Savage Rome

The Villa
Rest and recreation

It took the best part of the morning to reach Paulus‘s villa. As the entourage neared the villa, a figure approached them: this was Abraham, Paulus’s head slave. Welcoming the group Abraham dashed back to the Villa to make arrangements and alert his master. The group noticed a matronly figure in the Villa Garden. Spotting them the figure ran briskly to the Villa.

Abraham welcomed the group and led them through to his master’s atrium, where a dishevelled Paulus emerged to great them. They were all made welcome and invited to enjoy the hospitality of the Villa. There was no news of the missing Gaius Marcius Regillus but Paulus was overjoyed to meet Anaxagoras.

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Lucius, with Quintus in attendance, headed to the bath house. Anaxagoras found the library. Tribune Nerva started working his way through Paulus excellent wines, while Leandro Fino had never eaten so well and soon, belly full, fell asleep. Anyaka dallied with an attractive young slave boy in the garden. The watchful Ragnar kept watch.

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Back at the tower
Lucius and Quintus have a restless night; Lucius gets into a fight

While everyone else enjoyed the delights of Musa‘s tavern, and in Anyaka’s case the delights of Musa‘s daughter, Flavia, Lucius and Quintus tried to make themselves comfortable in Montanus’ study.

There sleep was disturbed by a barely human wailing from the depths of the tower. Lucius sent Quintus to investigate and silence to disturbance. After a few minutes the wailing stopped and Quintus returned. Lucius congratulated Quintus, who explained that it was nothing to do with him. Montanus had been sitting on his dais in the hall and advised Quintus to go back to his master, as one of his men clambered up from below the tower, smiling and nursing his bruised knuckles.

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Lucius was awoken by Quintus the Slave who after giving him a rub down with olive oil and a good scrape, fetched breakfast. They then descended to the hall as the Tribune with his shadow, Leandro marched in. Marcus Tullius Montanus reclined on his ‘throne’. Banter was exchanged, in which the old soldiers mocked Lucius’ military expertise. Offended, Lucius was led into accepting a challenge from Titus
to a fight with rudius, the wooden sword.

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The Germans and Greek attempted to blend into the background as the garrison formed an informal ring and started laying bets. Tribune Nerva put a small bet on Lucius.

Titus landed the first blow, but Lucius responded with a firm blow, much to Titus’ surprise. Enraged, he struck Lucius, knocking him to the ground. Lucius prone form received a good kicking before Ragnar threw a stone at Titus, distracting him long enough for his fellow legionaries to haul him away.

The morning’s entertainment over, Quintus carried his bruised master to his caravan and the party set of towards Mamercus Cassius Paulus villa.

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Night Manuvers
Wherever I lay my hat...

Suitably fed and watered the party settled for the night.

Servius Scribonis Facilis was put out of the way under a table, while Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva and Leandro Fino after a few whispered comments settled on top of the table.

The group of German farmers set off into the dark, leaving everyone else to settle as best they could. Musa and Flavia retired to their house through a connecting door. The observant Anaxagoras noticed the knowing looks exchanged between Anyaka and Flavia.

When everyone seemed to be asleep only the ever watchful Ragnar noticed Anyaka slip through the connecting door to Musa’ house and the waiting Flavia.

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Everyone in the tavern woke as Anyaka tripped through the door to Musa‘s house and into a table. It was then that Anaxagoras found a bag next to him. Opening it he let out a scream as he chucked the human head it contained towards the exit. As the sound of approaching footsteps from Musa’s house reached them, Ragnar scooped up the head and returned it to the bag, which I took from the shaken Greek.

Musa asked what the screaming was about and suggested that it was time that everyone was on their way, asking the Tribune to take the vomit stained Facilis with him.

And so they set off to the Roman compound…

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A Night on the Town
An evening spent in Magnus Major or I kissed a girl and I liked it

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva headed to the Legionary bar within the Roman compound. The place was deserted apart from the miserable barman who served Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva a flagon of alcoholic vinegar he called wine.

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva had just settled down to drink, when Titus Fulvius Longus suggested he accompany him on ‘patrol’ to Servius Sulpicius Musa’s tavern in the German quarter. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva readily agreed and the set off, Titus Fulvius Longus easily persuading the sentry to open the gate. Seeing Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva leaving, Leandro Fino slipped through the gate after him.

Herman the German led the German part of the group with the Greek to Servius Sulpicius Musa’s tavern. The genial Servius Sulpicius Musa stopped chatting to a table full of merry local Germans to Ragnar, Anyaka, and Anaxagoras the Greek.

As the German-Greek contingent settled at a table, they noticed a shadowy figure sat, sullenly staring into his cup, Servius Scribonis Facilis, sat in a dark cornet. They overheard a heated conversation between Servius Scribonis Facilis and Servius Sulpicius Musa regarding his daughter and how he would be a good match for her.

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva arrived, closely followed by Leandro Fino. Anyaka ordered food and wine for the new arrivals, fearing Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva lack of manners would result in a bar-room brawl. Titus Fulvius Longus and Leandro Fino joined the bitter Servius Scribonis Facilis.

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The beautiful Flavia Musa entered the room with the food ordered. Anaxagoras the Greek noticed that she seemed to be flirting with Anyaka. After speaking to her father, Flavia Musa joined the Germans and the Greek. After playing with Ragnar’s Cat, she settled down to talk in hushed tones with Anyaka. Anaxagoras the Greek managed to conceal his excitement.

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Arrival at Magnus Major

As the Sun began to set the party emerged from the woods into the land cleared around the settlement of Magnus Major. The smoke from the fires of homesteads and Magnus Major were visible.

As the wooden palisade of Magnus Major came into view, the party noticed a group of colonists and local Germans gathered around the moat. Has Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva and Lucius Julius Regillus approached they were halted by a Roman legionary, whose uniform was adapted to local fashion. This was Titus Fulvius Longus. He was left talking to Lucius Julius Regillus while Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva rode over to the moat see what the fuss was about.

The party observed that a bedraggled body was being hauled from the water, the body of Centurio Servius Magius Druses.

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Centurio Servius Magius Druses body was carried into the palisaded village and thence to the temple to be prepared for cremation the next day. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva sent Leandro Fino to remove the corpses head when he had an opportunity. While Titus Fulvius Longus escorted Lucius Julius Regillus, Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva, and Quintus the Slave to the hall of Marcus Tullius Montanus, the Germans and Greek decided the hospitality of a tavern in the German quarter outside the fortification would be more welcoming that the Romans. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva warned Anaxagoras the Greek to watch out for Swamp Demons, alarming some of the locals who overheard this exchange.

Marcus Tullius Montanus sat on a throne on a dais draped in wolf and bear furs. On the back of the throne flapped a large eagle, Around the hall loitered a number of Roman soldiers who had adopted elements of German dress. Marcus Tullius Montanus questioned the hapless three and Quintus the Slave, speaking out of turn, almost received a flogging.

The three stooges, Lucius Julius Regillus, Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva, and Quintus the Slave related a confused and incomplete narrative of recent events. After this an exasperated Marcus Tullius Montanus offered to put up Lucius Julius Regillus in his study while Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva decided to find the local tavern to indulge his weakness for alcohol.

Meanwhile, once the temple was deserted and all was quiet, Leandro Fino removed the head of Centurio Servius Magius Druses. With the head in his bag, he stepped out to find Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva.

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Perhaps the Greek and Germans will make better progress…

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The Journey Part Eight
Magnus Minor: a grim discovery

The morning commenced with light drizzle. There was no debate about which way to go nor any new arrivals. After the events of the previous night the party were keen to push on to Magnus Major.

After about an hour the ruins of Magnus Minor were spied down the track. Barely one stone stood up another. It was here that a grim discovery was made. There were five bodies, four legionaries and a fifth, dessicated corpse. The legionaries had all been beheaded and the heads were missing. The unidentified corpse may or may not be that of Gaius Marcius Regillus .

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Quintus the Slave was set to give the Romans a burial apart from one, that was being nibbled by a passing wolf. Ragnar dragged the mangled corpse to the edge of the village clearing.

Anaxagoras the Greek spotted evidence of a large beast moving into the woods from the clearing. He informed Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva , who told anyone who would listen that it may have been a were-shark.

As the rain closed in the party set off the the safety of Magnus Major.

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The Journey Part Seven
Disturbance in the night

Around 2 am a figure dashed through the clearing from the east before vanishing through the undergrowth opposite. Anaxagoras the Greek recognised Centurio Servius Magius Druses. Then suddenly in pursuit of Druses, one of the legionary cavalrymen rode into the clearing. Anaxagoras the Greek screamed as the horseman glanced around the clearing, sword in hand, before spotting the fleeing Centurio Servius Magius Druses and setting off after him.

Ragnar set off in pursuit, to be joined by Lucius Julius Regillus and Quintus the Slave, roused by the Greek’s screams. Anyaka remained hidden beneath her wagon. Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva, disturbed by the noise was assured by Leandro Fino there was nothing to worry about and went back to sleep with Herman the German. Anaxagoras the Greek remained by the fire looking for more trouble coming from the east.

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Ragnar, Lucius Julius Regillus and the faithful Quintus the Slave followed the trail of the cavalryman as it descended a slope towards a small river. Coming to a steep drop, they spotted a fallen horse with a figure trapped beneath it. Ragnar saw a dark figure slip into the cold river. The pursuers descended the drop, using Ragnar’s ropes.

The found the legionary crushed beneath the horse. He was alive, but only just. Lucius Julius Regillus demanded to know what had happened to his uncle, Gaius Marcius Regillus. The legionary gasped “Dead” before passing away himself. Surveying the scene the players noted the legionary grasped his bloodied sword in one hand and his other hand clutched something to his chest. Ragnar sliced off the hand and opened it to reveal a perfectly round black pebble. Lucius Julius Regillus handed the pebble to Quintus the Slave to keep safe.

They then returned to the camp, Lucius Julius Regillus insisting that Quintus the Slave give the legionary a decent burial. After a brief conference, despite Lucius Julius Regillus’ desire to find out what had happened to his uncle, they agreed to wait until first light before carrying on to the east.

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The Journey Part Six
Another night in the woods

So they set off in the increasingly heavy rain.

Ragnar and Herman the German took the lead, followed by Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva, swaying in his saddle. Anyaka and Leandro Fino shared a horse, while Lucius Julius Regillus and Quintus the Slave shared the caravan. Finally the bedraggled and sulking Anaxagoras the Greek brought up the rear.

It was a late start and as the rain turned to sleet it became apparent that they would not pass through the haunted ruins of Magnus Major before nightfall Herman the German recommended halting in a clearing a mile or so from the village.

As the party set up camp (at least Quintus the Slave assisted by Leandro Fino did, Anyaka rode back to pick up the straggling Greek. Anaxagoras the Greek used all his philosophical self-control to remain a gentleman as he climbed up behind Anyaka in her increasingly translucent robes.

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And so they settled for the night; Lucius Julius Regillus and Quintus the Slave in the caravan, Anyaka sheltering beneath a wagon, the drunk Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva and Herman the German, joined by Leandro Fino snuggled together beneath a tarpaulin, Anaxagoras the Greek dozed by the fire (even though he thought it may attract wild beasts), and the stoic Ragnar surveyed the camp from the shadows of the surrounding woods.

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The Journey Part Five
The Debate

There followed chaotic scene as the party argued about where to go; whether to continue east or turn back through Magus Minor.

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva really didn’t care and cared even less when he found two amphora of fine wine among the gifts packed for Mamercus Cassius Paulus. After a few deep swigs the merry tribune tried to force everyone else to join him in a drink.

Anaxagoras the Greek was convinced that the party should abandon the Senators baggage and head east to get to Magnus Major as quickly as possible. Herman the German was in agreement, fearing to pass through the haunted ruins of Magnus Minor. Lucius Julius Regillus however refused to abandon his uncles baggage.

Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva, having given a manful swig of wine to Leandro Fino decided to try his luck with the beautiful Anyaka. Having witnessed the lewd and course behaviour of Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva earlier sought the safety of the woods.

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Having failed to convince Lucius Julius Regillus, Anaxagoras the Greek decided to sabotage one of the wagons. Loosening one of the wheels, he found himself pinned under the wagon. Quintus the Slave was ordered to fetch a good stick and then gave the Greek a sound thrashing.

The mighty Ragnar, assisted by the one-armed Anyaka, levered up the wagon, freeing Anaxagoras the Greek and replacing the wheel.

Meanwhile Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva finally found a worthy drinking partner in Herman the German, who found the courage to head through the haunted village in the bottom of an amphora of wine.

And so, after breakfast the finally head off, west towards haunted Magnus Minor.

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The Journey Part Four
Breaking camp is hard to do

Lucius Julius Regillus awoke in his caravan to see an strange dwarf creature skulking in the corner. He ordered[[:quintus-the-slave | Quintus the Slave]] to investigate. Quintus the Slave found that the dwarf was in fact a small boy, Leandro Fino. Quintus picked Leandro Fino up by the scruff of his neck and hauled him out of the caravan.

The rest of the party were waking as Quintus the Slave and the struggling Leandro Fino emerged. Leandro Fino revealed his name and background, encouraged by Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva’s threat to cleave him in two.

At this moment Herman the German emerged from the road east with another new arrival. A petite young girl of outstanding beauty marred only by a missing arm. The party questioned the new arrival, Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva questions being interspersed with lewd and unrepeatable suggestions.

At this point the sound of cavalry approaching from the east halted the interrogation of the new arrivals.

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While Tribune Gaius Cassus Nerva drew his sword, the rest of the party took cover and hide. Lucius Julius Regillus emerged from his caravan almost correctly dressed.

Gaius Marcius Regillus, Centurio Servius Magius Druses, and the five legionary cavalrymen rode into the clearing. Gaius Marcius Regillus informed Lucius Julius Regillus that the road to the east was out and the party would have to head back and take the longer road through Magnus Minor. With this news given he and his party rode off to the west.

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