The Domus Tadius is the House of Aulus Tadius Galba. It is located on the northern side of Phthyanopolis, atop the summit, and is a formidable building with walls all around the grounds. It is located not far from the Emporium. As with most Phthyan Domus, shops are rented out along the front of the house but have no access to the house itself. In the front of the Domus Tadius are a bakery and a tailor’s shop.
Residents of Tadius Domus
Aulus Tadius Galba
Husband to Lydia, he is suspected of her murder. He is a Senator from an ancient and influential family. His wealth lies in vast estates in the eastern diocese that produce cotton.
This is a marble bust of the Senator, located in a niche in the wall of the Atrium, next to the bust of his wife, Julia Lydia.
Born to the influential Senatorial family of Julius, Lydia has always been strong headed and bullied her husband, even in public. Considered the paragon of proper, she was nonetheless disliked by her peers and servants. She was fond of having discrete affairs with the most popular gladiators. The medicus who examined her body could not determine the cause of death but assumed she had died of poisoning.
This is a marble bust of Lydia, located in a niche in the wall of the Atrium, next to the bust of her husband, Senator Aulus Tadius Galba.
Plebian. Lydia’s personal bodyguard. Gerax feels he was personally responsible for Lydia’s death, for he failed to protect her. He is currently involved with Tertia, Lydia’s handmaid and closest thing to a friend. Gerax seems remorseful for what has happened and points out that he often escorted Lydia to the Colosseum for extended stays. He can only say that he took her to the rooms rented by the Ludus Magnus (gladiator school named Magnus).
Gerax has recently taken the position of household administrator, filling the vacancy of the former custodia, the caretaker of the house, who quit the Domus after Lydia’s murder.
Servi (slave). Handmaiden to Lydia, she is a confidant and companion. She walked into Lydia’s cubiculum to see Tadius Galba kneeling over Lydia’s body. He then chased her but she was able to get out to the safety of a vigil (policeman) before he caught her. Tertia is seventeen years old with brown hair and eyes. She is not as shy or deferring as a slave might be expected to be. She is helping Gerax administer the house until Tadius returns or the house is sold.
Upper Class. Sister to Lydia she is a young woman about to be married. She seems singularly unaffected by the death of her sister. She is much more interested in her impending marriage to Titus Postumius Macer, a linen merchant from Aegyptus.
Titus Postumius Macer
A mercator from Aegyptus, Titus brokers linen sales. He is betrothed to Julia Secunda, no doubt ready to enjoy the sizable dowry given by Secunda, and influential Senatorial family of Julius.
An Aegyptian (human province of Sethoon) gladiator of unusual size. He is a favored champion in the Colosseum as well as many of the city’s smaller fighting pits. He is said to be large, with dark skin and long black hair, braided in the fashion of his homeland.
A number of love letters were found, proving that Julia Lydia was having an affair with Fehid, and this affair had been going on for months. In the letters, Fehid promises to sweep Lydia away from her husband and treat her to a life of elegance and sensual bliss. The affair has seemingly turned sour of late, however. A draft of her final letter to Fehid, dated six days ago, threatens to expose Fehid as a Kuei and Larenthe as his accomplice. She demands that Larenthe pay a sum of 100,000 dinarii in one weeks time. This letter has a response from Fehid simply stating, “No”.
A Mundenian by birth, he moved to the city with a great deal of wealth inherited by his father. He used his superior knowledge and training of the blade, in the fashion of his people. Larenthe is the owner of the gladiatorial school of Capua called Ludus Calix, or the Chalice. His Ludus is known for excellent swordsmen.
His name came up in a discovered draft of a love letter, written by Julia Lydia to her clandestine lover, Fehid. See Fehid, above.
Praetorian Prefect Tiberius Didius Magnus
A middle aged man, Magnus is decidedly not of any political party and serves the Empire with extreme zeal. He is most often found in or about the Praetorian Camp directing the operations of the Praetorian Guard. He is noted for his original ideas, sometimes to his detriment, and for getting the job done. He is an average sized man with black hair and a slight build. He radiates a sense of command and confidence. His interest in Tadius Galba is that of finding the truth and serving justice. He would never knowingly be part of a plot to disgrace the Senator.
Praetorian Kaeso Juventius Vitalis
Kaeso is the Praetorian officer assigned to lead the investigation. He has been an officer for all of twelve days, and has no real experience in giving orders. He is an excellent swordsman and an obedient and loyal officer. He is clever but not cunning, and he is eager to test himself. He seems a bit overzealous during the investigation, and as an officer commanding foreigners, he acts brashly, domineering over the party.
A powerful senator, Aulus Tadius Galba, has been accused of murdering his wife, Lydia, and of practicing illegal magic. The night of the murder he disappeared. Three days later the burial was to take place when Lydia’s rotting corpse stood up and walked off into the east. Everyone was so shocked they did not stop her. A turmae (cavalry squad) was dispatched to retrieve her body.
The Praetorian Prefect Tiberius Didius Magnus has been tasked with locating and capturing Tadius Galba. Once found, the fugitive must be transported to a waiting trial. The Praetorian Prefect is in a difficult spot as there are few in Phthyanopolis he can trust. Tadius Galba is a vocal and powerful supporter of the Populares political party and Magnus believes that the opposing party, the Optimates, are behind the murder. For these reasons the Praetorian Prefect is recruiting from outside his own offices, seeking out foreigners and citizens of little political inclinations or connections in order to complete his mission. However, he requires a Praetorian officer be a part of the group he sends to investigate, preferably someone new to the ranks. He has appointed Praetorian Officer Kaeso Juventius Vitalis to this task. Officer Juventius earned his cloak twelve days ago.
Magnus is very suspicious of the nature of this crime. He insists that the group get to the truth in this case, even if it means not capturing Tadius Galba. Second on their list, though, should be the capture of Tadius Galba if for no other reason than for questioning.
All the witnesses are still at the Domus Tadius. The party is given a decree signed by Magnus allowing them to arrest Romans, search their Domus and question them. The degree expires in seven days. Magnus voiced his expectation that these powers are not to be abused. The Praetorian assigned to this investigation is expected to maintain order and is in charge of the group.
Upon arriving in Phthyanopolis, landing on the docks after disembarking from The Westering Moon, the party observes many uniformed guardsmen on the docks. There is a robed magistrate of some kind directing them, and as the party watches, these officials seize a group of foreigners as they disembark the ship tied to the very next dock. These officials proceed to inspect the cargo and personal belongings of these travelers. Before any of these soldiers can get to the party, a man in a nondescript robes approaches them. He says that a new law was just passed, increasing the taxes on all foreign cargo and all foreigners will be taken into custody to determine their danger to the city. This man is Praetorian Prefect Tiberius Didius Magnus (incognito). The Pratoreans are spies, akin to secret police. Prefect is a rank, roughly 3rd in command.
Magnus explains to the characters that he is willing to sponsor them as his personal cliens (clients) if they will aid him in an investigation. It is clear to group, that at the moment the soldiery and magnate are about to approach them. They quickly agree to aid Prelate Magnus, at which time approaches the the official and hands him a sack of coin, telling him that the foreigners are his clients, recently arrived from a long journey (of which both are true).
Magnus will take the party to the grand public bath house with the intent to discuss business over a private bath, with the men. The females in the group are allowed use the smaller public bath reserved for women. Once enjoying the pleasures of the hot baths, he tells the male members of the party the details of the mission above.