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 S1 E1: Chains of Consequence

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PostSubject: S1 E1: Chains of Consequence    Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:47 am



Quinzy: Corviana had an innate buzz throughout the entire empire. The Red Chamber tournament was just around the corner, for in a weeks time there would the bath of blood and chaos follow through. It was another day in the life of Mordassius, as the entire realm participated in the festivities. Aristocracy from various locations were beginning to show themselves, and their arrival was quickly matched with respectable housing. Some even owned land in the Empire upon the west side, classifying it almost as a vacation home given the location being alongside that of the Golden Sea. While the hustle of the community thrived beyond that of the hillside, the Avictus Villa remained nestled atop a higher ground, just along a cliffside with an abundant of land to call its own. Cassia tended to herself in her bed chambers, her eyes scanning the oceans beyond from her balcony, while the lick of a summers breeze kissed against her alabaster flesh. Voices could be heard in the garden beneath her, none too far away but enough to give her some separation. She new she would be called upon shortly, but even so she did not mind, as she pondered on the thought of Octavia coming soon enough. Her two-toned eyes glanced over her shoulder, looking at the door until pushing away from the balcony, and headed out towards the main hall. Her figure passed pillars, pristine and defined, before nearing the center where a shallow 'pool' of water nestled, and the roof opened up to cast in the sun's rays. Her ears soon shot to alert, for the octave of her father, the Emperor, soon broke the void of silence with words. "Ah, there you are my dear. Quintis Salonious will be here shortly, along with a few others. Do remain closeby." Cassia looked to her father with slight surprise gleaming in the depths of her eyes. He was in an unusually good mood for the hour, however now she gathered the reason, as the events were oncoming. Fellow nobles will soon fill these halls for their discussion and delights, and the Astardis Hall will be occupied come tomorrow for the showcase that her father quite enjoyed displaying. While an Emperor, he did quite enjoy hosting his luxuries. Especially in the acts that bear witness to power. "Of course, Father." Her response was curt and simple, for as soon as it left her mouth did his eyes fleck to that of the door, watching as it opened due to a nearby slave. The poor man hardly could open it, however, given the flat of palms pushing both doors open and entering via the center. The man stood at about five foot eight inches with crisp dark hair and an elaborate robe with a red undertone among the chalked white. "Lucien Kyrosius! Good to see you my friend." Lucien extended his arms still, a wide smile on his face as he came closer to Cassia's father and embraced him. The two began to exchange pleasantries, and Cassia more or less tuned them out. It was all about Gladiator rubbish. Lucien was another Dominus in the area and had quite an established troupe of slaves, more mortal and a select few gifted. She never enjoyed his presence, for the man had a greedy eye and a distant heart. Sighing to herself, Cassia felt her eyes wander, wondering when Octavia would announce herself and she could be rid of these talks.

Biird: Preperations had been made the night before for the travel to the Emperor's villa an the family began their journey early the next morning. There would be no need to take up room anywhere as they lived in the foothills, in the shadows of the Emperor's villa. With less than a half a days travel to the home of her closest friend it was a pity they didn't share more time together. Octavia and Cassia had been friends for many years now, and it seemed that the closer they got, the closer they were watched. The boring eyes of suspcious parents had cause some seperation between the girls but that couldn't be avoided when the Emperor beckoned. Octavia did love her time with the daughter of their tyrannical ruler, even if they were never left alone. There would be much to talk about as well. It had been only days since Octavia had tamed a beast for her father's purchase, a beast that would joining her family in the house of the Emperor much to her father's protest but Octavia had eventually worn him down and won the fight on where and what he should be doing. The house had rung with tension for the first few days of his arrival, eyes always cast to the night sky believing the moon would be the death of them all. His former owner had rushed to Quintis with a flurry of cautions before they'd left the village that day. Her father was a man of finely schooled features, so his worry over his frivolous purchase was well hidden, but his daughter's delight was not. Perhaps she was not so different from her brothers after all. They arrived just behind her father's favorite curse, Lucien Kyrosius. Octavia, standing behind all of her family, peeped around the shoulders of her brothers to mark the position of her friend. Her father, Quintis immediately crossed the room and not so subtly shouldered Lucien out of the way to make his favor with the Emperor. Her mother stood like a lovely statue at his side and her twin brother, as always, shoulder to shoulder, just behind their father. Octavia paid her respect and quickly shuttled off, hooking her arm into Cassia's and whispering. "Have you heard?"

Quinzy: "By the Glory of the Gods bless us, for I feel a bright fortune by Welista herself on this upcoming tournament!" Lucien flashed an arrogant grin, one that had been dismissed by Emperor Arulius himself, most probably due to his agreeance on the matter. "Quite, shall the sand spill with red, the crowd full of cheer, and our pockets full of septums." Arulius gathered himself a laugh, allowing it to echo throughout the space provided and cause some slaves to turn their heads while trying to remain diligent and focused upon their duties. After his chorus of a laughter, the blonde scalp of Arulius eased back into proper standing, with his blue eyes meeting another set belonging to that of Quintis Salonius. "Ah, Quintis. I've heard rumor upon your collection expanding? Shall we detail specifics or is that a trade secret to be unveiled upon Astardis Hall?" The words fell from his lips before navigating to that of Quintis' family, his hand outstretching to his wife, Lucilia. The Emperor placed a kiss upon the back of her palm, and nodded to that of their children, before carrying his focus back onto the topic at hand. Cassia remained by her fathers side, her thoughts curious to where Soren and Caius were. Caius was craving to be in the position among Senators, even if he is the heir to the throne, and his schedule was quite immense -perhaps he was tending among other such consumed fellows? Her mind jetted away from her thoughts, however, at the touch of an arm snaking through that of her arm. The ice blue and lavender gaze looked to that of a familiar face, one dotted in beauty with a head full of lustrous brown locks. A smile quickly fastened itself upon Cassia's lips, showing pearly whites and a twinkle in her gaze. "Octavia!" She listened to the phrase of syllables soon uttered in her ear. Cassia took a few steps back, bringing Octavia with her while the men and Octavia's mother rambled on about events and coin. "Clearly not, given my loss of tongue on the matter. What news do you have for me?" She crouched in briefly, their backs now to the rest, leaning into one another while she felt a bubble of excitement flutter in her chest.

Biird: The sound of Lucien's voice made both her mother and father roll their eyes but it was quickly hidden by feigned friendship that could counted over the attention of their ruler. Each in his company, graced his outburst with chuckles but none dared to rival his boisterous laughter. Lucilia flushed red at the greeting as her husband went on, "For once rumors hold some truth. I have many specifics to be discuss, and as always, many secrets as well. What is a man without surprises?" His eyes cut to Lucien, but quickly back to the Arulius. The men drifted just as Octavia found herself tangled with her longest and oldest friend on a lounge where breeze could cool them against the sun. Octavia's complexion was shades darker than that of Cassia's, a feature that betrayed her father's origins and one of the many reason's he despised her so. Her hair fell in waves around her polished shoulders and pressed against the pale blond of her dear friend. They were quite opposite beauties to behold. Cassia was classical and lovely, like her mother while Octavia was dark and brooding. She gathered the black silks of her gown and pulled her feet up onto the lounge. "Your tongue has never been taken from you, only stilled. I yet still with mine by what must be the mercy of the divine only." She laughed, then lowered her voice. "I have a new pet. This slave is unlike any other before him. He will be a gladiator. Cursed by the gods, he is." She paused for a moment, scanning the room in front of her for nosy passers by but it appeared like their watch had not yet begun. "Also, I've heard that Lucien failed to acquire anything of note despite so many available wares."

Quinzy: The group those aged older than that of the titled children kept amongst themselves, not bothering to care nor notice the distance of their daughters venturing away. It was expected when both were so close, and given the state of the affairs, neither one of their presence was truly needed in this segment of discussion. Arulius chuckled to that of Quintis, his cold eyes alight with the possibilities and the taste of surprise. "I await the truth of it all tomorrow. Lucien here has dug himself quite a ferocious and victorious bunch, and after winning the last Red Chamber by the use of his fighter, Noxus, I am tempted to see where it shall lead, be it victorium or failure." Lips were laced in a coy grin, a mark of play, however cloaked in an undertone of truth and force. The man with hair of onyx shouldered a laugh, his tone light when he spoke. "Noxus shall be fighting again, Your Grace. I also do hope he did none too vicious a damage to your flock, Salonius." The man instigated with a wink towards Quintis, acting as if it were a humorous jest when truly the lining was more of a jab. Back to the young women, Cassia found herself a comfortable cushion among the lounges, the opening of the walls presenting them towards that of the garden which overlooked the golden sea. "Cursed by the Gods?" Cassia's brow furrowed, a tilt of her head ensued which allowed for the flow of her straight snow hair to slip off her shoulder and relax down her back. The thought of detailing her encounter with a man her father held prisoner, to whom is also cursed by the Gods, crossed her mind, however Cassia held her tongue. She was unsure of where to start, and would rather hear Octavia finish first. At the mention of Lucien did her eyes wander over to the lot further into the villa, catching him leaning into Octavia's father with a wink. Cassia glanced back to her. "Oh? He boasts as if he has a dragon in his midst." That much was quite true. She wished he had nothing in his midst, the lot of them, given these gladiators are forced to fight in brutality for the sake of amusement. One of which she always failed to find such pleasures in the arena war.

Biird: Lucilia too quickly lost interest in the pissing of men, finding herself in the companying of accomadating slaves and wine. Titus and Augustus, however, stayed close, even if thier eyes, cold as that of their Emperor, roamed for weaker cuts and vulernable tastes. Of course their appetites hienous crimes couldn't cloud their judgement. The victims would never be missed. Their desires hidden behind charm and weaking smiles, their shared thoughts were on the presence or lack thereof, the sons Aurilius, while their father struggled to maintain his thoughts in the presence of his most hated rivial. "I provided only to match what you presented. Though, perhaps less in order to not sully the visage of a dear friend." Quintis retorted in a volume so that only his adorning wife would be able to hear the venom. Trying desperately to fade the an from existence he turned then and gave his Emperor full attention. Further in the room, Octavia uncurled herself from Cassia and rested on the palm of one hand, a finger curling within her hair. After a brief pause, she planted a kiss on the cheek of her friend, feeling a bit guilty at her words and disregarding her knowledge of Cassia's own -- predicament. They had been friends for a long time and Ocativia could see something else gleaming in her friends eyes, but for now she pressed to first subject broached. "Cursed, indeed. A beast like a great dog or a wolf." Her eyes slid across the room once more then they rolled, as she tilted her head back. "Men boast of dragons, always. Under the toga, in hand, in slaves. It's so boring."
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PostSubject: Re: S1 E1: Chains of Consequence    Mon May 07, 2018 12:20 am


Quinzy: The men chirped with their brazen states; two trying to one up the other in the presence of the Emperor himself. It was displayed as a silent battle between two men with tongues dipped in false play, even if the venom continued to run rampid throughout each breath. Cassia eyed them from afar, only provided a certain amount of attention, yet not bothering to let her ears soak up the sounds they produced. She felt it best to let them do as they do, for what else could be done on these matters? Only dismissal awaited the two young women if they dared to interject. Glancing back to her companion, the blonde situated her eyes on her features, absorbing each word like a quill would ink. "A beast, you say? You purchased a pet? Or is this statement an inquiry on the thought of a man turned beast?" Her thoughts were lost to her, trying to configure the intent before allowing it to fully come to understanding. Cassia soon found herself leaning in deeper, her forehead almost touching that of Octavia's. "Have you witnessed the alteration? I wonder why the Gods strike such a harsh blow..." Her mind traced back to the man whom remained deep in the dungeons, silent as the grave and his own burden to hold ownership of. .

Biird: Octavia had lost interest in the rambling of her father rather quickly. She got enough of his sharp tongue at home and didn't really care to be part of anything he was part of when they were out and she could get away with. Beside, she hadn't seen Cassia in some time and always enjoyed her company, no matter what they were doing, even if right now they were reduced to idle prattle like most ladies. When Cassia spoke, Octavia smiled, leaning in to close the distance between their foreheads. "The man becomes a beast. I have seen the change, shedding fur like a cloak. The sound is sickening. It is truly a curse." Her eyes, like the deepest parts of the sea connected with Cassia's, a beautiful girl with the strangest mismatched eyes. One like an icicle and the other like the soft lavender of her favorite dress. Octavia knew that Cassia could sense lies. Hell, nearly everyone in the empire and around knew that. Octavia was prone to lying, or at least skirting the truth on many an occasion though she rarely feared her dear friends gift because in her presence there was rarely a reason to lie. Leaning away, Octavia took Cassia's hand into her own, her features marring with guilt. "Apologies, dear friend. I have been selfish with my gushing. You must tell me that you are well. There was quite a ruckus here days past. So many of us were awakened. Is everything alright?"

Quinzy: "You lie." There did the plump mouth of the Emperor's daughter come to fall ajar, a breath of a gasp slipping to the surface and brushing the ears in a gentle sound. "Does he feel pain upon such a transition?" Such features twisted into a look of remorse, her emotions entwining within her, having to think of the pain such a poor man must endure. She cannot imagine a body augmenting itself into another form to be kind in the least bit. At the leaning away of Octavia, her hand slipping onto her own, her voice lifted up and addressed such a focus of discussion on that of Cassia herself. The blonde waved her free hand in the air, dismissive and followed by a casual shrug. "You are entitled to gush like that of all others, perhaps if not more due to my love of you." She slipped on a grin; a giggle soon spilling. "Caius has been busy with Senator goals and Soren demands training to be like that of the gladiators. He worries me most days." She still never could understand the arena and the pleasures found in the shedding of innocent blood. Shaking the thoughts back away, Cassia continued. "However... Father has a man locked within the dungeons, Markon, he goes by. The man is riddled with his own vice: Undead yet alive." It shocked her in itself when she spoke of it. Her mind had tried to bottle it away, finding such discoveries to be foolish and untrue; a mark of dreams and the whispers of Gods playing tricks. Yet it was far from dishonest. Each of them breathed their own truths.

Biird: Octavia laughed at the gaping face of her friend, knowing fully well that her dearest companion knew well the answer to her own question. "The pain is such that he sleeps for days after the transition." The sound of bones cracking, meat and blood slurping from unnatural to natural position still made her stomach turn and it was still fresh in her ears as Cassia's soft words. The words of her friend were a welcome against the battering of the sounds she couldn't shake, but they wouldn't be much against the visage of the man born from that beast. Octavia crinkled her nose against the visual in her mind and focused on bubbling blonde before her. Talk of her brothers always made Octavia blush. Caius was her first crush, a tall, beautiful vision of everything a Corivianian man would and should be, just as his sister was a vision of every woman. Whether or not Caius was even aware of Octavia's existence she didn't know, but it didn't stop her blushing from even his mention. First love is the hardest to die. Soren, however, was little more than a brother to Octavia has he shared a year of birth as her own devilish twins. Returning the gesture of dismissal, Octavia's hand moved at the mention of Soren's interests. "Let the boy dream! Do not fret for him. Better he put mind toward war and the protection of the Empire than usurping the command from his brother. They are a pair, perfect for the rise of the Empire. Sons that make a father proud." Her features solemned slightly to hear of a man with another curse had turned up. "Fucking gods." She said under her breath, leaning back to lounge on the chair they shared, shifting her eyes to drinks, because Cassia would be the only one among them who could command the slaves they were surrounded by. "What does your father intend to do with the man?"

Quinzy: At the mention of how it took upon the man needing to rest for a number of days just to regain his strength, the thought made her stomach churn. Clearly Octavia has witnessed this reveal, and for that she felt for the woman, as Cassia could not come to imagine being able to withstand such a sight. Tears would probably flow from her eyes in wishing to comfort the agony of the man. Tracing her own mind back to current affairs, the alabaster toned female caught sight of the red tint sprinkling itself across her fair cheeks and nose. "I shall never understand your desire of Caius." This followed with a just shake of her head, its motion slow and of ease. One would easily say it was simply due to sibling and family bonds, but it was indeed far more, such things she has never even spoken clearly to Octavia about herself. Some things she did not wish to burden others with in regards to reality and hardship. "Indeed they are." Unusual eyes set back to her father, catching the men having sat about a table and chairs in a nearby, open room; wine glasses in their hand and chuckles bellowing from their throats. The blonde jumped back at the sound of Octavia cursing, her mouth gasping again before releasing a giggle. "Octavia! Such a supple mouth spills words owned by Hadus himself!" Another laugh, having always found joy and comfort in her friend before her. She was far more quiet and passive, yet Octavia roused the confidence in her, allowing her to be more than what she figured possible. The laughter of her own died out, however, when the question of what her father planned to do with him aroused question. There her eyes wandered back, a lost look on her features and voice barely above a whisper. "I'm not sure." --- The men, situated around a table indeed with goblets full and bellies churning with wine, came to ease back on discussion of profit and the future of Corviana. Such words eased back to Astardis Hall themselves. "While you seem to keep hushed on the knowledge of warriors, I do have an issue that shall be demanding attention in the arena itself; one that could possibly fight against one of your own. Earn higher glory for the one that chops of its head." Emperor Arulius leaned into his chair, the dark red hue of the liquid inside the goblet turning in circles from being tilted softly back and forth. "A man more monster than mortal tried to best traps to ease into the villa, none too long ago. He is to face execution ad gladium." Eyes drifted back to the two of them before him, wondering who would offer three fighters to bring down the deed.

Biird: Brushing loose strands of brownish black hair behind one of her rounded ears, Octavia gave Cassia a wicked grin. "Hadus maneuvers many things in my house." She said, her eyes flickering to the twins who had taken up at a small table playing latrunculi between themselves. It was one of the few times they were not side by side. Lightly tapping her lips at Cassia's disclosure, she too, turned her attentions to the men were not far off. They were close enough that Octavia could hear them discussing the same man marked for death. The Emperor presented a great and profitable venture before them. One that no doubt any lanista would jump too. Truth be told that, Quintis counted his stable well stocked for a manner of showing in an execution fight and his mind tumbled with options. But as he opened his mouth to speak, his daughter all but dropped into his lap, kissing his cheek and stealing his goblet, an act that would no doubt garner disapproval from the other mean, even her father. She knew him well enough that he would attempt to make a show of his bubbly daughter and feign love of her feigned love in order to save face. "Oh father, good Lucien's man is a great beast. Yet a man, but still a god of the arena. To pit a curse of the gods against another curse boredom of lengthy wait for blood and final blow will grow to great displeasure. The cursed versus a man, and a man put to purpose to rise above him," Octavia waved her cup in Lucien's face, pointing a finger, "now that, is an execution worthy of the glory of the gods." Grinning behind the lip of the goblet she took a sip and went on,"Be humble dear father, for we have naught but beasts upon beast carnage to offer." Quintis was almost twitching with annoyance until his daughter's words struck him fully. If he offered men to do this execution not knowing what they faced and lost men in the process he would be forever disgraced. His rise of popularity was a slow crawl behind the established factory of Lucien's men, and if he wished to rise further perhaps it would be better to let the man fall with little or no aid to the purpose. Both the eyes of daughter and father, fell on the fellow lanista -- waiting.

Quinzy: The words of Octavia did not surprise her in the slightest when directing the title of Hadus within her home. While she found her brothers entertaining, she had ventured to her home and bore witness to the sight of which they truly were. Devilish little men. They could either rise to be great and fantastic things, or vile and mischevious Aevir. Time would tell. About to spout a response Cassia stopped cold, having her ears filled with the blatant disregard for discretion that fell from her father's lips. The blonde looked to the three men, and they hardly cared nor focused on her staring, as she could almost feel the liquid brewing in her gaze. Death was not always the answer, and he had meant no harm! About to intervene, Octavia already had done so much to her shock. The young woman flopped upon her father, obtaining his cup, and soon rendering words about as to shift the sights to that of Lucien himself. This, of course, was indefinitely absorbed by him in all manners of the way. "My, Your Grace, I am positive I can supply some fine men to best the beast and render him encountering Thonoras himself." The chilling smirk on his face was filled with pride for his ludas, having either not cared for the words of Octavia or not picking up its full secret intent. Emperor Arulius looked to that of Quintis and his daughter, his eyebrow arching, awaiting an interjection, before nodding his head and facing Lucien once more. "So be it. I anticipate a wonderful display of blood, and the beasts head on a pike." At that last remark did Cassia, from her spot still across the room, come to raise from her chair and walk off. She navigated past that of the twins and through the halls, trying to find herself towards the garden and breathe in the fresh air. She new the strength of this burdened man, yet the arena was nothing to compare. It never would be.

Biird: Quintis voiced a false, forced chuckle that was gratefully over shadowed by his daughter's joyous outburst at Lucien's bolstering. She finished off her father's wine, kissed his cheek again and hopped after her dear friend. It was much easier for Octavia to feign callous indifference like that of her elders than it was for her childhood friend. Having his cup refilled, Quintis rose it to the man who was either to pompous to realize his folly or dumb enough to think it a true blessing. In his heart, he almost felt sorry for chopping off his daughter's hair for her lashing tongue naught two moons ago. Almost. Meanwhile, Octavia moved past Titus, he reached out and took her by the arm, holding her in place for a moment while he studied his move on the board. His touch was light, his fingers not even closes on her forearm. After what seemed like forever, he moved piece on the board then turned his soulless dark blue eyes upon her. Something always flickered deep in the abyss of his eyes, something that made Octavia wonder exactly who or what her brothers were. He stared at her for a long moment, almost as long as he had taken to move, then let his fingers slip along her skin and into her palm before turning from her completely. A sensation of acknowledgment tingled across her skin and fluttered away like a butterfly startled from a perch of a flower. They confused and frightened but calmed her, her brothers. Moving past them, Octavia found Cassia in the gardens and came upon her back with a kiss to her bare shoulder. "Do not fear, Flower of the Empire. The games give promise to much excitement." Octavia knew that Cassia found no comfort in the games and the shedding of unnecessary and innocent blood. She thought of any man forced to fight for a cause not his own and innocent in the deals of men of higher station and Octavia could agree. As the daughter of a lanista, however, Octavia could attest that free or slave, men did enjoy a particular thirst for blood and battle not so often shared by the fairer sex.

Quinzy: At the rising of their goblets and a smile upon each pinched face, Arulius pondered on the thoughts of what was to come. The damned cretin seemed invulnerable, however everything has a weakness, and hopefully they can exploit it justly. Cassia, residing back in the depths of the lush greenery with various laborours at work and tending to keep all fresh and full of beauty, held her hands against the stone banister of the balcony which overlooked the Golden Sea. The glistening of the sun's rays upon the clear waters would make many sigh in its glamour, but Cassia simply thought, her eyes coasting up and into the clouds. She wondered the ways of the Gods. A kiss upon her bare flesh made her turn her head, her eyes having cleared of the impending drop of liquid, and coming to catch the flutter of darker locks near her vision. Cassia graced her with a half-tilted smile. "Excitement, indeed. The question is of what result?" What result was the continuous thought. If he lived, her father would seek him as a profit, and if he failed, it was death. There was no winning in this; never was for the life of a shackled man. Cassia turned to Octavia and grasped her hand, giving it a gentle squeeze before staring back out to the ocean before them. Back inside the expansive villa, Arulius lifted to his feet, his hands coming together and a nod from his head. "I await the games ahead, and the blood to be displayed to all that of Corviana." Raising his goblet for a final time before drinking the last drop, these were the hours before the showing would come upon them at Astardis Hall. One where all would gaze upon those whom would enter the arena, either to come out a victor, or dragged out as a corpse.
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PostSubject: Re: S1 E1: Chains of Consequence    Fri May 11, 2018 5:16 pm


Quinzy: For here it began, a time of festivities and pleasure before the games would come to follow; a showcase of what is to come, who is to shed blood, and who may never come out unscathed. The Gods promised a blessing of fine weather with the skies a fine-tuned navy, as the events began in the evening, just at the teetering of the moon’s soft glow. Clouds littered the heavens in gentle smears, faint yet ever present, and the glow of the sun soon coming to descend would bathe the Golden Sea in an arrangement of beautiful colours, one which would bring painters to their knees in the envy of such a palette to replicate. Astardis Hall, located in the center of all the luxury to which was the Upper-West side of Corviana, held itself in prime grandeur. Pillars crafted by Pannonian builders, fine architects from the island itself, held up in all their glory as a string of vinery snaked up the stone. The wide steps beckoned to be lead up to the splendor of which was within; high rise ceilings and the scent of snuffed out incense, a mimic of honey and berries. Two pools, long and narrow, eased down the marbled path towards the main area, each dotted with rose petals and a sprinkle of gold dust. The blue waters gave an iridescent glow, with candles stationed along, illuminating the environment in a dim, yet provocative light. Young slaves with fine forms and bodies, decorated in jewelry and translucent white fabrics to ‘conceal’ the area between their thighs in a temptress allure to which Telesius would approve, motioned themselves within the pools and danced like a snake would for a charmer to the music which coursed through the halls. The air was tender to the skin, not too hot yet not too sticky, perhaps another blessing of the Gods themselves as they waited for the lust and sensation of what is to come. Down the hall, there would the room expand, an arch of fine craftsmanship making way to showcase a vast ceiling painted to replicate the battle of the Gods versus The Aevir. All around the rectangular shaped room would there be minor halls, displayed yet hidden by pillars as to divide, and doors would dot them to various rooms. Some locked. Some unlocked. A buffet was present, yet still with more slaves far more concealed than before, dressed in simple white togas and held out plates full of either goblets or small dishes. Off to the far end would there be a wide balcony with curtains dancing along to the sound of music produced by hired musicians, and the edge overlooked Corviana, showing off in the distance the rise of the infamous arena: The Red Chamber. Various individuals began to paint the halls and spaces, each of their own status and form, but none below aristocrat. Some faces shown were outsides of Corviana, citizens of neighboring Empires, be it of higher stature or fellow Ludus owners, coming to flock and provide their addition to the games. As the crowd drew thicker and the intensity arose, wide grins placed on each and everyone’s souls rising in the tension of suspense and anticipation, there would the Emperor slick through the throng of people, his image either pushing intimidating for some, praise for some, and envy from most. Emperor Arulius Avictus II found himself soon easing up three steps, onto a higher platform of marble, in order to look about the many faces which adorned the room. Within the crowd would his daughter Cassia come to linger, and that of his youngest Soren, yet his prized first-born, Caius, be at his side. “Welcome, my wonderful citizens of Corviana and our well enthralled guests!” His voice, booming loud enough to hear but low enough to not shout too vastly, caused a stir of applause from many a noble within the room. “Welcome to Astardis Hall, a showcase of what is to come in the Red Chamber, be it by chains-” His left hand swept to the side, highlighting eyes to turn and catch the sound of oncoming slaves (be it criminal or prisoners of war) whom would face their doom in the arena. “Or glory.” The right hand soon motioned then, eyes turning as well to face the door which would come to spill the lot of gladiators, one to which aroused cheer from the crowd, while slaves faced nothing but the downpour of hatred. “Upon this time I recommend all to engage, encourage discourse, and bet on those whom you find may not lose their courage in the sands of blood and thrill!” Another range of applause and that of Emperor Arulius’ lips came to slide back, his white teeth only displayed by that of a smirk embedded into his features. One would assume it be made out of stone.  Caius kept quiet beside his father, his eyes calculative and waiting; simply listening to the words being delivered to attentive ears. For he would be heir one day. “First, I bring forth to the center, none other than by Dominus Lucien Kyrosius! The Master behind THREE winners of the past four Red Chamber events!” Another round of applause; hands slapping each palm with vibrancy and haste. Temperature slowly rising within the room itself. Individuals turned upon the right side, looking to that Lucien’s entrance, the man with a dark scalp and dark eyes; his face wide with the courage of the crowd. Standing within the spacious, vacant center which people kept clear for those showing, Lucien Kyrosius looked to the Emperor. “My gratitude, Your Grace -I bring before you my three bests, ones to which you know well! Jyale the Blood Bringer, Rinulius the Shark, and Viex, the Hands of Thonoras!” Instantly did his entrance, and the names listen, garden boisterous engagement from various parties. Soren, young at the age of 15 yet still spirited by such rivalry, leaped nearby the side of Cassia, while the Princess herself simply kept her lips sealed and eyes focused on the doors for those in chains. Jyale was not large in stature, but of normal size, with dark tinted skin similar to obsidian. Scars laces his form and his structure was well matched in muscular definition, with broad shoulders, and knuckles whitened by the numerous cracks from the brass knuckles he was known for. Rinulius was of same height, yet with long, golden locks, and one eye scarred down the right. It was Viex, a true horror, a man of towering height in 6’5”, with no expression, and hair of chestnut brown. A sight to behold, and a silent swoon from on-looking women. Lucien smirked at the display and turned to the crowd, watching the men stand in the center, positioned like true gladiators. The Emperor spoke out: “A wonderful display, and one much anticipated! One shall see them off to the right, in room number 7, to look upon and exchange coin. We thank you, Lucien, and now onto Quintis Salonius, with his highlight of strength and ferocity!”

Biird: The house of Salonius arrived with ample time to set up their wares for presentation. Many of his men would be presented in the games, however the bulk of them were to be used for minor games and entertainment. After bowing out of the primus due to the cunning twist of word by his daughter, Quintis was forced to take a back seat yet again to his rival Lucien. However, he was inclined to follow her caution in the matter even if he hated that smug man. He couldn’t afford to lose face at such an important event. Nevertheless he had selected an adequate crop of gladiators to make for a decent means of entertainment. He and his family arrived in a grandeur fit for their house, all them dressed in similar pastels and of course his girls with flowers twisted into smooth and shiny locks. His wife, Lucilia was a graceful beauty; buxom and blonde with sparkling blue eyes. She was a trophy if ever one was to be seen. His twin sons were golden like a ray of sunshine and their hair was nearly bronze. They were handsome, but held and air of evil in those empty blue eyes and wicked smirks. The eldest daughter stood beside her mother, her own blue eyes darting around the room for a particular person and keeping watchful eyes on gladiators and slaves that had brought with them. In a line behind the three showcases of Lucien were her father’s best. The man stepped forward with a smile and a soft nod of his softly waved black head, before his hand swung out to the men behind him. “Gratitude, Your Grace. I bring to your games as many men as needed but greatest of them all – Halberd, The Giant.” A towering man, with half of his head shaven and the other half bound in a string of braids falling to his broad shoulders, which were covered in knotches on his skin to mark his kills. “Ygar, the Imp!” A man a shade away from average, who was known for wielding dual scimitars and cutting down his enemies with the speed of a demon. “And finally, the champion of house Salonius, Lycares, the Rising Sun.” Lycares brought a great applause, specifically from Octavia. He was her dear friend and though utterly sweet and charming, was becoming a deadly threat in the arena. After the introductions, Octavia wove her way through the crowd toward her dearest friend, itching to gush about the men, the games and of course console her sweet heart about the entire thing. Her usual greeting was a kiss on the cheek when the other woman wasn’t looking and a soft giggle.

Vezrial: There were various men of notice and import at this event. Senators and Legates and their bodyguards, the various aristocracy in all of their pompous glory. The wallflowers that simpered and giggled but plotted with poison behind closed doors, there were few more sinister than those associated with the name ‘Salonius.’ He fully expected a few people in that family to find more than enough material for blackmail this night. Then there was the Royal family… The youngest daughter of the family aside, there was enough about her, but nothing that could be feasibly used. That entire family had skeletons in its closet for all to view, problem was. That everyone knew that looking at them was tantamount to a death sentence. If there was a deadlier, more ruthless man out there. He didn’t know of it. What made it worse was that his cunning matched the deadliness to everything he did. He freely admitted that his gaze was drawn down to the arena when the slaves and gladiators were led out. The Gladiators were certainly impressive, he’d give props to the families that trained them. Definitely would give props to the ones who cared for them… What did those men eat to get to that size?! A small shake of his head had him looking up towards the royal family as the various gladiators were called. Impressive though they were, he already had his bet placed down. That was until the Emperor finished… Avictus in all his glory allowed the aristocracy a moment to think and consider the options he had announced. When he clapped his hands together, a smile so fake it could give an Actor a run for their money, plastered to his face. When the crowd quieted down he said. “Now, we have the entertainment… What is a gladiator without an opponent? These slaves were not always so, oh no my friends. They have been taken from the worst places I can fathom!” He pointed to the first man in the line, shoved out into the Arena by guardsmen armed with pikes. He was a tall, lanky man who looked to be missing most of his teeth, and hair. But he’d freely admit that looking at the man gave him the creeps. “That is Nibel! With nothing more than a common kitchen knife, he slaughtered five families at the edge of our fair city! He was found gorging himself on the intestines of a young girl… The loss of such a pure soul pains me, but her sacrifice has enabled us to observe his death!” The crowd gasped in outrage, of course. The murder of a young girl, he could almost hear the pins drop as the nobility explained in falsetto outrage. The next in the line was a man with short black hair, a neatly trimmed goatee… Honestly the man was attractive. The rags he wore didn’t fit him, but he looked like the well-manicured sort to be at home up here in the stands, rather than down in the sand. “That is Victus! His crimes are far more… Tame when compared to Nibel, but no less heinous. I tell you, my friends. I was disgusted when I heard what he had done. Despite his appearance, that man was once an apothecary in the city! Only what he failed to inform the young women who came to him for medicine… Was that he followed them home, and the tonics he gave produced acute numbness in ones extremities! Though his victims are not here today, I assure you that they will be well pleased their children to be bastards than have this man roaming free!” Alright, this time he could hear legitimate hatred in the raised voices, especially of the women, when they shouted the various insults and spurs to him. The third man in the lineup almost made him drop the cup. He knew that face… Not by personal experience, but by the impeccable drawing sitting in his current ‘home’. So when the Emperor spoke, his suspicions were cleared right away. “That one… I tell you, my friends. I harbor a special hatred for this one. That foul cur is Markon!” The blonde head of hair snapped up at the name and our observer, had to stifle a laugh once he saw what the man had been doing. He had been chewing on the chains! Twisting and pulling on them, trying to get himself free no doubt. “His crimes are far more than the others combined! He broke into the palace, evaded my guards and assaulted my daughter… Cassia.” The Emperors tone took on a quiet edge to it, one could easily. Easily. Mistake it for the kind of hopelessness one might feel when their daughter came close to death. “My guards were able to subdue him, but not before traumatizing my daughter! I ask you, what is it we do with those who try to steal the chastity of our women, well Corviana? What is it we do to them?!” His voice had risen to a shout and The Observer had to clap his hands to his ears as the majority of the crowd, caught up completely in hatred for this ‘Markon,’ yelled. “DEATH!” Though some had the good taste to shout ‘Torture’ but those were lost in the earthshattering yell for the Reaper. On the ground of the Arena, in the sand. Markon gaped openly at the Emperor as he struggled to free himself from his chains. “That lying sack of… I’LL TAKE THAT CROWN AND RAM IT DOWN YOUR DI—“ Whatever he had tried to say, was lost in the rising, tumultuous sound of the crowd. But this was a perfect opportunity… He slowly made his way through the crowd, whispering rumors and hearsay as he did. But he eventually stopped before a few of the guards. Probably to a senator standing nearby gazing eagerly at a dancing girl. His words were short, coins passed hands as he spread what he knew of the truth… “I heard… From one of the guards in the Palace Dungeons… That Markon was able to kill more than a dozen before he was finally subdued. More than that, I hear there’s something… Unnatural about him.” The amount of money he had to pay to learn that would make any sane man weep in envy. Exaggerated though he was, he spread the rumors through the crowd. Other slaves were in the Arena, but he was so busy utilizing the skills taught to him from… Almost another lifetime. That he never caught mention of what the other slaves had been put in that Arena for. But he continued to spread the rumors in key areas, near the Salonius family. Close enough so that the rumors would eventually reach the Emperors own ears, Senators… Those aforementioned legates… But thanks to his own particular skillset, after he said his piece. He was gone from sight. The seeds were laid… Let’s see what grew from them, shall we?

Flintlock: Lycares hated the festivities. It was much too flamboyant and complex for his taste. He was a simple man, after all. He wasn’t one to care about the showmanship part of his lifestyle. He was much more geared towards efficiency and effectiveness. His superiors, however, did not care. They came for a spectacle, for entertainment. It bothered him, yes, but it was something he learned to deal with early on in his career as a gladiator. What was he going to do to change it, after all? Nothing that wouldn’t get him killed in the attempt. Lycare quite enjoyed living, so that wasn’t an option. The gladiator was broken out of his thoughts by the slight twinge of pain that ran down his left arm. That healer Evadne had done wonders to repair his arm. Before she utilized her gift, his arm was practically dead, after all. There were still the echoes of pain, however. Nothing debilitating, but still there. More annoying than anything else. Lycares was no stranger to aches and pains, however. He had many scars that still pained him to this day. The prominent one across the bridge of his nose, for example. Whenever a person saw him scrunching up his nose, it was most likely in response to the stinging situation that was often brought on by the scar. He was brought out of his thoughts by the sound of the house of Salonius being introduced. Alright then. It appears as if it were showtime. Lycares straightened, and he kept his gaze forward as he heard his Dominus began speaking. The gladiator didn’t more nor react as his two companions were introduced first. Both were very deadly individuals, men that Lycares himself wouldn’t want to face in the arena. He was honored that he was counted amongst their ranks. As he was introduced, however, as the champion of the house of Salonius, he glanced around at the crowd, his face unreadable. They were all gawking and smiling at him like idiots. He fought the urge to sneer at them all. God, he hated these festivities. The applause for him soon died down, however, and the Emperor spoke. Lycares looked on with an unreadable expression as each of their opponents were introduced, each inciting a wave of hate from the crowd. And then the Emperor began gassing them up even more until they were shouting for death. Lycares frowned as he regarded the rambunctious crowd around him. They were simply ridiculous. They weren’t here because they wanted to see evil men punished. They were here because they wanted a spectacle. They wanted entertainment. It peeved him that they dressed it up as a desire for justice. Lycares’ gaze locked onto the one the Emperor introduced as Markon, who seemed to be livid and shouting at the Emperor. His fury was of someone wronged, however, not of someone who had been caught doing the wronging. Lycares glanced from the man to his fellow gladiators, who were both frowning as well. The gladiator opened his mouth to speak to them, to ask them what they made of all this, when whispers began to permeate the people around him. Lycares tilted his head to the side as he listened in on a few people whispering near him. “Have you heard? People are saying that the Emperor is lying, that Marlon was able to kill twenty of the guards before he was apprehended.” “Twenty? Lies. Not even these gladiators could kill that many men.” “I’m just telling what I’ve heard.” Lycares tuned them out then and looked back to Markon. There was much mystery surrounding this Markon figure, and Lycares would possibly be the one to kill him. Lycares frowned and thought sarcastically, ‘Lovely.’

FairestEyes: She had once felt ashamed when her father wrongfully punished Junius for her own forgotten chores. She had once felt ashamed after ruining a wedding robe her mother spent weeks weaving for their cousin Nasya. Memory after memory, Junia could remember those little instances—but nothing of the past quite compared to the undeniable present. In her short time beneath the Avictus collar, the gods smiled upon her slavery by bestowing her to someone as gentle as Cassia. In the comfort of budding friendship, Junia felt content in her circumstances. But then, with every venture beyond her lady’s chamber, the Cyrenian girl was reminded of the harsh reality. In their arrival to Astardis Hall, that reminder increased tenfold. And somewhere in the pit of her stomach, Junia felt shame. While they were blanketed by alluring sights, glamor, jubilee—slaves of numerous types inhabited the atmosphere in a subtle boldness most ignored because of familiarity. Here, in this jovial air, the undertones irked at Junia’s own pride; and she had little option to react, thus swallowed the emotion and held it at the base of her throat. Her ascribed status as Cassia’s handmaid afforded Junia the commonality to remain nearby the Princess, especially during public events such as this. While the pair may have been separated by birthright and more, Junia made valiant effort to remain soft-eyed and attentive for any moment that Cassia might look back towards her. She was determined to ‘appear’ at ease, even as calamity swelled-and-fell with each speech of Emperor and Dominus. Of course, the expressive thing was no soldier trained in this art. She lacked maturity of age; an item evident by her lithe size and height. She lacked practice to conceal her thoughts; as that mouth and chin flitted between sad, slighted, and sympathetic. Finally, she lacked societal permission to truly feel at ease; despite the lovely, white linen and braided hairstyle, her throat carried the silver of Avictus. Her eyes travelled frantically, soundlessly across the riotous crowd; their reaction overwhelmed Junia’s attention away from the gladiators they cheered for. At this moment, their names and forms were ignored… the thunderous cries throughout the Red Chamber were too many. Soon, though, those blue-hued irises ceased their glances once Octavia came forth to kiss Cassia’s cheek. Short distance behind the noble pair, Junia allowed herself to observe their interaction—anyone whom involved themselves with the Princess were soon objects of curiosity by the foreign-born handmaid.

Quinzy: Cassia felt herself sick, and it was by no means at the taste of the food to which was presented, but at the display of familiar faces to which may never grace these halls again. The fair-haired female recalled days given permission to attend the Salonius’ ludus, her eyes watching from the balcony alongside that of Octavia, given brief greeting to some of the gladiators that breathed under her rooftop. Lycares, a name one which the crowd uttered with a pleasing purr, was a head-strong man, for he sought to live; she could see it burning in his eyes. All of their eyes. The blonde felt her lips twitch in a partial smile, her eye’s still staring at the doors which housed slaves; prisoners for some of their own regard. There twitch was in response to Octavia’s soft lips brushing upon her cheek, a sweet gesture to which she knew was to try and ease the woes upon her brow. Cassia soon approached back, a kiss on Octavia’s left cheek, eyes torn for but a moment and hands soon grasping for that of Octavia’s own. Her peculiar eyes dotted about the room, searching for the familiar face of her handmaiden. It was not at the request of needing her by her side but being in Astardis Hall was a threat to ones’ own oxygen when left unattended for their first time to bare witness. Once her eyes fastened upon the girl did she do her best to give her a tender smile, hoping she would ease herself in their direction, as she could see the flutter reflecting in her features. “Your Father greets with familiar men; how do they fare? I panic to see them go against Lucien’s monstrous men.” Lucien, the man, always made her stomach twist in such unfavourable ways. It was sudden when the shout of her father, the Emperor, risen once more. His voice itching higher in degree of sound to make sure all were paying precise attention to his following words. There would her hands come to fasten down on Octavia’s, almost squeezing as if she were to feel her heart pop from her ribcage and fall upon the polished marble flooring. As Arulius echoed the words to encourage hatred from men, whom indeed were foul, the name of Markon shot into the air like that of a canon and Cassia looked towards him; pushed into the center as if he, too, were among the common murderers and defiler of women. At the breath of lies which fell from his lips, the shout of Markon soon in defiance only to be held back and silenced by the harsh ferocity of the crowds’ voices surrounding them. ‘He speaks such lies’ were her thoughts as she looked to her father standing upon his pedestal, his eyes alight with flame and a deserts’ Sun. When whispers broke out, soon slipping by her ears, Cassia bit upon her tongue as to not arouse suspicion. She kept a neutral face so for the general public she would seem passive, yet to close comrades, would seem forced to be a mute. “NOW, All whom are present, I bid you to enjoy the night and bathe in the riches to which the Gods grant us with food and wine.” There came another round of applause, and some giggles for the noble women whom eyes lusted for just the touch of their hand upon the flesh of a chained warrior. “Each Gladiator shall be with their fellows throughout the room, along with each slave, and do your bidding at the table towards the back; signature and coin in all!” Cassia watched as her father soon took a step back, silenced soon by the echo of applause before Caius, her elder brother, took to the forefront. “All have until the sun disperses in the sky, and then you shall all be blessed to see one slave fight at the hands of a gladiator tonight; a treat, before the true tournament begins.” Cassia watched as more hands raised at the presence of Caius, and soon heard a whisper upon her ear, not directly, but to another face none too far from herself. “My, Caius has become quite a man. Do you suppose his eyes wander for that of a future Empress?” – “I have heard rumor on the presence of a royal intermarriage, it is so, … but that would not stop me from gaining touch of his soft lips.” Giggles set in motion and Cassia came to internally cringe, for she understood her brother’s beauty in the eyes of others, but his heart was far too black to harbour true warmth. She inwardly mourned for the thought of whom he would force prisoner at his side in the false façade of matched royalty. Far within the folly of the crowd, bodies beginning to move and navigate throughout the room as all were in their designated locations, Caius would come to step off the higher perch alongside Emperor Arulius, his hand upon his sons shoulder and slapping it once in good faith before dispersing to discuss of other matters. Caius, on such note, took himself towards that of Quintis Salonius, catching him standing none too far from his gladiators, of course. “Salonius, I seek word.” His eyes of pale ocean resemblance looked to him and to seek if he would follow, none but a few steps closer, in truth. Once at a reasonable length did his voice come to focus on the Quinzy: Lanista. “Due to not selecting yourself as Primus for this years’ tournament you are to choose upon one of your men to fight, presently, in Astardis tonight against one of the slaves.” Caius spoke in a casual tone, albeit deep and firm, such is natural for the male. While some may boast in excitement for when the reveal was to come on whomever fights against the slave, in the eyes of most Lanista’, it would seem like a slap to the head. A slave may not pose a challenge, but to exhibit one of their men in Astardis, far before the games themselves, felt like a sneak peak when one wishes to remain a surprise. However, the demand could dare not ever be deterred. “Announce to me whom you choose and I shall reveal when the moon touches the sky and the… miniature squabble may proceed.” Caius would then turn himself away from Quintis, his image receding into the various entanglements, a pressed look upon his features as he navigated the crowd.

Biird: Octavia easily gave up her hands to that of her friend. Her purpose during these events was more to still Cassia than anything else. Her good friend all that she had to watch for, as her gladiators and slaves were well cared for and taught well to handle these festivities. “Do not panic. When it comes to blood, all is in the hands of the gods and the measure of a man is as they will it.” Octavia gave an unrestrained smile to the girl that Cassia hunted for in the crowd, while giving her friend’s hand a gentle pat as well. All of the announcements swirling about them were being met with rumors to fill in the lack of knowledge to truth and for fickle among them to find their own entertainment in such things. One lie, above all was met with vehement reaction that sent a tingle down Octavia’s spine; she was always down for shenanigans and the defiance of a slave had to be one of her favorite. “Is that your man? The undead beast?” She whispered in Cassia’s ear. “My, he is of a defiant form!” It was difficult to stifle her giddy squeal. The man’s actions made her decision to con her father out of the fight all the more valid, but she didn’t seek out his face in the crowd. Quintis would never admit her intelligence in the matter. Instead he stood tall beside his wife and his men, listening intently to the words of the man whose ass he longed to kiss further. He would be greeted instead by the man’s son, and equally welcome ass to kiss for this one would replace his father and his favor would be just as important. Caius’ words, however, made Quintis want to crush the goblet of wine in his hand. The decision to step away from the primius was coming back to bite him in the ass. “Speak upon attentive ears.” Said Quintis only to be slapped in the face with a lowly request. His eyes darted to the floor as if in thought and then he rose to man before him in a smile. “You humble me, Highness,” He started, twisting even the lowest request to his advantage. “Ygar begs to give this crowd a taste of the greatness to come.” Agile and quick, the man moved like a monkey and enjoyed playing with his prey more than any other. The showing of what his house could do to please a crowd in any situation was sure to garner the favor he so desired, however the words weren’t completely out of his mouth before the young royal turned and moved onto something else. He and his wife shared a look of worry but quickly turned their thoughts to making the most of their situation. Caius’ passing through the crowd wet the thighs of nearly every woman in his wake. Though Octavia held a special place in her heart for the man, she wasn’t as damp as other. His mere presence shifted the subject of gossip and it caused the daughter of house Salonius to roll her eyes and giggle. “Oh Caius! Another fine form to be sure, but so cold. His focus remains upon the seat of his father. What would a man like that know of pleasure?” At that Octavia couldn’t stifle her giggle anymore.

Vezrial: There were a varying number of Senators at the party, for his own part. He had a few drinks in him, older than even some of the Senators more popular than he. He stood at a decently respectable height, but was almost paper thin. His skin hung off of his bones and the toga he wore did very little to disguise the fact that there was obviously something wrong with his health. Numalius Aedirium had been on the Senate for near… Twenty years, though some members easily had twice his time… He bore the age of his twenty with… Very little grace I must say.  He had been intending on placing bets on either one of the Gladiators the Emperor foisted… But the look and talk about this Lycares made him rethink that plan. So he put a lot of money down on his winning, having no doubt in the man’s capability to at least give good sport! But there was something about the blonde man that had been introduced to the crowds as someone who would steal the Princesses chastity… Call it a whim if you want, call it hopeful dumb luck from the drinks now coursing through his bloodstream. But he placed a few gold coins to bet on the Blonde captive. As captives went, he was dressed nicely. Well, once had been. The clothes were torn in various places and splattered with dry blood… It made him want to know whose blood it was. But he found his feet carrying him over towards the pair of Octavia, a formidable women to rival her father’s cunning if the words of hearsay were to be believed. Cassia, who seemed to be far too good and honest for this world. There was a large part of him that hoped she would find a way to rid herself of the naivety soon. But arriving at their forefront, he took a slightly tipsy bow as he said. In a remarkably clear voice given how much drink was swishing in his belly. “Your highness, my lady.” He stood up straighter. “I’m sure you heard the rumors…” He leaned down a bit closer, completely ignoring the fact that several people nearby had stopped to listen in on the conversation. “What really happened with that Markon fellow? Is the word of this Lycares person to be believed? The men say he’s a Beast donned with a man’s hide… If my family were of any particular note. I could possibly aid you, but the most I can do is offer kind words.” He hefted the drink in his hand, “Maybe a drink from Senator Aedirium!” Though unknown to him, there was a smirk from a nearby patron as he sat watching the crowds. Not the Arena, the flash of white-irises, almost like snow would be the most one could glimpse before the figure was gone again.

FairestEyes: The handmaid was a figure easily forgotten, hidden in the masses of spectators. Even when she remained in proximity to Cassia, no one could be fooled to overlook the Princess and her noble-born companion to prefer her. Thus, Junia’s figure faded naturally as a figment of environment alone. Of course, the Cyrenian girl could be readily found if purposely sought as Cassia had eventually done. For the briefest of seconds, their eyes might’ve locked— blue to blue and lilac, unknown ward to well-known mistress. At first moment, Junia thought Cassia might’ve beckoned the handmaid closer with specific reason; but further observation saw that beckoning was more of an invitation than a command. In her short experience with Cassia, this was the norm. Therefore, in what could be anticipated, the common bee of honey-brown hair then roamed nearer to the royal blossom and the dark-haired Octavia. Well within the Princess’s earshot, Junia then made no action to touch, speak, or draw consideration of any aristocrat in the space. She simply returned their small smiles and then stood in passivity, once again implored to glance about the Hall. Whereas Cassia forced herself mute to the spectacle around them, Junia was too absorbed in the surrounding commotion to respond in any singular fashion. It was terrible and so awe-inspiring that it pushed the handmaid to the point of flustered indifference. And as Emperor and Prince took sermons to their rowdy congregation, Junia found herself studying the pair of kin. Whomever painted Caius in handsome regality spoke truthfully, but the Cyrenian had already formed a stubborn opinion of the Avictus son. The details of that opinion kept secretive within her thoughts; and when women giggled and swooned to his Highness’s masculine splendor, Junia felt a stone weighed atop her tongue. Others did not feel the same weight as innate boldness or alcohol intake gifted courage the handmaid did not possess—but this sickly Senator apparently found some at the bottom of a wine goblet. Expressiveness: it would be the woman’s downfall as her youthful mouth tightened at Numalius’ obvious joy of the bottle. It shouldn’t have bothered her as much as it did but Junia couldn’t stop the judgmental pang in her chest. She had little patience for drunkards; praise to be dwelling in Astardis Hall! The murmurings of this Markon—a gladiator whom Junia had paid little attentiveness to— seemed to be the newest topic. By the fleeting gaze that instead chose to peer about the crowds once more, it was evident Junia was not keen to the subject. Fervor for the Red Chamber had not yet graced her heart…
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PostSubject: Re: S1 E1: Chains of Consequence    Tue May 15, 2018 1:13 am

Quinzy: At the giggles of the daughter of Quintis Salonius there came the prominent shadow of Caius Avictus himself. Cassia would of interjected her thoughts, her lips pulling back to produce a well-versed form of laughter, only she swallowed it (coughed, more so) once her brother showed himself among them. "Quite a few tricks, if you must inquire." His voice slipped like the touch of silk and the chilling gaze of sky eyes would glance at the dark scalp of Octavia. He knew of her, as she has been a friend of Cassia's for a considerable amount of time, yet never drew much attention before due to various other matters. Once his words were spoken did the few women surrounding them come to giggle and blush, turning into themselves and muttering things beneath their breath. Caius soon just looked to that of his sister, Cassia, with a neutral expression soon augmented to one she had not seen in a long while: anticipating joy. "Quite soon that undead gaul shall find himself buried beneath the blade of a warrior, and your honor will be secured by justice." Was he joyous at the knowledge of Markon's demise by the blade, on his sisters behalf? Did he truly believe the words of their father? Cassia reflected upon the prior engagements before Astardis, one's of show-case, and the true bitter touch of her brother's mind to come to light. The blonde looked away, eye's shifting from that of her brothers and simply holding her tongue; not wanting to press while in the eyes of many. Yet she could feel his, and for that she turned back. "It never went like that." Her body pressed inwards, easing closer to his own form and her pitch in a hushed whisper. Caius disregarded her; truly interupted by the interjection of Numalius Aedirium, one of the Senators whom worked alongside their father, the Emperor. Caius looked to him with a cold expression, while Cassia turned to him with one of questioning. He was beyond sober approach. "I believe you are confusing one with another, Numalius." Cassia spoke up, trying to provide clarification on his drunken confusion. Caius, however, soon came to usher him away. His details on the Senators, even if they were drunk, was useful in its own manner. When the drunken man was escorted beyond the length of the women, Cassia breathed in deeply, turning to both Junia and Octavia themselves. "All these words and not a single one of them breathing with truth. One would figure they would grow tired of such foolishness."

Biird: Octavia's fit of giggles was swallowed as Caius' voice slithered across her bare shoulders. A soft shudder moved through her as her chin tilted to meet his gaze. Caius had never looked down directly at her before and it was suddenly a full realization of why she kept her fantasies about him just fantasies. Caius had that same look of emptiness as his father, as her brothers. From a distance one could pretend that when a day of prepping to become Emperor came to an end all that tall, rich, wall of lean man wanted to do was wrap himself in the embrace of a beautiful woman and worship her body -- of course, you were always that woman, but up close he had an air about him that was almost frightening and so aloof Octavia could never go back to her fantasies. Her nose scrunched at his response to her, but all the dirty responses she had on the tip of her tongue miraculously remained behind her lips. To further crush her dreams, he turned his attention on Cassia. Their exchange was hushed but Cassia and Octavia were still holding hands, locked together like turtle doves in a cage. His words fell on the dark-haired girl as well causing her already scrunched little nose to wiggle. It took a moment but then Cassia found her spine and retorted but before anyone else could address the matter a drunken Senator stumbled up to them rambling on about the gladiators of her house. Octavia yipped and moved back, avoiding the drunken man's stumbled steps, the sound of "Eww," escaping her. Drunken old men had a tendency to get handsy and this one was haggard and worn. Lucky for them, Caius showed the man away and followed along behind, leaving Octavia with Cassia and her handmaiden and the eyes of all the other women around them. "You know, dear friend, they say the loveliest flowers blossom in the shadows, fertilized by shit." She said, patting Cassia's hand, proud that her friend hadn't wilted in the wake of such a strong shadow. It was time to turn their attentions to something less cold. "I haven't seen this one before," Octavia said, letting her eyes drink in the new handmaiden. "She is lovely."

Candlemass: So there he stood, his sandals smacking against the floor in a slightly loud noise. His father, a Legatus had invited him to the palace. A place of which Marcus had no reason to be at. The people who were supposed to be here were important. Unlike Marcus, who wasn’t remotely important. Just a soldier who was doing his best to survive like any other was doing. His light green eyes with the brown iris in the middle, scanned around where he was going. He hadn’t been to such a noble place such as this. It was unusual. In his somewhat short life things like this weren’t common occurrence. His legionary armor clung his body in a very form fitting way while his feet continued to move. Marcus felt that it was a huge honor to be invited to such an event. Despite its brutality and unnecessary need, the tournament was something he was interested in watching. Gladiators were men without fear. They had to fight to survive. At least he could relate to them in some ways. The brutal lifestyle that was accustomed for such a person wasn’t one that Marcus wanted to experience. Though, he did pity some of them. A lot of them were slaves who didn’t have any other choices. Fighting was his forte but speaking publicly to people who did this for a living intimidated him quite a bit. “Don’t embarrass yourself.” Repeating to himself in a soft monotone voice while hurrying his movements even more. His sword was kept hidden in its leather-ivory embedded sleeve. It was passed down to him by his father who was at this same party. The same father who was with the emperor and all these other political folks. Hopefully, things didn’t escalate out of hand and someone didn’t end up being stabbed in the back. Finally, Marcus the soldier made it. The sounds of cheering and drunks all around were things new to him. He hadn’t really experienced being care-free. But when you’re filthy rich and friends with an Emperor, things would definitely alter your perception of things. Eyes were on him now. They were taking him in bits by bits like a fresh slave thrown and beaten. How this feeling was one he wished would disappear. A soldier with only his title being here was not something that was supposed to happen. It was happening and so the gruff looking but handsome soldier stood there not knowing what to do.

FairestEyes: The short-burst of coughed laughter encouraged Junia to return gaze to those closer than the bustling crowds. Ah, the grand Princeling found himself willing to inject his presence into the admiring gaggle of feminine whisperers. By Junia’s observation, the noblewomen surrounding Cassia and Octavia were shameless spectators to his temperament and demeanor. Well, his—and that of the Senator whom was ushered away by Caius’ cool glare. As the pair of male went about their merry ways, Junia finally realized she had been holding her breath. Coyly, the handmaid dropped her chin and exhaled silently. Countless women both born and otherwise might’ve perceived Caius with an air of lustful whimsy… she only saw a pale-haired man whom purchased and slapped a collar upon her at an auction house. At this point in time, Junia ‘loved’ none of her captors and only ‘respected’ the heart of the Avictus’ Flower. The handmaid’s respect for Cassia, even after only four days of her enslavement, felt beyond that of a slave; and the Princess’s disposition was to thank for it. (C)

“…grow tired of such foolishness,” Cassia spoke heavily, and those syllables were answered by Octavia’s own comical retort to feces and flora. Junia simply couldn’t help the smile. While it was with closed lips, it was genuine. Then of course, like a woodland deer whom caught sight of a hunter, Junia’s grin soon dissolved and reserved speechless froze her solid once Octavia drank in her standing form. It was easily seen: the handmaid was not accustomed to the stare of strangers as a center of attention. Her shoulders did not shrink nor her spine, but Junia demurely peeked at Cassia before steadily returning Octavia’s bright irises, “She,” the modulated tone emphasized passively, “is called Junia.” Her Cyrenian tongue had habit of speaking Corvis plainly; but one could guess the evanescent flair of firmness was more than a mere pause of accent. At this moment and thereafter, Cassia’s handmaiden was absorbed to the interaction with the Princess and young Domina that other appearances to the area would’ve been missed for the time-being. (E)

DibelIa: The afternoon sun faded into the horizon, the deep blue distance of night time sky chasing away the light. Callista had received invitation of course, to the Hall, though her arrival was delayed, due to matter of discord within her own villa, at the House Sabinus. The dark haired Domina rode passenger in one curtained wagon, with her body slave Vera at her side, and guards posted at head of wagon and rear. The wagon behind theirs, bore the two champions that she was to present for the games, as well as her Doktore, Vikar. Her oceanic blue eyes shined, reflecting the light of the braziers and torches along the road leading to the Hall’s entrance, her body lounging comfortably among sheets of satin and pillows stuffed with feather, her bust rising and falling as she remained silent. Once the wagons pulled to the front and halted, her body slave slid from the other side of the wagon, wearing a silk of grey with silver clasps, her copper collar polished around her throat, her hair washed and combed, falling in shoulder length locks of chestnut. Vera extended a hand to her Domina, who followed suit, sliding her jeweled feet upon the steps of the wagon. She wore a gown of ebony satins, with layers of sheer fabric, clinging to her slender physique. Black arm bands contrasted her sunkissed tan flesh, and she wore silver rings and onyx jewelry, her neck bare of necklace, her bust rising and falling with each breath as she lifted her gaze upon the Hall. Her long dark tresses, a deep brown matching the depths of the Earth’s soil, fell in combed and shimmering waves down to her lower back, swaying as she moved towards the steps leading to the Hall. Her high cheekbones shined with a light powder, her full lips painted with a wine-colored cream. Those lips, often bearing unreadable visage, now curved upward slightly as she looked upon Vera and Vikar, her slaves, and the two gladiators beside Vikar. “Tonight you all will behave as if this were our own villa and home. I would not see my House be shamed by the likes of slaves, my husband brought enough shame on his own. Do well tonight, and you shall see reward upon return to the Ludus,” she said with a nod, her jeweled hands clasping her skirts, lifting them as she walked up the steps, her party following suit. She was a tall woman, with a sculpted face, regal but striking in appearance, with eyes as deep as the sea. The Domina entered the Hall, pausing to offer mild applause as she walked in at the end of the Emperor’s speech, her eyes skimming the crowd, before she dismissed her Doktore and gladiators to take position beside the other gladiators from rival houses. She moved towards a slave who bore a tray of goblets and a pitcher of wine, her full lips presenting a smirk of deviant nature, as she took a goblet of wine and lifted it to her lips. “Vera, stay close to me,” she said, the mute body slave nodding and remaining steadfast beside the Domina’s elbow. Callista Orphea Sabinus was a striking and beautiful creature, though she had a rather intimidating and predatory mannerism to herself, one that spoke of utmost confidence and pride, enough to rival any man. Which, she was a rival to many men in the city of Corviana, as a woman leading her own Ludus and owning her own gladiators. She refused to falter, no matter the discrimination she faced, and instead faced them in return with jests and wit. She kept her eyes up, her head held high, as she stood off to the side of the marble flooring, beside a great brazier of flame, her features illuminated with that fiery glow.

Quinzy: The laughter from Cassia bellowed as Octavia lit her words in front of her, each breath clouded over by the glaze of some truth in this world. The blonde turned to her dear friend, a smile hanging still on her lips now embedding in her unique sight. Instead of speaking, the daughter of Emperor Arulius Avictus II simply brought the hand of Octavia up so she could kiss the top of her palm with her mouth; her reply met without need of words. At the mention of Junia did the fair female's cheeks pinch into a blush, feeling foolish and rude for not properly introducing the both of them. As she was about to speak, however, her hand maiden spoke out before her. Cassia released Octavia's hand to soon come and clasp around that of Junia's, bringing them both together and close to her with a smile on her face and a laugh echoing about the room, even if drowned among the constant chatter of others. "Quite so; apologies on my delay of introduction. Junia is a new dear friend and has come to assist me throughout the villa, and Junia, this is my sister in spirit, Octavia Salonius." Giving Junia's hand a light squeeze, the young woman did hope they would catch along quite well. After Junia's burst of stating she had a name, in fact, she did believe they would fair quite well as a trio in company. She was already doing nicely, so Cassia speculated. As the peculiar gaze looked about the room, her eyes venturing too and fro as bodies navigated the expansive space of Astardis, Cassia searched to see the line of slaves having indeed be ushered into one of the rooms nearing the back, upon the right hand side. Her curiosity urged her to press towards there, trying to discover a means of detachment from prying eyes, only soon she caught a familiar face; one which looked sorely out of place. Cassia had never spoken to Marcus Belisarius directly before, but she had seen him training when her father had engaged his own in the training yards, just outside of the noble gates. She had also interacted with the Legatus briefly, and had heard light stories about Marcus through his father's words alone. Cassia smiled lightly, hoping to catch the man's gaze, for his flushed face and awkward position clearly displayed his new experience within the hall. Detaching herself from her friends, Cassia eased her way through the crowd, coming to greet herself to his front. "Marcus Belisarius, yes?" The female with one blue and one lavender irise looked to his own unique hued orbs. "I am Cassia Avictus; I have met your father, the Legatus, a number of times. Please do not feel too alone in this crowd, you are free to join myself and two others just over there." Cassia turned to face Octavia and Junia, the two more towards the balcony's entrance, and delivered them a light-hearted smile. -- While pleasentries engaged in other matters, nobles would come to catch the sights of Callista Sabinus, and automatically did the whispers begin. Various women would turn upon her to dispute amongst themselves, while men either eyed her in disapproving nature, a mocking tone without voice, or that of wondering in how to lace the finger with their own collar. She had land and promise that was left over from her late husband, and for some men, they did wish to engage the idea of ownership. Upon such, one male, a simple aristocrat who's mark was in the matter of trade and export of goods, eased his way towards her with a devious glint in his eye. Two others followed suit. "Ah, Callista, t'is quite a shock to see you - and with fighters, no less. Come to engage in what was left behind by Antreas?" The smirk upon the mouth of the one was unavoidable, while the others simply drank their wine, wondering what a woman could possibly offer. "Hydinus is looking for a wife, perhaps we could introduce you?" It was far from a generous offer, and more of one to put a woman in 'her place'.

Biird: The sound of Cassia's genuine laughter was the cause of most of Octavia's drive toward shenanigans when the two were together. It was such a beautiful and rare sound. While she was pleased to have her friend laughing, all she could do in response was smile and caress her chin when Cassia kissed her palm. Her sapphire eyes fell on the new handmaiden again, twinkling with her need for mischief, alight by the girl's response. Fiesty. She liked that. Dipping her head, loose curls bobbed around her shoulders. "Junia. Lovely name for a lovely girl." Their hands were brought close by the delicate creature that connected them. The introduction touched a tender place in Octavia's ever hardening heart. As emotion mildly turned in her breast, the distraction of a passing wine tray was one cup short and brought to Octavia's plush mouth. It wasn't sweet wine but it would do. Her mother had once made a joke that their daughter had a unrefined palette of a commoner but with just one look from her father, Quintis, that phrase was never to be uttered again, and no one was ever to speak of it. Embrace your roots, father dearest, because the moment you falter those round asses you kiss will remind you of it. The girl made herself laugh, snorting into her wine, as Cassia drifted away from them and through the crowd. Wiping her mouth, the young Domina followed the line of vision and was pleasantly surprised to fall upon the face of a handsome young legendary who had no name known to her. Chances were she could ask her brothers...Where the hell were the little demons anyway? With parties like this, it was easy to follow the crowd if you wanted to find someone important or even just something entertaining. There was a chunk waiting their turn to kiss the ring, another set laying whoring eyes upon the gladiators and spreading rumors of their prowess among lonely house wives and yet another now focused on a lone woman. This person had a name that readily came to Octavia, as the girl was more attuned to matters that related to her own men than those of state. As another tray passed it was rewarded a cup and relieved of one in the same motion. "Junia, darling, be a dear and tell Cassia I will find her. I am off to find a chamber pot or the cupped hands of some drunken nobleman with a fetish."

Vezrial: He couldn’t understand it. He’d seen depravity before, he’d seen hatred and violence and blood. But this was absurd! His hands gripped the chains, they were well rusted with sweat and blood of those who’d died in them before. It should have been no task to break them, yet. Why. Was. He. Having. Trouble?! His arms snapped at the chains savagely, trying to pull them apart. Eyes, filling with more and more hatred scanned the crowds watching the arena. They were drinking, feasting, having a merry time of it! While he sat down here with these criminals and scum! A hand touched his shoulder and his head snapped to the side, his eyes glowing unnaturally at the touch of one of the men to his shoulder. IT was the one with long black hair, he didn’t look concerned… No… He looked hungry. Even though his blood lay still in his veins, he felt a chill ran through him at the look directed at him. “Yur kinda pretty… You sure you ain’t a woman?” Markon snarled, his fangs extending past his lips as his fear, anxiety turned to rage at this man and his hand struck out to his fellow captive’s stomach. The blow landed and the wind was knocked out of the man, but… Yellow eyes widening in panic, he took a step back as he heard some nobles from the landing above laugh and point. “Look! They’re fighting each other now! I bet the pretty one bends over for them!” Raucous laughter followed the statement and Markon snapped his head up, looking to the offending man. There was a yelp or two as his fangs were clearly visible now. The temptation was almost palpable in him, the temptation to crawl up the wall and snap his pretty face around until his chin said ‘Hello’ to his spine! But he turned back towards the slaves and gladiators. The one with the black hair had recovered by now and was glaring at Markon. But the fangs halted him, making him pause in the continuation of the assault. Eyes flinging towards the Gladiators. He shouted at them. “This is wrong! Can’t you see this? Blood-sport for the enjoyment of the people who lord their money and privilege over you!” A few of them took note of the yells, but none of them saw fit to respond. Not yet anyway. His arms lowering, hands clenched and shaking in anger, frustration. He was confident in his ability to survive… But he knew how fights like these went down. If the slaves won, the guards would exterminate them. He had no desire to see how many arrows it would take to finally make him fall. Nor how many sword cuts, spear thrusts, axe cuts, it might take… He took a step forward, dragging the nearest slave by their linked chains with him as he shouted. Loud enough to be clearly heard from the landing above. “Is that all you are?! Puckered dogs with no sense of right and wrong?!” He waved an arm at the nobility, fully intending that they hear him. That they *Listen* to him. “And you all! You pay, you feed and whore yourselves out more than the common folk, yet you claim to be better!” His arm lowered as tears born of the immense frustration began to stream down his face. He didn’t /want/ to kill anyone. “If this is how it is… If this is what I am forced to do…” His eyes going up, finding the Emperor sitting on his shiny throne. “I will dance in your ashes, a century after your Empire is gone and you are forgotten.”
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PostSubject: Re: S1 E1: Chains of Consequence    Sat May 19, 2018 12:52 am

Candlemass: “I definitely do know who you are.” Marcus replied to the Princess before trying to think of if he should bow or not. He hadn’t met a royal of this magnitude before. She was the Emperor’s daughter which meant that she was powerful too. His father had talked about meeting powerful men from all over when he was only a child. Rich and luxurious men who were disconnected from everyday life. One of them had gifted the Legatus an ebony handled dagger with embedded designs within. “This is new to me. I normally have to fight your wars not meet the people behind them. Forgive me if I’m disrespecting you.” Saying with an actual tone that seemed more scared than anything. She’d pointed out about meeting Caius of which, Marcus kept his mouth shut tightly. He’d heard a few things about him. But he was always the son of the Emperor. Someone to avoid or at least be on their good side. For a man such as Marcus to be at a loss for words and stumble in his sentences was surprising. To face death and stare at it in its hollowed eyes, being with people of this magnitude shouldn’t off affected him as it did. Someone came to the Princess and spoke about leaving which he still had no idea who they were referring to. Marcus’s father was somewhere around here socializing and mingling it up. Hopefully he’d pluck him from this group of socialites and whisk him away to some duty. Though this was unlikely to happen. Chatter and energetic sounds of happiness where spread all throughout. The games were going on. It made everyone happy despite the lawlessness and depravity that it withheld. Poor men.

DibelIa: Callista remained where she stood, though her deep stormy blue eyes lifted upon approach of the well-dressed male; she had forgotten his name though she had seen him numerous times in the arena, and within the marketplace. Perhaps even at a party at one of the various villas in the countryside, though she had been separate from them for a few months now. The Domina chose to focus her time on her gladiators, and her successes in business. The man’s words broke from his lips with an arrogant smirk, drawn forth with drink and confidence, as he stood before her, his friends following suit and standing in a half circle behind him, eyes lingering upon Callista’s form. She released her grip upon her skirts, letting the black satin gown fall down her lower thigh and her calf, before pooling at the floor around her feet, the dress itself rather long and fitted. The gown draped around her hips, and found tightness across her bust, with a drape over her right shoulder, leaving her collarbones and shoulders bare, her sunkissed tanned skin glittering in the firelight of the Hall, with flecks of silver glitter scattered across her chest and back. Her bust rose and fell with each breath she drew through her painted lips of wine color, her lips full and curving upright upon the corners as she smirked when hearing the words from the noble before her. Her blue gaze met his, and her head tilted to the side, her body slave stiffening beside her, eyes downcast and hands clenched tight together behind her back. Callista lifted her chin proudly, her waist length thick chocolate hair swaying down her shoulder and back, her eyes outlined with a cat’s eye black eyeliner, her long dark lashes accenting the colors of her hues, her eyes gleaming with a deviant glimmer. “Hydinus looks for wife, yet lacks the courage to meet a woman? Are you his pimp, then, or his worrisome father, seeking to arrange marriage?” she replied with just as much sharp edge and sarcastic wit to her voice as he spoke to her. “You men should know that wedlock and a shared bed with me, is a death contract with Hadus,” she smirked, lifting goblet to her lips, sipping the sweet red wine, part of the liquid pooling upon her lower lip as she smiled up to the male. “Rumor has it that my bed is a cursed bed, after all.” She made jest upon the death of her husband, Antreas.

Quinzy: "A 'Pimp'? What in all of the Gods is such a thing? -- I do believe the widow of Antreas is configuring her own words due to the hysteria setting in from her loss." The words from the noble male was accompanied by a few chuckles and some wandering eyes while lips took care at the edge of their goblets. At the mention of Hadus did the male's face come to contort, eyes shifting into a squint that rendered him showing how the rumors of Callista's prayers towards the God of the Underworld were clearly not false. "I shall take my odds." Came the voice of another, one male from the back whom had been otherwise silent. He stood at a height of six foot two with dark, chestnut locks, a strong jawline, and piercing hazel eyes that dipped more to that of honey. A coy smile resided on his features, one of meer play rather than that of jest like the others. He was someone new, and by the tanned flesh he sported, someone hailing from either Pannonia or Galia. -- Cassia, towards that of Marcus, noticed the flushed features and the look of loss; one to which she had originally came over to try and remedy. The Lady of the Avictus household seemed to frown internally, speculating on how her presence, given her title, was most likely not easing his inner turmoil. "I apologise if you are uncomfortable. There is always the balcony, if you are wishing for a spot to breathe and take time away from the affairs to which seem foreign." Cassia did her best to choose her words wisely, as not wanting to have them misplaced as condescending or anything of the sort. Her phrasing was gentle, accompanied with a soft upturn of her lips that reflected in the eyes that displayed lavender and turquoise. As her voice wished to elevate more in a form of conversation, hoping to try and ease some tension and awkward thought, Cassia soon heard a familiar voice trying to lift itself over the crowd, even if it was drowned out by a majority. She could not make out the clear words but upon hearing the voice did Cassia look to that of Marcus and place her palms together in the form of an apology. "Apologies, Sir Belisarius. Something demands my attention." The fair haired female did not drift off in haste, but however kept her movements calm and fixed; trying not to highlight her demand in order to see what is beyond. As she navigated throughout the crowd, through the section of some bodies and the flutter of fabric did her eye's catch down the hall, just slipping inside a door to where guards were seen trying to haul Markon off and towards that of an emptier room; one without others and to perhaps silence him? The men seemed rather brutish with how they handled the blonde male, and as she eased closer, slipping down the hallway and further from the music, Cassia watched the doors to a room off to the left open and then shut once he was tossed inside as if he were new wears from the food market. A key was slipped in and the door was locked, to which the guards turned upon their heels and were drifting back towards the party. Cassia shuffled to the side and took a deep breath in, feeling the words of Octavia within her ear all the while; urging her to not keep in the shadows and be courageous. Taking a deep inhale, Lady Avictus ushered herself forwards before 'tripping' over her feet and into one of the guards. The male with a short cut of hair appeared alarmed, his hands rushing to grasp her and be sure she did not fall, and soon his dark sight met that of her own gaze. "Apologies, I seemed to have lost my footing-" Cassia flushed at her words; a rose tint scattering across her face, although not for the reasons one would expect. "Quite alright, Your Grace. Shall I fetch you some water?" Cassia took the moment of his words to grasp her hand around the key he had slipped loosely into his brief pocket, coming to collect the piece and hide it among her white gown. "That would be of most help; thank you." The man nodded, looking to his fellow guard and soon ushering off with him to that of where refreshments lingered. Cassia stood up straight as soon as they were out of vision and looped around to the door, her hands shaking as she grasped at the keys buried in her fabrics and did her best to shove it into the lock.

Vezrial: He didn’t make it easy for them. The guards did their best to haul him, initially thinking just the two would be enough. But when he dug his heels in and kept himself rooted to the spot. More were called until three were hauling him off, two holding his arms and one with arms wrapped around his neck. It didn’t take them long to toss him into a plain, unoffending room. It was simple in its décor. A bed, a dresser… There was a stool. That was probably the most interesting thing about the room honestly. The single window in the room was little more than a slit in the wall with a glass pane in it. There was no way he would be able to fit through it. Even with access to his strength… There was something about this place! IT robbed him of his strength. He kicked the unoffending stool across the room. Standing still for a moment before bending down to sit on the floor and grip his foot in pain. “Damnit, Damnit!” He said in a hushed voice. Breaking through the walls was out of the question, the door was fairly thick and made from wood. Despite the fact that most of his abilities were gone. He was unable to grow claws, he couldn’t escape from the room with his last-ditch effort. He could feel his form flicker… But… it was like trying to light a candle when the wick was wet. Nothing happened. Glancing over at the stool he’d kicked across the room, he walked over. Ignoring the pain in his foot and picked it up, setting it down on the ground. HE patted it almost apologetically before he sat down in it. There was very little he could do in this situation… The realization made him further frustrated. So he sat on that stool in a huff, arms crossed across his chest like a petulant child.

DibelIa: Callista laughed lightly, draping slender hand upon the forearm of the male, her polished fingernails sharpened, her touch soft. She stepped forward, almost as if she stood with the male, arm in arm, though she tilted her head and cast a sideways glance to his friends. “I would have though you’d be well acquainted with brothels. Surely your charm and merit will improve soon enough, and you might properly bed a woman without needed coin first,” she made a joke at his expense, before patting his hand and turning to grab a peach from the passing tray held upright by a muscular male slave with dark hair and dark eyes. Her attention was redirected however, to the bold voice of a stranger, a male who stood taller than herself and the men confronting her, his broad shoulders making the tight space between the crowd even smaller, though her gaze lifted to meet his hazel hues, noting the darker shade to his skintone. The smile faded from her lips, and a look of genuine curiosity instead filled her striking features. “Your odds increase far more than that of Hydinus, though I can’t say that is much of a compliment, as he has none,” she said, her voice softer and carrying smoothly over her full lips, before glancing back at the arrogant aristocrats that had confronted her. “Now run along gentlemen, and let tongues wag in gossiped whispers about the goings on within my Ludus and marital bed,” she said, before bowing her head, and gathering her skirt in one hand, she tucked her hand into the bend of the stranger’s elbow. “Would you escort a woman to get more wine?” she asked, her frame touching side to side with his, though her oceanic gaze looked up and deep into his own eyes, an amused smirk upon her lips. The duo stood with their backs to the pig-headed aristocrats, facing the crowd now. Callista simply wished to utilize him as an excuse to leave the vicinity of growing tension.

Quinzy: Decimus disregarded the men who were stationed ahead of him, their bodies adorned in thick robes inked of rich tones. While their images stated wealth and influence, the words that fell from their mouth clearly showed their lack of civility and progression in regards to discussion, and in the matters of the opposite sex. The male has dealt in affairs within Corviana on a number of occasions, and as he has come to see it, Galia is a far more relaxed nation in comparison. The intense gaze of Decimus, each iris tinted as if honeycomb had been plucked and positioned into his eyes, looked upon the destinguished woman whom clearly had an affect on the disposition of those at Astardis. Instead of engaging with a response of words, Decimus lifted his retort in the means of a smirk; the edges of his lips deepening along with the tint in his gaze. As the woman eased her way towards him, his eyes looking down to catch at her own, her arm slithered into his own and the suggestion of an escort for wine was encouraged. The former retort she had made to those of the others caused his mind to light; far more enthralled, now, given the fire that seemed to radiate from her form. Fire was a welcomed familiarity. "How could I possibly decline such pleasures?" The tone was not mocking nor snide, yet far more charismatic and smooth. The smirk did not waver as he eased them through the crowd, teetering closer to the balcony after sweeping two goblets off of a nearby tray that had just passed, one with a folded piece of parchment which read 'Lylenia', one of the more upscale wines. Such things to be expected in such an establishment. Handing one goblet in her direction, Decimus looked to her, his eyes tracing her face and only furthering his intrigue. "I take you are well acquainted with the former affairs?" His words referenced to that of the prior entanglement between aristocrats. The man himself did not consider him among the rest, and in his heart he still felt but of a commoner, one whom simply struck gold due to skill and ambition alone. -- Across Astardis, dwelling beyong that of the hall which stretched a bit further away from the party, even if the music and chatter could still be heard, Cassia tried to not fumble with the keys more than necessary. She knew her time was of the essence given water was something discussed and arranged. Breathing deeply, Cassia finally managed to turn the lock in the correct direction which engaged her to retract the key and push open the door. She was hurried in her movements, the door closing behind her in harder way than intended. Her back still facing the room, the female clad in all pearl tone allowed herself time to deeply inhale and steady the quake of her heart. She had never done something so drastic and impulsive before, and for that she had to give herself time to breathe. Lowering her palm from the door, Cassia slowly turned around, her eyes trying to search the darkened room and see a form that she knew had been pushed into this section of Astardis. Through the crack of the window and the moon's illumination, since no candles were lit, Cassia caught the scalp of golden locks with inked arms crossed and body sat in defiance. "Markon?" Her soft-spoken voice stirred within the otherwise silent room. The echos of the musicians could only be heard as a light buzzing sound beyond the walls. "Are you alright?" Her brows furrowed in concern, footsteps taken a few steps towards him, and the form-fitting gown she adorned shuffled around her feet.

Biird: While their daughter swept through the crowd, Quintis, his wife and their twin sons watched from the balcony as the undead creature set for execution continued to boldly defy their Emperor. His form was truly terrifying, the malformations of his "change" drawing collective breaths from the crowd to witness his apparent madness, for what else could his outrageous threats be called? The crowd may have seen a beast that needed to be put the sword but Quintis saw a monster aching to become a legend that would raise the station of any gladiatorial house smart enough, and strong enough to bend him to their will. Harnessing a beast like that was his bread and butter. Alas, he already had a new beast to break. Even admitting the truth in his own mind pained him and the truth was – it was by his daughter's firm hand that truly broke the beast enough for the man to receive his mark. The thought caused his grip to tighten on his goblet of wine. Ever present to the mood of her husband, Lucilia slipped her arm through that of her husband's and plied his cheek with the gently brush of her lips. Beside them, the twins stood silently watching the events unfold below them. Their blue eyes, shining like frozen glaciers, had shadows of malevolence within them. There was something about the actions of the undead that caused the boys to radiate an aura of death and excitement. Simultaneously the boys raised cups to their lips, edges of hungry smirks masked by the cool metal. When the creature was removed from the scene, they turned, moving like a revolving door and made their way off the balcony. Elsewhere, despite her jest and the knowledge of a few older men with the fetish of her proposal, Octavia had seen fit to find a bathroom and conduct herself, if even for a fleeting moment, like a lady. It wasn't late enough in the evening to engage in full blown shenanigans, although she had some ideas on reserve, like sparking a rivalry between her mother and the Domina Callista. Just as she had come from relieving herself, Octavia watched from the junction of anther corridor Cassia's bold endeavor to recover a key from a guard. The sight made her heart flutter and a devious smile curl her lips. The daughter of Quintis Salonius was never prouder than the moments when she enticed defiance and acts of danger others, especially Cassia, who was more often than naught timid as a hunted rabbit. Easing closer, Octavia caught the end of Cassia encouraging the guard to venture off and find water. The man brushed by her without noticing her petite little form nearly pressed against the wall inside the corridor. She wasn't hiding, per say, but she did have a knack for going unnoticed and used it to her full advantage. A gentle crane of her head, allowed her to watch the Flower of the Empire breach the locked room. Mere moments fluttered by before the guard returned with the water spurring Octavia into his path. "I will take that." The guard jerked the cup away. "This is for the princess." The dark haired girl flashed a brilliant and disarming smile. "Indeed. I watched as you nearly crumpled the form of the princess with your brutish steps. I will present the gift of water on your behalf, lest you frighten, or worse, crush the girl again." The man frowned. "That was not my intent." A languid and aloof shrug rolled her bare shoulders. "Who can truly know intent? If pressed, I can only say that I saw you slam that great body into the petite and forgiving form of our good princess, a lady that would surely forgive you the slight, but would her father?" He paled, thrusting the cup at her and Octavia took the goblet gently. "Go on now, I will bring her along shortly." Men. They were so simple. "Octavia." Titus and Augustus spoke in a shared breath. They had appeared in the very hall she had come from, watching her with those hawk like, unreadable eyes. Who could say how long they had been there, or how much they'd seen. The only thing that could be certain was that they deserved as many beatings as she for arriving like shadows in a dimly lit avenue. A matter for another time. With an exasperated sigh and giggle, their elder sister slumped against the wall, the cup in her hand. "I know you love me." They didn't respond only moved past her and rejoined the crowd. Shaking her head, resigned to figure the puzzle of those strange creatures later, the young Domina practically skipped down the hall to the door, giving a great big push and brazenly disrupting whatever the two were doing within. "Alms. Alms for the poor."
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Join date : 2017-10-07

PostSubject: Re: S1 E1: Chains of Consequence    Thu May 24, 2018 7:26 pm

Vezrial: The remaining slaves watched their compatriot taken away, none of them would willingly admit that his presence disturbed them, those fangs looked rightly like they could cut through flesh. There were some who wore such things as a fetish or for fashion, but they had a first row vide of them growing and extending past his lips. Slowly, they moved closer together as the one called ‘Avictus’ slowly proposed a plan for them all to get out alive, and get rid of the creature they were forced to be chained to. While in the chamber that the aforementioned creature had been placed in, he sat with his arms crossed over his chest. Head down and allowing his hair to fall across his face. He wasn’t sure how he would get out of this one without being in bondage or perilously close to death. Just to test it, he closed his eyes again and tried to summon the same power that he’d done so many times before, that deep… Instinctual calling of the blood. He felt his form shimmer and to the onlooker, it might look like he was becoming translucent on various parts of his body. But still, the full power escaped him. There wasn’t enough of it to allow him to escape the chains, or to get out of the room. So when the doors opened, his eyes opened again and he turned to look at the… Cassia?! He was on his feet immediately as he watched her enter the room and close the door behind her. “What are you doing here? You could get caught!” He almost approached to put his hands on her shoulders as if to chastise her, but he stopped… Restricting himself, the last they had seen of each other, he had been covered in the gore of two men. “I’m… I haven’t been hurt Cassia. But you shouldn't be here.” He would have said more, but that was the moment that the door chose to open. Expecting some guard or another, his reaction was visceral as he grabbed Cassia by her shoulder and forced her to be behind him, his fangs extended and his voice hissing.

Quinzy: Upon the entrance into the room, her words having dropped when trying to look about in the darkness, Cassia turned to the voice in response. Markon's familiar octave drifted to her ears. Although their discussions were brief, and she hardly knew him, something inside her told her he was being honest. Honest in his reasonings as to having come to the villa. In his need to rid of his affliction. Primarily, the daughter of the Emperor felt horrible for how her father lied. "It is fine, I feigned a trip and rid the guard to obtain water. By the time he returns he will simply speculate that I retreated once more to the company of the crowd." Her right hand lifted up, a wave turning dismissal, although her heart still raced inside her. She was not used to bending beyond means. Cassia has always been quite passive, yet perhaps Octavia is encouraging her bravery. Taking a step forwards, noticing his form in the dim room, the fabrics of her gown brushed along the flooring below as she stepped ahead. Markon began once more and she dismissed it. She did not take notice to the way he had held himself back, as Cassia was far too preoccupied in the moment. She ushered closer, ignoring what he said, and immediately began to touch his left arm to check for bruises. "I have to tell you something-" Her words were cut short. Within seconds had the door she came from soon open. Cassia would of cursed herself had she had the time to think. Instead, she felt her body get shoved back, Markon now in front of her and she peaking past his shoulder and arm. At the sound of such a foolish proclamation of entrance, the tone of Octavia registered to Cassia and she stepped out from behind Markon. Her hand touched his shoulder, as if to assure him, before she swept back to where she came. "Octavia! You almost made me choke upon my heart." A scowl perched itself on her features, but soon masked over by the look of worry. Cassia instantly closed the door behind her; not bothering to even peak down the hall.

Biird: The sound of rattling chains came moments before a fearsome visage extended through the darkness and nearly into her face. Though her smirk didn't falter, her heart jumped into her throat for moment at the sight before her, the cup trembling but below the line of sight of the monster ready to devour her. Before she quip at the creature, her dear friend appeared managing to be paler with worry than her usual marble-self. Octavia's dark blue eyes flickered over Cassia, only her hand moving to offer the water. "I brought you this. Some bumbling guard was convinced you were in need." Her smirk didn't move, only changed to one of knowing and teasing. Now, she turned, giving Markon her profile and a quick glance before speaking to Cassia again. "First the new servant and now this one. My dear, friend you are losing all manners. No matter." Hopping on her heel, the dark-haired daughter of a lanista turned back to monster in their midst. "I am Octavia Titania Salonius and I think you would do well to take this drink, or," She retracted the cup, staring at his visage, taking in his entire face in that moment. "perhaps there is something else this one requires." The same leisurely shrug she'd given the guard rolled across her shoulders again. "While I do so enjoy this bold side of you, Cassia, there is not much time to frolic."

Vezrial: The form of Cassia entering his vision made him falter and the threatening motions he had been making halted, he was suddenly unsure and now that he had a proper look of the intruder… It was a woman, a well to do woman. She was darker in complexion than Cassia, more true to the national color of Corviana… But he kept silent until the newcomer introduced herself, an eyebrow raising he said. “You’re very impressed with that name, aren’t you?” He wanted to get at least one jab in to stave off the fact that he had been about to tear into her neck. He shook his head when she pushed the cup towards him and he said, “Unless you wish to open a vein, there isn’t much you can do for me in the way of nourishment.” Now remembering that Cassia had said something, he turned to look at her again. “Cassia, you had something to tell me?” Assuming that they, rightly, didn’t have much time he’d have to forego telling her about his almost powerless state for the moment and instead focus on what she was risking imprisonment from her father in order to tell him. Whatever it was, he doubted she was coming to tell him that her favorite flower was lilac. Though they are pretty flowers….

Quinzy: The exchange between the two was something of oddity, yet should be anticipated. She can understand the semblance of unease one would have around Markon. The sense of danger. However, she seemed to shove that to the back. Her mind more focused on the man himself, than that of the display of monstrosity. "I-I'm not trying to cause an issue but this is important." Cassia said while she looked to Octavia, her eyes searching that of her own even though the lighting provided was nothing grand. The young woman fumbled with her thoughts for a moment. Catching sight of the cup and the end of such a sentence, she had no need to answer for him due to the comment about a vein. Sighing, her head tilting back to the door at the catch of footsteps as individuals swept up and down the halls, Cassia turned back to Markon. "You must be cautious with how you act right now." Her hands stretched out, holding back slightly as she leaned closer, not quite yet touching him but more hovering.

Biird: His quip about her name made her smile, not smirk, but smile sensing his attempt to recoil his own actions, none of which Octavia begrudged him. After all, his show of attempted violence had been in defense of her friend and barging into the room, Octavia had been prepared for such a result. Remaining by the door, a brow quirked at the mention of opening a vein, the Salonius girl was left to her thoughts as Cassia approached man meant for execution. Regarding him once more, he seemed thin and weak, not quite the creature that had stirred fear in the entire house of the emperor. Pitching the contents of the cup into the corner, Ocativa let the stem fall between her fingers. The ruse of water was useless now, but her mind was wandering over situations as the two spoke. The shuffling of feet beyond the door only served to make firm her declaration of the borrowed time they were on. "Quickly."

Vezrial: His eyes narrowed at the words Cassia spoke, why should he have to be careful if he were to die here… Unless… This wasn’t the Emperor's plan. His eyes widened as he considered the possibilities. IF, If, If the Emperor had determined that it would take quite the effort to put Markon down… He might decide that there were other uses for him. As a soldier, as a pet dog he could sic on anyone he wanted. When the footsteps began to sound outside the corridor, he grasped the hand Cassia had stretched out towards him as he whispered, more for the benefit of the passerby’s not hearing them than trying to hide it from Octavia. “Tell me more, what does your father have planned? This isn’t all of it, is it? He doesn’t want me to die here… He wants me to show something.” What that could be… He wasn’t sure. There were no great secrets in his mind, there were no ancient dangers lurking in the depths of his mind. The only secrets he had were in relation to his abilities and how he obtained them.

Quinzy: At the words of Octavia, her voice curt in addressing reality, Cassia felt her mind push faster to spit out the over-all details. She blinked, however, surprised by the sudden grasp to her hand. Thoughts defused, however, upon his stretching questions that were loomed her way. "No, you are never meant to die here." Her head eased back and forth, her waved locks moving from the shake of her head. "This is a showcase. He intends for an execution ad gladium. That collar you have on-" Her index finger reached out, fingertip touching along the leather strap fastened around his neck. It would of been given to him before he arrived to Astardis. "It drains your strengths. They are used upon Gifted slaves and criminals as a means to make them more mortal." The truth ran out from her lips, her head looking back to Octavia as for her to have heard as well. Her friend would surley know the details as well. All Lanista's owned such items when obtaining slaves, primarily gladiator or warriors, as to level them against their opponents if they cannot locate another gifted. Some call for its removal if the crowd thirsts for more chaos. Others, it is kept on, to increase the challenge and highlight natural ability versus given abilities. "Unless they remove it in the arena, you have no choice but to depend on your own skill. One without additions." Her face sunk at the end. The lips curving into a frown as she looked back and to the face of Markon. She held no clue of his past or his strengths before whatever occured to him. All she knew was that those whom shall be against him, hold various training. Training that was held every day, for however number of years they have been brought in. No one, minus two, has ever survived execution ad gladium. The sounds of footsteps once more strung down the hall just passed the closed door. It did not sound like guards, however it did sound like individuals from the crowd. Her heart picked up. She did not know if they were soon coming to collect Markon to show him off. As even nobles can place bets on the declared criminals, even if rare.

Biird: So that was it. Her dear, dear, friend wanted this prisoner to live. For a reason they had yet to gossip over. Still though, if that is what her friend wanted for the man bound in chains before them, then that is what would be, gods be damned. Stepping forward, closer to the hush conversation between the two, Octavia interjected. "You will no doubt face the men of Lucian Kyrosius. If you face the men he has presented for the primus you will survive." Octavia had been the daughter of a lanista all her life. She'd grown around the Titans of the arena and attended every game even those in infancy that she did not remember. Ever curious, she'd been more curious as to the workings of the ludus and the men that fought and died for her namesake than that of her brothers. Or at least more vocal about it. "Jyale, the dark-skinned one, has a hitch in his left hip but his favorite ploy is to get in close. Stay out of his reach and use long range for him. Rinulius will not appear intimidating at first and his form is of a solider but do not turn your back on him for he will take you like bitch in heat. Viex is large with the hands of mountain, but he is slow and grunts with each thrust. Stay below him and get in close." Reaching out, Octavia jabbed Markon just below his navel and against his inner thigh. "Warriors for the primus will be bare, here, here and here. The risk of death is what gets the most of the crowd. Use it. Keep your strikes concise and hard. Do not prolong. Gladiators have stamina you have never encountered."

Vezrial: He had wondered about his powers, why he couldn’t use them. He had thought that it had something to do with this place as no special emphasis was given to the collar he wore. Every slave and prisoner wore them, so he thought it was a mark of bondage… But he nodded. He’d been about to respond to Cassia, when to his surprise. Octavia began to speak to him, his eyebrows flew up and his eyes widened as he listened and watched her as she began to prod the places of vulnerability on normal gladiators. When her demonstration ended, he nodded. “I am no stranger to war, before…” HE gestured to his own chest to indicate his person. “I was a warrior in the northern territories, my tribe often fought against those who sought to claim land from our lord. But…” He spared a glance to Octavia, “It seems that a gladiator match will be much different than the field…” A thought occurred to him suddenly, if these collars dampened his powers could they be restricting the curse…? With no warning, he suddenly lifted his hand and savagely bit into his own wrist, watching carefully in the darkness for any sign of blood to flow through the wound… When nothing happened, he gave a soft curse before letting his wrist fall to his side. “I have an advantage that the other gladiators will not, wounds that would be mortal for them will not be for me. Though I don’t know if I’ll be able to heal them as I normally would… Be that as it may, I will use it to my advantage. I still have my fangs, and assuming that the blade they give me has a point… Or I can secure one, I’ll be able to fight.” He gazed at Octavia in curiosity then, but shaking his head to rid himself of the dozen questions he had. Instead he said, “Thank you for the tutelage, I’ll make use of it. And assuming I’m not chopped to bits,” He pointed at the cup of water in her hand. “I’ll gladly share a cup with you, though I won’t be able to drink it.” Finally, he turned to Cassia and gave her a soft smile, he was… It was a feeling he’d not had in a while. Joy at someone else’s presence, gladness that she’d worried over him. Very impulsively, he wrapped the princess in a hug. It was chaste and meant to reassure himself as well as her. Quickly, he released her and looked to the pair. “The guards will no doubt be back soon to beat the value of silence into me, you two shouldn’t be here when they arrive.”

Quinzy: It was a surprise when Octavia jumped in, causing her eyes to wide only to then return back to normal, a soft smile in their depths. Never had she done such things before to this extent. She has abandoned her guards when in public, escaping to the market to help those in struggle, yet this was far more damaging. Far more dangerous. While she knew Octavia was one for going against the tide, she felt reassured to know Octavia truly had Cassia's side in various matters. That she understood her. Lady Avictus nodded her head, following along with her friend's words of assistance. "You do not have time to think in the arena. You must improvise with haste and precision." While she despised the games, she was forced to endure them. Cassia had attended numerous fights. While each held their own manner, the process was the same. It was a vicious fight for life which no one held back. Those in power usually granted life for gladiators fighting on various times, as gladiators were expensive to train, the same is never said for convicted criminals. Or labeled criminals. Looking back to the taller male, her eyes drifting to where his face was, an expression perplexed when he bit into his own flesh. At his reaction, and the absent draw of blood, surely he understood now that it did not deminish everything. "Do not underestimate anything atop the sands. In this state, and with this collar, all have the chance to perish." She was unsure of his punishment and if it meant being frozen in time, but even for those whom have had great strength in personal healing, they lost their ability to regenerate at a faster pace. Thus, leading to their deaths. Suddenly some footsteps came to the door, a pause of motion that seemed calculative. As if things were being considered before trying to open the oak. Cassia looked over her shoulder then looked back, taken off guard just as Markon wrapped her in his arms. She was frozen for but a moment, her pale cheeks tinting with a rose hue. The dark hiding such a flush. As he drew her away, after completing his thoughts, Cassia placed both of her hands on either of his biceps; fingers pressing in just lightly enough to show pressure. "When you survive-" She paused for a moment. Her words sinking in on how she did believe he would pull through. "I fear the troubles may not grow light. If you impress you may be sold and used again. Just like all the rest." Her eyes tried to search in his, hoping he would come to understand. If he does not succeed he will die. If he does succeed, he will be collared for even longer.

Biird: Octavia only nodded to Markon. His retort about war wasn't something that surprised her. Many gladiators were prisoners of war but they soon learned that the arena was no battlefield they had ever seen before. Markon however, seemed grasp this concept quickly and understood her words fully after mulling them over. She offered one last tidbit when he mentioned needed a sword. "Rinulius will drop his word at some point. Keep careful watch of where it falls." The tension in the air was rising with each passing of footfalls beyond the door but it was almost distinguished when man marked as beast threw his arms around the delicate Lady who had come to his aid. Octavia smiled at this, sensing the growing connection between the two. Which she completely understood, more so than her own growing feelings for a specific gladiator in her house. A woman not ignorant to sneaking about had developed a certain internal clock for knowing when time was truly up and being found was only moment away. That said, Octavia took Cassia by the arm, her other hand pushing Markon back into the shadows. "Kill them, dear heart, kill them all." She then turned and opened the door with a hard yank and let out a whimsical laugh, shoving Cassia in front of her and doubling over with whatever it was she found funny. Before them and the half ajar door was a bewildered guard. His mouth was half open, his eyes wide and terrified. His lips moved to say something but Octavia straightened and shot him a look that clearly said he was in the way, pursing her hand on her hip. "What are you doing, fool? Move." For a moment his lips moved then suddenly sound found itself in the hallway. "How did you get in there? There's a prisoner in there." Octavia snickered, looping her arm in Cassia's,"My, my, is that wine I smell on your breath? So much so that you have lost your ward? Fool," She half turned and pushed the door open, "the only occupants of the room have left. Off with you now, go and find your prisoner before you become one." Her voice was rising as her words went on causing the guard to flap his hands as if to silence her. There were others near the hall and the crowds of the festival were not far off, because of this he didn't even give a good glance into the room before he took off trying not to look too hurried. Snickering, Octavia shut the door and motioned for Cassia to quickly lock it. The guard would return shortly and check it. Which meant he would know they had been in there, but who could he tell? Even if he was vindictive enough to rat out the girls, it would only mean his own demise in the process.
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