Portia

The Life of a Handmaiden

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Winter 1.png

 

Date.pngMid Pluitanis 951

Location.pngLudus Gallicus

Characters.pngPortia, Idris

Players.pngZyah_Rayne, @Momo

Requirements.png1x1

Notes.pngPortia has recently been purchased by Lavinia as her handmaiden.

Idris has been tasked to teach Portia of her new role and whats expected of her.

 

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The role of slave was not something Portia was born into. She was once free, living with her parents who were modest herb merchants living in a small town in Tevinter. It wasn't until her father angered a Magister in the previous months was Portia taken from her life and made a slave. Lavinia was not her first master but she did acquire her within her first month of becoming a slave. The Magister who originally enslaved Portia had her for no more than a few weeks before his wife demanded that she be sold. Fortunately for her Lavinia took interest in her the slave markets and snatched her up quickly.

Now standing in the slave quarters sectioned off specifically for the handmaidens of the Domina, she was told to wait there. Another one of the handmaidens would be arriving soon to teach her the ways of the ludus and explain to her what was expected of her. Portia did not wander around the small room but stood firm in where she was told to wait. Portia had never been to a place like this before. A ludus, though she'd heard of them before, was a strange environment for her. What would her life be like here? Were her masters known to be cruel? What exactly was a handmaiden? She knew that she was chosen for her role because of her appearance but what else could have prompted the Domina to purchase her? 

So many question were running through her mind that she did not notice when she was no longer the only one in the room.

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Since she had been a child, Idris had served as a handmaiden in the ludus. Although because of her blindness she had never been promoted beyond that, she was still granted with responsibilities sometimes, such as working the new girls into their roles. Most usually were surprised by the young woman who could not see, yet seemed to be able to explain everything well enough, but Idris liked the duty of greeting the new ones and making them feel at least as welcome as they could be. The life of a slave was often a harsh one, but it was manageable too. 

"Hello," she greeted as she walked in. If the girl jumped in surprise, she did not see. In fact, she wasn't really sure where the young woman was until she spoke and looked into the middle of the room, even if Portia was quietly off to the side. "My name is Idris. Are you there?" 

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The other woman's voice startled Portia. Though she didn't necessarily jump, her heart was indeed beating a little faster. "I.. I'm here. Apologies. I did not hear you come in." The elf eyed the other slave, quickly coming to the realization she was blind. Where that might have put some people on edge, Portia on the other hand relaxed a little. It was obvious the other handmaiden couldn't see the redness in her cheeks over the embarrassment of being caught unawares.

"Hello, Idris. I am Portia." The elf took a few steps closer. "I was told to wait for one of the Domina's handmaidens and be instructed. I'm assuming that is you?" There was a timidness in her tone. Portia was uncertain of what her new role consisted of and she was even more unsure of the other handmaiden.

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Hearing the sound of the other woman’s voice gave Idris a direction and she stepped towards Portia. “A pleasure to meet you, Portia,” she replied, laying a hand on her shoulder when she finally found her. By touch, she could feel the woman trembling slightly and put on a smile, hoping to put her at ease.

“Indeed, I am,” she answered, nodding once. “Please, do not be worried. Our ludus is probably the best place you can serve. Do your duties and I promise you will be fine.”

Turning, Idris gestured for Portia to follow. “Come, I will show you our quarters and then explain to you what will be required.” Placing her hand on the wall, Idris made her way in the direction she spoke of, guiding herself by touch.

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The elf moved next to Idris' side and followed her, not once questioning if she knew where she was going. By the handmaiden's posture and steady steps Portia figured Idris knew the ludus, or at least this part of it, well which was amazing considering she had no sight. Since arriving here Portia had already lost her way. There were so many corridors and sections to her new home Portia found it confusing. "If you don't mind my asking, how long have you served here?" Was that considered a rude question to ask? Portia wondered, hoping that wasn't true. The last thing she wanted was to offend. "We have our own quarters?" Portia was mildly surprised at this. Were the slaves housed differently throughout the ludus? 

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"My entire life," Idris replied to the first question. It was the reason she knew the ludus so well and could navigate, for she could remember the hallways --mostly-- as a little girl. Sometimes it was still difficult without her sight, but she managed. 

Taking a left turn, she continued. "All of the Domina's handmaidens share quarters," she explained. "It's not much, but a place to get sleep and rest when you can." Most of them were busy every day serving the mistress of the house, but the few hours of down time they received were often spend there.

 

((ooc: totally just making things up; correct me if I"m wrong XD ))

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((ooc - works for me lol))

Even after learning Idris lived most her life in the ludus Portia remained in awe how easily she navigated the halls. The elf was mindful of the route they took, looking for markers to aid her later on. Portia had no expectations of what her living conditions might be. Instead she was appreciative of the small quarters meant for the handmaidens. When they stepped inside the modest room she took a quick look around, for there wasn't much to see, before addressing Idris. "If you don't mind my asking, what do our days consist of? I know very little of the ludus and less of serving of a Domina." Portia honestly wished to please her new mistress. Lavinia's purchase of her kept her from a horrible fate or so Portia believed. For that reason she was already loyal to the woman. 

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If Portia paid close attention, she would have seen that Idris used various markers within the house --a piece of furniture, a worn corner, and embellishment on the wall-- which to guide her throughout the place. Those were the best things to navigate by, she felt, unless the domina decided to suddenly buy new things and be rid of the old. But for the most part, it worked! 

She paused inside the servant's quarters, giving Portia a moment to adjust herself. But it was only a few moments before the woman was speaking again, inquiring about her duties within the household. It was good that she seemed so eager to learn, Idris thought, for that was the only way to become accustomed to the household and remain here for some time.

"We probably have the least difficult of jobs," Idris replied, although her statement could be argued! She thought so, anyhow, for a blind girl like her could do them. At least they did not have to train like the gladiators only to risk their lives in the arena. "As a handmaiden, you will serve the domina in any task she asks of you. Fetching wine, serving food, attending her in her dressing room, bathing,... Anything she asks of us, really." 

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There was some relief when Portia heard the tasks Idris said the handmaidens were responsible for. It seemed pretty clear cut but there was some uncertainty on her part. "You've served our Domina for some time. What is she like?" Portia asked Idris, moving closer to her. Portia knew very little of her new mistress and was curious to what her new life would be like serving the woman. Portia suddenly wondered if that was something she shouldn't be asking another slave. "Forgive me if that is inappropriate to ask." The elf quickly added. "I'm sorry. This is all rather new to me." Portia hadn't been a slave very long. It was less than a month since she found herself in servitude and she was still adjusting. "I don't rightly know what I am supposed to say or do. I know not to speak unless spoken to and to do whatever I am told, but... I just don't want to anger our masters." She murmured. 

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"Don't worry," Idris assured with a smile. "I am here for you to ask questions. I do not mind." After all, she wanted the new girl to be able to get along well so that she would not be sold again! Idris could not imagine what that was like!

The thought for a moment, considering Portia's other question. "Silence is probably the best, unless spoken to," she agreed, nodding slightly. "Be demure and do what the domina asks of you. That's really all I can say." Idris was always nervous to speak ill of the woman, for she always needed to remain on the woman's best side. Being blind, she did not have many choices and being separated from this ludus, where she was comfortable and knew her way around, would be a bad thing for her! 

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The other handmaiden's words were heeded and Portia moved to stand a little closer to her. The elf smiled at her though she knew Idris wouldn't be to see her. It didn't matter. Portia was thankful for the Idris' advice. "Where are we heading now?" She asked as Idris guided them to another part of the ludus. "What part of the ludus do we usually serve in?" Portia grew more curious the longer she in Idris' company, a sure sign that she was becoming more comfortable with her. "I've noticed there are several areas that seem sectioned off. Is that for any reason?" 

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"I'll show you where we usually have guests first and where to find anything the domina could possibly ask for," Idris replied, smiling in return. She wanted this new girl to feel comfortable around her so that she could learn with a calm mind. After all, she knew how nervous slaves could be coming into a new place! 

Leading Portia out, Idris considered her question. "Yes, those areas usually lead down to the ludus," she replied. "The gladiators' quarters and the training area. We are to never go down there unless ordered. I'll tell you the rules as we go along. Careful not to break them, because that can lead to severe punishment." While she didn't want to scare Portia, she didn't want her to get into trouble either! 

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