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Antonius Valerius Domitius was born into a wealthy equestrian family. A year after becoming an officer in the army, the gods blessed him and he married a lady of the patrician class. While it was a politically arranged marriage between their families, both had wanted to marry for many years. The gods it seemed had indeed heard their prayers of love.

Married for a number of happy years, the day came when Antoni's wife came to him and told her husband that she was with child. Antoni could not be happier in all the world. He thanked the gods daily for his good fortune and sacrificed many bulls for a healthy child. When the birth happened, once more, Antoni could not be happier.

But not all stories are a happy one, and the gods can be fickle. Coming back from a long assignment with the army to his home in the country side, tragedy had befallen his family. When he arrived, none were left alive within. The next day slaves from the surrounding area told him what had happened and in what direction the marauders had gone. If Antoni were angry before knowing this, now his anger knew no bounds.

He found those responsible for the death of his wife and daughters, yet their blood was not enough. He threw himself into his duties with the army and prayed daily for war so that he might meet death on some unnamed battlefield. Yet the Ferrymen never came, and day after day, marching in scorching heat or in the sting of rain or the bitter cold of winter; battle after battle, Death is seemed refused his summons.

Because they denied him an end to his pain, Antoni's hate for the gods has now only increased…

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Good characterization and drama
Feb 14, 2015 10:08 am

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