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The year is 73 AD, one hundred years after the founding of the Principate. Emperors have risen and fallen, wars have been waged, and the Roman Empire finds itself in the tenth year of Emperor Quintus Flavius Caesar Alexander Augustus, whose rule has proved strong and prosperous after a period of relative instability. However, the empire is changing; new philosophies and ideas threaten to compete with Rome’s most ancient traditions, rumors are whispered of tension along the empire’s boarders, and, as always, ambitious men and women seek to make their own mark in history. Where will you fit in? And will you survive a world where lust, treachery, and greed runs thick, or will your name fade into the recesses of history?
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 What a Handsome Man, If Only Thelonius was Prepared
Leticia Egyptus
 Posted: May 31 2018, 07:41 PM
Quote
Freedman
Twenty-five Years Old
Bamboo
domus venus
prostitute
Feigning romance is perhaps easier than drinking wine for me.


February 73AD
Red Light District

Leticia had the evening off, and she decided: She was going to browse some wares, and get some food! Working at Domus Venus had many perks, and the best ones of all were the discounts. Of course, they weren't anything special, but that was still better than none. The more money Leticia could save while spoiling herself: The better! The lady was just in the Red Light District sauntering around, thinking about what the meal of the day would be. Some lamb? Maybe a special bread?

The woman was just letting her feet do the walking as she thought merrily about dinner time. Of course, Leticia was out on a mission: She needed some new hair accessories, the ribbons she had were starting to fray, and a few of her combs have become lackluster compared to the current trends among courtesans. Oddly, she felt rather powerful today in her lovely olive green palla, and tunic of a light blue with yellow trimming. She had tied some ribbon on the tunic's sleeves around her wrists, to highlight the rings on her hand, and the bracelet that had emeralds on her left. A rare piece that she adored, and as she sashayed, lost in thought: Her eyes randomly zoned in on a particular someone.

A very, very tall man stood out like a sore thumb. These broad shoulders further solidified his size, and she even paused, moving out of traffic to stare. She had seen him somewhere, somewhere... Leticia started tapping her pinky with the opposite hand as she tried to place him. Her brown eyes fixed on that short, wavy hair now. It was such a lovely color, and ah-hah! Like a light went off, Leticia knew who he was all of a sudden. Oh, serves him right for showing up at last! She had wondered if he died.

She pinched her cheeks, trying to bring some rosey hue to them, and then touched her hair. It was braided around the crown of her head, with a tail of curls going down the nape of her neck. Sauntering up to the man, she stood in front of him, leaning in on tip toes, "If it isn't Proculus! My stars, it's been such an ever long time," she purred, looking up into the man's face. Yikes! He had gotten himself really beat up this time. He had a nasty scar on his forehead. She frowned for a moment, but replaced it with her smile. As if that matters! "You haven't come and seen me in so long. I was worried you had died." With a pout, she moved beside the man, so they could walk together.

Leticia draped herself across his muscular, thick arm squealing on the inside about her good luck! Porculus was a rich man, not an amazingly rich one: But still one of her wealthier clients. He'd probably have gifted her a good chunk of her jewelry now that she thought about it. "Why don't you escort me? It'll be free of charge, this time," a giggle bubbled from her throat as she clung to the man. Leticia was all smiles!

Thelonius || Feel free to let me know if anything needs to be updated/changed!
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Thelonius
 Posted: Jun 1 2018, 05:08 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
Why make it easy?


It was funny, really. Thelonius frowned as he traced his steps back to the nearest division of streets, looking down one before turning slightly to peer down the other. All around him, the crowds swelled, parted, then came together again just behind him, seamlessly flowing past him as if he was a mere hiccup in the current, nothing more. A furrow appeared between his brows, one hand reaching up to rub surreptitiously at the back of his neck.

He knew the arena better than he did the ludus; he knew where each and every step he took would place him, knew how to adapt for the slide and shift of sand, move with the quake of the crowds as their feet pounded out thunder that shook the very ground he fought on. He knew which side he was on, left or right, by the markings that glanced across the rounded walls. He knew how best to kill a man, how best to make it look like he was, how to draw out and magnify the anticipation in the air until it was a hair’s breadth away from snapping. He knew how to do all that… and yet he still could not find his way through this Gods bedamned warren of a city without having to backtrack at least half a dozen times.

It was so very difficult to admit that he was lost, again!, even within the privacy of his own mind. He should not have shrugged free of the guard meant to watch over him… As irritating as that was, perhaps it had not been just to ensure that he did not suddenly snap and then murder every Roman in sight. He sighed, knowing that he would have to give the man — if he ever found his way out of this maze — a grudging apology.

Thelonius was in the process of figuring out just where in the hell he was when someone slipped in far too close for comfort and then planted themselves directly in front of him. He took a reflexive step back, tensing, remembering at the last possible moment that he was outside. In the open. With people that were not gladiators or trying to kill him. He forced his arm down, uncurling his fingers one by one. A breath to clear his head — then, he blinked. And blinked again.

It was a woman. A very pretty woman. And she was smiling at him. He kept blinking at her, not quite able to grasp what she was saying. Was she speaking to him? A quick, furtive glance around showed him that yes, yes she was speaking to him… but what was wrong with her eyes? They were smudged with something dark and black… it did not quite look like a bruise… She did… something… then, a slight turn of her shoulders, a half step as she sidled up next to him. The lush curve of breast and hip somehow ended up pressed against his arm as the crook of his elbow was now supporting part of her weight. How did she do that? Thelonius was too dumbfounded to do anything other than blink at her again. She just smiled up at him again.

A sudden shake of his head and he tried to disentangle himself from olive green, light blue, waist, and leg. “Do not touch me,” he said gruffly, not wanting to hurt the woman. “Please,” he added as an afterthought. “I am not this Proculus. And what happened to your eyes?” That last part had not meant to be voice out loud, but he was so flustered that it blurted past his lips before he could stop himself.

Leticia Egyptus
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Leticia Egyptus
 Posted: Jun 2 2018, 07:16 PM
Quote
Freedman
Twenty-five Years Old
Bamboo
domus venus
prostitute
Feigning romance is perhaps easier than drinking wine for me.


She was too busy giggling, and grinning like an idiot out of pleasure with herself to notice his voice was completely wrong. It wasn't until he asked, or to her ears, exclaimed, "And what happened to your eyes?” Leticia stopped in her tracks for a moment, and looked up at him with an incredulous expression. Who the fuck was this? After staring back up at him, slack jawed for a moment she shrugged it off.

"What do you mean what happened to my eyes? Of course, I just spiced them up a little!" she gave a warm smile, batting her lashes, as she gripped a little tighter. "You certainly sound nothing like Proculus, but you look like such a strong man like him! Are you a general? Or," her eyes ran up and down his body rather quickly twice before resting on his eyes, "Are you a gladiator?" She whispered the last word, with a grin on her face.

She was mostly joking about that last one, as it wasn't too common for her to see them outside of the Colosseum, but he was just so much more muscular than the average Roman man! Leticia had nearly forgotten her manners, "Since it seems you don't know me yet, let me fix that. I am Leticia Egyptus, and you can come see me anytime at Domus Venus! Of course, I will still request you accompany me. There's only so much a lady can do on her own," she gave a quick pout, before returning to walking towards the stalls for clothing, jewelry, and other accessories. Leticia was trying to mentally place him, but sadly, faces were not her strong suit at all, and really: She mostly used body shape, posture, hair, and voice to determine who someone was. Often, it would take several meetings before she could properly remember them.

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Thelonius
 Posted: Jun 4 2018, 01:44 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
Why make it easy?


Of course she just spiced them up a little. Naturally. With… well, whatever it was that she had used around her eyes. How was it not obvious! Thelonius floundered as she turned that smile on him again, looking desperately for something — anything — to say so she would let go of his arm. Short of prying her fingers loose, which would result in him losing the first several layers of his skin, or shrugging free of his tunic and bolting like a wild man down the street, he was trapped.

He blinked again, staring at her as a series of high pitched sounds came like chimes from somewhere behind her throat. Of course he sounded nothing like Proculus, seeing as he was not this Proculus. The murmillo’s jaw set stubbornly, indignation ghosting at the corners of his mouth. And he doubted very much that the man she was referring to looked anything like him; he was a gladiator, thank you very much, not… not… whatever the fuck Proculus was.

Thelonius started to answer but was cut off as the bubbly woman spoke again. He forgot how to use his words all together as he heard Domus Venus. Gods below… he reared back, panicked, not liking the way her gaze raked over the entirety of his body. Of all the places he could have wandered into… no no no no. He quickly stammered out unintelligible syllables, flushing darkly. The heat stained his chest and shoulders a mottled pink before sweeping up along his neck, painting his cheeks and the bridge of his nose a very bright, happy red.

What was she doing— he let out a muffled curse and was forced to take a step forward, then another, as he was suddenly overbalanced. Too stunned to do anything but follow in her wake, he grudgingly began walking with her or risk being pulled flat onto his face. He could not help but wonder if she would simply continue tugging him merrily along even then, his nose gradually being worn down to a nub by the streets.

Leticia did not seem at all perturbed. He tried to jostle his arm free, but to no avail. Light in heaven. He rubbed at the back of his neck with his free hand, ignoring the knowing looks from passersby as they recognized him. Or her. Thelonius groaned quietly and wanted nothing more than to find a nice little hole to crawl in and hide there until this all passed.

“I did not come here looking for company,” he tried to explain as enough of his wits finally came together for partially coherent thought. “I got lost… and I was trying to find my way back… I am not a general.” That idea alone was preposterous. “I am indeed a gladiator.” He hesitated briefly. Perhaps she had heard of him, perhaps not. It was not like he could simply fade into the crowd at any rate. “I am Thelonius.” He frowned at the stalls they passed, taking any chance at all to look elsewhere, be distracted by the assortments of glittering objects, the sheen of fine cloth. “Why do you want me to accompany you? What you… do… and what you… wear… are not my area of expertise.”

Leticia Egyptus
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Leticia Egyptus
 Posted: Jun 4 2018, 09:49 PM
Quote
Freedman
Twenty-five Years Old
Bamboo
domus venus
prostitute
Feigning romance is perhaps easier than drinking wine for me.


Leticia was humming to herself, eying the goods around them as they walked. She still was giggling ever so slightly over his reaction to learning what she did for a living. After some time, he stated how he was actually just a poor, lost gladiator!

Leticia looked up at him curiously. "You? Lost? Well, how about this," she bumped her side with him, "You can walk around with me for a little while, and I will show you how to get back. I will be more than happy to be your guide, Thelonious!" She grinned and gave an awkward curtsy.

The woman tapped her pinky with the pointer finger of the arm looped around his. She couldn't place his name, and to be fair: She just wanted someone to talk to as she shopped. She didn't exactly have friends she could do this with. "You have eyes, don't you? Your eyes will be very useful. Besides, I like having someone to talk to. I think the sellers also prefer it, as well, otherwise: I sometimes annoy them with my questions."

A chatty mood was always something she struggled to reason, and deal with when shopping. They got near to where a seller was displaying strips of lovely fabric that she could make into several scarves for head-dresses. "Oh, Thelonius! Look at these, aren't they lovely?" she unhooked herself to touch the fabric. Most were cotton, but there were even a few silk! Alas, she wouldn't be able to get the silk today, but she touched it longingly. Leticia decided to grab a golden one, that had blue dye mixed in with it in some parts, done so nicely that it did not turn green until it was the edges. "Do you think I could pull this one off?" She held it up to her hair, and pushed back some of her palla, so her hair was fully exposed in it's braided glory. She twirled for Thelonious before asking the merchant how much the scarf was. She also demonstrated a lovely pink scarf.

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Thelonius
 Posted: Jun 5 2018, 01:44 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
Why make it easy?


It was an odd thing to find himself wishing he was back in the arena again, but as Leticia chatted away at him, Thelonius was hard pressed not to simply bolt through the nearest opening between bodies and to hell with getting himself further lost. Piss on it, it would not even be that difficult for him to make an opening through the crowd.

And yet, he did not.

He said very little, though that did not seem to bother her at all. The tall man allowed himself to be pulled and tugged along, the dainty arm locked through his like a vice. It was baffling why he did not simply break free.

Yet he did not. Instead, his gaze obediently went to where she pointed, look at this shiny thing! or what did he think of this pretty cloth? and did he think she could pull this one off? He fought back the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose. Pull what off that one? he wanted to ask her, exasperated, not seeing any sorts of loose threads or tassels or anything remotely similar. There was nothing there to pull off! He eyed her warily as she spun in front him, the thick braided hair catching the lights from the street and stalls. Somehow, he did not think actually pulling things was what she meant.

Gods below, he was so confused.

Thelonius rubbed at the back of his neck again. He looked at Leticia. Then he looked at the golden fabric she held between her hands, posing it next to her face and hair. A pink one came next, as she turned to the merchant. Thankful for the brief respite, the gladiator chewed on the inside of his cheek. The inner debated lasted a few seconds, and then he made himself smile a little, nodding solemnly. “I think you could pull both those off.”

He took a deep breath and pointed at random, his attention landing on light blue and deep red. “That one and that one too.” Well. That had not been as difficult as he thought it might be. He gave Leticia another faint smile, forcefully quelling the strange, queasy feeling in the pit of his stomach.

Leticia Egyptus
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Leticia Egyptus
 Posted: Jun 6 2018, 08:15 PM
Quote
Freedman
Twenty-five Years Old
Bamboo
domus venus
prostitute
Feigning romance is perhaps easier than drinking wine for me.


"Really? Wonderful!" Leticia was about to make a deal with the merchant, but Thelonius surprised her by pointing two other scarves that she had overlooked. She looked over them, having placed the pink one down before draping them across her arm. She was surprised to see how nicely they fit her skin tone. She nodded her head approvingly, fingering the light blue one. "Then I'll get the gold one, deep red, and the pink one," and thus began her excited bargaining. She was able to get them at a rather fair price, promising to come back at a later date for one of the silk scarves. "I knew you had eyes, but I didn't realize they were so good!" Leticia stuck them into a bag that was hidden in the folds of her clothing, and she went back to walking with Thelonius. "Normally I spend much longer at his stall. I'm sure I'll be having an early supper tonight."

Fingering her emerald ring as they walked, she looked up at him. "Do you always get lost when you leave your arena?" She had a mischievous grin as she baited him. She noticed that his hair wasn't even long enough to touch his neck, which was definitely a difference between him, and Proculus. She slowed their pace as she noticed a stall with lovely combs. Everywhere from the basic functional ones, to the more ornamental ones meant for placing in the hair as a decoration. She didn't get too close yet, as not only was it currently bustling with three other women, and a man, but she also wanted to take a breath to get to know the person she dragged on this quest.

It looked there were quite a few ornamental ones, even a few that were painted. What with the banquets going on, Leticia was heavily considering on picking up a painted on today. So long as it had colors that she'd have no issues matching.

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Thelonius
 Posted: Jun 7 2018, 08:11 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
Why make it easy?



He stared at her, head tilting to the side ever-so-slightly. What did he say? Was he even supposed to say anything to her stating the obvious? Of course he had eyes… anyone could see that plain as day. But why would they not be good? A gladiator that could not see did not survive beyond their first bouts. A faint grimace ghosted across his face. Perhaps the girl was a little touched… or had been dropped on her head as a small child, maybe. That would explain a lot. He exhaled slowly through his nose as she returned to his side as if attached there.

Thelonius looked desperately at the merchant, but he merely answered with an amused look, satisfied with the bargain and ensuing purchase. The tall gladiator tried not to make it obvious that he was scrutinizing Leticia, watching her from the corner of his eyes; she was happy, practically glowing with boundless energy and excitement. It was not a… bad thing, he supposed. And it could be worse; it could always be so much worse. She was touching him, yes, but not in the usual way he was accustomed to. There was no pawing at him, no groping or fondling, and his clothes had very much stayed on. She seemed decidedly uninterested and for that alone, it was worth wherever she dragged him to next. He could not bring himself to be curt with her and sighed quietly. Perhaps he was getting soft.

“I do not get lost at all when I leave the arena,” he answered irritably, though his tone lacked any real heat. He frowned at her, not knowing why their pace suddenly slowed. It was not his fault that the city was a fucking maze. “I am escorted there and back for my fights. I have not had many opportunities to map out the city, and it is when I am given leave from the ludus that I—” he refused to say lost again “— have trouble.”

He was jostled, apparently in the way of one very determined customer who fairly pushed him out of the way. Thelonius eyed the stall, then eyed his strange, eager companion eyeing the stall. This one… sold tiny combs of various shapes and sizes. Gods below, what in the fuck was he supposed to do now? What did he bloody well know about combs, other than it sorted his hair out into something manageable? Why were these so damned small? And why was Leticia smiling like that at him? He did not like it.

The gladiator returned her look warily. “What?” If she tried anything at all with his hair, he was going to put her over the nearest stall fence, he decided. Change the topic. Distract her! “You said you were going to have an early supper. What were you thinking of?”

Leticia Egyptus
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Leticia Egyptus
 Posted: Jun 9 2018, 03:15 AM
Quote
Freedman
Twenty-five Years Old
Bamboo
domus venus
prostitute
Feigning romance is perhaps easier than drinking wine for me.


Leticia couldn't help but to giggle at his noticeably unimpressed tone of voice in regards to her question about him getting lost. "I have trouble, says the big gladiator," she couldn't help but to laugh a bit, hiding it behind her hand. She glanced up to him, grinning widely, "Well, it is a good thing we met! I can be your guide anytime," she rose her eyebrows up at him, peering up with that grin. They got jostled a bit, as a few people were exiting the stall, finishing their business.

It was rather busy, but not ridiculously so since it was evening. The Egyptian woman, who really couldn't properly remember her homeland, peered at a few golden ones. She wondered if that was just paint, or real gold. It would certainly be rather strange for it to be real gold, but not unbelievable as some more rich prospects would come to this part of town. "You said you were going to have an early supper. What were you thinking of?" His question caused her to jump a bit, realizing how she had lost herself in fantasies of an even easier life. Glancing up at the man, she quirked another eyebrow, and instinctively, she was tapping her pinky again as she thought.

"I think today it will be tuna. My maut had given me a bottle of a special sauce she made. I was thinking of using it on some toasted bread! What do you usually eat on days like this?" Leticia had dropped her tapping fingers, and edged them closer to the left side of the stall, still allowing others to browse. Her eyes had dropped back across the table, and towards a comb that caught her eye earlier. Her eyes went back up to gaze towards Thelonius's face.

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Thelonius
 Posted: Jun 10 2018, 08:24 PM
Quote
Slave
28 Years Old
Safia
Rome
Gladiator
Why make it easy?


He did not want her to be his guide. Certainly not anytime in the future, and certainly not now. But she was looking up at him again, smiling, and he bit back a sigh. There was nothing to be done about it. He did not think he could escape without making some sort of scene, and that would only draw more attention to himself. And… she was… she was not treating him poorly, which was a vast improvement from what he was usually accustomed to. Strange, yes… Leticia was very strange, but he could deal with that.

Thelonius nodded a little and gave what he hoped was a proper smile, even though the muscle that joined cheek to jaw twitched. “I am,” there was a barest hint of hesitation, “glad. I hope you know the city as well as you do your wares.” What the fuck did that even mean? Gods below. Now he was spouting off nonsense.

“What do I eat?” he found himself repeating back at her, caught completely off guard by her question. No one had ever asked him that before; no one cared. Gladiators ate what they were given and they were glad to eat it… food was food was food. “I… have not really tried anything yet,” was the best answer he could give. He had never really thought about it. “Tuna… is a fish?” He knew damn well that it was, but he was desperate for a change in topic. He did not like this acute sense of discomfort, like he was constantly being knocked off balance and scrambling to keep level.

“What does lamb taste like?” Not that he really cared either, but he had overheard some of the younger slaves at the ludus horrified and scandalized that someone could be cruel enough to eat baby animals. One of the guards had replied cheerfully that the one served to dominus must have had dimples. Thelonius shook his head, frowning over in the direction that Leticia had been looking at. What was so special about these items that warranted such attention? He understood the appeal of the colourful scarves and these tiny delicate combs about as well as the ensuing wail that had come from the young slaves. He leaned in closer to look, hoping that some answer would reveal itself.

It did not.

He met Leticia’s eyes again and lifted his brows.

Leticia Egyptus
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Leticia Egyptus
 Posted: Jun 13 2018, 10:59 PM
Quote
Freedman
Twenty-five Years Old
Bamboo
domus venus
prostitute
Feigning romance is perhaps easier than drinking wine for me.


She laughed when she heard him say that he hoped she knew the city as well as her wares. She laughed even more when he said, in a rather concerned, or confused, sounding tone, that tuna was a fish. "I guess you will find out, eh? Ah, so you are someone who does not taste the food, but just consumes it." She nodded her head, mimicking a rather grave old man she had come across once. When he asked about lamb she tilted her head, "It's a sweet meat. It is very good in stews. Maybe next time we meet, I may be having lamb, and could invite you over for dinner." She gave a wink, and bumped him gently, having picked up a comb while continuing conversation.

It was the one she had been eying for a little while. When she looked up, she had realized he was following her gaze. He seemed a bit confused about something. "Are you always this confused, Domus Thelonius? See, other men, and other ladies pay attention to looks," she paused for a moment, realizing that this was not his language, "Do you recall the feeling of a good iron blade in your hands? Or a good helmet? Freshly polished, and so, very, sharp?" She licked her lips before continuing, "That is similar to what this is for me," and she held up the lovely comb in her palm. The merchant was eying her warily, but he was also consumed with the other customers. He knew her well, but didn't quite trust her companions.

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