IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(All)

Story and his companions arrive in Rome in 44 BC, the day before the Ides of March. They encounter a very unusual soothsayer who delivers a warning to Julius Caesar and soon find themselves embroiled in intrigue.

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IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(All)

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:58 am

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Forum Romanum- Rome, Italia
Morning - March 14, 44 BC

Story, Elizabeth Young, Lucius Verres, and Brook Davies emerged from the alley and entered a large open marketplace. Lucius immediately recognized it as the Forum Romanum, the very heart of Roman life. Nestled between the Capitoline and Palatine Hills, it was paved with stone and lined with temples, shops (all closed), and other prominent buildings. One of these was the Curia, where the Roman Senate would meet. Though none of the shops were open, which Lucius knew meant it had to be one of the many Roman holidays, the forum was still full of people mingling, talking, and enjoying entertainment. There were singers, dancers, jugglers, and people playing musical instruments. A man with a proud bearing who wore a white toga with a broad purple stripe made his way across the forum, a hideous figure of a man limping along at his heels in a brown hooded cloak not unlike Lucius's, only obviously customized to fit the man's misshapen form, over a plain brown toga. Ahead of them walked two tough-looking men, each carrying a long staff. Lucius identified them as lictors, bodyguards for prominent Romans. Also nearby was a man in his mid-thirties with auburn hair in a tattered gray toga with a red overcloak. Age had not been kind to his features, but he looked all right in comparison to the deformed man. There was also an absolutely stunning woman in her mid-twenties, wearing a toga that was clearly in much better shape. In addition, an old man wandered through the forum, frequently looking around.

The people in the forum saw the new arrivals enter the forum. The older man looked to be in his forties and had Brittanian features, as did the woman in her early twenties and the teenage girl accompanying him, though they all wore togas and sandals as Romans did. Their clothes were decent enough, if a bit out of style. Perhaps the ladies were his daughters. Also with them was a tall, muscular Roman man in a toga, with a brown hooded cucullus over it.

Senator Tiberius Tullius Germanicus walked through the forum, gladhanding and chatting with the crowds. After the salutatio, where he met with his clients, he often mingled with the people in the mornings outside the Curia. He recognized a couple of his clients here as well, which was no surprise. Today was the festival of Equiria, one of the few dedicated to Mars, the god of war. For the next couple of weeks, every day was a holiday of one sort or another. However, all of the shops were closed today, and would be again tomorrow. Instead, people took in entertainments such as plays and chariot races. It was a day off for Romans, and even slaves weren't allowed to work. Still, Claudius Marcius followed him faithfully as always, and his presence was...useful. Claudius was relieved to have the chance to relax and enjoy himself. Most of his life was full of pain and drudgery. Holidays were his few chances to take a breather.

Titus Iunius Philo often found people in the forum who wanted the future foretold. Senators, priests, or ordinary Romans would come to him to see what the omens said. While things appeared to have been settling down since the end of the war, the omens he had been seeing in recent weeks were getting darker and darker. Bad times were coming, but you wouldn't know it from seeing everyone enjoying the holiday. What was that old proverb? Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die? Something like that. That old man looked vaguely familiar to him. Where had he seen him before?

Caelia Alba was glad for the holiday. It gave her the opportunity to celebrate and have fun. While she did enjoy her work, it could also be very stressful. People's lives were literally in her hands, and it was not an easy burden. A festival dedicated to Mars didn't feel right to her, as war had claimed her husband. On the other hand, it had also been good for business. There had been no shortage of wounded soldiers, and some had even sought her services in spite of the fact that she is a woman. A number of them had known her late husband, which may have been why they came to her. Still, it was good that the war was behind them, and she wouldn't be sorry if there was never another one. However, she knew human nature all too well. There would always be another war.

Spoiler:
Philo, please roll Know.

Spoiler:
All of you, please feel free to interact with each other. I'll wait a little while for a couple of new players to finish creating their characters before I get things properly started.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby Grognardsw » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:35 pm

Aricus Callidus Gladio, ex-gladiator

Aricus wanders about the forum, enjoying the holiday. His lanista, Proculus Lartius Valens, gave his helper the day off, so the ex-gladiator finds himself in the marketplace. Aricus takes in the crowds, his eye lingering on the comely healer he has heard about, Caelia Alba. Her father Caelius Albus Graecus has helped the wounded at the ludus of Proculus Lartius Valens, who employed Aricus. The daughter was never allowed into the gladiator school; doubtless her father did not want Caelia in such a rough and raw place with crude gladiators greedily eyeing her, or more.

Then Aricus sees passing by him Senator Tiberius Tullius Germanicus. Their eyes meet briefly; Aricus nods. In Aricus' earlier days when he was a gladiator, the younger Tiberius was still making a name for himself and was a sponsor of Aricus in the arena. Later after his freedom, Aricus served the Senator as a body guard on some travels in Italy. The two came to have respect for each other. Then Aricus recognizes one of Tiberius' bodyguards, a Syrian known for his dirty tricks in the arena. Not a man of honor.

"Greetings Aricus! Happiness to you!" Aricus' thoughts are interrupted by the salutations of an old friend, Baro, who was a fighting brother in days past. "Yet I see furrowed brow. What troubles mind?"

Image

"Good day to you Baro," responds Aricus. He nods his head in the direction of the Senator. "I like not the Syrian Kamar Vohra in presence of Senator Tiberius. But I am not in position to advise. I should stay mind from thought. Today is for wine and the embrace of questionable women.”

The ex-gladiator sees an augur in the marketplace. Since the days of his youth in Gaul, when he was studying to be a druid, Aricus has been intrigued with fortune tellers. He knew a good many of them were charlatans, but some indeed had insights from the gods. On impulse, Aricus approaches Titus Lunius Philo. "Augur, I would have fortune told."
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby DrPeterson » Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:14 pm

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Germanicus enjoyed the bustle of the forum, it gave him a chance to smell the people and their thoughts, and it allowed him to be seen. He knew he was safe here, at the heart of the Republic, with strong men vying to steer the mighty ship that was Rome back on its course towards infinity and he was empowered by the thought that he was a part of the crew that try to sail the Republic on a straight course.
He shrugged at the nautical metaphors, the wind must be coming from the West, for it carried the faint traces of freshness that were ever in scarce supply in the City.

After seeing the warrior that was once on his pay roll, Pugno...no, Gladio, and greeting him curtly but with a mutual understanding that is shared by men of the sword, he walked on. Germanicus was pleasantly surprised by the calm of the streets. Usually when the fighters were let out of the pits, they would carousing and whore and inevitably fight, but he'd seen none of it so far.

Then he noticed the presence of the other Britaniae on the forum, an odd group indeed, and he paid them no further attention.
"Do you see, Claudius, the crucible that is at the heart of Rome? Here at the centre of everything are gathered the peoples of the world. It is from here that order is spread and chaos is held at bay, and to that eternal light do flock the most colourful of moths."

He smiled as he saw Caelia and made his way towards her. The young healer had once helped his wife get rid of a hideous ulcer and her skills and discretion were held in high regard in the house of Germanicus.

"Ave, Caelia Alba! Even on this brightest of feasts do you outshine all others on the Forum. I trust the gods and this day find you in good health?"
"He said we were all cooked but we were all right as long as we did not know it. We were all cooked. The thing was not to recognize it."
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby Supercape » Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:30 pm

Caldius kept his eyes open, his ears sharp, and his face covered by his hood.

"Do you see, Claudius, the crucible that is at the heart of Rome? Here at the centre of everything are gathered the peoples of the world. It is from here that order is spread and chaos is held at bay, and to that eternal light do flock the most colourful of moths."


"Yes master" he said, keeping his face and eyes deeply down to the ground. "It is truly a sight to behold".

Caldius was not strong, clever, fast, or brave. All he could profess to was a grotesque physique and a lifetime of learning how to avoid being hit as best he could.

He did not like being outside, not even with his master. Too many people, too unsafe. He flinched and trembled and wrung his hands, but endure it he must. No choice in the matter. He did his best to try and overhear his masters conversations, and study those he spoke too...
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby CrackheadC. » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:33 pm

Titus Iunius Philo patrolled the forum on the holiday, usually he would do a reading here and there for a passerby to make a small bit of coin or to allow servants of clients who demanded a bit more discretion to call on him. Sometimes he'd simply be out in the forum to observe the people, which he felt was its own kind of augury - one could see signs in people themselves. Something about the older Brittanian stuck in his mind, ordinarily he'd just ignore it, but with the dark signs of late he had been less quick to dismiss anything. He tried to see if there was anything else out of the ordinary about them, aside from their fashion which Titus wasn't about to give anyone trouble about theirs compared to his own. Through his staring at the new man had prevented him from noticing the one right next to him. When the former gladiator spoke, Titus was startled.

"Oh! Yes, right, definitely. How fitting that a man of the sword would like a reading on Mars' holiday? A little exchange shall we? Tell me what you think, as a man who has more experience with foreign folk, of the Brittanians that just entered. Have you ever seen them before? Then, I will give you your reading." The augur nodded slightly towards the newcomers so that Gladio could take a look.

Spoiler:
Know (99):
CrackheadC. rolled 1d100:
5

I'd like to take a spot hidden roll to see if there is anything else unusual about Story and the gang that I can notice.
Spot Hidden (25):
CrackheadC. rolled 1d100:
57


Also, how would the augury work in a case like Gladio's. Obviously, I won't be casting the spell.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby Thorn » Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:47 pm

Brook looks around curiously as they enter the forum. She smiles, as always intrigued by all the different people she could see. Turning to Story, she says: "I wonder why we're here...Is it only to guide Lucius home, or does the TARDIS have some other meaning bringing us here?" She smiles at Lucius, who seems right at home in this crowd. Looking to Elisabeth, she adds:"I just hope we're not kidnapped again, like last time."
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby yockenthwaite » Mon Aug 31, 2015 8:37 pm

"So long as I don't see any more fish monsters I will be happy!" says Elizabeth, grinning in response to Brook's comment. She turns to Lucius: "Lucius do you know where we are? Does it look familiar to you?" Elizabeth looks around them with interest, trying to see if she recognises anything from her - albeit limited - knowledge of ancient Rome.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby jaysun81 » Mon Aug 31, 2015 11:22 pm

Story looks around the forum, taking in the various sights and smells all around. After a moment he turns his attention to Brook, "Excellent question. The TARDIS has a tendency to be quite mysterious. I'm sure we will find out soon enough." Hearing Elizabeth's fish monster comment causes him to chuckle as he looks to Lucius.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby hexelis » Tue Sep 01, 2015 12:45 am

"Ah, yes, we are at the Forum Romanum. It is good to be in Rome again, though quite a bit has changed in thirty-some years." Lucius takes in the sights and smells, and tries to get an idea of the current state of affairs.
OOC:   (being as Lucius is from 80 BC.)  
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby Grognardsw » Tue Sep 01, 2015 2:15 pm

CrackheadC. wrote: Titus Iunius Philo...
"Oh! Yes, right, definitely. How fitting that a man of the sword would like a reading on Mars' holiday? A little exchange shall we? Tell me what you think, as a man who has more experience with foreign folk, of the Brittanians that just entered. Have you ever seen them before? Then, I will give you your reading." The augur nodded slightly towards the newcomers so that Gladio could take a look.


Aricus glances over at the group of people the augur is referring to.

"They are strangers to my eye. From the way they gawk about, I would say they have not trodden the Forum grounds. Mayhap visitors from abroad."

"I am Aricus Callidus Gladio. What do the Fates whisper of me?"
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby jaysun81 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 12:04 am

"Thirty some years you say," says Story as he runs his hand through his hair. "Well, at least we're close."
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby andyw666 » Thu Sep 03, 2015 11:47 am

Among the throng, Lupus sat propped against the base of a statue, apparently sleeping in the sun. One hand rested on his coin purse and the other held a jug of something. To observers, with his – admittedly greying – red hair and pale skin Lupus was obviously foreign born. Despite being of middle years, he looked fit and muscular, which with his short military hair-cut read: Army. To cap off the image, Lupus had a strikingly ugly face, criss-crossed with scars, and with a very broken nose.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:38 am

Spoiler:
Actually, the TARDIS crew does not yet know what year this is, or how far from Lucius's time it is (or even that it's not).

Romans in the Republic era would typically describe the year by who was consul during that year. Rome had two consuls who served one year terms, so their names usually served to identify a particular year, and many documents used that method. Currently Julius Caesar is the sole leader, due to exceptional circumstances. Romans also measured time Ab Urba Condita (A.U.C.), the number of years from the building of Rome in 753 BC. Thus, Lucius is from 673 A.U.C. (80 BC), and it is currently 709 A.U.C. (44 BC).

Story. Elizabeth, and Brook, please roll History. Lucius, please roll Know.

Spoiler:
It was the old man wandering around the forum that most caught Philo's attention. He had seen this man before recently, on numerous occasions. He was an augur too, named Adelphus. He was Greek, but he spent an awful lot of time in the guest palace where Cleopatra and her Egyptian entourage were staying since they had come to Rome. In fact, he had arrived at around the same time. Adelphus was most famous for the warning he had delivered to Gaius Julius Caesar a month ago, at the feast of Lupercalia. He had told Caesar to "beware the Ides of March" - and the Ides were tomorrow! Since then, there had been whispers about Adelphus amongst the augurs of Rome. Some said that he wasn't really Greek. One had said he wasn't even a man, but some mysterious being in disguise.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby Thorn » Fri Sep 04, 2015 7:33 am

Brook History 20 %:
Thorn rolled 1d100:
94
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby hexelis » Fri Sep 04, 2015 5:29 pm

Lucius has 50% Know
Rolled 06.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby jaysun81 » Fri Sep 04, 2015 9:56 pm

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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby yockenthwaite » Sat Sep 05, 2015 6:03 pm

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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby Mr. Handy » Sun Sep 06, 2015 1:54 am

Spoiler:
This was definitely the Forum Romanum, the very heart of Rome. Looking around, they could tell that this was the late Republic period. There were no Imperial symbols in evidence. Most people wore togas, but some were wearing tunics, which were just starting to come into style towards the end of the Republic.

Spoiler:
Lucius could tell at once that this was not his time. This was definitely the Forum Romanum, but things had changed. There were buildings here that he didn't remember seeing when he had been in Rome in his own time, nor had he heard of them having ever been there. Fashions were subtly different too. Very few people were tunics in his day, but there were more people wearing them here, though they were still in the minority. All of this led Lucius to conclude that he was not in his past either, but at some point in his future. The differences were minor, so it probably wasn't that far off, but he didn't know yet what had changed in however long he'd been gone.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:56 pm

"Make way!" shouted a man's deep booming voice from the edge of the Forum. "Make way for Gaius Julius Caesar, twice imperator, dictator in perpetua!" When people turned to look, they saw the entourage of Julius Caesar approach. Caesar himself was borne atop a litter carried by several slaves, wearing a white toga with a wide purple stripe. Though he was in his mid-fifties, he still retained a powerful demeanor and features that looked like they were sculpted. Surrounding him were heralds, servants, various hangers-on, and his lictors. While Germanicus had but two of them, Caesar had an even dozen.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum(A

Postby yockenthwaite » Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:34 am

"Gosh!" says Elizabeth, in awe. Turning to the others she says "We'd better step out of the way if need be. This is a big group coming through."
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