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The Downfall of Pompeii» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Thermoclassic Dooooooom! rss

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the difference between a "crowd" and a "mob" is one push
Prelude: The Calm.

It was months since the last eruption that had evacuated the city. And for what? Squatters had moved in and added vulgar grafitti to the walls of my fine villa. I had to send my finest slaves to remove the word "NVTS" from the fine frescas. The city would rebuild and repopulate, becoming stronger than before, or my name was not Vulgarian Clamidia Detritus!
{NOTE: VCD will be played in this episode by Edward Balyka.}

My fellow noble, a woman named Cilia Pubus, intended to foil my cunning plan by seizing the valuable real estate for her fishmongering clan.
{NOTE: CP will be played in this episode by Ruth Pinsky.}

My plan began with the scribes of the Temple of Eros producing flyers about visiting Exotic, Erotic Pompeii and its new wonders. I even offered free rides there aboard my mule-drawn wagons. Lesson 1: never bring a mule to a knife fight.

Cilia let me do all the legwork, then hired ships stocked with women of less than honorable standing. Lesson 2: attract flies with honey.

Part 1: Rooms for Everyone

AD 78 was a fine year in Rome, but crowded. People were eager to get out. Stories of free villas and work in Pompeii excited the crowds.

My mule caravans arrived first in the city, but their small size and the stench they bred, limited the numbers of those who swore allegiance to the Vulgarian Clan and donned our traditional Black togas.

Cilia's ships were filled to the brim and more arrived each day. Their numbers more than made up for her people's haphazzard claims on buildings in different parts of the city. My more cunning clansmen could see this motley mob in their Red togas taking over a room here, and a room there. We decided to take action.

Almost as soon as one of theirs (and even a few of ours) moved into a building, the Vulgarians would follow. We would spawn relatives left and right. It was all going according to plan ...

But then the Volcano started to rumble and the earth shook. "It is nothing," I said. Still the people grabbed several Vulgarians and, without so much as a kiss goodbye, tossed them into Vesuvius. More and more of my people faced Vulcan's fury as the ground trembled. They had the nerve to shove my flyers in my face, as if I had brought this on.

The Pubus only multiplied, filling up more and more homes. Bloody ships.

Still, as AD 79 came round it was starting to look promising for the Vulgarians. My cunning plan might just work. If only ... If only I used a real augur, and not just a chicken-plucker? How was I to know, Caesar? How?

Part 2: The Creeping Doom

"Fire!" someone had yelled, and I did not find that at all funny. Should people have the right to just yell anything they want? Then a pumice stone hit me. As I looked around to see who threw it, my righteous indignation turned to abject fear.

Vesuvius was loose!

Smoke rose from the mountain's apex and people pointed. The idiots. I did the only sensible thing I could. I ran.

Vulgarians, most not being fools, followed me. We made it to the ships in drips and draps. By ones or twos. Pubus' joined us.

"Take us away," I yelled. Most of those aboard were my own, after all. And who else mattered.

Cilia stayed the captain's hand. And his nerve.

Then the lava started to flow and pumice fell with the force of Vulcan's hammer. I heard screams from the city, even as more people made it out to the ship. Oh, oh, oh, my gods. At first I did not understand why people move away from me, to the other parts of the ship. Then I had wished I brought a new toga. The smell was intolerable. Could we not just sail away.

Soon, my wish was granted. And we departed.


Once at sea, we did a headcount. Although Cilia lost many more of her minions, more of her own people made it out alive - 21. Indeed most of my people made it out - 19, but still less than those of that Harlot of Babylon.

So now I ask you, dear Caesar: let me live. Is it not enough that for the rest of my miserable days, and even in my afterlife, that I will be known as Poopoo Toga. Do not take my life as well.
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