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New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:04 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
OOC: Bene, incipiamus. Now, if there are things that need changing in my story, whether setting or era or whatever, just let me know.


Claudius Iohannes could hardly hear himself think, sitting above the great arena. Well, of course it was loud, that was just how it was in the Flavian Amphitheatrum when there were munera and games. What was it his old pedagogue had said? "And of public spectacles, call them not 'riot' and 'insult', but 'festival' and 'community'." That was the best way: do your best with what you have. And so it was - ecce, the people were boisterous, gay, and incessant. All was well, then - even if his ears rang.

Thinking this and sighing, he uncorked his precious little wineskin for a quick draft. But Iohannes failed to notice the large civis next to him rising, and the resulting bump - "Vae!" dixit Iohannes - caused a squirt of the wine to indecorously paint the front of his favorite tunic. The fellow was apologetic; Iohannes, failed philosopher that he was, had to acknowledge that he himself was not harmed. The oaf went on his way, and Iohannes shook his head at the way of things and smiled a crooked smile. Actually, he thought, for the fellow to even notice what he had done was a sweet bit of courtesy - relatively speaking...

Iohannes had been in the City for a month now. He had come via Massilia and Milan, a circuitous route dictated by the chain of patronage that had allowed him to come to Rome at all. But he was quite glad for the time spent in Massilia and Milan both: given how much larger and more hectic and somehow more desperate Roma herself seemed to be, those cities had been a valuable bit of learning. Had he not had that time there, he would have been frustrated beyond measure by the grand Urbs itself - and by this time would have been gone back, back, to Gaul or Brittania - or at least to a less-desperate Italian town. But Roma had always been the goal, and here at Roma he was at last.

Out of his rustic bag he took the clean, leaf-wrapped egg that would keep him sated until he either departed or bought a sausage from the hawkers in the afternoon. The munera were to be exceptional today: a host of new gladiators, and - as he had heard - Amazons among them, as well. While he himself had always been a stranger to the games, he considered attending them here to be a civic duty - and a civic education, to boot. Moreover, foolish as it was, he really did have a hankering to see the Amazons this day!

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2009 5:28 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
IC: Medusa waited in the dark tunnel which led into the arena when it was time for her to enter it for her fight against this other woman who was standing next to her. Medusa was clad in the gear of a provocator, that is with a greave on the left leg, a pectorale, manica on the sword arm and a helmet without a crest resembling a legionary helmet with a visor. The provocatores were fighting with scutum (large rectangular shield) and gladius and hence resembling in their kit Roman legionaries. Her opponent was clad the same way as provocatores always fought provocatores while the other gladiator types fought opponents with different weapons.

Medusa was born in Germania Libera but after the Romans went on a punitive expedition against her tribe she was caught and sold as a slave though she fought with a fierceness which must have impressed the Romans. When they brought her to the capital of Germania Superior, Mogontiacum it happened that there was an itinerant gladiator troupe and she was sold by the soldiers to the lanista of this group. She received the basic training like every tiro gladiator and because she was the only woman in that troupe she had to train with the men. She knew that in order to survive she had to be better than her male comrades hence she trained harder and her weapon skills improved very quick. When the troupe traveled to Italia she had her first bout at Verona where she fought against a woman from another itinerant gladiator troupe and she won after a long hard fight. A lanista from a ludus in Rome saw this fight and was very impressed by Medusa fighting so he made an offer to her lanista which he could not resist. So he sold Medusa to the lanista of the Ludus Dacicus, one of the four ludi in Rome. The Ludus Magnus was the most reknowned gladiator school so the lanista of the Ludus Dacicus looked for something extraordinary and Medusa and some other women just seemed appropriate.

So it happened that she was now standing next to her comrade Ursa who was a heavily built women and hence got the arena name bear. Medusa was smaller but a very powerful women and she knew from daily training every move of Ursa. Luckily Ursa was not her cell mate and she thought that Ursa was not the brightest one walking under the sun so she did not have any scruples to fight her. Some couples of tiro gladiators already had fought, from her ludus as well as from the Ludus Magnus but now it was the turn for the first bout of the Amazons: Medusa vs. Ursa. The attendant at the end of the tunnel gave them the sign to prepare for fight so the two women put on their helmets. It was still early afternoon and it was a sunny day so the bright light reflecting from the arena was blinding her the first moment she stepped out of the tunnel onto the sand. Muffled through the helmet she heard the audience cheering but she concentrated only on the task which lay before her, i.e. fighting Ursa and giving a good show. Guided be the summa rudis (head referee) they walked to the middle of the arena and stood facing each other waiting for the summa rudis to raise his stick which he was holding between them and his call "Pugnate!" (Fight!)

Medusa was moving constantly though in very canny movements in order to save energy but she had to be ready to move to either side whenever necessary. Her magister always looked at the footwork of his gladiators, not only the skills with the weapons were necessary but also good movements. Ursa stood at her place and only turned into the direction Medusa was moving but then she suddenly stormed forward to run Medusa over but Medusa just made a step sidewards and blocked Ursa's gladius with her scutum. Ursa tried to move around quickly because she knew her flank was open and that Medusa was quick in stabbing her gladius forward. For some time either Medusa or Ursa tried an attack which was warded off by the other gladiatrix. Medusa could feel that Ursa was getting impatient and wanted to land a hit on Medusa and stormed forward. A wall of scutum was coming towards Medusa and she was getting ready for the impact, strengthening the grip around the handle of her scutum. When Ursa hit Medusa Medusa spun around trying to hold the scutum in place as long as possible and sliced Ursa's back with her gladius. The spin was Medusa's hallmark because being the lighter woman she had no chance to hold against the mass of Ursa. Ursa immediately dropped the scutum and raised her left hand to give the sign of surrender.

The summa rudis stepped between the gladiatrices, whipped his stick between them and yelled "State!" (Stop!) Then he looked up to the editor of the games, it was the Emperor himself, waiting for the sign if Ursa could leave the arena alive or if Medusa had to give her the coup-de-grâce. Medusa was breathing heavily under her helmet and it seemed a very long time before the Emperor finally signalled "live" for Ursa. Arena attendands rushed to the wounded gladiatrix helping her up while Medusa took off her helmet and handed it over together with her scutum to another attendand. Then she run around the arena with a raised gladius and now she had time to enjoy the audience which was cheering to her, stopped before the Emperor's box where she received her prize money. Though she did not win as much as a male star gladiator it was still enough to buy something nice from it and also to made a donation to Mars one of her patron deities, the other being Nemesis.

She left the arena totally exhausted and only a small cut on the upper right thigh needed to be taken care of by the medicus.

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Sun Feb 01, 2009 9:08 pm
by M Sempronia Pulla
OOC: If I stole someone's seat just let me know.

IC: Pulla grimaced as she tugged on the length of the unusually long strophium, a soft linen breastband that she was wrapping around her chest. This wasn’t the first time she had ever bound her chest, made it as flat as a boy’s. Her dominus occasionally made strange demands. Having “his” puellae et pueri cross-dress, switch roles as it were, was one such peculiarity. Now, she wasn’t doing it for him. It was being done for herself and without anyone there to find fault with her. She, a mere ancilla, was alone in the domus of her dominus and had been for several months.

She had been a serva since the age of three. That was when her patrician father—allegedly a man of the Cornelii—made her lot that of her Hebrew mother’s and sold her away. After passing through several hands, both good and bad, she was bought by a Sempronius, and with him she remained, becoming more like a pet than a slave. He had that way about him, the need to have a particular favorite or two until another prettier ancillus or ancilla was discovered.

While she had received baubles from his attentions, the most valuable thing being a golden snake armband with the words dominus ancillae suae [from master to his slave girl] inscribed into it, it was not worth suffering the wrath of her jealous domina. From her came the most severe lashings, prodding, hair pulling and slaps. Any abuse that could be meted out short of extreme mutilation had been done when the dominus was away. It didn’t matter that Pulla really had no amorous feelings for her dominus and would have much rather been left alone to her household duties. The domina had no understanding or sympathy for the fact that Pulla could never say “no.” In the domina’s mind, a serva was base and animalistic in nature—a lesser creature altogether, who, when given an opportunity, would indulge in any number of vices.

As the Fates would have it, Pulla was freed from the abuse the day she fell ill with a fever. The sickness caused her to shake, sweat and vomit. For polluting the house with such a miasma, she was immediately thrown out onto the street, left to die. No sympathy for the once beloved serva. No manumission from the man who lavished her with physical attention. No pass to be resold on the market. Nmoney, no food, no nothing, not even the various presents she had received (she didn’t dare wear when them when the domina was around). With no where to go and much too intimidated by the subura to wander there alone in a weakened state, she lingered by the domus, spending much of her time getting better by slipping into varying states of consciousness on the ground in a filthy alley.

Now, that was just the thing—she got better within a few days. Mercurius did not lead her to the Underworld. And like an abandoned puppy (as that is how she had been conditioned to behave like), she went back to the domus she hated because that was the only place she knew. As much as freedom would be nice, she had no idea how to be free, no idea where to go and how to live.

But whether she knew what to do with freedom or not, freedom is what she got. To her confusion, there was no door servus when she approached the entrance. Odder still was that there seemed to be no sounds coming from inside the domus, something she didn’t have the mind to notice when recovering from the throes of her mysterious illness. Curiosity being what killed the cat and the slave, she went around to the servant’s entrance and slipped inside. Nobody was there. No slaves, no dominus or domina, no children, no people. That’s how it stayed for months at a time. Clients came and quickly went from time to time to check if their patron was in, but for the most part she was alone. On her own whether she liked it or not, she learned as the days passed, how not to be so scared and timid and how to fend for herself, somewhat.

When she was finished wrapping the strophium, she put on a man’s off-white chiton and belted it. Then she slipped on a pair of leather sandals and laced them up. Her disguise was completed with a wide-brimmed straw hat, which hid to the best of its ability her pinned up dark brown hair. All of the items were things she had found around the domus.

With her small stature and youthful face, all and all she looked very young, almost young enough to be still wearing a bulla in her disguise. She was oblivious to that, however, and left the domus with a satchel stuffed with a change of women’s clothes, makeup and accessories, again stolen, in case she needed to ditch the getup. That day was the day she was going to try to see the games. Not being a citizen of Rome and certainly not having a tessera, a ticket, it was a near impossible feat. Slaves were strictly prohibited from entering the Colosseum to watch. Yet, nevertheless, she was going to try to get in anyway.

When she arrived at the amphitheater, she loitered about, trying to see if there was a way to get past the designatores, the ushers. With her hat—the only one her dominus had—she was anything but inconspicuous, making slipping past the designatores trickier. Yet, there came a sliver of an opportunity when a man and his family began to argue with an usher over the sector they were designated to. With one hand on top of her head to hold the hat in place, she made a dash through the archway the second it appeared that everyone was busy with their own concerns. Of course, that wasn’t the case. As soon as she was inside and heading up the steps, an average citizen shouted out. Being quick from years spent running urgent errands, she managed to get a spot in line away from the notice of anyone who heard the protestor, though it was not without being shoved against the wall for cutting in place. “No you don’t,” said the aggressor who didn’t want her going in front of him. That was all well as long as she was in the crowd and no one recognized her.

Once up to the seats, she scanned the area for a spot she could steal. While looking over the heads of the predominantly male crowd, she saw one large man rising. The practical giant—from her perspective—had bumped into the man next to him, which resulted in a comical spilling of wine. She couldn’t help but giggle. Her nerves needed it. As soon as the Titan left, she inched through the aisle and plopped down next to the man with the stained tunica, who was now unwrapping what appeared to be an egg. Realizing her own hunger and feeling suddenly awkward packed in with a bunch of strange men, she eyed the egg enviously. She then lowered her gaze and hunched her shoulders a little, clinging to the strap of her satchel as if her life depended on it, as if at any moment a group of people were going to pounce on her for whatever precious contents were inside. Really, she just needed something to hold on to in order to feel a little secure.

Nervousness and uncertainty yielded to interest when the announcer exclaimed that the Amazons were up and that the first pair of fighters, Medusa and Ursa, were to engage in combat. Female gladiators? She had never heard such a thing, not that she knew much about what went on in the games at all. Deep down she wished it was a woman fighting a man so she could see a man getting his just desserts, but this would suffice. Letting go of her satchel, she let it slip off her shoulder and placed it between her feet on the floor. When the fighters moved to the center of the arena, she clapped until she realized that most of the other men were cheering and gesturing. Quickly correcting herself, she stopped her clapping and waved her fist in the air, trying to shout in her deepest possible voice. Not knowing what to say, she shouted, “Kill her, Medusa!” She picked Medusa to root for arbitrarily. Certainly her name was better than someone called Bear.

A Bookish Sort

PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2009 10:27 am
by Aldus Marius
Quite some distance away from any notion of crowds and blood, a man with the demeanor of a soldier but the garb of a civil servant browsed the bookstalls in the Markets of Trajan. Aldus Marius was making up for lost time; he collected books assiduously now that he finally had someplace to put them.

Marius had always been a reader, and had he taken a different turn he might well have become a noted man of letters. But the life of a Legionary, whether centurio, signifer or miles gregarius, did not lend itself to the building of libraries. For thirty years he had carried only what he could cram into his marching-kit, and later his saddlebags. Anything bulky or vulnerable to the weather had to be ruled out. Even after his service he'd led the sort of life that gets one cognominated Peregrinus; for wander he had, walking and riding the length and breadth of the western Empire, and until last year there had not been any four walls that could contain him.

But that was before his last misadventure in Britannia, when, just after his retirement, he'd had to keep the brothers of his two closest friends from literally going to war...the one had been a Legionary, the other a leader of the resistance. He still didn't know how the whole awkward business turned out; he'd lost three of his dogs on that trip, and then his good cavalry mount had died before they'd reached Massilia, and after so many losses Marius simply didn't have the heart to go on. He saw his friends onto a ship, then turned his feet southward again, wandering aimlessly for once, a mission-oriented man with no idea of what to do next.

He'd fetched up in Roma Mater a year ago, bought an insula with his military pension, rented it out to other veterans and taken a job as a government clerk. It had been dull work at first, almost brain-numbing...but the routine was a comfort, an effective antidote for the upheavals of his old life. He'd discovered new talents, and been noticed for them, and now held a certain amount of responsibility in his department. He was not and had no intention of becoming a Power-that-Be. But he was a damn good clerk.

So now he strolled Trajan's Forum, conveniently located between Trajan's Library and Trajan's Column. He could find books here, including ones the Library no longer needed; pens, inks, scroll-cases, and good-quality Fannian paper for when he got the urge to set down his own story. Whatever his bank balance might be, stories he had in abundance. And he knew that somewhere on the Column, visible from the balcony of the Library, was a carved figure bearing his likeness. Every individual soldier who had taken part in that war was represented on the monument. He hadn't tried to find himself, and maybe he wouldn't. Maybe he'd just wait for someone else to spot his strong features between a helmet and a scutum and do a double-take. Aldus Marius Peregrinus had always enjoyed little surprises like that...

A sudden roar erupted from the distant amphitheatre. Marius could just see it from where he browsed, maybe a forty-minute walk away, but he had no interest in the Games. He'd done enough fighting himself for any stable of gladiators, ridden further than a whole chariot-faction put together, and breathed enough sand and dust in Trajan's other war, the indecisive one in the desert, that the arena had absolutely no appeal.

However, if there were Games today, he did have an extra job to do. Briefly he fingered the large-ish bronze Wolf's-head medallion that hung from a simple cord around his neck. The bookseller noticed, and knew what it meant. "You're off to save the animals again, aren't you, Wanderer?"

"Aye," the veteran replied, "but I've got to round up a few people..."

"Ita," nodded the vendor, and his voice dropped. "The little-known but influential Pax Viridis faction, eh? Bene'st, commilito"--for the bookseller had also served; "you go have your fun. Just...try to stay out of the City Praetor's hands this time, will you?"

"Na, we all know I belong to the Praetor Peregrinus!" Marius grinned, then set out for the Flavian at, appropriately enough, a mile-eating dog-trot...

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:30 am
by Marcus Lupinius Paulus
OOC: Marcus Lupinius Paulus' parents are not in any way based on my real life parents!

IC: The stars were beginning to appear on a beautiful clear night, and Marcus Lupinius Paulus, sitting in the window of room in the top floor of the Insula Lupinia, could hear music coming from the nearby taverna. The temperature was just right, with the slightest breeze blowing by. Paulus raised his cup, took another drink of his mamertine, and thought of what had brought him here, to this time and place.

Marcus Lupinius Paulus was a Roman by birth, but for several years he had lived in the eastern provinces of the empire. The climate suited him well, and the fact that Paulus and his father had not been close made the arrangement even more satisfying. Old Festus had resented Paulus since he had been conceived in the womb of a tavern maid whom Festus had impregnated and abandoned when it began to show. Paulus never knew his mother; she had died very soon after his birth, and it was only a sense of duty which caused Festus to acknowledge the baby as his own, and had saved Paulus from the stigma of bastardy. But there had never been affection. Paulus was raised mostly by women of a families rooming at Festus' insula. In return for caring for the little inconvenience, Festus had cut the rent. But that was about as far as his concern went, until Paulus was a young man. Festus had a few minor connections with the government, and had arranged for young Paulus to be a clerk in an eastern provincial administration. It was in the east that Paulus had met the two loves of his life. One was the city of Alexandria. The other was Arsinoe.

Paulus closed his eyes and tried to not to think of her. But alone in the darkening room, her shade could not be exorcised.

It was shortly after she died that news came of his fathers death. Old Festus had left Paulus an inheritance: a moderate sum of money, and an insula in Trans Tiberim, that part of Rome "across the Tiber". Still in grief, Paulus requested and was granted leave to return to Rome to settle his father's affairs, and perhaps come to terms with the loss in a new environment.

Upon his arrival from Puteoli, Paulus took over his fathers room on the top floor. Why Festus had chosen the most unpopular place in the building to live in was a mystery to all who knew him. But Paulus soon found himself enjoying the luxury of sitting in the window, observing the goings on in the street, and listening to the music from the tavern. He also found to his delight that Trans Tiberim was actually very diverse, with many peoples from the east settling there alongside native Romans and Italians.

The next day, Paulus examined the list of tenants. How many families, how many were behind in their rent, how much income the insula generated for him. He also read a letter his father had left him, and the veiled warning it contained troubled him. "Make friends with muscle", his father had written, "for they may serve you well when the time comes."

On his second full day in Rome, Paulus decided to ease his loneliness and get better aquainted with the city. Rising early, he walked into the streets, and a few hours later found himself buying a ticket to a gladiatoral spectacle in the huge, awe inspiring Flavian Ampitheater. From a vendor he bought a loaf of bread to snack on, and made his way through the crowds to the cheaper seats higher up.

Slightly behind him there was a quick scuffle. Paulus turned to see a young boy with a hat being shoved by a rough looking older man. Apparently, the boy, who was alone, had tried to get past this man , who was not about to let anyone get in front of him! There was something about this boy that kept Paulus' attention. He was all alone, no friends or apparent family with him. He looked somewhat effeminate. No shock there. Paulus had seen lots of those in the east. But he looked scared, and was clutching a satchel so tightly that Paulus wondered if everything this boy had was in that bag.
"No need to be so rough", Paulus wanted to say in rebuke to the aggressor.

The line was moving again, and Paulus took a seat. Ahead of him a large man had bumped into another seated man, causing a wine spillage on his tunic. The hapless victim appeared to be somehwat embarassed, but took it in stride, and Paulus paid no further notice. Then he saw the boy again. The smooth features and eyes, though slightly shadowed over by the hat kept Paulus' attention. The boy cautiously took the seat vacated by the clumsy oaf who had spilled the wine. But he was still clutching that satchel. When the man with the stained tunic took out an egg, Paulus notcied that the boy looked hungrily at it. This boy was poor, obviously. No friends with him. No food. Was he only tring to seek some entertainment from a hard or lonely life? The next pair of gladiators were coming out to the cheers of the crowd. Paulus had heard the master of the games announce something. He was not sure what, but it sounded like these gladiators were female! Now that is something new. He diverted his attention to the match, squinting because his eyes were not much good at perceiving things at a distance.

The match ended, with no deaths. The vanquished was spared. And Paulus decided to leave. Why not? He could not see that well from this distance anyway. He got up to go and cautiously passed by the other spectators sitting in his row.
Getting to the isle, he looked once more at the young boy. Then he looked at his loaf of bread, and smiled. He knew what he wanted to do. "Hey boy!" he called out. A few heads turned, wondering who Paulus was yelling to. "You, boy!" he called again. The lad looked left and then right, and then spotted Paulus. "Catch!", Paulus said as he tossed the small loaf over to the boy. He turned to walk back down to the steps, and laughed to himself, feeling good inside. Perhaps Arsinoe could see this, and would smile at him.

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2009 9:20 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes

Noise, noise, noise. Ah, well; at least he had had salt to enjoy that egg with....

"Ita! Ita, Medusa!" Claudius Iohannes cheered, bellowing as best he could at the sight of the slighter gladiatrix's spinning escape and counter-thrust. "Maxime!" he yelled. Yes, the slighter one, the Medusa, was very good. His own training at arms, oh those many years ago, having been such a failure, it was rare that he could summon much enthusiasm for martial contests - but here he was, rather excited at the match. He noted privately that while he was stirred by the skill and the excitement of the contest, he also found his aging libido was also asserting itself, confusedly stirred up and scandalized by the novelty of attractive young women trying to carve each other up in public, and in professional earnest. Only in Rome ... !

The roar went up again and Claudius Iohannes gave his baritone vent: that was it! The match was decided! The Emperor signalled life for the Ursine gladiatrix, and Iohannes watched the victrix, the Medusa, leave the field. The universal roar of the crowd now seemed to break like a wave upon the rocks, yielding to individual splash and spray, the Flavian sea still swollen, but receding. Iohannes took his seat, his face properly flushed,

And then: "Hey, boy!"

Claudius Iohannes turned - beyond, past the quiet youth who had taken the seat next to him, there was a fellow looking their way and calling out, "Catch!" Now the fellow was lobbing something toward him - Pollux! - something that looked dark, thick and heavy!

But the young fellow beside him gently rose, extended his hands, and caught it lightly, as though it weighed nothing. Iohannes found himself standing, staring down at the youth who was once again seated. Turning his eyes back and forth between his young neighbor and the missile's origin, whose author was now disappearing into the crowd, he said, "Bene, iuvens - Did you know that fellow? What did he throw to you - ?"

Iohannes smiled. A loaf; the kid was eating bread hah! 'Pan volatilis', as it were!

And then Iohannes blushed and grew wooden and sat down. Hmmm. That boy sitting beside him was no boy...! Hmmm.

Recognition and Readiness

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:31 am
by Aldus Marius
OOC: If the whole post is IC, you don't have to label it so. >({|:-)

A few aisles over from Iohannes' other side, Aldus Marius was making his way to his assigned seat. He searched the crowd for either friends or allies; he might need both if there were to be venationes this day. That, and a fast ride out of town; here the memory of his buckskinned Peregrinus panged sharply... A fast ride, and a cranny to duck into for the night. Crannies he had in abundance; anyone who travelled as much as Marius did would have a whole network of guest-houses, of hospitium owed and owing, of friends along the way who would take him in for the night. But Marius wasn't actually anticipating any trouble today; rather, his faction had gathered here for a show of strength, nothing more. Whether it became something more dramatic really depended on the authorities.

Scanning, then, he thought he saw someone he knew. He could never be sure about these things; he had gone mad for a time after sending Draco and Curio on to Britain...and while, several years later, he was very nearly himself again, his ravaged memory did not permit him to be confident about recognising faces. Too, any friend he'd journeyed with before he lost himself would remember him as the half-feral Legionary in the wolfskin cloak. Nowadays he wore a well-kept Equestrian tunic, with a toga on workdays and a light cloak otherwise. His hair was combed, though it always looked a little windswept; he was smoothly shaven; he even smelt nice, all his aches and pains from the army soothed away weekly by bath-house attendants with scented oils. Na, they probably would not recognise him now.

However, the man he'd just spotted resembled a very dear friend indeed; and such was Marius' desire to catch up with this friend that he decided, this time, to take the chance:

"Io! Heia!! Iohanne!!!"

And the old warrior elbowed-and-kneed his way over three rows of swearing spectators to where the other was sitting, hoping he was right this time...

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 05, 2009 10:37 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
OOC: @Marius: If you are waiting for venationes you are definitely too late at the amphitheater because it's already in the afternoon and the gladiators are fighting. Venationes are held in the morning.

Though she had enjoyed the cheering of the crowd Medusa was glad when she left the arena and disappeared in the tunnels again. Her magister was waiting for her and congratulating her for her victory. When he saw her cut on the right thigh he told her to see the medicus to have it taken care of. When she approached the room where the medicus was she heard screams of pain and assumed that it must be Ursa. She was about to leave again when a young assistant to the medicus saw her and noticed her little wound and showed her into another room. After he had cleaned the wound and wrapped a bandage around it she walked back to the changing room where a slave helped her to take off the pectorale and the manica. She kept the strophium and the subligaculum on and just slipped over a tunica which she tied with a tablet woven belt. This belt was the only item which she still had from her old live in Germania Magna, it was a work by her sister who was very talented at handicrafts while she, Medusa, never enjoyed these typical women's work. She didn't know what happened to her sister but she assumed she had been sold into slavery as well and was serving somewhere as a household slave.

Suddenly she realized how thirsty she was and left the changing room trying to find somewhere in this labyrinth underneath the amphitheater something to drink.

Wolf in the Fold?

PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:24 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
Claudius Iohannes invoked Minverva and outlandish Shamash both, seeking both to recover from his surprise and to render his mind cool, receptive and impartial. He was about to rehearse some philosophical platitudes to himself before he gently interrogated the young 'fellow' beside him, when there was yet another bit of noise from across the aisle.

"Io! Heia! Iohanne!"

Although the recognition was instant, logic kept him in disbelief for a few moments more - for it sounded just like - Marius, the Wolfish Wanderer! With a pleasant thrill, Iohannes rose and cried back, "Deos Inmortales, quo modo heic, Marii, venisti?!? By the Gods, Marius, how in heck did you get here?! Hah! Marius in Rome!"

Alas, it was just at this time that Iohannes's erstwhile bench-neighbor, the large fellow, arrived back again, looking for his seat. "Say," he said, that former bland deference fading fast, "where's my seat? Who's this? Out, boy - out! Or I'll call the designator up here to remove you!"

It was at this moment that Claudius Iohannes decided that his day at the munera had blossomed in just too many strange ways, and so,as Marius was approaching, Iohannes turned to the hefty former bench-neighbor, saying, "Citizen, please! Have my seat, and enjoy the games! For the afternoon sun doesn't always agree with me! Please!" Turning then to the newer bench-warmer, he said, "Come, boy -- yes, you -- come along!" With the large man frowning them off and away, Iohannes did his best to look unconcerned. He ushered the young 'man' out to the aisle where Marius was waiting. The two men clasped hands and embraced briefly:

"Come, Alde Marii, let's away - and you, too, young fellow. It's time for some wine - or whatever you drink - and some relief from the crowd! Marii, it seems my circle of friends is growing wider and wider this afternoon - the Gods are busy!"

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 9:18 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
[OOC] Salvete, conlusores -

Say, we had a nice start, but there's not much happening at the RP this weekend! Is everyone just busy, or did I manage to short-circuit everyone else's character-plans?

I was thinking that: The venationes are over, even tho they drew Marius to the Colosseum;, Marius marked out Iohannes in the crowd and sought contact; Iohannes and Pulla were imminently in contact of some kind; Medusa had finished her bout and was free; Paulus had just left the Colosseum, so he too was free - to me it all points to a meeting of the characters! Thus my post.

Yes, I've been enjoying this exercise!

Optime valete.

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 6:46 am
by Marcus Lupinius Paulus
Descending the steps, Marcus Lupinius Paulus stopped. Something inside of him was reluctant to continue on his walking excursion just yet. He looked back over his shoulder. Perhaps he should go back up and see if the youngster was enjoying the loaf of bread? Or should he explore outside the ampitheater in case the gladiatrix should appear. He had been told that sometimes victorius gladiators would appear outside to receive cheers from the crowd, some of whom would press forward to touch them for good luck.

"I guess I will go out and hail the champion", he thought to himself as he continued descending the steps.

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Wed Feb 11, 2009 7:19 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Nowhere in this damn amphitheater was a jug of water or posca to be found. On her search for something drinkable Medusa bumped into her magister who just walked back from watching a fight of a tiro provocator of the Ludus Dacicus against a gladiator of the Ludus Magnus who had won one fight so far. Both had fought so well that they left the arena stantes missi (i.e. they fought to a draw) so he was in a good mood and surely allowed Medusa without any hesitation to leave the amphitheater. He only asked her to return at night to the ludus.

She tried to find a way out without being noticed by any spectators who might see her appearing from the subterranean tunnels and therefore knowing she was a gladiator. Like when she entered the arena she was blinded by the bright sunlight when she stepped out of the shade. She was pretty sure that nobody would recognize her because she had not the typical Germanic appearance with blonde hair which was so much admired by the Romans that they cut if off of her Germanic slaves to make wigs out of it. If her sister, who was a blonde, had bad luck, she had short hair now. Medusa had auburn hair but her bright blue eyes often caught the attention of people seeing her up-close.

She walked over the plaza in front of the amphitheater trying to think where it was most likely to find a tavern. Either she had to walk towards the Forum Romanum or the Imperial Fora or turn the opposite direction walking to the subura.

Re: Recognition and Readiness

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 6:28 am
by Aldus Marius
> "Deos Immortales, quo modo heic, Marii, venisti?!? ...Hah! Marius in Rome!"

"On Scaevola and Dexter, same as always," the Wanderer smiled, indicating his left and right foot respectively, "and mostly under the auspices of my Wolf-cloak." He smoothed his tunic under him before he sat. "Ita, I've still got that; but they don't let me wear it at work, so I finally broke down and bought me some civvies. You like...?"

> ..."where's my seat? Who's this? Out, boy - out! Or I'll call the designator up here to remove you!"

Marius, believing Iohannes to be under threat, glared at the burly stranger with the look of thunderstorms. He knew he could take this man, but guessed that, between his rough looks and his civilian rank, intimidation ought to suffice. "I *am* the damn designator, or as close to it as you're going to see in this section," he said coldly. "Now go back to your farmstead and grow some manners, before I knock you into a seat that actually fits."

> Iohannes turned to the hefty former bench-neighbor, saying, "Citizen, please! Have my seat, and enjoy the games...!"

"Spoilsport," Marius smirked; he never got to have any fun in this town...

> "Come, Alde Marii, let's away - and you, too, young fellow. It's time for some wine - or whatever you drink - and some relief from the crowd!"

...but he was more than receptive to his amicus' suggestion that they depart. "Ita, mi Iohanne; I'm surprised you recognised me in this getup, as we both are to find each other in the City, and I'm sure we've got some explaining to do!" He grinned widely, helped Iohannes and his young companion out into the aisle, and left the large man sputtering as he settled into his old seat after all, with a look on him that said, Now what was *that* all about?

Before they had quite cleared the amphitheatre, Marius paused and fingered his Wolf-pendant, seemingly idly. His eyes were on the benches across the arena from where he stood. He looked for, and got, maybe two dozen answering flashes, staggered so as to seem random; and left the premises thinking that the afternoon sun agreed very well with him indeed...

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 12, 2009 5:29 pm
by M Sempronia Pulla
The fight between Medusa and Ursula was certainly entertaining, but it was a little hard for Pulla to enjoy when her stomach was rumbling. With a heavy sigh, she remained sitting, unlike many of the other spectators, and simply played with the edge of her chiton, rubbing it back and forth between her fingers. She tried to push the ever-familiar hunger pains out of her mind. She was used to not being able to eat when she was hungry, but the fig snack she had last night had broken the hunger-routine. She was now going through the phase of feeling starved before it would plateau out and become more manageable.

As the crowd cheered, there came a single voice, one that managed to break through the dissonance, snatching her attention.

"Hey boy!"

Pulla furrowed her eyebrows and looked down at the crown of the bald man sitting in front of her before she glanced across the arena to the colorful spectators on the other side. She had an uncanny feeling that the voice was referring to her but she couldn't be sure. She wasn't a boy...oh wait!

"You, boy!"

She glanced to her left then to her right before sensing that someone's eyes were on her back. Reluctantly, she turned around, biting her lip as she hoped it was not someone that was going to kick her out. The voice didn't sound threatening or impatient in its tone, though. After scanning the crowd, her gaze fell upon a man of a dignified stature, someone that radiated an aura of experience, a man whom she had seen when she had stolen a place in line. He held in his hand a small loaf of bread and strangely, she could predict his next move even though it was practically unheard of for her to receive such charity. Quickly, she rose to her feet.


Her prediction was right and as the loaf sailed through the air, she extended her arms, catching it and cradling it to her flattened chest as if it were a swaddled child. To her surprise, the man continued on his way down the steps. "Th -thank you!" she called out to the stranger, grateful for his random act of kindness, wondering how he knew she was famished. Sitting back down, she brought the whole loaf to her mouth and bit off a chunk so large that she when she chewed she looked like a chipmunk with its cheek stuffed with nuts. That's when the man with the stained tunic next to her spoke.

"Bene, iuvens - Did you know that fellow? What did he throw to you - ?"

Looking up at the standing man, she shook her head in the negative and held up the loaf of bread for him to see. Then, not wanting to be rude, she held out her hand, palm to him, to signal for the man to wait, and tugged off a considerable chunk of the bread for him even though she had seen him eat an egg. Sharing her rations to children and other less fortunate slaves had become something so habitual that even among adult citizens and those far well-off than she, she could not hoard her acquisition. Before he could respond to her offer, though, he sat down, almost stiffly, a flush painting his cheeks. Strange, she thought, wondering why the sudden change in his demeanor. "Sir?" she said. For a second he seemed to be contemplating something—the man wearing the mask of a thinker—when there came an interruption that distracted him, took his attention away from whatever occupied his mind and the offered piece of bread (which he scarcely noticed at all).

"Io! Heia!! Iohanne!!!"

The man, who she connected to the name Iohannes eagerly stood up and turned around, responding to the caller. They were clearly familiar with one another, possibly old friends, so she minded her own business. She stuffed the piece of bread she had been holding for Iohannes into her satchel to offer it to him at a later time, if he was still around and she remembered. Just as things seemed to settle back to normal, see saw the Giant returned in the corner of her eye. To play it cool, she tilted her wide-brimmed hat down over her face, hoping that by some childish miracle if she couldn't see him, he wouldn't see her. Suffice to say, it didn't work.

"Say, where's my seat? Who's this? Out, boy - out! Or I'll call the designator up here to remove you!"

Chewing what piece of bread was in her mouth slowly, she hunched down and was about to apologize when another man intervened on her behalf.

"I *am* the damn designator, or as close to it as you're going to see in this section. Now go back to your farmstead and grow some manners, before I knock you into a seat that actually fits."

What a day for favors from strangers! It made her believe that she needed to go out more if everyone was so kind...well except those that instigated her. But, she realized, if he was the designator then he would know she wasn't supposed to be in the theater at all. Confused as to how to proceed, she remained as small as possible. That's when Iohannes also acted when the Giant began to turn red in the face.

"Citizen, please! Have my seat, and enjoy the games! For the afternoon sun doesn't always agree with me! Please!"

"Spoilsport," smirked the newcomer, whose name she didn't catch because she didn't think she needed to. He sure did smell good, though, the aroma of oils wafting all the way over to where she sat.

As she was breathing in the smell, Iohannes turned to her and spoke. "Come, boy –"

Snapping herself back to reality, she glanced at him from under her hat with a slight tilt of her head.

"Yes, you -- come along!"

Now, going off with strangers wasn't something she was particularly used to doing, but for starters, both he and his friend had helped her. And there seemed nothing threatening about him. The other man seemed more imposing, but in the military sort of way. Rising from her seat, she stuffed the remainder of the bread into her satchel—crumbs falling everywhere—and with it slung over her shoulder she inched her way past the sitting spectators, taking the hand of the man with the nice hair to help her along into the aisle. Hanging back, she let the men have their time, feeling like a third wheel but nevertheless quite used to it and so not bothered. Old ways were hard to kill even with the amazing amount of freedom she now possessed.

"Come, Alde Marii, let's away - and you, too, young fellow. It's time for some wine - or whatever you drink - and some relief from the crowd! Marii, it seems my circle of friends is growing wider and wider this afternoon - the Gods are busy!"

Marius. The other man's name was Marius. She tried her best to remember that and the name Iohannes. It was always tricky getting names right when she just met people.

Descending the steps behind the men she peeped out, "I drink wine!" although was not very loud. She didn't want to reveal the feminine pitch to her voice. While wine was something she didn't get as a slave except during the Saturnalia, she was able to help herself to it during the extended absence of both masters and slaves.

Suddenly feeling the need to show her appreciation for getting her out of a tricky situation, she hopped down a few steps to get ahead of the men and said, "Thank you. Thank you for the...helping with the seat problem...situation." Feeling awkward for how much she was reminding herself of her slave days, she stopped on the stairs and looked down, avoiding eye contact. Stop being so meek, she thought. They don't know you. Taking a deep breath, she continued down the stairs and saw the man that gave her the bread. "Thank you, sir!" She couldn't stop it even though she had thanked him once already, she realized.

Squeezing the strap of her satchel, she wondered where the men were going and what she was going to be getting into. In the meantime, she figured some small talk couldn't hurt. Trying her best to deepen her voice, she asked, "Where are you men from? You both have nice clothing, stains aside. What do you two do?"

An Open Mind (or maybe just one with holes in it)

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 5:10 am
by Aldus Marius
[OOC: Bap me if I'm jumping ahead...!]

For the first time, Marius really looked at the youth whom Iohannes had brought along from the amphitheatre. He knew immediately what she was; you didn't serve a hitch at a recruiting-station without learning all the tricks, and this was one of the more obvious ones. Not that he held that against the girl. Indeed, to his way of thinking, who wouldn't rather serve in the Legions than be bound to the life of even the finest housewife? The fine ones had servants for everything, and so never knew the pleasure and self-respect that came with accomplishing something with their own hands. The humble ones...they worked, all right; but not doing anything every other married woman wasn't doing. What on earth did they talk about? Husbands, children? And then what?

On balance, the only women he had ever felt comfortable with were the sturdy middle-class ones who taught school or ran their own shops. Practical, sensible, not concerned with conforming to societal expectations, and plain-spoken as himself; they did what they did--what they chose to, or what they had to--to make life work. These he could talk to. They had the same kinds of days, and Marius was always open to talking shop. Maybe the "lad" could use some capital to start a business? But first she had to be comfortable in her own skin...

Once they'd cleared the throngs trying to catch a glimpse of the Games from outside the arena, Marius steered the group towards one of the better cauponae in the area. Halting a little ways from it, he gazed at the youth, not unkindly. "I had a recruit once who was a lot like you," he began gently. "Small, soft-spoken, unfailingly polite. Very modest; didn't much go in for partying in the barracks after-hours. Always slept in the stables with the horses--the lighter soldiers make the best cavalry troopers, you know, and their mounts go the extra mile for them. Worth five Spaniards in the field, or fifteen of anybody else. the time the Legate figured out she was a girl, she was too valuable to lose, so we kept her. For twelve years." He quirked a grin, a hint of merriment reaching his eyes.

"Would you like to join the Cavalry? --I see you've already got your saddlebag packed. Or maybe you're thinking of making a life for yourself closer to home. Or, if Rome doesn't agree with you...why, I know duumviri in every single decent-sized town on this side of the Danuvius. But first, let's pledge ourselves to clear air and honesty. Your own case aside, I'm a lousy guesser, and life confuses me enough as it is."

> "Where are you men from? You both have nice clothing, stains aside. What do you two do?"

Now the veteran turned to his companion and said, "Ita, mi Iohanne--what *are* you doing these days? I'll let you tell both of us while I'm working out how to explain myself...!" By now his grin was broad, and his dark eyes practically brimming with mischief.

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 9:23 am
by Marcus Lupinius Paulus
Paulus eased his way through the throng crowding the main entrance of the ampitheater, people leaving, people entering, people loitering.

He emerged into the plaza, and spotted the landmarks he had chosen to guide him back to Trans Tiberim when he decided to go home. Now where do people go to see the gladiators, if they ever came out at all. Perhaps if he only walks around the building he would see a small crowd of people waiting around a subterranean entrance.

Now seriously, though Paulus often enjoyed watching races, he was never too enthused about gladiatoral combats. But he was in Rome again, and it might be good to be interested in what the others were interested in. But there was another reason. The warning to "make friends with muscle" in the letter from his father uneased him a small bit. And gladiators were certainly muscle. And what harm could come from...

That was when he spotted her. No longer dressed as a gladiator, but as a woman. A leaner, more musclular woman. The arms were perfectly toned and athletic. His nearsightedness kept him from seeing the contest very well from up in the seats, but the build of the woman he saw strolling out into the plaza was not easly mistaken. Plus, she walked with a purpose, not slow and leaisurely as the matrons of the upper class often did. This woman looked like one who made a habit of moving fast, always with a goal in mind.

Paulus moved at a qick step, half jogging, coming up behind the woman on her right side. "Ave!", he called as he arrived at her side. "Hail champion! Congratulations on your victory! I'm Marcus Lupinius Paulus, newly returned to Rome. I own an insula across the river, and would be honored to buy you a drink or two or three!"

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 8:38 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Medusa turned around startled when she noticed that someone stepped next to her and greeted her with the words:

"Ave! Hail champion! Congratulations on your victory! I'm Marcus Lupinius Paulus, newly returned to Rome. I own an insula across the river, and would be honored to buy you a drink or two or three!"

She saw a handsome man smiling at her and thought quickly what would be his intention to invite her to a drink or two. She feared that she might be obliged to something she didn't want so she replied hesitantly blushing: :oops:

"Uuumm, I'm surprised you recognize me, I thought nobody would recognize me outside of the arena... I thank you for your invitation, stranger. Indeed I'm looking for a place to have a drink, but since I haven't been out of the ludus that much I don't know really where to go. Maybe you could show me a good caupona where we could have a good wine and you pay for the first cup and I pay for the second."

She wasn't sure if that was against Roman conventions, but she assumed since she was a lower class woman - even the lowest of the low since gladiators where considered as infamis - it didn't matter really if she stuck to Roman conventions or not. Also she was pretty sure that he could hear her Germanic accent so he knew she was not a Roman but a peregrina.

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:15 am
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
> "Where are you men from? You both have nice clothing, stains aside. What do you two do?"
> Now the veteran turned to his companion and said, "Ita, mi Iohanne--what *are* you doing these days? I'll let you tell both of us while I'm working out how to explain myself...!" By now his grin was broad, and his dark eyes practically brimming with mischief.

Claudius Iohannes looked over at the playful old soldier, saying, "Bene est, mi Marii, I shall speak first. But if," he continued, smiling, "like Boreas, I blow over much, I would have you remember who requested me to speak!

"Young one - for I don't think I shall call you 'son'," he began, straightening his stained tunic, "I am, in a word, Valerius Claudius Iohannes, a man of double-nomina, a sometime scribe, sometime disciple, sometime pedagog, and (I must confess) something of a nugator, and yet a half-inititiate of multiple sects and schools.

"To be still more concise," he went on, "I would say to you, quite simply, that I am the son of Karafert Valerius Iohannes, a Citizen by virtue of his long legionary service, and Ruboria Dumnis, a lady of Britannia, and so a Citizen myself; I am in addition a client and student of my esteemed patron, Gaius Claudius Comatus, an Eques of nearer Gaul; and in my present circumstances, a pilgrim to Rome and now a follower of the philosopher Epimetrius Verus, a Greek master but a Citizen, currently resident in Rome, as well.

"And yet to be simultaneously both more nebulous, and yet more specific and pointed," the gray-haired Iohannes went on, "suffice it to say that I am a Spirit in Discord enthralled by a Love of Order. Now, if this our meeting runs a felicitous course, and we remain friends hereafter, I expect you will know eventually know far more than you might wish to! But that will be as Iuppiter wills.

"And so my particulars. Now, young one, I think in return, and especially now in the pleasant hubbub of this caupona - an excellent place, mi Marii; I've been here once before! - you owe us some particulars of your own, or at least an introduction to your gracious self."

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Thu Feb 26, 2009 11:38 pm
by Valerius Claudius Iohanes
The caupona was lively - but their corner of it was sheltered from the worst of the mere noise. Iohannes regarded the boy - well, the girl - at the table with them. She remained quiet, tacit, and Iohannes wondered if he had put her too much on the spot. She was obviously disguised - well not so obviously, truth be told; she was disguised rather well; but now he wondered if she might well have reasons for maintaining the gender fiction, reasons that were more dire than he had imagined.

He had no wish to complicate her situation. She seemed to him a bit rough in her manners but by nature courteous, a pleasing combination. And he felt her to be vibrant but kind-hearted, qualities which were ever to be treasured in one's friends! And thinking so, he coughed a little (though none could have heard it amid the caupona's hubbub) and said:

"Alde Marii, I fear that I may have made our guest ill at ease. Perhaps if i ask you to speak, instead - Mehercule, if anyone has a story to tell, it will be you!

"As I recall, we last saw each other during a storm, in Gallia, in a vile but at that moment dry and welcome little inn, just outside of - Lutetia, was it not? That town on that island in the middle of the river Sequana. Or am I getting my geography confused again? I swear, there is a bit of the divine in our paths having crossed as often as they have!"

Re: New RP Thread!

PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 8:08 am
by Marcus Lupinius Paulus
Paulus smiled and shook his head. "It has been years since I've been here. There is a place on the Vicus Gemini where my insula is, but that is too far a walk for a drink. Still, these people have to feel a thirst after shouting themselves hoarse at the games. I suggest we follow the crowd, and..."

It was then he spotted an establishment at the far end of the plaza, with a decoration of a cluster of grapes and a cup over the doorway.

"Never mind! I think our search is at an end!", Paulus said as he gently took her elbow and turned her towards the tavern.

They entered the cool shade of the tavern, and noted the several amphorae leaning against the wall behind a counter. Each one was marked with a sign designating what kind of wine was inside. "Let's see...mamertine...rhaetic..." He spotted an amphora which had no label. "Excuse me please", he asked a large, burely looking man behind the counter, "but what is that?"
The man looked where Paulus was pointing. "What, no label? Uh, that is pramnian. Ever tried?"
"No, never". Paulus looked at his new companion. "You? No"?
The man poured a small amount into a cup and offered it to Paulus. "Try!"
Paulus took the cup, held it to his nose, and from the smell feared what might happen next. He took a sip, squinted his eyes, and forced himself to swallow. "Owwwwww!" The gladiatrix had an amused smile her face. "Did he say that was called pramnian, or donkey piss?" He offered the sample to Medusa if she wanted to try. "I wouldn't drink that if I were you!"
"Ok, so you don't like", the man said, "Now what do you like?"
"Well, I guess for myself, some rhaetic....though I suppose it would be hoping against hope that you would have something from Alexandria."
The man grinned, moved two amphorae out of the way, revealing another one. Paulus looked at the label.
"Oh my...tell me I am not dreaming! It can't be! Is that Mareoticum???
"Straight from Egypt" was the reply.
"Well my man", said a very pleasantly surpsied Paulus, "I will have a cup of that, and my friend here will have whatever she likes. Though I do say that if she wants to experience profound spiritual joy, she might ask for the same!"

They found a table and sat. "First off, I never let women but me drinks. They might take advantage of me! So I'll take care of that. And don't are under no obligation! Besides, I would never attempt to take advantage of a woman who wields a gladius. And now, if you don't mind, tell me your story. I am most intereested to know how you came to be here in Rome."