parties, theatre and of course the parading and garlanding of the statue of Ceres herself, to the sound of the priests' incantations. Now it was time for the culmination of the celebrations, the great games at the Colosseum. Beginning on the evening of the last day and running into the night, the event - and the entire Colosseum - was lit by torches, lending an earie, flickering light to the events below. And, to be frank, the faces around them. At least Tiberius knew and trusted those who gathered around him. As per tradition, the captured foxes had been set loose, burning brands tied to their tails, to run in terror through patches of old hay in the middle of the arena, representing the gain of the upcoming harvest, setting these too alight as they brushed past them. Eventually the flames died down and those foxes who had not already died of burns were swiftly despatched by a handful of gladiators with gladii. The dead vermin were cleared away and the charred hay raked from the sand in preparation for the next spectacle. There would be the usual gladiator matches eventually, but there was something else planned first; something important. Once the sand was raked clear the slaves exited, leaving only one gate open into the arena. Through that gate was pushed a man, wearing no more than a loincloth. He was no famous enemy, captured on the battlefield and brought here to show the might of Rome. He was a criminal, and one who had wronged the wrong people. Most probably wouldn't even know him, but those who did might recognise the face of Marcus Barbatius, the bloody barber. The gate through which he'd been pushed closed, and for a moment the man was alone on the sands in the torchlight. A grating noise signalled the opening of two other gates, but these weren't ones used by people, save on rare occasions. These ones led to the beast pens. Shapes slunk through the gates, initially visible only in silhouette, but large and undeniably feline. As they drew into the light, one showed a sandy pelt and thick mane about it's large head, whilst the other had a more orange pelt, marked with black stripes. Large eyes gleamed in the torchlight, as the gathered crowd began to stamp it's feet. Tag: Any. Edited September 20, 2022 by Sarah 6 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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