Dies Lunae i Augustus CMXCVI
Bright garland of fresh pine interwoven with bright flowers hangs back and forth across vaulted ceilings like some mad spring web. Brass gilding shines freshly polished reflecting lights from scented candles and aromatic oil lamps. The castle is claustrophobic with an army of servants, one it seems at every corner. The Sangunii are receiving guests most high as the Praetor Prefect Tiberius Claudius Lucius comes to visit the province of Minnovium. Such visits are customary affairs expected every other year on kalends Augustus, the 1st of August just after the summer solstice and right before the Praetor of the Province starts collecting all the grain and tax from the province; A gentle reminder that all is collected in the name of the Emperor. However habitual the affair, it was just the sort of thing that could send ill word to the Emperor about a far-off province that otherwise managed to escape the rather uncomfortable attention of Rome. Dominus Faustus Sanguinius Iustus, usually a penny pincher, spared no expense in treating the Prefect to the luxury his station was due and much coin was always spent at these affairs. An entire Circus was hired to entertain for the event, no mere group of troubadours, and famous poets and philosophers invited to share their prose and pomp. Much of the day is spent with the Prefect’s vast host entering the castle – nearly a Cohort of armed men accompany him, with twice that number in servants, caravans of goods, mules, horses and hanger ons.
It is dies Lunae (Monday), and tonight will be filled with more wine and revelry than most every night in two years combined.