Sunday, September 17, 2017

Eagle Eyes c10s3

Hostus visits the archive near the Senate house and queues for seeking a list of certain senatrixes. It almost only, or even only slaves, there, at least this early in the morning. It makes sense, many many plebeians and nobiles are probably either queueing at their patron's house or holding their on reception for clients. The queue goes very slow and the slaves are exactly chatty with someone dressed as a plebeian. Finally he gets to ask a slave for a list of sentrixes above a certain property level and belonging to the optimates fraction. The criteria is set to single out senatrixes that could put pressure on senatrix Falernus to do thing she wouldn't do voluntarily. The slave points out that personal preferences ofcourse aren't noted in the archive. Hostus manages to convince him to use whatever he and his colleagues know about the senatrixes to compile the list. The list will at least take to late next work day to compile.

Claudius brings his tools of trade and visits the people's tribune Maemilius domus (city house) and offers his skills since it's in a few days are Ludi plebeii (The plebeian games). He also makes a point of that he offers his services in the household so that no one needs to interrupt their regular task more than necessary. The doorkeeper takes his name, looks at his diploma (citizenship plate), luckily never asks for collegia membership and tells Hostus to show up early the next morning.

In the meantime Paulla visits the senatrix Falernus' domus acting as a festoon maker and decorator offering her skills for the ludi plebeii. The doorman actually says that they are interested in festoon for the front of the house and maybe a few small potted trees for the courtyard in the back as well. They directly orders regular festoons for the house front and will tell her which trees and how many they want when she arrives early tomorrow. Paulla goes to one of the researched festoon makers and orders festoon and asks if it would be possible to get some potted trees the next day which might be possible.

Hostus takes the opportunity to asking around among the queueing slaves and parting from av few assarius (bronze coins) and finds out what the supposedly important meeting that risks to be cancelled is about. Apparently the senate are gonna decide on what to with Gaius Julius who hasn't returned  and laid down his office and imperium as he should.

Later when eating together the characters discuss whether it could be that someone wants to cancel that meeting by claiming to have seen an omen that would cancel the meeting. That would in that case probably be an populares since they would support Gaius Julius and want him to not be stripped of his office and accussed of anything. Falernus who has made the claim is an optimates which confuses them a little because that doesn't fit with the theory of someone wanting to cancel the meeting.It could on the other hand be an optimates seeing the omen but not wanting to go against their on fraction but still not wanting to disregard the gods and goddesses and therefore forces a client to make the claim instead. A third theory is that someone was at Forum and noticed the omen but for some reason can't reveal that they were at Forum and therefore forces a client to make the claim.

The next day Paulla and Hostus buys festoons and arrive with these at the Falernus household and start to decorate the house as agreed. In the meantime Claudius works the hair styles of the slaves in the Maemilius household and helos them with some minor wounds and other health issues. After a while he is fetched by Maemilius' body slave "because domina wants to see you". Surprised Hostus follows the slave and gets to meet a very absent-minded tribune that asks a few questions on Hostus and his profession, The atrium diverges quite much from the regular nobiles atrium and instead of geometric patterns or actual naturalistic motives there's cogs and architect's tools pictured on the walls and in the floor mosaic. A geek's household. There's also a certain undistorted greek touch to the paintings, mosaic: Greece is popular with upper lavel Romans but usually romanised in names, visual style and so but not in this household.

Claudius spends the whole day doing the hair, shaving and taking care of smaller health problems of servants at the Maemilius household. He uses all his social skills that has served him well before when he had his barbershop to fish for information about the household and ultimately information about what happened at Forum that morning when People's tribune Maemilius was there and a wolf crossed Forum. He soon picks up and puts together a certain discontent with the households domina (female family head and head of the household) from many of the slaves who are of Roman descent or have been in Rome so long that they are romanised. Apparently she, according to them, are very absent-minded, rather sits with copies of scrolls from Alexandria than doing proper Roman stuff and is an open graecophile in a non-romanised way. In many ways a geek or nerd personality. In time he puts the pieces together and finds out that Maemilius with servants was at Forum that morning but they didn't see the wolf and they were going to a meeting with a group of seantors and senatrixes (an inofficial meeting and therefore not in the Senate House) among which was senatrix Falernus which makes it probable that she was at Forum at the correct time.

Paulla and Hostus spends some time putting up festoons at the front of Falernus' domus. A slave appears and asks whether they can get four small potted trees as mentioned yesterday. Paulla says "probably" and mentions the highest price she has seen at the decorators' places. They return the ladder they borrowed from a neighbourhood business and fetch a good portion of the money they have to be able to buy the trees until they get paid by the Falernus household.They manage to buy four small trees in pots at a very high price since it's a spontaneous  purchase close to The plebeian games (ludi plebeii) and and borrow a cart to get them to the Falernus household. Arriving with the trees to the backyard of the domus the slave tells them that domina wants two of them inside instead. It's quite unusual but what domina says goes so they take two of them inside. The slave obviously thinks it's slightly embarrassing to point out where to put the outdoors plants inside in the atrium where guests arrive into the atrium and will have to actively avoid the branches of the small trees.

The slave tries to get domina's attention to get an acknowledgement of the placement of the trees but fails since domina seems lost in some scroll in her tablinum (office and client reception room). The slave walks over and cautiously pokes domina to get her attention and domina Falernus comes back from whatever she was reading. While  waiting for the absent-minded domina to come and acknowledge their work they realise that the atrium isn't exactly decorated in a Roman way. Instead there's openly greek non-romanised paintings on the wall and the mosaic floor pictures some sort of machine wheel. She's very distracted and doesn't fix the toga as she rises from the chair. She starts to talk about geometry and lines and tells them to move the trees and it becomes even harder to pass through the front door without getting the branches in the face or having a branch catching the toga.Before leaving they also get some food since it's midday. As they talk with some other people hired by the household also eating at the time they realise that domina often places the decorative trees so that they are in way of guests arriving to the house, along those lines she talked about. A certain discontent seems to be bubbling under the surface regarding the non-romanised decorations in the house and domina's fascination for greek stuff.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Eagle Eyes c10, non-player characters

Non-player characters (updated)

This list isn't complete and may at the same time show information still not revealed in earlier blog posts since I'm a little behind on the game meeting blogging. It's a start of lists the player characters has shown interest for and some information about those non-player characters.

Some interesting points in time for the player characters (years before the now in the roleplaying campaign):

  • -12 The Caecilii family country estate is burnt to the ground and everyone is killed. Hostus Caecilii och Paulla Nynnia survives by being in Rome at that time. When the money they brought to Rome run out they resort to petty crimes, street performances and scams to make a living and stay out of sight of the ones that might wanna kill off them as well.
  • -11 People from a nearby latifundia takes over the empty Caecilii land and starts to use as part of the latifundia land.
  • -5 Claudius Piso is thrown out of the collegium and stripped of his place as a barber and suddenly standing on the street without an income or anywhere to practise his profession.
  • -3 Claudius, Paulla and Hostus meet in the streets of Rome and with their common background of unfair events team up to help each other out.
  • -2 An official claim of the Caecilii land is made by the latifundia owner according to Roman tenure legislation.
  • 0 Paulla, Hostus and Claudius is approached by a fellow scammer and criminal who introduses them to people which leads to an offer to join The Eagle. All three joins. Claudius wants his collegium membership and honor back plus somewhere to practise his profession. Paulla and Hostus wants the Caecilii land back for Hostus so that they could stop living in secrecy and start over again. Paulla also has a grandmother who was wrongfully accused of practising the wrong sorts of magic  and exiled (denied fire and water within 600 km of Rome.
  • 0 The group has success with their test mission for The Eagle and is taken up into The Eagle and four days later get t heir first real missions for The Eagle.  

Aelia Falernus Censa

  • Patrician
  • Nobilies
  • Optimates (the aristocratic aristocratic fraction in the senate)
  • Senatrix (female member of the senate)
  • Claims to have seen a wolf cross Forum romanum, an omen that if true would cancel the next senate meeting (where will be discussed what to do with Gaius Julius who doesn't seem to be willing to lay down his imperium as suppossed).
  • Technology geek
  • Graecophile
  • Under secret investigation by The Eagle, the chosen eyes for this is the player characters.
  • Seen at Forum romanum around the time of the wolf crossing the forum

Lucia Maemilius

  • Plebeian
  • People's tribune
  • Technology geek
  • Graecophile
  • Seen at Forum romanum around the time of the wolf crossing the forum


  • Nobiles
  • Associated with senatrix Falernus
  • Senator (male member of the senate)


  • Nobiles
  • Populares (the folksy aristocratic fraction in the senate)
  • Associated with senatrix Falernus
  • Senatrix (female member of the senate)


  • Nobiles
  • Equites
  • Have had an intense and maybe secret meeting with senatrix Falernus


  • Patrician
  • Nobiles
  • Senatrix (female member of the senate)



Gaius Julius Caesar

  • Nobiles
  • Populares (the folksy aristocratic fraction in the senate)
  • Senator
  • Former consul, -10 yrs
  • Former governor - Hither Gaul, -11 to -8 yrs
  • Former governor - Hither Gaul & Farther Gaul, -7 to -3 yrs
  • Friendly with Gnaeus Pompeius

Marcus Licinius Crassus

  • Nobiles
  • Senator
  • Former consul, -6 yrs
  • Famously rich
  • Died -4 yrs in battle

Gnaeus Pompeius 

  • Nobiles
  • Populares (the folksy aristocratic fraction in the senate)
  • Senator
  • Former consul, -3 yrs
  • Former consul, -6 yrs
  • Former consul, -21 yrs
  • Famously defeated the pirates, -18 to -16 yrs
  • Famously defeated a lot eastern peoples, -12 yrs
  • Friendly with Gaius Julius


  • Patrician, the upper part of the nobiles class of the society. These nobiles claim old and heritage to people in Rome's more or less old history.
  • Nobiles, a property based class, the highest in Rome
  • Optimates, a fraction among the senators and senatrix that care most for the senate and the upper levels of Romes citizens. They try to limit the influence of the different People's Assemblies and the ten People's Tribunes. They also frown upon Novus homo
  • Populares, a fraction ampng the senators and senatrix that care more for the people and balancing their power against the patrician and nobiles power. They often embrace Novus homo if they consider them being of good origin and of good character.
  • Novus homo, new person, a non-nobiles that for some reason has been taken up into the senatorial class. It could be e g properties or some flaw in rewards or awards that allows this to happen. 
  • Senator, a male member of The senate
  • Senatrix, a femal member of The senate
  • The senate, a governmental body consisting of nobiles
  • Graecophile, a person embracing Greek culture in a more open and less romanised way than many Romans.
  • The Eagle, a secret organisaiton consisting of three senators or senatrix (one for the people, one for nobiles and one for the spirit of Res publica) that guards the truth and and honesty among the people involved in governing Rome. They also keeps a balance of different movers and shakers in Rome's politics.
  • The Eagle's Eyes, the agents of The Eagle, e g the characters
  • Res publica, The Common, The shared wealth and interest of the Roman citizens, Public affairs, somewhat similar to The Roman State.
  • Consul, one of two implementors of SPQR:s decisions, elected every year
  • Imperator, someone with the right to lead troops and judge citizens (imperium), symbolised by accompanying lictors with fasces (axe and rods)
  • Governor, head of an area not being Rome, also holds imperium.

Eagle Eyes c10s2

Claudius plans to get inside the house of the people's tribune Maemilius' household by posing as barber (which he actually is but no longer acknowledged as such), maybe he can get inside the senatrix Falernus house hold that way as well.

Paulla and Hostus plans to pose as sellers and decorators of festoons to be able to spy on the house of the senatrix Falernus. They also check prices for festoons to be able to tell prices to the Falernus household responsible and to know that they have enough money to buy the festoons they need until they get paid by Falernus' household.

When Hostus and Paulla returns to home that night after making all the plans and making preparations Hostus almost trips over a large box outside their apartment. They drag it inside and opens it (some effort is needed, it's sealed to be able to be transported. Inside is what looks like a simple but genuine greek vase. After all their greek vase scams they have learned at least something about how the genuine stuff usually looks and feels. Inside the vase is also a small papyrus with a short. "The person in question is graecophile. We assume this could come in handy". The note is very anonymous and the handwriting is very much like the halfway standardised handwriting scribes use. They guess this is a gift from The Eagle and that it could come in handy in making contact with and getting into the Falernus household.

Early in the morning they leave their only togas at the laundry. Claudius also leaves his barber tools for sharpening and polishing.

Hostus and Paulla also decide to stalk Falernus and her clientele after her patron reception of clients. Hostus follows her to a finer wine tavern where she sits down with her body slave, scribe and two body guards that stand guard in a somewhat discrete and relaxed but still obvious manner. She seems to be waiting for someone. Hostus has been standing on the other side of the street for a while, pretending to wait for someone, when a servant-like man comes jogging and rushes into the tavern directly to Falenernus' table a whispers things to her and she seems very surprised. The messenger gets a message back and rushes off and Paulla who has been waiting nearby follows him. He runs to another domus city house)and is gone inside a short while and then returns to the street and jogs off to yet another domus (Ligistinius' city house and is let in after some stressed clapping on the door. The messenger returns again and runs to a third domus (Manilius' city house) and is gone for a while. Paulla waits for a while but then she starts to feel uncomfortable hanging around in the same spot all the time and give up following the messenger further and returns to the tavern where she left Hostus.

After a while a rich citizen appears and meets up with Falernus. The arriving person presents himself as equites Livius and arrives with a scribe and a probable bodyguard. Falernus immediately starts to talk to Livius intensely. Hostus can't hear much but apparently someone has done something. One of the bodyguards seems unnecessarily interested in Hostus which should pass for just a plebeian waiting for someone. This makes Hostus draw the conclusion that they are talking about something important, maybe even secret.

Paulla walks up to Hostus who meets up with Paulla and the walk out of direct sight from the tavern and Hosuts and Paulla tells each other what has happened. Neither of the names is any of the most famous families. Paulla returns to the opposite side of the street of the taverna and continues to spy on Falernus and Livius which now seem to be discussing something. A few loose phrases reach her across the street. Several of the famous senators like Gaius Julius, Pompeius, Crassus, Cicero and Cato the elder is mentioned as is legions and "only one legion" and "playing hardball".

Claudius has been exercising and warming up his barber skills. He has a few customers among the neighbours but that doesn't pay well is only very basic haircuts. Now he wants to do some more advanced haircuts to be able to get into the finer households like Falernus and Maemilius.

Hostus spends some time around Forum romanum talking to people joining spontaneous conversions and gossiping. Seems like most of the names they have encountered lately is optimates or associated to optimates. The not so rich but still well off plebeians around Forum now also put very little faith in the patricians actually following the omen of the wolf on Forum. Most seem to think that the senate will hold their meeting, omen or not. He also manage to get a name of a senatrix that has approximately the same tax level as senatrix Falernus, senatrix Ofilius. Later on the day people suddenly start to talk about one and almost only one thing; Gaius Julius hasn't laid down his imperium (permissions and right to lead armed troops and punish criminals) to return to Rome as a regular senator. Instead he has crossed Rubicon, the border for the non-armed region around Rome which has been crossed by Roman troops during earlier civil wars and when Rome has had to defend the city itself agains Hannibal or the celts.

The characters throw some thoughts around and conclude that if Falernus is lying it's a favour she would only do for someone of higher status than her because it would be very uncommon if she would be a client to someone of lower status. They think that maybe it wasn't Falernus that noticed the wolf but someone else that doesn't want to disregard the omen but for some reason doesn't want to step forward themself, e g because they don't want it to be known that they were at the forum at that time. Since they only know about female members of the senate that has been at Forum that morning they assume that such a person would be a senatrix of higher status than senatrix Falernus. They guess that the archive a the senate could give them a list of female patricians of the same or higher tax level than Falernus, at least for pay.