Sunday, December 11, 2011

Roma obscura session 2 (c2s2)

Mettia and Atia, second and third tribune has found each other during the travel from Rome to Athens and spend time in the city to get to know and see what Athen's like.

In many ways it's just like any big city, except not as great as Rome. They do get a little suprised by a few things like the smaller size of the biggest houses, the more primitive common water supply and the war prisoners from the east making up the security guard in the city. Sure Rome has slaves as a watch for fires and trouble makers but they're not war prisoners and not armed with bows.

One of the things they do is to get some new clothers and among those some cloaks in greek style. As they walk around at Agora and other selling places they see a lot of bargaining going on (ofcourse) but when they approach sellers they just get a price. At first they think the the citizens are trying to fool the occupiers and get their money and then they think that they are weak and afraid and to dare to bargain and try to get a good price from the romans because they could be punished or something. In the end they realise that the price is quite honest, neither as low as some citizens get and neither as high as some citizens get. It's somewhere in between. They just don't really understand those greeks.

When they later on dress in their simplier greek cloaks instead of their roman togas they get very polarizied reaction; either they are openly disliked or openly liked. They guess that some think that they should not come here and think they are like the citizens and some think that at least they try to get to the local culture and not look at it from above.

Anyway they are painfully aware that there's lots of luggage from earlier roman civil wars fought in Achaia; Sulla, Caesar and others has fought internal roman enimies like Pompeius Magnus on greek territory and in that process eaten the greek's food, used their slaves, entertainded themselves with their young men and women and so on.

One evening their thoughts get diverted from their own eventual problems with the citizens. Sitting in one of the quite primitive but still peaceful greek bath house the two brats, foruth and fifth tribunes appear and jump into the personal bathtubs like children jumping into the basins in Rome and water is splattered on both Mettia and Atia and greek. The greek mumble very quietly and don't say anything and the brats seem to think that it's their right to behave as they wish since they are romans and the conquerers. They chatter loudly and tell plump jokes as they were ten years younger. They also order a lyricist to replace the peaceful and traditional lyricist already there trying to get a job some evening later on. The lyricist appearing on the brats' order is not halfly as skilled and only sing very plump lyrics. Erotic is fine but this don't have the finesse Mettia and Atia would have liked, erotic lyrics or not. They excuse themselves and leave and probably are seen as boring by the two brats. Whatever.

The next day they visit Akropolis and also make an offering to the forefathers as they continue their journeies around the city.

They also has to spend time organizing the troops, managing payments, food and so on and also keeping them in order when they aren't actively doing any specific mission (Obstacle: Administrator versus Ob3, Passed). One evening at a symposion they can't hold themselves but try to lure the praetor to tell them about the plans for their stay in Achaia. They actually manage to get the praetor to tell them some (Obstacle: Persuader versus Deceiver 4, Succeed with Condition  Undisciplined). Apparently some of the cohorts, probably two, will be placed in Sparta and some, probably two, will be placed in Delphi. According to the praetor there has been some unrest in the western Achaia that he hasn't been able to really deal with with just one legion. He hopes that they can put a lid on the unrest by placing some troops here and there and thereby showing the appearance in Achaia more clearly.  He doesn't say what the last two extra cohorts should do though (End of GM's Turn).

The time in Athens is a little boring since there's no work to be done except keep the troops ready for a march sometime soon but not any emergancy march with short notice so no real challenge. Some social activities witht he three brats can't be avoided and  while Mettia and Atia can't get along with the fourth and fifth tribune the sixth tribune, Mortius, isn't that bad although he's quite bratty. At least he has the social consciousness to get flattered when Atia asks about his family's farms and mentions the good olives coming from one of them.

During the wait in Athens Atia and Mettia suggests a hunt as a try to get some time to pass and also to flatter the praetor some by asking him for good hunting grounds in the area. The praetor in turn is very polite and only suggests the area in very broad terms and when getting there all the time hinting for Atia who's leading the group where to go.

When the camp is set up they divide themselves in two groups; Mettia and the foourth and fifth tribunes in one group and Atia, the praetor and the sixth tribune int he other group. The legate and her first tribune has stayed in Athens to prepare for the secret mission (that Mettia and Atia actually know some of).

Mettia's group quite soon find a boar and start to drive it towards the other who spread out and prepare to face the beast and hopefully kill. There's a good chance they will just be avble to hurt it and have to leave the killing to Mettia's group though. As the both groups close in with the boar in between the two brats can't hold themselves and thunder away banging the sides of their horses and as the others in fear watch the two riders face the boars for themselves without other riders or armed companions they kill or almost kill the boar and in the process put both themselves and the horse in great danger. As the other arrive the praetor with a very skilled move leave his horse readying his spear as he lnads and stabs the boar over the throat to make sure it's actually lose it's strength and dies.

As the blood spreads over the grass the rest arrive. Atia and Mettia are not sure if they are relieved the brats survived or not but losing two tribunes in a hunting accident wouldn't gain Rome. Mettia walks up to the oldest of the brats who were in her group and although slightly still under her command, asks him what he in the name of the forefathers thought he were doing, slaps him, turns around join the others giving orders for butchering the boar and later return to the camp. During all this the praetor have seemed to observed everyone and especially the exploding conflict between Mettia and the brat.

In the evening the two brats keep much to themselves, maybe even seem a little ashamed. maybe some manner might seep into them from somewhere. Atia and Mettia socialize with the praetor and Mettia, with the aid of Atia, get him to tell about the mission details (Check: Persuader versus Deceiver, Passed). The praetor between the three of them; him, Atia and Mettia, expose more about the plans. Apparently there has been unrest in the east and therefore he will place two of the brats with their cohorts in Sparta and Atia and Mettia with their cohorts in Delfi. More important though probably is that in Delfi lives a weird but inspired philosopher. A young man that's ignited with ideas that's gonna change the world as the praetor sees it. This man and his inventions must be protected and guarded for Rome - without provoking the locals.

Among th ethings he has created is some sort of accounting machine that as the praetor sees it will change the world much more than the steam machines. Being able to transport troops slight faster than before and without making htem as tired and being in able to dig deeper in the ground because steam powered pumps are so much better is all good but not really changing the world. This accounting machine will though. Already the greeks seem to be getting this since they are pilgrimageing to delfi as before but more and more of them are now coming to get mathematical answer wich they take home and ponder over, conclude and then make decisions based upon. This in a speed much faster than with lots of slaves and lots of abacuses although they have to travel to Delphi. Politicians and philosohers rejoice alike. The praetor even thinks that the old oracle with it's connections to the collective of forefathers is dwindling behind the accounting machine driven by steam. As the praetor forsees the use of the connection to the forefathers and the heros for the cirty states and the Res Publica of Rome will die away. The more direct connection between specifice groups of forefathers and the specific families for family matters will never die but the not so giving connection to all roman or all civilized forefathers for the bigger collectives of humans will give in for the greater use of human creations that aid the humans directly here and now or maybee soon. This accounting machine is one such thing and more will come even if not many see it.

When they return towards Athens the two brats are still keeping to themselves and ride their own way back doing whatever brats do.

I Athens they go to the palestra and the bath house, which can't be compared to the bath houses in Rome. They're more like the smaller bath houses serving an insula or two. More than one time the brats have arrived to the bath house before Mettia and Atia and usually are frolicing around and sometimes ording lyricists, but always the plump ones. Always looked upon with frowns by the greeks.

Atia collects extra details reports from the troops to keep them on their feets and to have a grip on their status. The brats are as usual all over the place and almost make fools out of themselves a symposion held by the praetor. Atia instead is keeping it low and have a long time of meditation where she actually get in contact with her forefathers and explain her doings and why  and actually seems to make them understand. She also sucks up some to them, the wise ones, the longer living ones than her, their collective wisdom (Check: Beginners Luck, Ceremony Master, Passed, Condition On Bad Terms with the Forefathers Are Removed).

Time passes as they wait for going on the secret but not so secret mission (End of Player's Turn).

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