Moderator: Mr. Handy
After Midnight- March 15, 44 BC
Following the directions given by Adelphus, the two cavalrymen and Marcus Sabinus soon arrived at the lavish home of Marcus Antonius, one of the greatest houses in Rome. It was in the wealthy Senatorial district where Marcus had been earlier tonight, but it was even more extravagant than Scaevola's house had been. Perhaps only the home of Crassus had a greater display of wealth, but all of that had done him no good at Carrhae when he had met his death in battle with the Parthians less than a decade earlier. Two lictors stood watch at the front door, bearing the rods that were symbols of their station within the walls of Rome. Outside the city, they could carry axes, another symbol they bore - but also very functional. Lictors not only had the power to guard the great and powerful, they also had authority to execute.
"Veteran Atermis Gaius Sylvius, signifier of the Auxillary Ala quingenaria, requesting an audience with the Consul and most respected veteran of Rome about a matter of vital importance to the Republic." He spoke with the confidence of his time in the service, but kept his voice to where only those near him and in front of him could hear. He fished out his veterans diploma and offered it for inspection.
"Veteran Artemis Gaius Sylvius, signifier of the Auxiliary Ala quingenaria, and his associates are here to see you, Dominus," said the servant with a deeper bow. "They say it is a matter of vital importance to the Republic."
"It seems that there is no shortage of such matters tonight," said the Consul, standing. "Ave, Signifier. You may speak."
He proceeded with the others to the room where the two men were having a conversation, still silent and vigilant he tried to pay attention to his surroundings before doing anything else.
While Artemis was in the front, Marcus whispered to both of them: "From what they were talking, it seems the Senator is on our side", never taking his eyes from the front and calmly smiling after the introduction ended, taking a slight bow in signal of respect for the Senator and Marcus Antonius.
"Consul, I apologize for the disturbance at such a late hour, but I bring grave news, as I stumbled upon a plot against our beloved General and Caesar by some within Rome's leaders. As a veteran soldier, I took my service and sacramentum serious, Sir, and that included protecting the Republic. We came to the one we felt we could trust and share such dire news." Artemis went silent, his head bowed in respect to the two men before him.
Marcus Antonius ignored him, focusing on Artemis instead. "You were right to come to me, soldier," he said. "As it happens, you did not even awaken me. What are the details of this plot? Who is involved? How did you come to know of it, and what proof do you have?"
"We stumbled upon this threat earlier in the day. We went to the Queen to ask about a black Egyptian cult and she too had heard rumors that a group in Rome was trying to change the balance of power. She asked us to try to find clues that could save Caesar and the Republic." Artemis tried to slow his breathing and maintain both his tone and his stare at the Consul.
My lady and a few of us visited Scaevola, and he revealed to her his fascination with an Egyptian god named Toth. Artemis continued. The Senator and her went to some part of his villa, while Spurius and I awaited their return. She could not speak much about what she was shown, but she was shaken and simply said that we needed to save Caesar.
From what we could collectively gather, Dominus, this Toth appears to be the Dark God that Scaevola and numerous others are hoping to appease with an attack on Caesar making him a sacrifice and his brutal death will bring them great rewards. A touch of anger entered into the
"My lady, and her colleagues, gave me this scroll and explained its meaning to me as it is written in the language of the Pharoahs." Artemis pulled the scroll he had been given from within the tucks of his clothing and stepped forward towards the Consul holding the scroll out in front of him. "She also mentioned that she was going to help give us a means of identifying Scaevola and his flock by integrating into their numbers in a yellow stola and palla. For who ever is near her, will be bearing some special daggar called Ra. Sir, we came as quickly as we coud, and these men are my witnesses that I speak the truth about this matter."
Artemis stopped talking. He simply held out the scroll, held his gaze with the Consul and breathed.
"I can confirm part of his report," the Senator said. "Senator Scaevola is indeed part of the plot."
"Thank you, Casca, but we still must verify this information. I must know the exact words on the scroll and its provenance."
That originated in the forum, and Senator Germanicus and a man named Adelphus affirmed what a group of us learned about a brotherhood intending to assassinate Caesar. It was Adelphus that gave us this scroll that is now in your hands, I know not how to read the scroll and have told you it's purpose. Artemis took a moment to like his lips, paused and caught his thoughts and breath.
Our Lady Caelia intends to send us information associated with Scaevola's plans tomorrow morning. She also will be able to help us find Scaevola amongst the crowds tomorrow. So, Artemis paused again and licked his lips, "How do we Consul save our Caesar from this madness?"
At that moment, the servant returned along with another slave, this one of Egyptian appearance. Antonius handed him the scroll, and he translated it aloud:
"Hail Adept Scaevola,
I, Master Kemnebi, send you greetings from the Temple of Thoth in Khmun. Accompanying this missive you will find the Dagger of Ra. It is an ancient artifact of great power that we have only recently unearthed. Most of its powers remain mysteries to the Brotherhood for now, but it will certainly suffice for the purpose you have envisioned. In order to empower it for that purpose, you will need to slay an extremely powerful individual, and you must sacrifice a large portion of your essence in order to do so. However, there may be a way to lessen the cost to your ka. If you conduct this sacrifice in conjunction with as many others as possible, the cost will be shared with them, though you will still pay the highest price. It matters not which of you actually strikes the death blow, but it is essential that every one among you sheds the victim's blood. Once that is done, further sacrifices can made of any individual as long as it is done in the presence of Thoth, and you shall reap the benefits. Of course, the more powerful the victim's spirit, the greater the benefits to you. Those benefits will far outweigh the cost of the initial sacrifice. If Thoth wills it, you will become the greatest magician the world has ever seen, able to live through the centuries and witness the eventual awakening of the Beast. If you go down this path, you will surely succumb to madness, but as we both know, madness is merely seeing the world for what it truly is. The blessings of Thoth go with you."
"There is no mention of Caesar in this missive," Antonius said, "but there can be no doubt that he fits the description. Rest assured that I will allow no harm to come to Caesar. In the morning, I shall personally go to the Forum to warn him of the danger."
"Pardon my interruption sir, I realize the seriousness of the situation, but specially since there's not really any mention of Caesar is why we need to be more discreet." He said while he lifted his eyes in order to meet Antonius's.
"If we act carelessly, he might realize something's off and he'll switch to another target, maybe we should focus on trying to track and follow Scaveola, while a discreet group guards Caesar."
Marcus then steps back to the place where he previously was, with a slight smirk forged on the left side of his mouth. "We should use the element of surprise to our advantage, sir."
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