IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricus)

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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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by DrPeterson »

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"Humour the Senator, Claudius, it seems his slaves have turned invisible by lack of discursive reference."

Germanicus turns to look at the scene again and smiles.

"A pity the play is nearly come to an end, I was just starting to enjoy it. I'm sure tomorrow's spectacle will be as amusing, though. Shall we be seated together again, Scaevola?"
"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-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by Supercape »

Claudius dutifully poured some of the wine he had procured previously. He but glanced at the Senator, and took joy in imagining slitting the man's throat. Perhaps someday, he would. He cursed God and Man every day, and cared little for his own life. If the fates had rolled his life so unkindly, then spreading misery would be evening the balance.

"Yes Mart'ther" he mumbled at his master.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by Grognardsw »

andyw666 wrote:Lupus gives Aricus a quick glance, and asks (what he imagines is) one of the most standard questions across Rome and its holdings. "And what far flung land did you hail from originally, Aricus? I was from Tungria in Gaul myself."
"We hail from the same region," Aricus says with a smile. "I am from north of Lemovices in Gallia Celtica. I was taken as a battle prisoner and sold in slavery. It seems the play is almost over."
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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

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"Indeed we shall, Germanicus, though there is still more to the play," said Scaevola, pausing to take a sip of his refilled cup. "It will be good to see Aricus Callidus Gladio fight again."

Jocasta greeted the messenger kindly, and he revealed that the people of Corinth would make Oedipus their king, for his father Polybus had died. Jocasta sent a servant into the palace to inform her husband, then mocked the oracles for their failed prediction, as Oedipus had not killed Polybus as they had apparently said he would. Then Oedipus returned from the palace and told him the news, which the messenger confirmed, saying when asked that he had died from illness and old age. Oedipus was relieved that the prophecy seemed to have been nullified, but he was still afraid that it was still possible for him to defile his mother's bed. Jocasta tried to reassure him, but he said that he would still be afraid of that fate as long as she lived. When the messenger asked him who his mother was and why he so feared her, he told him her name and about the prophecy, which was the reason he had fled Corinth - and the reason he could not return. The messenger told him that he had nothing to fear on that count because Polybus was not in fact his father.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by DrPeterson »

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He had no idea where it came from, but Germanicus could barely suppress the sudden wave of disgust he felt for Scaevola.
He took a deep breath, had a strong sip of wine and let his mind wander to the coming campaign. How good it would be to smell the smells of the road again, the dust on sweaty skin and the scent of oiled leather.

He sighed contently as the play unfolded somewhere far away.
"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-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

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When Oedipus further questioned him about how Polybus had ended up with him, the messenger revealed that he had given Oedipus to him after he had been found abandoned in the forest, where the messenger had been watching his sheep. The baby's ankles had been pierced and pinned together, which was how Oedipus had gotten his name. When Oedipus asked why his real parents would do this to him, the messenger said he did not know, for another shepherd had found the baby and given him to him. When Oedipus asked who had found him, the messenger said he believed it was one of Laius's servants. Oedipus asked if the man was still alive and if he could speak to him, and the messenger said the people of Thebes would be the ones to ask. When Oedipus asked if anyone knew of this man, the chorus leader said he was in fact the same man who was the sole survivor of Laius's escort, and that Jocasta would know more. He asked his wife, and she told him that he should forget about it, and that there was no point in trying to sort out what he had said. Oedipus insisted that he had to get to the bottom of the mystery of his birth, but Jocasta, no doubt realizing the horrible truth, begged him in the name of the gods not to delve any further into the matter, saying that she would suffer were the truth revealed, and that that should be enough to dissuade him. However, he tried to reassure her and would not budge from his quest for his origins. She finally said that she hoped he would never find out who he was. Oedipus told the people to bring the shepherd forth, at which Jocasta said there was nothing more she could say to him and that she would never speak again, then ran into the palace.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

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Tactics 40%,[dice]0[/dice]
"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-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

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The chorus leader asked why the queen had run off, and that he felt a disastrous storm was coming. Oedipus said the storm could break, but he had to know his true family origin. After some discussion, a very old man approached Oedipus, the shepherd that he had awaited. Oedipus guessed it must be him, and the chorus leader and the messenger confirmed it. Oedipus questioned him, asking if he had ever known the messenger, but he said he could not remember. However, the messenger did remember and reminded him, then asked about him having given the messenger a baby boy. When the servant asked him why he would ask that, the messenger pointed out Oedipus and said that he had been that baby. The old shepherd cursed him and said he should have kept quiet about it. Oedipus told the old man not to treat him so, and that his profanity was worse than anything the messenger had said. The servant tried to deflect Oedipus's questioning, but he would not be deterred and said that he would make him talk. The old man begged him not to torture him, and when Oedipus ordered his men to bind him, he finally said he'd tell what he knew. He admitted to having given the baby to the messenger, and that he'd wished he'd died that day. The king told him that he would die if he didn't tell the truth. The old servant said his death would be worse if he did. Oedipus accused him of stalling and pressed him to tell him whose baby it was. The shepherd begged him not to ask, but after further threats from Oedipus, he gradually led to the horrible truth: the baby was said to be Laius's son, but the woman who had gone into the palace (Jocasta) would be in a better position to tell him. He admitted that she had given him the baby and told him to kill it out of fear of dreadful prophecies. Oedipus asked about them, and he said that the baby had been destined to kill his father. Oedipus asked why he had given the baby to the messenger instead of killing it, and the old man said he felt pity for the boy and hoped the messenger would take him far away to his own land. However, he had only saved him for the worst possible grief, and that if Oedipus was indeed who the messenger had said, he knew about his terrible fate. A look of realization finally dawned on Oedipus's face, and he looked up at the bright sky, which he said would be for the last time. Lamenting his curse, he ran into the palace.
Germanicus,[b]Germanicus[/b] could not help thinking of Carrhae, less than ten years ago. In that prior campaign against the Parthians, [b]Crassus[/b] had met his ignominious end. He had gone in with superior forces, vastly outnumbering the enemy, but the Parthians had highly mobile heavy cavalry that had been able to run rings around the legions. The result could hardly have been more disastrous for Rome, mitigated only by [b]Gaius Cassius Longinus[/b] leading the surviving troops to safety in Syria. The mistakes of Carrhae would have to be avoided in this campaign, but [b]Germanicus[/b] had learned that lesson well, as no doubt had [b]Caesar[/b]. It had been [b]Crassus[/b]'s death that had led to the breakdown of the Triumvirate, of which he had been a member along with [b]Caesar[/b] and [b]Pompey[/b]. Like a three-legged stool when one leg is broken, it had not taken long to collapse, though the tension between [b]Caesar[/b] and [b]Pompey[/b] had ultimately caused its fall. [b]Pompey[/b] had ordered [b]Caesar[/b] to return to Rome, which he had done - at the head of his army. [b]Germanicus[/b] had been with him then. The defeat at Carrhae had led to the civil war in which [b]Caesar[/b] had emerged victorious. [b]Caesar[/b] no doubt intended to avenge Carrhae with the campaign he had planned. [b]Marcus Liicinius Crassus[/b], whose father had been slain there, would certainly wish to be part of this revenge too.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by DrPeterson »

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Germanicus barely took notice of the play any more, though the actors weren't half bad, an aroma of the wine had brought him back some years, to a crisp January day when they'd marched the army across the Rubicon. Things were different back then, they'd all been younger men. He smiled as he thought of Antony rejoining their ranks on the banks of the river, having fled the wrath of the outraged Senate.

A shiver ran down his spine and Germanicus washed it down with a sip of wine.

"Carrhae", he whispered the name into his cup. It had changed a lot, for Rome and for his family. The death of Crassus had permanently disrupted the balance of power in the Triumvirate, and the death of Crassus's son, Publius Licinius Crassus, had left his daughter a widow. Germanicus had been struck by the grief of his heart-broken daughter appear on his doorstep, but he'd also been happy to have her close again, together with his granddaughter.

Crassus had been foolish, though the richest man in Rome and of the three most powerful, he was never content to be in Caesar or Pompey's shadow. And what shadows those men cast! He felt the bitter-sweet sting of nostalgia. Caesar was the only one left alive of the Triumvirate. The times had indeed changed, the world was changing and somehow he felt that younger and more hungry men were waiting out there in the shadows to seize the reigns from them, just like Oedipus had when he'd struck down his father.


"Claudius, would you fetch us some more wine, I fear I have run out. Memories are such thirsty places."
"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-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by Supercape »

"Of course, Marth'ter" said Claudius, bowing even lower. He was pleased to scuttle off, the play disturbed him with unwanted feelings. He had the vaguest notion that his marth'ter was being manipulated somehow. A war of words?

He left the vicinity to purchase more wine with his marth'ters coin. He worried if this would lead to intoxication. A drunken man was a violent man, in his experience, and Cladius was not keen on any beatings, although such, in his experience, was his lot.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by Grognardsw »

Watching the play, Aricus wonders if he should be sparring at the ludus to prepare for tomorrow's arena match.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by Mr. Handy »

Claudius found the same wine vendor, who was more than happy to take his master's coin in exchange for some libations.

The people of Thebes lamented the horrible fate of Oedipus. The man had conquered all and seemed to be on top of the world, yet he had fallen so suddenly. Then another messenger returned from the palace with more terrible news. The leader of the townsfolk expressed disbelief that anything could be worse than what they'd already heard, but the messenger said that Queen Jocasta was dead by her own hand, going on to describe in gruesome detail what he had personally observed and calling the people lucky that they had not seen it. Jocasta had run to her bedroom, slamming doors behind her and finally moaning beside the bed. Oedipus had come into the palace screaming, blocking the servants from seeing her. He ran back and forth, demanding a sword. In his state, nobody had dared approach him. Enraged, he had forced open the doors to the bedroom he had once shared with the woman who was at once both his wife and his mother, only to find her body hanging. Then he had taken her golden brooches and plunged them into both of his eyes repeatedly, blinding himself so that he would no longer see the consequences of his actions. He had been shouting to open the gates so that he could come out and reveal himself as Laius's killer so that the people would drive him into exile and the curse would be lifted. He warned the people about the sight they were about to see, and then the palace doors opened and Oedipus emerged. His eyes were black, with red liquid dripping from the sockets. Though the audience knew that the actor had not actually blinded himself, there was still a collective gasp.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by DrPeterson »

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Germanicus's revery ended as the play reached its climax. He watched and listened with great attention as the big reveal was made and Oedipus blinded himself.
He didn't approve of this sort of mutilation, having always preferred a swifter and cleaner form of punishment such as the lash or the sword, but it was well-performed and he applauded the actors.
"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-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by andyw666 »

Having fallen lightly asleep in his seat with his chin on his chest, Lupus jerks up at Aricus' question.

"Are we there yet? Oops, I do apologise old son, I drifted off, late night. Shall we wander over closer to the Senator if it's all over?"
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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by Grognardsw »

"Yes, let us stretch legs and free mind," answers Aricus. "I think the Senator is on the far side."

The ex-gladiator joins Lupus for a walk.
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Re: IC-Ep 1-The Stage Is Set(Germanicus/Claudius/Lupus/Aricu

Post by Mr. Handy »

Oedipus stumbled forward as the townsfolk stared in shock. The man certainly acted as though he were genuinely blind, giving a very convincing performance. The leader of the Thebans looked away from the sight while speaking with Oedipus, asking him how he had come to this wretched state. Oedipus lamented his fate and confirmed the account of how he had blinded himself. When asked what god had driven him to it, Oedipus named Apollo, the god of the oracle, but said that putting out his eyes was his own choice, for he no longer wished to see anything. He said that he would rather have died when abandoned as a baby, cursing the man who had rescued him. The discussion continued until Creon returned, saying that he had not come to mock him and asking the servants to take him into the palace, for it would be kinder not to let anyone other than his family see him like this. Oedipus was stunned that Creon was treating him so decently and asked him a favor, to send him away from Thebes to a place where nobody would cross his path. Creon said that he could, but that he wished to consult with the the god first. Oedipus then asked Creon to bury Jocasta's corpse. Then two teenage girls, his daughters, emeged from the palace in tears. When Oedipus asked, Creon said that he had sent them out to comfort him, which they did. After some final words, they all went back inside the palace. Then the chorus concluded the play with one final short speech, telling the people to look upon Oedipus, who had solved the famed riddle of the Sphinx. He had been the most powerful of men and his wealth had made him the envy of all, but now the worst disaster had befallen him.

"So while we wait to see that final day," they said, "we cannot call a mortal being happy before he's passed beyond this life free from pain."

The audience applauded, rising to its feet as one.
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