Out of the ashes

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Mako Torriblaidd, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. The sun rose once again over the city of Pompeii, Apollo had begun his ride to the skies. With his light the servants awoke, most with tired and sleepy faces. Rosalba was one of those who awoke tired. With a long yawn and a stretch she got out of bed, her chestnut brown hair falling over her face while she went about preparing herself with the rooster. Her green eyes looked about in the bare lines of light that filtered into her room, soon enough replaced by the glow of the morning when she pulled the wood away from the sill. A small hiss escaped her throat before she looked out across the clear morning. With the slightest hint of a smile she changed into the white coarse linen of her servant's dress, light blue trim along the bottom and the sleeves to give her some appearance of class and make her master look better. Taking a moment to brush the waist length strands of chestnut she tied it back into a loose braid before she left the servant's quarters for the morning.

    Supposedly her master's son was returning from his service in the military today, and that surprised her just a bit. She had first been tasked with being a cup bearer when she met him and to an extent grew up with him, although they were still separated by class. With a small sigh she fetched water for her master and mistresses baths, followed by preparing for the young master's arrival. Setting up his bed and fetching some cheese and wine she was allowed to simply wait for him. So, in patience the somewhat short girl stood just outside the gates to the stately villa, watching the road for a lone traveler or even a group. Her dark green eyes scanned the horizon, waiting patiently, unknowing the disaster the fates would throw upon her home, her owners, her wold in due time.
  2. A smile crept its way onto Decimus' face as he topped the hill before his family's estate. From atop the spotted gray horse he could see the stone walls which surrounded the grounds, and the green tips of the hedges in the courtyard behind them. Urging the animal forward, he released one hand from the reigns to wipe the sweat from his forehead. Though the morning had begun several hours before, the sun's heat only magnified itself through the fabric of his tunic. Though his armour, helmet and shield were presently packed in one of the chests on the small transport cart that creaked along behind him. He probably could have been home yesterday were it not for the cart-mule slowing his pace.

    Although, Decimus reflected as the small troupe proceeded down the hill towards the gate where a lone figure waited, the slower pace was worth it; with his steel armour packed away he needed only wear a light tunic, the loss of the helmet was especially appreciated, though his thick black hair did an adequate job of keeping his head overheated as well. He gave a small huff, mentally willing the baggage cart to move faster. It really had been too long since he had been home. As a member of the elite Praetorian guard, his quarters had hardly been insufferable, and of course there were the manservant and maidservant his parents had made gifts of, who were presently riding on the small cart which held his things, but still, there was no place like home. Specifically, there was no place like the shaded inner courtyard near the fountain with a cool glass of wine in hand. The thought only made the heat of the morning seem more intense, and he nudged the horse with his heels to increase its speed a bit.
  3. Soon enough he was within a reasonable distance, at least in her own mind, to go forward to meet him. "Welcome back, young master." Rosalba spoke with a small smile and a nod. Gently she reached to take the reigns of his horse to guide it in as she taught. She dared to look up to him as they walked, for a moment just taking in how much he had changed, he had grown. "Was your trip good?" Her voice was soft, kindly even. Leading him into the main court yard of his home she held his horse while she waited for him to dismount. Once he did she would hand the horse off to a stable worker to be taken away. "Your parents are taking their bath as far as I know, but I have bread, cheese, and wine set up for you while you wait. Unless you would rather see everything." Her voice was a bit nervous, after all few slaves trained to serve a master they hadn't seen in years.
  4. Decimus had carefully returned his expression to a stern one as they neared the house, and as they passed the outer gate he leaned back in the saddle, looking around. Seeing the servants still sitting on the cart he frowned, and snapped his fingers for their attention. Looking up in alarm they started, and immediately jumped off and began leading the mule to a separate path. Dolts probably got drowsy in the sun, he thought, returning his thoughts to the maidservant who had been sent to greet him.

    "See everything?" For a moment her words baffled him "Why I know these walls and paths better than my own hand; none the less for my absence. But refreshment would be well received" he dismounted as they approached the doors to the actual house. "And a messenger sent out to my old friend, Claudius; I should like it known that I have returned and wish to entertain his company; correspondence has been slow with the highways under work, and I should very much like to know his occupations."

    A smile cracked his expression once more as he looked over the familiar courtyard from the doorstep; the gardens had been redone, and a few other minor changes, but at its heart it was still the same. "And now, if you would bring that refreshment you mentioned to the inner courtyard, I am weary of riding and would have some rest."
  5. His reply made her blink, surprise crossing her face, it made her appear to be a fool after all. Slowly she lowered her eyes glancing away from him. She muttered a small, "Yes master," while he spoke. Chewing at the inside of her cheek she bit her tongue, wanting to redeem her statement but found no ability. With a small nod she followed him to the house. "Alright, I will get a runner to go find him." Rosalba spoke giving a small sigh, grabbing one child servant and telling him the order.

    "Yes master..." She spoke before she gave a small bow and left him to go to the kitchens. It didn't take long for her to enter the smaller court yard, decorated in proper roman fashion, a few chairs and couches along a small shallow pool. "I brought one of your father's wines... twenty years in the cellar." She spoke as she entered a silver tray in her hand with a fresh, floury loaf of bread, slices of various cheeses and a pitcher of wine with a smaller glass.
  6. ((sorry for the wait!))

    "Ah, good" Decimus smiled as the servant entered with the exact things his mouth had been watering for since he woke up that morning at daybreak. No matter how many times you were on your feet from dawn till dusk, and no matter how well you learned to deal with it, it didn't change that getting up early and travelling all morning was tiring. Mostly though, he was tired of sitting with his own thoughts, not able to perform any kind of activity, and unwilling to attempt any kind of conversation with the slaves who transported his luggage - either of them would be petrified speechless if he did anything but bark an order at them anyway.

    "Set it down there" he ordered, gesturing towards a small side table near the couch on which he was reclining "and do not go just yet - I would have been away long and would have news of this household and this town - little gets through on the roads, come sit and tell me everything."

    Ordinarily he would wait for more. . . appropriate companionship, but if his parents were truly still at the baths as she said, then they would not have left long ago and would be gone for several hours - Decimus was many things, but patient was not among them, and besides, he had no siblings, servants would not speak to anyone of importance unless ordered to, and thus, what nobody knew would not hurt him.
  7. She quietly placed the tray down and was just about to step away when he spoke again. Her eyes widened just a bit at the order. It wasn't often that she was called upon for her more eloquent talents. Brushing a bang from her face she took a polite seat on another couch. Folding her hands in her lap she contemplated her words in silence for a long moment.

    Lifting her head she cleared her throat before speaking, "Well, young master, the fields had a small drought while you were gone, it took a bit of money out of your parent's treasury to keep everyone from starving." She began, "We have also seen a few odd earthquakes over the past couple of months, though nothing major." Her words were nonchalant, trying to remember all she could. "A few new slaves were bought and a few were sold, your father invested in a ludus...." She continued on, mainly speaking of trivial matters.
  8. ((I googled Ludus and it has a few meanings; a gladiator training facility or a school for young boys being the two most common; should I have Decimus ask or should he have an idea which?)

    Decimus picked a slice of cheese and bread off of the plate and popped the cheese into his mouth, closing his eyes and leaning his head back as he chewed, listening to the maidservant prattle on about everything that had been going on in the house. "And what of beyond the estate" he interruptd, opening one eye to stare up through the open-roofed courtyard at the clear sky. "The city - I heard news of a new amphatheater being built; has it been completed yet?"

    It probably had, he thought, even as he asked the question, he hadn't been home in a few years now - nearly five actually, if he counted. It was probably done and in production; he wondered what manner of events had been presented thus far, and if anything new would be coming out while he was home.
  9. ((The gladatorial training facility.)
    "I believe the amphitheater has been completed sir, I don't go into town much so all I know is what I overhear." Her voice seemed a bit nervous about the concept of things beyond the estate, after all this was her life. "I know the Governor is now Brutus Marcellus..." She spoke looking to him for a brief moment, "And the market has been expanded under his rule." She took a long moment trying to remember anything else before his father appeared, a smile upon his face. "Decimus! The gods bring you back safely I see!"
  10. "Father!" Decimus got to his feet in a hurry to stand up straight, a smile stealing across his expression as he stepped forward to meet the man. "Yes, safe although hungry and thirsty" he jested. "Father I have news - but that is a thirsty business; if you have no other occupation at hand then I would ask you to sit, and let us eat and drink together and tell me all that has happened" He made a motion of dismissal to the maidservant, marking what she had said about the amphitheater in his mind and determining to visit it before he left again.
  11. Rosalba looked a bit surprised as he dismissed her, though she would give a silent bowing nod and turn to walk away. She went about her duties, awaiting a call for her to return.

    His father raised a curious eye, the greyed and aged version of Decimus offered a wide smile and an embrace before her sat. "Well then, by all means what news do you bring?" He asked, his voice hoarse from years spent in the salt air of the city. It was his love however, even more so than his wife. He loved this city and he loved his son.
  12. "Father", Decimus replied, failing to suppress a grin as they sat down, "As you know this year concludes my Fifth-and-a-half year since I began serving as a Praetorian, and it has been positively elected that upon my return I am to train as an Immune!"

    he sat back on the long sofa, watching for his father's reaction. He had hoped to be able to keep him in suspense a little longer, but Decimus was never much good at holding back news of that kind, especially when he was so certain of his father's approval; as if being a Praetorian was not already honour enough
  13. His father looked rather surprised, a look of elation crossing his features. "Well boy! You are certainly moving up in the world!" He spoke patting his son's shoulder while he gave him a smile and a nod. "Soon you'll be a senator!" His father was more than impressed with him, "But don't you think you should slow down, settle down back here and keep on the family business? You are my only son after all."

    can I ask a few questions? Maybe it would help
    What is the relationship between Decimus and his father? Was there a previous agreement to take over the business and that being a praetorian would somehow be a temporary thing, or was joining the guards a rebel move? What IS the family business? Does the father have any trusted friends, nephews, or other people who could plausibly take over instead of Decimus?))))
  15. ((Well, I never thought since his father would be a killed npc soon enough.
    None the less the relationship would be good. The family business was the vineyards but with Decimus' position his father would more than laud the male allowing him to follow his military career until he wished to return home. There would be a nephew who could take over.))
  16. ((haha true, but I feel its important to develop NPC's, even if they don't need character futures, characters who act disposable arent half as interesting as those who are just as well-rounded as the mains, even if they don't have time to show every side of themselves))

    "Father..." Decimus paused, considering his words carefully. "There is a long, successful career opportunity ahead of me in the Immunes; the pay alone is worth staying, even without the honour and authority. And besides!" he added, with a grin, "You are not close to decrepit, father, you have many years of healthy life ahead of you before you need worry about passing on the business."

    Having, in his opinion, settled the issue for now, he reached for another thick slice of bread, dropping a lump of cheese on top before bringing the simple but delicious fare toward himself. "You have, I trust, been well whilst I was away? Little mail comes through the high-roads which are still being built - and it is ages late when it does come."
  17. ((Good point!))
    His father seemed a bit surprised as he tried to propose what he had no reason to. "I cannot make you stay to tend the vineyard, not when you have an opprotunity like this! What kind of father would I be if I kept my son from becoming and immune?" He asked with a smile shaking his head. "I am decrpit but I'll be damned if Dionysus doesn't get his wine as well as everyone else." He spoke, mainly in jest while he shook his head.

    Getting himself a bit of bread and cheese he sat back a bit, eating it while watching his son, pride in his eyes. "I have been fine, Rosabala has been tending to me, the girl knows much about medication." He replied with a nod. "I don't understand why they don't use pigeons!"
  18. "It's the cost, I think." Decimus replied, leaning back on the couch and enjoying the fair weather that poured in from the open ceiling. "It costs far less to purchase and send out a slave and a cheap cart than to purchase, train, and look after a house full of pigeons."

    The afternoon passed away into the evening, and bright colour splashed across the sky, fading slowly into a dark blue. As the first stars pricked their way through the evening, Decimus made his way into his old room. A spacious room, the curtains at the far end already drawn shut. Stretching, he walked toward the bed on the far end of the room, collapsing onto it, spinning on his heel to land on his back, closing his eyes as he felt his body sink down. Gods, maybe he wouldn't even bother undressing; they took good care of the Praetorians, and his quarters at work were not too bad at all, but still, there really was no place like home.

    ((Feel free to skip to morning if you want; or bring your main back in =) )))
  19. ((Alright, or would you rather move to the eruption? I had it in mind that he'd be coming home when it happened and come back to find the manor burning.... Rosabala being the only survivor.))
  20. ((Oh, well geez now I feel like I've led us off point or something =/ Ummm, it could still work; it'd be pheasable for him to take a servant along into the city to carry stuff and run errands and stuff right? Why dont we have them head out into town and have the eruption happen on their way back?))