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Only Made Him Madder

Postby Aldus Marius on Mon Mar 16, 2009 8:57 am

If Marius did not appreciate being accosted before, he certainly was in no mood to have a chair broken over his head now. He crouched a little, absorbing the blow; he had a thick hide and, as his barracks-mates had often attested, a hard head, and if he was seeing stars yet he wasn't showing it.

Conveniently enough, a leg from the chair lay within reach. He picked it up, hefted it, found its center of balance. The jagged end of it was waiting for the stranger when that would-be humorist fell into friend Iohannes' lap. "No dessert, thank you," the veteran snarled, "Magister Iohannes' tunic has been fed well enough for today." Levelling the improvised weapon into the buffoon's face, the Wanderer continued: "And don't even think about leaving until you've given us a credible explanation. This thing hasn't decided if it wants to be a gladius or a pilum today. I don't imagine it'd be terribly good at either trade if someone else were using it. But this is me you're dealing with: Aldus Marius Peregrinus, Signifer and Pilus Prior; Third Cohort, First Maniple, Second Century, Legion VI Victrix...now retired, but don't count on that to save you. Well...?" He spotted the Tribune just then, but that was only another thing to throw at the loutish jokester. "And you'd better make your excuse a good one; we've got a VIP in the audience..."
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Re: New RP Thread!

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:12 pm

Pushing the mad villain off of him - and wondering what that 'dessert' remark might entail! - Iohannes creaked to his feet, fists clenched: A glowering old man, finally and frothilly angry.

But the caupona had finally come apart, as well: it seemd that all the guests had their ire up, were exercised, taking sides or just joining in, everyone either swinging or receiving a blow. Someone drenched the joker in wine, and as he sputtered and quipped, Marius was upon him, menacing the malefactor with a jagged, broken chair-leg. Iohannes huffed and puffed, his obvious target taken in tow by Marius, and fretted an instant about where to apply himself. Just then, some drunken scoundrel lunged at him; Iohannes dodged the fool as best he might, letting him trip headlong into the wall. Anyone else? he thought to himself. He tried to take in the situation; and wondered, glancing about: Where was Formosus, the Eburone? And where was that gladatrix, the Medusa? "Dis and Discordia!" Iohannes growled.

And then, still stymied, he cursed again, for now a Tribune of the Urban Cohorts had entered the tattered tavern. What, Iohannes asked himself, will we do now that the authorities are here? The Tribune advanced upon them, declaiming,

“In the name of the Urban Prefect I demand that -"


But the Tribune stopped in mid-sentence.

"Aldus Marius!" exclaimed the tribune. "What, by Dis, are you doing here? Who are these people?”


This Tribune seemed to know Marius. What, him, too? EVERYONE in this damned City seems to know Marius, Iohannes marveled; For a wanderer, he's damned well known! Iohannes, breathing heavily, fists raised and uselessly shaking, saw the men of the Cohort pulling the more recalcitrant brawlers aside, and so he finally saw Formosus - and the Medusa. Marveling once more at the sight of her, he wondered: How had such a capable female athlete, one of such a measured demeanor, gotten involved with that miscreant lunatic?

And, now, were they all bound for the dank confines of the Mammertine? He felt his anger begin to recede; still shaking, he began to try to steel himself. Ill images were playing across his mind. He expected a great test of self-management and resolve was approaching; he needed to prepare himself for a ruined career, for the utter life-ruination that was most likely to come.

Still, what would this tribune friend of Marius's do?
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Re: New RP Thread!

Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Mon Mar 16, 2009 11:25 pm

When her new "friend" didn't stop attacking the men of the other group she definitely was sure now that he must be a lunatic. She wished she had a gladius or at least a pugio, without weapons she felt insecure. But as soon a gladiator left the arena after having had his bout his weapons were taken away and locked in a safe place.

Like many other people in the cramped tavern watching the fight she turned around when she heard the soldier saying: "And you'd better make your excuse a good one; we've got a VIP in the audience..."

She spotted the man who looked very official and assumed it could be only a minute from now when he would call for the Urban cohorts to get everything back into order. And she would get really into deep trouble if they would catch her here. Then her next time in the arena would be at noontime as animal fodder at a creative but sadistic play which in reality was an execution. That she had learned in her time at the ludus that gladiators had no rights outside the arena but were admired only when they entertained the Roman audience in the afternoon of a munus.

When she tried to push her way back out to the door the people gave way though because they were pushing forward to get a better view, she got pushed into another man. When she look up she realized it was the official looking one and her heart beat stopped for a second. She blushed :oops: and said only:

"Oooops, I'm sorry, domine!" and tried to smile but she knew it could be only a grimace.
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"Miraculose esset, si Liberi abire possemus!"

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:39 am

Claudius Iohannes promised himself that - if by some lucky stroke they WERE to get away without prosecution - he would find the boy who had been scared off at the start of the fight. They had never found out a thing about the youth, and there was no telling under what conditions that young 'man' was living. Moreover, he decided he'd try to enlist Marius and Formosus to help - and even Medusa, were she interested (for he still thought he saw rather more sense & thoughtful measure in her than in her friend, the oaf!).
In the meantime, everything still hung upon the mutual reactions of Marius and this Tribune - how deep did their friendship go?
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His Eyes Were On Gods...

Postby Aldus Marius on Wed Mar 18, 2009 5:49 am

Marius would have laughed, and not in a kindly way, if he'd known that Iohannes was under the impression that the Tribune was a friend. Aulus Flavius was one of those people who'd left a bad taste in his mouth a long time ago, and whom he no longer remembered well enough to be able to say why. He did know that no wanderer, no vagrant, no visitor to a town wanted to attract the attention of law enforcement if he could help it. And Marius, even after a year in Rome with a government job, had not tamed down enough to take the presence of an Urban Tribune in stride. Especially one that recognised him.

"He knows who I am," he muttered to Iohannes; "that can't be good..." But, like the scholar, the veteran couldn't do much else besides await Aulus Flavius' pleasure...



[OOC: Yoo-Hoo! O Fla-vi-us...!] >({|:-)
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Enough is enough

Postby Marcus Lupinius Paulus on Wed Mar 18, 2009 6:47 am

OOC: With this post, I am using everyone's names in describing the action and the scene, though not in direct conversation until the characters have actually been introduced. It gets tedious to type out things like "the guy with the wine stained tunic" all the time!

IC: With the arrival of the tribune, the hubbub had quickly died down, and Marcus Lupinius Paulus decided that enough was enough. "Oh put that thing away", he said with irritation as he pushed aside the chair leg that Marius was holding. The arrival of the tribune meant that Marius and the chairleg were the least of his concerns. He first turned to Iohannes. "Look, I said I would pay you for the tunic and I will". Then he looked for and spotted Medusa, looking a bit embarassed and standing next to the tibune. "Later", he said to Marius as he walked past and over to Medusa. The best thing to do now, he reasoned, is simply to own up and say it was all the result of a prank gone wrong. But he would not take the full blame. First, he asked Medusa if she were alright, and when she nodded he addressed the tribune.

"Good day to you sir. My name is Marcus Lupinius Paulus, Roman but my home is Alexandria. I'm here in Rome on leave. You may know my own boss, Titus Taius Sanctus, the Procurator of Aegyptus. {historical note: Sanctus governed Egypt from 178 to 180} I'm afraid the mess you see here is mostly my own fault. I say "mostly" because the first person to try to assault someone with the intention of inflicting harm is this fellow behind you". Paulus pointed at Formosus. "He attempted to attack this woman Medusa. Anyone who was here in the caupona can attest to that.

I will tell you everything that happened. But first, let me say that this woman is innocent and struck no one. Also innocent are those two men over there {Paulus ponted to Marius and Iohannes}. This woman and I were drinking together here. When I saw this group sitting here, I recognized that man, the older man with the wine spill on his tunic, since we sat near each other at the games today. I thought of a prank wherin the serving girl would 'accidentally' spill food on him, to go with the wine! Medusa actually did it, but there was no injury except to the gentleman's pride. I was the one who instigated it.
This ruffian Formosus attempted to attack her, but met the floor instead. The spilt food did not warrant such an attack from that man, who should have let the matter be between that gentleman and her, and myself.

When the violence first started, I tried unsucessfully to allow her an escape route. I escalated the situation myself by throwing wine into their faces. And I got attacked, knocked to the floor, counter-attacked, and then everyone in the place chose sides and this melee happened. Now I admit that the instigation was mine. I am willing to reimburse the owner for the broken furniture and pay that man for his tunic. Both he and his soldier friend have my full apologies and I will tsay once again the are innocent of what happened here today."

Paulus leaned forward and lowered his voice. "I will be satisfied to go to the lockup alone, but would appreciate it if you could...well....'forget' that Medusa was here today. I don't want my own antics to put her in trouble with her magister, and the people going to the arena might be dissapointed if she is absent."
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Re: New RP Thread!

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Wed Mar 18, 2009 8:39 pm

Claudius Iohannes, regaining his habitual overlay of scholarly detachment bit by bit, was initially surprised at the reasonable flow of speech coming from the erstwhile lunatic's lips. He reflected that Life, after all, is a thing of chaos and surprise, the grand Physis that will not stop, will not be stabled, but must ever show itself in a hundred thousand oddities, great and small. Nonetheless, this unexpected outburst of modesty and honesty boded well, he thought.

Like the others, he awaited the Tribune's reply. Unlike some of them, he felt himself growing calmer - stiff and tense, still, yes, but buoyed by the notion that - after all - one must bear what comes one's way.

If only I could get out of this soiled mess of a tunic! he thought, still awaiting the Tribune's pronouncement.
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Re: New RP Thread!

Postby Aulus Flavius on Thu Mar 19, 2009 5:42 am

OOC: Many apologies people! The move from Melbourne to Brisbane is not going well :) Apologies for my tardiness. Also, I've had a quick breeze through the posts and apologies if it is mentioned, but what Emperor are we currently under?

IC:

Aulus Flavius went to take a step towards Marius when out of the crowd a girl, of all creatures, burst from the crowd and collided with him. Flavius stiffled a sneer as he grabbed the girls arm and roughly jerked her to one side. Strong little creatures, but one of his slaves clasped a massive black hand over the girl's wrist, stifling her apologies, and tossed her back towards the crowd.

He was about to upbraid the woman when a loud voice shouted somethign in the most hideous tongue. Aulus almost flinched at it. Whatever it was, it sounded harsh. Some of the crowd were beginning to get nervous. First the girl, and now this foreign bable comming at him. It was time to put an end to this.

"Enough!", the room went deadly silent again. "The Urban Corhotes will not tolerate this misconduct! There will be order in the streets, and there will be order in all public places! This will take place in accordance with the law! I have neither the stomach, nor the patience for this sacrilege. This crowd will disperse at once, and this rable rousing hole will close for the remainder of the day!"

There were more then a few angry mutters at that. Flavius' face went red. His eyes scanned the crowd.

"You [Paulus], you [Formosus] and...", his eyes fell on the girl that had errupted from the crowd earlier, and a slight smile parted his lips. "And you [Medusa], are under arrest. Take them."

His slaves advanced and shoved the crowd apart, dragging the unlucky few out. "Take them out by my litter and await me."

His slaves nodded subservantly and hurried them out.

"Should anyone else desire to share a few nights in the Mamertine with these scum, I suggest you stay. Otherwise, leave. Now."

The crowds quickly began to disperse, but as they did Flavius approached the one figure who had actually decided to remain. Marius was standing nonchalantly off to one side, arms crossed and watching the whole scene with an air of slight disinterest. It was this seemingly casual stance that Flavius had seen many a time when he had encountered Marius, and he knew well that the grizzled public servant was anything by relaxed...

"So...the Wanderer...you're certainly living up to your name Aldus Marius. What am I to make of this? I don't think the City Prefect would like hearing how a trusted civil servant like yourself was involved in a brawl that could have expanded to swallow half the city. Plebs..."

Marius continued to gaze nonchalantly off to one side. Flavius briddled, "Well, explain yourself! What happened? I have three people outside awaiting the pleasure of my judgement, and you too if I should decide upon it!"
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Re: New RP Thread!

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:48 am

Claudius Iohannes, unremarked by the Tribune, still stood there in his dirty tunic, marveling at Marius's demonstration of self-control (just as had marveled at the soldier's other qualities, in times gone by). Iohannes felt his cowardly parts clawing at him, pushing and pulling his insides, nervously clamoring for him to seek anonymous safety along with the rest of the dismissed crowd of patrons. By now it was second nature to him to resist such obviously craven prompting, but Iuppiter and Shamash! How many long years had it taken to make even that little progress!

Other things nagged him, too. The remarkable gladiator-girl, Medusa - the impression remained that she was not malevolent, or flighty, or under this Paulus person's control - it seemed wrong that she should bear the brunt of the Tribune's anger. And Formosus - that odd fellow was rash, perhaps, but he had plainly come as a friend, and acted as a friend; his ill judgment was no worse than that of many other citizens. And even that Paulus person, well, his speech to the Tribune had been intelligent enough, and offered freely, and he had been more than decent in trying to take the blame on himself when - if he was indeed telling the truth - it had all started out as nothing more than a sillly prank!

If Marius didn't speak up for them, then he, the disgracefully-besmeared and politically powerless pedant, Valerius Claudius Iohannes, would have to accost the Tribune himself....
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Re: New RP Thread!

Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:55 pm

Medusa did not lose her stance when she was tossed back to the crowed by this black slave of the tribune, she had practised it hundred times not to lose balance when two fighters were clashing together with their scuta. So she used the momentum to step back far enough and try to step behind the table standing next to the man with the smeared tunic. She scanned the table for something she could use as a weapon to fight her way through because she definitely did not want to end up in prison. But on the table was nothing except for beakers and plates and scattered food but not knife. She thought of retreating into the kitchen and try to grab a kitchen knife, better than nothing as long as the only available gladius was sheethed at the soldier's side.

She was very surprised though when she heard words which sounded like her native tongue but only with a very heavy accent or even a different dialect. She felt akward, on the one hand she wanted to snap back that she could take care of herself on the other she might need an ally and another Germanic just might help her. So she stood there in a fighting stance behind the table, feeling the tenseness of the situation.
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Re: New RP Thread!

Postby Marcus Lupinius Paulus on Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:20 am

Paulus jerked his arm free from the slave's hand. "Keep your paws off me slave", he snarled. "Perhaps your master needs you to wipe his rear for him in the latrine, but I think I can walk without your help." Paulus was disgusted. A reasonable magistrate would have been satisfied at his confession, and even if he needed to make an arrest, a magistrate of a more noble mind might have agreed to ignore the woman Medusa, provided order was restored and restitution made. But this tribune was a...
"Pompus ass", muttered Paulus as he spat on the ground. He strode over to the man he had plaed his prank on, and pulled out his money purse. "I have seven sesterces left on me. A new tunic will run at least fifteen. Take this as a downpayment. And my apologies". But what no one heard as he handed over his coin was Paulus whispering a location to the man. The wolfish soldier knew something was mumbled, but could not make it out.

Paulus turned away and saw Medusa standing behind a table in a combative stance. He could see only too plainly the danger she was in. For Medusa was not a citizen of Rome, and was in fact little more than a slave. As the "noble" Aulus had decided to arrest her, she could be subjected to harsh punishment. There was always the chance her owner would not risk losing his investment in a needless crucifixion. But she was arrested in a civil disturbance. The magistrate, and not her ownder, could decide her fate. She could be tortured. She could be crucified. She could be...

"Burnt?" Paulus stopped for a brief moment, imagining the Fire, hearing shrieks from an upstairs window, and seeing a girl all in flame.

"Stay back!", Paulus warned, "I'll bring her". Paulus stepped up next to Svanhild {he liked the sound of her name} and held up his hands to show she was in no danger. He looked her in the eyes. "Svanhild", he said, trying to pronouce her name, "Don't give them a reason to kill you. It will be be alright." He guided her to the entrance, with the slaves following them.

When they emerged from the doorway, Paulus noted the sun was starting to go down, and the first star was becoming visible in the sky. Formosus was already outside by the litter, guarded by two slaves. Two others were following Paulus and Medusa. As they approached Formosus, Paulus whispered something secret to him.
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Re: New RP Thread!

Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Fri Mar 20, 2009 6:26 pm

Medusa was surprised that her companion got her Germanic name prounced nearly correctly, too many people around this place speaking her native tongue. Though she thought of him a complete lunatic after this hubbub in the tavern she followed him out with her senses sharpened all the time. It seemed too easy for her to get out without anybody trying to hold them back. She looked back to the tavern while she was standing next to Paulus who had approached the litter of this other man she had seen in the tavern as well. Wasn't this the man who had spoken to her in this strange Germanic dialect?
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Marius Sighs.

Postby Aldus Marius on Sat Mar 21, 2009 9:48 pm

[OOC: This isn't going to reference absolutely everything that's been written above. I'm that confused. I'll just start with Marius standing there after hearing Paulus' confession and take it from there, 'k? --Otherwise I'll *never* get unstuck.]

> "I don't think the City Prefect would like hearing how a trusted civil servant like yourself was involved in a brawl..."


Aulus Marius Peregrinus stood still all the while, watching...waiting...weighing. Truth be told, he was no longer much good at thinking on his feet; when something sudden and upsetting happened nowadays, he had to disengage and ponder things for a bit, and Paulus' confession and the bombast being slung by the Tribune gave him the time to do that. And the first thing he thought to himself, ruefully, was what had happened the last time he had pulled a prank in the City. His little skit satirising a thin-skinned Consul had gotten him hauled up before a secret tribunal, wherein none of his witnesses had been allowed to testify, and the brunt of the punishment had been administered by a (now former) friend and high-ranking official who had taken part in the mischief. All that trouble over one lousy jest. And here he was, about to impale a guy with a chair-leg over a much tamer stunt? He saw himself, and didn't like what he saw. Blast this town; it had already changed him for the worse, while it hadn't changed a bit.

He lowered the chair-leg, tossed it aside gently, and let out a long sigh. "'Trusted civil servant', Aule Flavi? 'Civil servant' I'll grant you, though I'm not particularly civil. I took the job so I wouldn't have to *think*. But 'trusted'...? I've never been 'trusted' in this burg, I've got nothing to lose on that score. And you know why??" His head came up, his eyes flashed. "Do you remember why, or have you ever been told? --Because this City, the Mother City, the Eternal City *still* can't take a damn joke!!

"Now, it seems to me we've had a complete and honest explanation of the goings-on, and an offer of restitution. I must say my opinion of this Paulus fellow has just risen a few notches. I'd like to sit back down now and have a good laugh, help turn the tables and chairs right-side up again, maybe administer a firm noogie or two. This was never going to spill out into the street--what'ya think we are, nobles slumming in the Subura, beating people up so they can haul them in on charges? Na, you've forgotten--or never knew--what regular Romans look like when they're having a good time. We *are" a spirited people, limp-wristed Patricians notwithstanding. Just...go away, will you, Trib? By nightfall you'll never know anything happened in this place.

"Or, of course, you could put on your little show just so everyone knows You Are No One To Be Trifled With...you know, spoil our evening, ruin the innkeeper, and get yourself a mention in the Acta Diurna... Pish-posh. --Paulus, take the warrior-woman and get out of here. Formosus, I still technically outrank you; you come with me--Urban Prefect has no jurisdiction over you anyways, and I imagine your legatus'll have something to say about it if anybody but him puts you in the brig. You come too, Iohannes; we need to get you cleaned up, and you haven't been accused of anything. 'Mamertine', my ass...it was named after my great-uncle, and like him, it don't want anything to do with me."

With that, Marius brushed past everyone and out the door, Iohannes in tow; plucked Formosus away from the Tribune's litter; and, tucking him under one arm and Iohannes under the other, broke away from all the fuss and made tracks for his insula. He might not have much of his mind left, he mused; but he could still walk fast for a long way with a load...
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Paving and Plans

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Tue Mar 24, 2009 3:36 am

(OOC: Marii, that last paragraph has you TOTING BOTH OF US along? I hope there's poetic license in play there! Otherwise we'll have to christen you MARIUS THE BARBARIAN and start plagiarizing Robert E. Howard to fill up your resume.
Hmmm. Maybe it does take a big, beefy, unconquerable super-man to break this plot impasse we've been stuck in!
And now, more blather from the old man:
)

================================================================

IC:

"Marii, quid? Have you gone insane? Let me go!" Claudius Iohannes growled. Marius obliged, and released his hold.

"I am neither a child nor a light load, mi Marii - so I draw the line at such a mode of transport. What? Are you practicing to be a litter-bearer?"

They walked swiftly ahead for a while, when Iohannes spoke again: "Just where are we going? Here, before we go further, let us retire to the mouth of this alley for a moment, to speak and plan."

Somewhat sheltered from prying eyes and ears, they discussed the situation. Iohannes, for his part, spoke up, saying, "Optimi comites, many thanks. Glad I am to be out of that mess, but I must tell you -" and his voice grew a bit deeper, "as that Paulus fellow handed me his purse in partial restitution for my tunic, he also whispered to me an address, in Trans-Tiberim. Now what can that mean? An invitation, no? And I'm going to suggest that we actually go there, in what strength we have, and see if we can solve the mystery of this mad Paulus fellow and that Medusa woman!

"And one more thing," Iohannes continued, "What about 'the kid', our young guest, the iuvens who took off at the beginning of the unpleasantness? I can't help but suspect that 'he' is lost in the City, in Roma Magna Ipsa! And an education in the streets often has an unhealthy culmination. So my second proposition is that when we're through with this Paulus fellow, we see if we can find our young friend. What do you say?"
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Running, Tactically

Postby Aldus Marius on Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:17 am

[OOC: Poetic license in force! What Mari actually did was take his friends firmly by the elbows; he is now steering both of you along.]

[BIC:]


> "Just where are we going? Here, before we go further, let us retire to the mouth of this alley for a moment, to speak and plan."


Marius obliged; they were far enough from the caupona now that they were unlikely to be overtaken by anyone in so awkward a conveyance as a litter. "We're headed for my apartment. I own an insula on the Campus Martius. No one dares approach the Wolf in his den..." He quirked a wicked grin.


> "...as that Paulus fellow handed me his purse in partial restitution for my tunic, he also whispered to me an address, in Trans-Tiberim. ...
> I'm going to suggest that we actually go there, in what strength we have, and see if we can solve the mystery of this mad Paulus fellow
> and that Medusa woman!"


"I'd just as soon leave that one alone, mi Iohanne!" the retired centurion growled. "But if you're quite determined to tackle a Tar Baby, we will definitely need to stop by the insula. Castra Vetera, I call it, and for good reason. You see, I rent to other 'old soldiers'. And most of them haven't forgotten a thing the Legions ever taught them; if it's 'strength' we want, all we'll need is a contubernium of my tenants."


> "And one more thing," Iohannes continued, "What about 'the kid', our young guest...?"


Marius shot the scholar an exasperated look. "Oh, fer-- Amice, why do you want me to throw myself at every vagrant in the City all of a sudden? Aren't there enough stray dogs we could rescue instead?? I have strong misgivings about going anywhere that Paulus fellow might turn up. And now you want me to help you find someone's beardless offspring? When we don't even have his name, and his face was mostly hidden by that sombrero? He could be any stripling lad, anywhere. Stripling lass, for that matter, you know that! Never been to the Games before today--huh, his parents are probably looking for him, so we certainly don't have to unless they post a reward notice. You really want us to try to chase him down, one out of so many in this town? We'll probably have all the 'fun' we can handle if we follow Paulus home..." He sighed. "Look, if the kid turns up at the recruiting-station I'll let you know, promise!"
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Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:33 pm

Marius wrote:if you're quite determined to tackle a Tar Baby, we will definitely need to stop by the insula. Castra Vetera, I call it, and for good reason. You see, I rent to other 'old soldiers'. ...if it's 'strength' we want, all we'll need is a contubernium of my tenants."


"Excellent, mi Marii! Melius erit!"

Marius wrote:He could be any stripling lad, anywhere. Stripling lass, for that matter, you know that! ... You really want us to try to chase him down, one out of so many in this town? We'll probably have all the 'fun' we can handle if we follow Paulus home..."


"Bene scio, mi Marii, that chasing down one street-kid among the many in Roma is an absurd proposition, it's true. But I am not urging this from logic! Wisdom would bid me simply follow you to your Wolf's Den, on the assumption that your friend the Tribune will indeed hesitate to prosecute us in the face of an insula full of your veteran friends! But there's something more: Today was exceptional; the double-identity youth, your advent, our finding Formosus (or rather, his finding us), that incredible disturbance from the Paulus fellow, and that mysterious Medusa woman - I accept that we are not in a scaena rehearsing a farce; I accept that it could be merely a chain of coincidences; but I can neither exclude the notion that Iuppiter may be directing us, nor disregard my own insistent feeling that these events are leading us to something else, something significant - and that Paulus and the Boy are both parts of it."

Formosus wrote:"... Otherwise we all might have spent the night at the Mamertine Hotel, hè ?' ... Reminds me of the old times, when we served together at the Walls in the VI Invictrix....
"Except, of course, sir,' adressing Iohannes, ' we had some real adversaries there. Blue-faced Picts. Craziest people in the world, those Picts. Pretty useless in a regular battle, but fierce fighters man on man. No match of course for our friend Marius here. Once, when on a fouraging party, he was suddenly set upon by three of those brutes in what we thought was an abandoned farmstead. I tell you, before any of us others had the time to come to his rescue, he had sent the three of them to join their forefathers, single-handedly. And not a scratch on him. Not even a sweat. But, surely, you know what kind of man he is, sir, you seem to know him pretty well.'


"Oh, I have seen Marius in action before today, Formose the Silent One! What you say accords well with my memory!"

Formosus to Marius wrote:"You haven't introduced me yet to our mutual friend, properly, Marius -- if I may be so bold as to call you my friend, sir; because, as far as I am concerned, anybody who is a friend of him, is a friend of mine -- "


"Done," said Iohannes, offering his right hand for the newcomer to clasp. "My friend!"

Formosus, continuing wrote: "... and he has already layed out such a spendid entertainment for us !"


Iohannes blushed quite un-stoically, and said, "I invited you to join our circle, perhaps, but it was that Paulus fellow who provided the music and dancing - and then Marius and the Tribune the finale! At all events, mi Formose, let us on to the Den of the Wolves. If it is Marius's lair, I'm sure we will both find it a welcome haven."
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"Welcome Home"

Postby Marcus Lupinius Paulus on Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:33 am

The commotion definitely subsiding, and the sight of Marius and the philosopher exiting the caupona without hindrance, gave Paulus courage to make his own exit. "Come with me", he said, taking Medusa by the arm and leading her away to the general direction of the ampitheater.

Guiding her into a dark archway, Paulus released her arm. "I think we are going to be alright. But still...I wanted to put some distance between us and that tribune. But since we are not in custody, I think you will not be in any trouble."

On a nearby wall was a small carved relief map of Rome with her districts and major roads depicted. Paulus found the ampitheater on the map, and then chose the road he would take back to his insula. "I guess it's time to call it a night", Paulus said, looking at the emerging stars above. "It's probably best we part for now, so your magister does not get alarmed." He playfully took her by the chin, and looked straight into her eyes with a smile. "You know, you are a dangerous woman! I almost got killed tonight keeping you out of danger." Then he let go of her chin, and a look of sincere and serious concern came across his face. "Svanhild, maybe I am mad, but I would gladly risk it all again if it would save you from this life you have in the arena. Listen to me...if you want to leave this behind you, remember this address. Insula Lupinia, Vicus Gemini, Trans Tiberim district. Just a bit that way, over the river. Vicus Gemini is easily found by the docks, and the insula has a wolf carved over the entrance. My family name derives from Lupa you know. If you are ever in danger or want to escape, well, you will have shelter at my insula, and when I return to Alexandria, I will do my best to get you there, or Africa, or Mauritania, wherever you want to go."

They heard the faint sound of a voice echoing across the plaza from the direction of the caupona. looking in the direction of the voice, they could see three figures silhouetted against the light from the caupona. Perhaps the tribune had ordered his servants to search for them? Or was it the soldier Marius looking for him to finish the fight?

"You better get back to your ludus", Paulus advised. Then he gave her a quick affectionate kiss on her forehead. "Take care of yourself little sister!" Quickly he departed down the street, staying close to the buildings to make it harder to spot him in the shadows.

--------------------------------------------

The nice thing about Rome was the commercial traffic moved at night, which allowed Paulus to dart back and fourth behind and between carts. Looking over his shoulder, he was sure he was no longer being followed. But two of the men at the caupona now knew his address. He gave it to them so they would have a rendevous place if they had to make an escape or run for their lives from the tribune's men.

Why had Paulus given them his address? It seemed a stupid thing to do. But at the time, it seemed right. And Paulus was still wondering if their meeting tonight had been by chance, or was it meant to be, arranged by the gods, or by his goddess.

A short time later, Paulus saw with relief his insula. He entered the building and made his way upstairs to the fourth floor, and unlocked his door.

As he entered the dim room, Paulus' arms were grabbed from behind. And as he began to struggle, a fist found his abdomen, knocking the air out of him. Paulus groaned and sagged to the floor, the unknown hands still gripping his arms.
The same fist that had punched him came again, this time striking the left side of his face. "Enough", sounded a voice, and the arms released him. Paulus rolled onto the floor, coughing and feeling blood flow from his mouth. He was aware of at least three people in the room. One was the man who grabbed him, one the assailant, and the third was the owner of the voice. Paulus looked and saw a figure of a man sitting in his window. But he could not see any more for the darkness of the room. The first thing Paulus thought was that these were the men from the caupona, who must have run fast to beat him to his home, and lie in wait for him. But the voice was not the same as the ones from the caupona.

The man moved from the window and came closer, and stood over Paulus. "Welcome home, Marcus Lupinius Paulus", the stranger said. "People call me Brutus".
"I can believe it", Paulus said weakly. And at that, the assailant raised a foot and kicked Paulus in the stomach. Paulus groaned and choked and rolled over to avoid more blows. "You are a funny man" another, angrier voice said sarcastically. But "Brutus" again interrupted. "No! That's no way to welcome a man home! Ignore his rudeness for now Flaccus. Can't you see the man is tired out from his journey?"

Paulus said nothing more, but was trying to breathe. "Paulus", said Brutus, we had a good working relationship with your father, Gaius Lupinius Festus. We hope to have the same amiable relations with you. We are a kind of fire brigade. This old city has had a nasty history of fires, don't you agree? Well, anyway, we are, as I said, a fire brigade. We protect against fires. But like all valuable things, you pay for the service. Understand?"
Paulus couldn't say a word, but Brutus did not wait for a reply. "I know you are just come from Alexandria, and it will take you some time to get your affairs in order. There is no need to pay your fee tonight. I think we could come back in a week. One week from tonight, same time. Is that convenient with you? Good. Expect us."

The three men were leaving, but Brutus stopped at the door. "Oh...how stupid of me. I forgot. The fee is 25% of your profits from this insula. And Paulus...don't try to shortchange us. We know how much an insula makes. Have a pleasant evening!" The strangers departed.

Paulus tried not groan too loud as he slowly picked himself up off the floor. Holding his stomach, he went to the wash basin and tried to clean his face. But it was very painful and the water in the basin quickly turned red. He staggered to his cheap bed and dropped himself onto the mat. "Thank you for the inferitance, father".
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Ad Insulam Lupinosam

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:07 am

Claudius Iohannes had to push himself a bit to match Marius and Formosus's long, quick strides, but he managed. It was just as well it was dark - none could see how seriously he still needed a change of clothing. Ah, to be headed for his own lodgings instead, to settle down among the various-odd works of art he'd collected, or to catch a sight of that terribly attractive woman in cella tertia beta, her beautiful full arms and delicate hands, her sculpted face - a real Astarte, that woman.

Iohannes sighed and drew himself back to the present. He focused on his lungs, working a bit more now as the three of them kept on toward Marius's insula, and he simply felt and appreciated his gray-haired chest rise and fall in a counter-rhythm to the swing-clop-and-swing of their legs and their caligae scuffing on the street. An insula full of veterans? Iohannes chuckled; he hoped they were of the decent sort - Minerva knows, an old fool like himself would be a delicious gift to baiters and bullies. But if these were Marius's companions, there was good chance they were at least circumspect, private and not too abusive. His mind started to drift back to his own brief service in the legions, but he looked down at the road again, drawing his mind back to its place and emptying his heart of extraneous matters, enjoying the march up town in the simplest way.

"Marii," Iohannes ventured when there was a break in the jabs and prattle that Formosus kept launching, irrepressibly, and which Marius kept parrying. "What do you think of this Paulus fellow? I cannot understand his motivations. Does he have motivations? He has some wit to him, his head seems one minute on straight and the next completely addled. Or is he possessed of some sort of very contrary genius - first mad, then reasonable, then mad again? We all have our puzzling ingenia, some glorious, most not, some disgraceful - some sharing in all three conditions. But I don't think I've ever met anyone of his mad sort."

They walked on a bit before anyone spoke.
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Re: New RP Thread!

Postby Cleopatra Aelia on Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:10 pm

Medusa felt flattered that this stranger kissed her gently on her forehead but she doubted that he would be any help for her when being outside of the ludus. Actually she had got used to the ludus as her home and despite the dangerous job of fighting in the arena for the entertainment of the Roman people she felt quite safe there. She had a regular life, breakfast, training, interrupted by a little break at noon, again training, massage and steam bath and dinner. That was more than she sometimes had while still living in her Germanic village. At the ludus she got to eat regularly, but back in the Germanic woods when the harvest was bad she was starving sometimes. Also she had earned some money by winning all her bouts so far and she could have paid for her wine and water tonight.

She watched Paulus go and turned towards the ludus. Because it had been a day of a munus the curfew was not that strict as usual and the guards at the entrance did not mind if a gladiator was coming back later than usual. When she approached the gate the guard was grinning at her titillating thinking she must have had an amourous adventure after her bout. She only grinned back and walked back straight to her cella which she usually shared with another woman. But when she walked in it was empty. She heard some footsteps behind her and saw a young retiarius going along the corridor. When he recognized her, he said: "Your cell mate, Rapida, is at the valetudinarium. She lost her bout but got spared, but wounded. If you want to pay her a visit, I guess the medicus wouldn't mind."

"Oh, thank you. But I guess I'll do so in the morning, she needs some rest. I do so as well, has been a confusing evening. Good night."

She stepped into the cella and closed the door, sat on her bunk and tried to reflect the days events, especially what had happened at the caupona.
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TANDEM!

Postby Valerius Claudius Iohanes on Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:49 pm

Marius, Formosus and Claudius Iohannes rounded what Marius said was the last corner before they arrived at his insula, the 'Castra Vetera' where the Wolf had his lair. But sitting before the insula was a band of men, big and rough, loud, joking and horsing around, enjoying themselves. At the sight of the newcomers, the men's voices trailed off into quiet, and they cast sullen glances their way. Two men rose up from their spots, but with no sign of greeting.

Iohannes asked Marius, "Marii - Are these your veterans, or - ?"
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