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The Toga Detective The Mystery of the signet ring

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1 The Toga Detective The Mystery of the signet ring
The Interactive Game Begin 

2 Hades You arrive in a dark, featureless place, a denarius in your hand. Hades himself comes to greet you. “Sorry, but somewhere along the way, you managed to get yourself killed. I’m feeling pretty nice today, so before you pay your coin to get across the River Styx, I’ll let you have a choice. You can go back to the beginning of this whole crazy business, or you can come along with me to the underworld. What do you want to do?” Go back to the beginning  Go with Hades 

3 Welcome! After your father’s death, you mourned for a while, but soon made peace with yourself. Your partner, that your dad put you up to finding, broke up with you during the mourning period, but you didn’t care at all. You didn’t really like them anyway… Now it’s AD 82, and you, Tiberius, are ready to look through the things he left you in his will. As well as the agency, the house and most of his money, your father left you a huge chest of his things, which you have not touched… until now! You go into your father’s former study, which is now your study, and haul the chest out from under the desk. Anxious, but excited, you throw it open and have a look at the contents. Look in the chest 

4 The chest There is a lot of stuff in here. You see tunics, money, necklaces, notebooks, cracked bits of amphorae, pages of books, brooches, knives, pieces of cloth, flyers and a wineskin. You look in the wineskin and find some old wine, which you drink. It’s gross. You take out all the stuff in the chest, tears welling up in your eyes, and lay it all out on the floor. Your hands scrape the bottom of the massive chest and come across a small, lumpy, cold thing. You grab it and take it out of the chest. It’s a signet ring! Examine it 

5 The ring You admire its beauty, and marvel at the precious blue gem still sparkling even after years at the bottom of the chest. The ring has a horse cut into the stone, which you think is an attractive symbol. If your father used it, then for the sake of continuity you just have to use it! You put it on your finger and notice that it fits perfectly. It looks really good, you have to admit. Immediately, you go into your other study and dismiss the clerk, who is sorting through your papers. You tell him that you have a signet ring (you used to just borrow your father’s when you needed it) and you are going to be signing papers for the rest of the day. Sign papers! 

6 Signing Excitedly, you begin to stamp your seal into all the letters you sign. It feels so awesome to have a signet ring of your own, and the horse seal is very pretty. You stamp it into official letters, reports, letters to friends, everything! After a few weeks, you have got used to the awesomeness of sealing letters with your– yes, your– ring. One normal night, you go to sleep. But you are woken up in the middle of the night by footsteps coming towards your room. All the slaves would be asleep by now, you think. Suddenly, your door opens and a hand clamps around your mouth. Help!

7 Kidnap You struggle around, confused. Somebody’s kidnapping you! You try and scream for help, but the person puts a knife to your throat. “If you make a sound, man, I swear I’ll slit your throat,” he hisses. A hood is put over your head and you are bundled into the back of a cart. What on earth is going on? You travel for a long time, and eventually you decide that you have to do something. Kill the people in the cart and run Roll off the cart and sneak away Do nothing

8 Kill and run In a flurry of toga, you whip your sword out and stab the man sitting in the cart next to you, the one that kidnapped you. He keels over and falls out of the cart, and you tackle the driver. He is a lot stronger, and puts up a fight. He grabs your shoulders and pushes you on top of one of the donkeys which are pulling the cart. The donkey is alarmed, and kicks around, sending you flying forwards. The cart catches up with you and the donkeys trample you to death. Continue 

9 Roll and sneak You listen, and eventually deduce that it is silent and no one is paying attention to you. Casually you lie on the very edge of the cart and, like an action hero, roll off. You land with a bump on the ground, and you rip the hood off your head. You see that you are very close to Gesoriacum, the port that sails to Dubris and Rutupiae in Britannia. The man in the cart notices you’ve gone and orders the driver to turn the cart round. You charge off, but the speed of the donkeys causes your captors to catch up with you. They throw you back into the cart, tie you up and continue to the city. To the city 

10 Nothing You sit in the cart, thinking it pointless to pull any tricks. They probably are loaded to the eyeballs with weapons and would kill you in an instant. You ask them if they actually would kill you in an instant. “No,” the man says, in heavily-accented Latin. “The boss wants you intact, so we can’t do away with you just yet. Now stay quiet!” He clubs you over the head with the pommel of his sword and ties you hand and foot just to be sure. “We’re reaching Gesoriacum!” the driver shouts. Gesoriacum is the port that goes straight to Britannia. You’ve driven a long way in one night! To the city 

11 Gesoriacum The city is still busy, even at this time of night. You can hear many noises, especially from the harbour. You try to pull off your hood, but the ropes tying you up make it difficult. “Stop that!” the man says, kicking you in the groin. You cry in agony and endure the burning pain that stays with you for the next half an hour, until you reach your destination. The man grabs you roughly and shoves you out of the cart, leading you through the streets, which are packed with people. They all find it weird that there is a man leading a hooded and bound youth through the city. “We’re here,” he announces. He knocks on the door and when it is opened, you are placed in the hands of another person. Now is the time to fight back. Should you? Yes! No!

12 Fight! You struggle out of the new man’s grip and make a run for it. However, the first man stops you and presses a knife against your throat. “One more word, and I’ll chop off that pretty hair of yours…” he hisses in your ear. “It’s grown since we last saw you, and it’s changed colour. Trying to evade us, were you?” You try to explain that you have no idea what he’s talking about. You’ve never seen him before! The two men take one arm each and drag you away. They chuck you on the floor and take off your hood. You see that you are in a dungeon, which is absolutely disgusting and covered in poo. “We’ll be back tomorrow to get you. No funny business while we’re gone,” the second man spits on you just to be sure, then turns and leaves. Spend the night 

13 Peace! You let him drag you away and chuck you onto the floor. He takes off your hood and in the darkness, you can see that you are in a dungeon, which is dirty and covered in poo. You gag at the horrible stench. “We’ll be back tomorrow for you, no funny business while we’re gone!” the man threatens, brandishing a chubby fist. You settle down, getting into as comfortable a position as your tied-up limbs allows, and try to get some sleep. Sleep 

14 Morning The next morning you are woken up by the two ruffians that manhandled you yesterday. They take you to an empty room, get a chair and sit you down on it. Then they tie you to it, just so you can’t escape. “Wait here,” one of them says, then they both leave. What on earth is going on? Then an elegant man gracefully enters, looking at you with a critical eye. “Good morning,” he says. “I trust you know why you are here.” You tell him that you do not. “If you don’t know that, then what do you know? Have you lost your mind in all your years of absence?” Be interrogated 

15 Interrogation “Let’s start off easy then.” he says. “What is your name? The name you gave me when you signed up?” Make up a fake name Say your real name

16 Fake name You tell him that your name is Capito, and you are not the man he is looking for. “It’s not Capito. I know exactly who you are. Even with your new hairstyle and physique you can’t fool me, Helva.” “What are you talking about?”

17 Real name You confidently tell the man your full name. He scoffs. “Tiberius Lucretius… A complete lie. You can’t fool me, I know exactly who you are. That was just a test to see how truthfully you would answer my questions. Apparently, not very, Helva.” “What in Hades?”

18 Helva? Politeness is the only way to get around this man, you decide, so you calmly and apologetically tell him that your name is not Helva, it’s Tiberius. “I can read you like a scroll. Give up your act and give me the purple, now!” You ask him what he means by ‘the purple’. “Playing an idiot, are we?” He is becoming very irate. “You know exactly what I mean! It was forty years ago; my father gave you that mission. Where is my throne?” You ask him what on earth he is talking about. Were you supposed to make him Emperor or something? Keep asking 

19 Interrogating You ask him that exact question. “YES. By Pollux, old age has caught up with you! You’ve had forty years, my father thought you’d died doing that mission– apparently not! You are still an agent, and I still expect you to hand in the results of your assignment. I don’t see a laurel wreath on my head right now.” He points to his well-groomed hair with a slim finger. You shrug, trying to explain to him that you are not this ‘Helva’. You are not an ‘agent’, and you were never given the task of making this man Emperor. “If that’s how you’re going to play it…” He holds a sword to your throat. Oh dear…

20 Deadline “I will give you three days to sort out your act. Either you confess that you, Helva, are in fact you– which you are, there is no denying and you procure me the Imperial purple; or you sit in the dungeon, stubbornly pretending to be this ‘Tiberius’– and that will be awfully inconvenient, I’ll have to get my executioners to waste precious resources torturing you. If you still don’t confess by then, I will just have to kill you. Your choice.” He lets the sword slip away from your throat and calls in some guards to escort you back to the dungeon. What will you do now? Confess to being this ‘Helva’ and work for this man Sit in the dungeon and work out another plan Rebel!

21 Stubborn You tell the man that you are not Helva, and you will not do what he says. You are tied up in a chair, so you can’t fight back, but you spit in his face. He recoils, wiping the saliva off his cheek, and glares at you. “Do not do that again, disgusting man. To the torturers with you!” He sends for his torturers, who are swift in making you feel pain. First they get a red-hot poker and shove it up your nose, then place it everywhere (and I mean everywhere) on and in your body. Then they start cutting you up, very slowly, inflicting wounds that are painful, but not lethal. Then they break your legs and arms with clubs. You still don’t confess. Eventually the three days of agony are over, and your life is ended by a swift decapitation. Continue 

22 Fake confession You shout back to the man and tell him that you are actually Helva. He rushes to you with a smile on his face. “Good. Now we’ve got that fact established, please tell me how you escaped my organisation’s eye for all these years.” You make up a story about moving to Parthia. “We would never have found you, if not for these.” He holds up a fistful of papers, and you see your blue horse seal on them. “These documents came into my possession, and I just knew I had to track you down. So, will you make me Emperor?” “Yes…”

23 Weird man for Emperor! “Good. Now I will leave you. Remember, three days. Show me your tattoo and we will seal the Bond of Assignment.” You glance around. You don’t have any tattoos… Your disguise is already crumbling. The man is impatient and grabs your foot. “It must have rubbed off in your forty years in hiding. Let me do it again.” He takes out a needle and some ink, then starts to tattoo you. “Marcus… Volcatius… Licinus…” he whispers as he works. When he’s done, you see, on the sole of your foot, the letters ‘M. V. L.’ in black ink. “Go and make me Emperor. Don’t use the ‘Blue Horses’ guise again, that was a complete failure.” Make M. V. L. Emperor 

24 Emperor maker You don’t really know where to begin, but you decide that making M. Volcatius Licinus very popular and high-ranking is a good start. There is no way you’ll get from Gesoriacum to Rome in less than three days, so you send out a letter to a group of assassins based in Rome, asking them to kill the current Emperor, Domitian. You hope it’ll reach the city in time. Next, you go out into the city and ask any of the Romans what they know about Marcus Volcatius. One of them tells you that he is a very high-ranking man, and he is basically the Emperor’s right-hand man. If the Emperor died he would definitely be appointed! What great luck, you think. But two of your days pass, and there is no word from the assassins. Sadly, they did not succeed their mission and you are swiftly executed by Marcus Volcatius’ torturers. Continue 

25 Planning You spend the rest of the day thinking of what to do. Night falls, and you are shocked when you realise one of your days is already gone. You only have two left! You spend all night awake, thinking of plans, and eventually you have narrowed it down to two. Which one will you carry out? Convince the man that you are not Helva Try and escape the dungeon

26 Convincing You begin to draft a speech, detailing the reasons why you are not Helva. You write it down on an old bit of wax tablet that’s left in the dungeon and come up with this: I am not the ‘Helva’ that you seek; I am Tiberius Lucretius of the Vespillo family, the son of the esteemed detective Q. Lucretius Vespillo, and I am the owner of his detective agency. I’m sure I can look through his files for a mention of a Helva, but I am not that man. I can take you to my house in Augustodurum and show you. I can ask anyone in my town and they will tell you that I am Tiberius. Do you really expect a man who was assigned a mission forty years ago to look like me: a twenty-five year old man? Surely he would be a lot older? Please let me show you that I am not Helva. Convince the man 

27 Convinced? The guards that are watching over you take you to the man’s study, where he is sitting and writing. You cough to get his attention, and one of the guards speaks. “Licinus, sir, Helva wants to see you.” The man, who is apparently called Licinus, dismisses the guards and leaves you alone. “What do you want?” he spits. You recite your speech perfectly and wait for his reaction. “You have raised some good points. Take me to your Augustodurum, and show me that you are Tiberius.” Take him there 

28 Augustodurum You take him back home, eating into one of your allotted days. You realise with horror that you only have one day after today. Augustodurum is the town where you were raised, and where the Vespillo family has lived for many generations, ever since a Vespillo in Julius Caesar’s legions met a Gaulish woman and settled down to live in the town. “You live in squalor…” Licinus remarks, kicking a pot of urine out of his way. “Where is your house?” You point to the massive villa on the hill, which has a sign on it saying ‘Vespillo Family Detective Agency’ and a sub-sign underneath it saying ‘Now owned by Tiberius, son of Q. Lucretius Vespillo’. “I see…” Licinus nods. “I believe I know that house. In fact, yes, I have been to this town before, in response to a seller of togas.” Carry on 

29 Your house You take him inside your house and frantically get out any form of identification you have. “Are you sure you’re not just trespassing and pretending to be this Tiberius, Helva?” You shake your head, a bit intimidated. You show him your study, and all the letters that are addressed to you. He does not look convinced. “This does not show me anything. For all I know, you could be a slave to this detective. I need more evidence.” He looks outside. “And now you have one day left. Goodnight.” You both go to bed. The next morning you wake up in a panic. What can you do to convince him that you are you? Ask people in the streets Look through your dad’s files for a mention of a Helva Show him all your stuff

30 Streets You lead him through the streets of Augustodurum. Many people say “Salve, Tiberius!” as you pass, and you look at Licinus with a cheeky and knowing expression. “Perhaps you’ve changed your name. Yes, you have moved to this town and told everyone you are Tiberius. Maybe this is all one big act. Maybe you are the detective, but underneath you are really just Helva.” He laughs at you, thinking he’s worked it out. You have to do something else! Look through your dad’s files for a mention of a Helva Show him all your stuff I can’t! I’ve done everything!

31 Where is Helva? You take him into your study and throw open the boxes of scrolls which your dad kept as records of all his cases. You begin to read them, cursing your slow and less-than-average reading ability. It’s going to take you all day! Licinus stands behind you, tapping his foot impatiently. Finally you find a mention of a Helva and shove the scroll in the man’s face. AD 40. Rome. On holiday, discovered anti-Emperor group called the Blue Horses. Saw chariot race, man called Helva run over by green racer, screaming ‘Down with the Emperor! Support the Blue Horses!’ He was killed. In forum, got signet ring, belonged formerly to Helva. He nods as he reads it. “Still not convinced.” he says. Ask people in the streets Show him all your stuff I’ve done everything!!!!

32 Stuff You practically overturn your villa, showing him absolutely everything. You ask slaves for confirmation that you are Tiberius, you show him everything with your name on it, and end up on your knees, begging for him to let you off. “I still don’t believe you’re Tiberius. How can you convince me, when all this stuff could belong to the real Tiberius? I’ve had enough of this.” What can you do now? Ask people in the streets Look through your dad’s files for a mention of a Helva I’ve done everything!!!!

33 Stuck! “Oh look, it’s nearly midnight.” Licinus says, pointing to the moon. “Seems like your time is nearly up. Anything else you can show me?” You rack your brains, thinking of anything else convincing you can show Licinus. But there is nothing. “You have one minute.” he says, drawing a sword from the folds of his toga. Endless thoughts race through your mind, and finally you scream with joy. You’ve got something! Show him!

34 Young Tiberius When you were thirteen, your dad got a statue made of you, and it is in the atrium! You take Licinus there and show it to him. “That could be any boy.” he says. “Thirty seconds.” You put your face right next to the statue, and tell him to really look. Licinus stares, his brow furrowed in concentration. Finally he steps back. “It is, indeed, you. I’m sorry for this confusion, Tiberius Lucretius. If you would let me leave, that would be wonderful…” He looks guilty. “Not so fast!” Let him go

35 Arrest! You now know a lot about this man, and you know that he is the head of a criminal organisation which murders and plots all over the Empire. You have infiltrated its base, seen many of its agents, and heard of one incriminating, heinous crime that they attempted. This is all grounds for arrest and execution! You grab his arm and tell him that he’s under arrest. Licinus laughs, slices your head off, and leaves you dead on the floor. Continue 

36 Let him go You let Licinus go, pleased that you have escaped the deadly clutches of this organisation. You’re such an idiot, Tiberius!!!, you think as you realise that was the perfect time to arrest him and the whole organisation. You chase after Licinus, but he kills you as soon as he sees you back in Gesoriacum. Continue 

37 Escape…? You’re going to have to be quick if you’re to escape the clutches of this deadly dungeon. You look around and see that there are two guards standing in the dungeon by the door, staring right at you. How will you get rid of them? Kill them Knock them out and tie them up

38 Dead guards You stand up, still with the cords tied around your wrists and feet. “Get down!” one of the guards shouts. “Master Licinus!” You body-slam into him and his head cracks against the wall. The other guard stands there with his mouth wide open and you head-butt him in the groin. He sinks to the floor in agony and passes out. You get out one of their swords with your teeth, wriggle out of the ropes and slit their throats. You open the door quietly and check around for any signs of life. When you are confident the coast is clear, you decide which way to go.  Left Right 

39 Unconscious You stand up slowly, trying not to fall over, as the ropes are still tied around you. The guards tell you to get down, but you charge into them. “Master Licinus!” one of them shouts, before you crack both their heads against the wall. They both collapse and you wriggle out of the cords and tie them together. Just to be sure, you stuff knotted bits of rope in their mouths so they will either choke or be unable to speak when they come round. You open the door and check if anyone is around. Thankfully, the corridor is totally empty. Which way should you go now?  Left Right 

40 Left You turn left and find yourself in another corridor. You continue to walk down it and soon realise this is the slaves’ quarters. They are milling about and thankfully don’t take much notice of you. Now what should you do? Ask a slave the way to the door Search on your own

41 Right You turn right and see that you are going in the direction of the interrogation room. You have to be careful, since the man– who you know is called Licinus– could be anywhere, roaming about. You hear footsteps coming down the corridor, and you freeze. What should you do? Ambush and kill the person Hide in a room

42 The door You stop a slave and ask him where the door is. He points you in the right direction and you follow what he told you. But curses! He tricked you! Now you find yourself in the dining room, where the man– who you heard someone call Licinus– is having breakfast. Terrified, you sneak into the shadows and hope you are not noticed. But at the other end of the dining room, there is a door. How will you get to it? Run across the room and hope for the best Sneak round the edges

43 Run! You charge through the middle of the room, knocking reclining chairs and slaves over. The man glances around to see what the commotion is all about, but you are too fast and you’ve already gone through the door. You find yourself in the atrium, and to your dismay, the back of the house. How on earth are you going to get out? Rush back through the house to the front door Climb up a pillar and run across the roof

44 Run back! You get your breath back and charge back through the door head-first. This time some guards are waiting for you. “Master Licinus!” one of them shouts. “We’ve got him!” They tie you up and carry you like a log back to the dungeon. Back to the dungeon 

45 Pillar shimmy You hear the sounds of people opening the door, so you clamber up a pillar and haul yourself up onto the roof. A few guards come out of the door and start looking around, so you drop low and slowly roll over the apex of the roof. You move into a squat position and have a look at where you are. The city is sprawled out in front of you, a mixture of dirt huts and grander Roman buildings, with columns of smoke rising randomly. In the distance the sea sparkles with little jewels of light and huge ships snake their way through the choppy water. It’s quite an impressive sight. Closer to you, there is a complicated network of roofs, all part of Licinus’ massive house. There is another atrium a bit further ahead of you, and you see a few slaves standing around outside. They could definitely see you if you accidentally stood up too high. Walk along the roof 

46 Rooftop walk You get onto your hands and knees and start shuffling along the roof, careful not to dislodge any tiles. More than once you nearly fall off, but soon you are at the front of the house. Perfect! You’re out! But now… how are you going to go through town without being seen? Make a run for it Disguise yourself

47 Run! Again! You build up some speed and leap off the roof. You land with a shuddering crash on the floor, and your knees buckle. You fall flat on your face and break your nose. Somebody comes up to you, thinking that you were trying to commit suicide, and starts consoling you. “You have so much more to live for, don’t end it all! Your family will be so sad that you’re gone!” she says, stroking your blonde hair. You kindly tell her that you were not hoping to end your life, but you are in fact trying to escape the clutches of an evil organisation. “Oh. That’s a bit unfortunate. I can help you if you want…” “Sure!” “No way!”

48 No help needed “Suit yourself,” she says, and wanders off. Moments later a cart comes racing past, and runs you right over. Continue 

49 Help me! She helps you up and dabs your bloody nose with a bit of cloth. “I’m Vepia,” she says with a smile. “So, who is this evil organisation?” You are surprised to find that she is now talking in Celtic, and thankfully you’re a quarter Gaul and you are fluent, so you can talk to her. You tell her all about Licinus and the signet ring. She looks quite sympathetic, and asks you what she can do to help. “You can lend me a cart and take me home.” “You can help me kill Licinus.”

50 Cart share “Sure!” she says. “I just bought one!” Vepia leads you to her cart, and you watch your back the whole way. It’s only a matter of time until someone realises you’re gone and people will be after you… You both hop into the cart and she spurs the donkeys on to a gallop (as much of a gallop as they can manage). You leave the city by nightfall and she asks you which way she’s supposed to be going. You tell her where your home town, Augustodurum, is located, and she slows the donkeys down. She doesn’t want to tire them out. “We’ll reach there by tomorrow night, I think.” she says. Get some rest 

51 The journey The next morning you wake up and find Vepia almost asleep herself. “Take the reins, I need to get some shut-eye!” she exclaims, handing you the reins. She drops off immediately. You make the donkeys trot, hoping to cut a little time off the journey. Out of nowhere, some bandits rush into the road and stop the cart. “Give me your valuables!” one of them shouts, brandishing a curved Thracian sword. Do you… Give them your valuables? Fight back?

52 Take my money You rummage through the cart and find a few denarii, which you give to the largest bandit. “That signet ring looks awfully nice…” he says, gesturing for you to give it to him. You slide it off your finger and give it to him willingly, wanting to be rid of that damned thing as soon as possible. “Anything else?” a thin, wrinkled man says. You shake your head and the bandits wander off. Continue the journey 

53 Fight back! You jump out of the cart, draw your sword and try to stab the head bandit. He parries you with his massive, unwieldy Thracian sword and uses the momentum to swing it round to try and chop your head off. You duck and stab him in the stomach. The other bandits rush towards you, seeing their leader has been killed, and draw their tiny knives. You laugh and realise that they are actually eating-knives, not meant for stabbing people. You knock them effortlessly out of their hands and slit their throats. In the tussle, you lose your signet ring, but you really don’t care. You didn’t really want to see it again anyway. Continue the journey 

54 Back on track You get back into the cart and keep on going as if nothing had happened. You have the reins for the rest of the day, while Vepia sleeps. In the evening she wakes up and points ahead. Augustodurum is looming over you! You’ve arrived! You are pleased that your signet ring is gone, so you can continue your detective life normally. But not for long! An arrow whistles past you and thuds into the neck of one of the donkeys. It lets out a really weird noise and collapses. The other donkey trips over its body and the cart tips over. Five mounted horsemen gallop towards you and aim arrows at you and Vepia. “We have come on behalf of M. V. L. Give yourself up and I will not shoot you!” “OK…” “Never!!!”

55 Back to Gesoriacum You hold your hands out to be bound, and they lash ropes around your wrists, and also your feet. A well-aimed arrow kills Vepia. You cry out and try to fight back, but they knock you out and throw your body over the back of a horse. When you wake up, you are in Licinus’ house. Some guards escort you to the dungeon. To the dungeon 

56 Can’t be tamed You kick a horse and its front legs come up, throwing the rider off and knocking another onto the ground in the process. You get your sword and stab as many of the horses and archers as possible, until all there is left is a pile of corpses. You hop back in the cart and go into the city. Go home! 

57 Home People greet you warmly as you arrive with Vepia. She waves at people, feeling like a celebrity, and eventually stops outside your villa. You thank her for helping you to get home. “My feet are so sore, can you massage them for me?” she asks, taking off her sandals once you are comfortable in the atrium. You take a whiff of her feet (disgusting) but agree to it. When you see the sole of her foot, you are shocked to find the letters M. V. L. tattooed there! She works for Licinus! “Bet you never expected that I was the executioner? Your time is up!” She gets out a sword and decapitates you. Continue 

58 Help me kill Licinus “I can’t do that!” she exclaims. “I work for him!” You gasp, then plead with her and beg her to help you kill Licinus. But she’s not having any of it, and as soon as she notices the horse signet ring on your finger you are done for. “You’re Helva! Come with me!” She ties you up and takes you back into the dungeon. To the dungeon 

59 Disguise You leap off the roof and go into a dark corner to think. Who will you disguise yourself as? A slave A soldier A gladiator A rich man

60 Slave disguise You spread some mud on your face and clothes, rip a couple of holes in your tunic and shed your toga (for good). Then you ruffle your hair and mess it completely up. Now you look like a slave. You walk through the streets and ask to hire a cart. You don’t have much money, since Licinus seized it off you, so you can only afford a one-person cart with an old, weak donkey to pull it. “But hey, you’re a slave! On whose behalf are you hiring a cart?” You say that you are working for Licinus. “Oh! Marcus Volcatius Licinus! Alright then, hand me your money.” You give him some money and hop into the cart. Go 

61 Soldier disguise There are a few soldiers walking around Gesoriacum, and you assume they’ve either just arrived from Britannia or they are about to go. You smother one of them with your toga and take off his clothes. The armour’s a little small for your highly muscular body, but it will do. You walk around the city with purpose, as if you know what you’re supposed to be doing. Suddenly a hand claps on your shoulder. “Hey, you! Name and rank!” You gulp and make up a fake name, and say that you’re a legionary. You add ‘sir’ on the end just to be sure. “Well, Legionary Laenas, you’re supposed to be getting on the ship to Britannia! Off you go!” You see the transverse crest on the soldier’s helmet and you know that he is a centurion, ie. not to be messed with. Get on the ship 

62 To Britannia! “Looks like your name’s not on my list… Well, I’ve just lost one of my legionaries. Welcome to the Fourth Century of the Second Cohort of the Fourteenth Legion, son.” By Pollux! You’re a soldier now! You try to protest and say that you’re not really a soldier, but in your uniform you are not fooling anyone. The centurion takes you to the ship and you are piled on with some other legionaries. They are all in your century, and you get to know them as the ship sails away. When you confess that you are not actually a soldier, they simply laugh in your face. As the coastline of Gaul disappears from view, you remark with a wry smirk that you have escaped the clutches of Licinus. You have been dispatched to quell a slight rebellion at the fringes of the Empire, and in your first fight you are killed, since you have had no training whatsoever. Continue 

63 Gladiator disguise You slink off to the arena and find some gladiator equipment. You put on an arm-guard, change into a loincloth, put on a wide belt, greaves and arm yourself with a shield and sword. For the sake of anonymity, you grab a helmet and put it on. You now look like a fearsome gladiator, but there is one problem… You look really weird, a fully-armed gladiator wandering through the streets of Gesoriacum. You hire a cart to look more believable. You try and get out of the city, but you are forced to hand over your weapons to a soldier. “Don’t want an armed gladiator roaming around Gaul, now do we?” he says. “Now who are you?” You tell him that you are Florus, who just fought in the last games and is going back to his home city. He doesn’t believe a word of it, but lets you go. Back home! 

64 Rich man disguise You wonder how you’re going to go about making yourself look like a rich man. You are incredibly dishevelled at the moment: your toga is stained, you haven’t washed for days, you smell like a cow pat and your luscious blonde hair is a mess! You sell your toga to a street vendor for, literally, a couple of denarii, and hope that you’ll be able to afford a slightly nicer toga. But there is nothing in your price range, and you are discovered by some of M. V. L.’s agents and swiftly executed. Continue 

65 On the way home On the way back home, you are stopped by a highway robber. He asks you for your money, and you apologise and confess that you have none. He looks at you really hard, disappointed, but lets you go. What a rubbish highway robber, you muse. You continue on your way to Augustodurum, but suddenly your donkey drops dead! What on earth can you do now? Hitch-hike your way back home Walk home

66 Hitch-hiker You stand at the edge of the road with your thumb stuck out like an idiot. Eventually a litter comes towards you, and a pretentious-looking fat man pops his head through the silk curtain. “Who might you be?” You make up yet another fake name and pretend that you’ve just been robbed of everything and you’re looking for a ride home. It looks quite convincing, since you have shed all your clothing, except your loincloth. You look a mess. “Well get in! A fellow Roman should not have to suffer like this!” You get into the litter, which is cool and spacious, and tell him which way you want to go. “Great luck! I am going to Augustodurum too, to seek out the Vespillo Family Detective Agency. Have you heard of it?” You nod and continue the journey in silence. Go 

67 Back home? When you see Augustodurum up ahead, you shout for joy. You’ve finally escaped the clutches of that evil man! Or have you…? When you return to your house and settle back down, a slave comes into your bedroom and says that a man is here to see you. You put on a tunic and go into the dining room, where none other than Licinus is waiting. “Remember, I know where you live. Don’t think, Helva, that you have escaped my web just yet…” He laughs maniacally, then gets up and makes for the door. Uh oh! What are you going to do? Kill yourself so he can’t find you Kill Licinus immediately Beg him to let you off and tell him that you’re not Helva

68 Suicide You get out your sword immediately and fall on it. You die instantly, and you are pleased that the whole Licinus business is over. But, then, you are dead, so… Continue 

69 Murder You draw your sword and try to stab Licinus in the back, but he turns around and grabs your sword with his bare hand. “Not so fast!” he warns, wagging a finger. He wrenches the sword out of your hand and with his other hand, slips it out of your hand and points it at you. “I won’t let you off easily, Helva! I am still not the Emperor!” With that, he slits your throat. Continue 

70 Beggar You plead with him and desperately tell him that you are Tiberius Lucretius, the owner of the Vespillo Family Detective Agency. “I’m so sorry…” he says, realising you are in fact not Helva. “But where did you get this ring?” You recount the story of how your dad got it in the forum after Helva was run over by a chariot, and how it was left to you in his will. “He failed my mission. Oh well. There are always more agents…” He apologises a hundred times for mistaking you for someone else, then leaves. You write down all the information you learned about M. V. L. in your records, hoping that one day you will be able to bring them to justice. Today, however, is not the day, as you have dozens of other pressing cases stacking up. Finish 

71 Walking home You are so glad that you are an incredibly fit person, and you had a year of military training from a veteran all those years ago. The walk, to you, is fairly easy, as you only have a few dozen miles left. At the end of the day, you reach Augustodurum, and collapse in a heap on your bed. You are still worried that Licinus and his cronies will find you and kill you. The next morning, you get a letter. It is from Licinus, and he apologises for mistaking you for Helva. Finally, you think. He realised that Helva, whoever he is, would be really old by now, and in his words, you are a ‘handsome youth’. You note down everything you have learned about M. V. L. in your records, hoping that one day you will be able to bring them to justice. Today, however, is not the day, as you have dozens of other pressing cases stacking up. Finish 

72 Sneaky You press yourself against the wall and sneak to the door. But you can’t open it without making a noise… Creak! The door’s noise alerts Licinus, who throws you back into the dungeon, tied hand and foot. Back to the dungeon 

73 Lone wolf You have a look for the front door, and when you find it you are overjoyed. You sneak out, hire a cart and leave Gesoriacum. On the way back home, you sense that somebody is following you. As it gets dark, you think it’s best to do something about it. Do you… Light a fire? Call out for the person/people to reveal themselves?

74 Fire-starter You hop out of the cart and sit on the ground, getting out some equipment to light a fire. You are glad that you know how to. When the fire is lit, you hope that it will scare off anyone that’s hiding in the shadows. You hear a scurrying noise, and your heart skips a beat. Just to be sure, you slip your sword out of the scabbard and hold it in your hand. Thankfully, the noises get quieter and quieter, signalling that the thing is getting further away. Phew. You lie on the hard ground and soon fall asleep. Sleep 

75 Call You shout “Show yourself!” as loudly as possible, in both Celtic and Latin. You draw your sword and hold it in front of you, ready for any sudden attacks. “Drop your sword!” a voice replies from the darkness. Do you… Drop your sword? Keep it?

76 Surrender You drop your sword and put your hands up. Once your eyes get used to the darkness, you see a man on a horse, holding a standard with the letters M. V. L. on it. “Don’t try and escape Marcus Volcatius Licinus again! Your three days are up!” He thwacks you over the head with the end of the standard, and you drop like a stone. You don’t feel the arrow going into you, but you die all the same. Continue 

77 Standing tall You tell the voice that you won’t drop your sword. There’s a bit of a clip-clop noise, and then a man on a horse appears, holding a standard with the letters M. V. L. on it. “Drop your sword!” he shouts. You, again, tell him you won’t. He whacks his horse with the standard, and it goes up onto its back legs and comes crashing down. You leap out of the way and take a swipe at the man. You manage to chop off his arm. “Drop it! Now! Come with me!” he bellows, blood spraying like a fountain out of his arm stump. You run round the back of him and jump onto the horse. It gets a bit confused, so it thrashes about, but you hold on. Madly, you stab the man and he falls off. Now you have a horse! Great! Ride home! 

78 The next morning You wake up early, get back in your cart and begin to ride. However, you still feel like you’re being followed. Every so often, you look back and find any signs of life. “Stop there!” a voice calls. You freeze and turn around. None other than Licinus is standing in the middle of the road! You ask him what he wants. “You didn’t think you could escape me so easily, Helva?” Now you… Tell him that you are NOT Helva Fight him to the death

79 Convince You tell him that if this Helva was given a mission forty years ago, he could not look as young as you do. Licinus seems to understand you, and nods slowly. “Of course! Well, I’m no Vespillo. I’m bound to make mistakes. Vespillo! You are one of them, aren’t you?” “Yes.” “No.”

80 Proud Vespillo You announce proudly that you are the son of the detective Q. Lucretius Vespillo. His mouth drops open and he pats himself down. He takes a purse out and drops many coins in your hand. “That’s probably 50,000 sesterces there. I’ll let you keep them if you keep quiet about M. V. L. Don’t go blabbing to the aediles or anything, alright? I know you won’t anyway. My organisation is too large to stop just yet.” He turns around and walks off with a sinister air. You’ve escaped the clutches of Licinus, finally! Now you can breathe a little easier, and you have a wealth of information about his organisation to write down. When the time is right, you will bring him to justice. But not now, you have much to do. Finish 

81 Liar You make up a fake name (the thousandth one in your lifetime, actually) and say that you are the son of a merchant. He nods. “I am so sorry for the mix-up. But please don’t tell anyone about it. Here’s 50,000 sesterces!” He gives you a purse full of money, and you get back into your cart and wave goodbye to Licinus. “Wait! Wait! WAIT! WAIT!!!” Licinus shouts as you leave. “You are Vespillo, you liar! Die!” He jumps onto your back and stabs you twenty times. Continue 

82 Showdown You draw your sword, and your knife (which you hide in your toga). “So it’ll be this way, will it Helva?” he says, then whistles. Suddenly a whole legion marches up to you and stands there, waiting patiently. “Say hello to the Thirteen Legion! Die, little man, die! Thirteen Legion… advance!” They march towards you and surround you. “Javelins… release!” Hundreds of javelins come crashing down and they all stab you in many different places. Needless to say, you die. Continue 

83 Riding home Even though it’s dark, you decide to spur your horse on and hopefully reach Augustodurum by morning. Sadly, the horse has other ideas, and throws you off after only an hour of riding. You land with a crunch on the ground, and break your back. You lie there in agony for hours, until finally a cart comes and runs you over. Continue 

84 Ambush You body-slam into the person who is walking down the corridor. They are a guard, so they tie you up and return you to the dungeon. Back to the dungeon 

85 Hiding You back into the first room you see. Stupidly, you have gone into Licinus’ study (one of his many studies, in fact) and a clerk is busy working. “Who in Hades are you?” he asks. You, idiotically, tell him that you are on the run from Licinus’ organisation. He ties you up and returns you to the dungeon. Back to the dungeon 

86 Escaped! You are so pleased that you have escaped Licinus, and he knows that you are not Helva. It was a very odd and hair- raising experience. You decide to treat yourself for being so resourceful and clever. What will you reward yourself with? A nice bath and scrape Ringside seats at the next gladiator games A brand new look A holiday to Rome New togas– lots of new togas

87 Bath and scrape You decide that a nice bath is what you need, seeing as you haven’t had a proper one since before this whole Helva fiasco took place. You go to the local baths, which are so luxurious. You spend the whole day there, exercising, reading, getting a massage and a scrape. It’s Olympus on earth, really. When you’re done, you are fresh and clean. You feel like a new man! Now you can go on to the next adventure, whenever it comes. Continue 

88 Ringside seats You buy yourself a few tickets and invite some of your closest friends to the next games. Unfortunately, the arena is absolutely terrible and since you are sitting so close to the front, you are impaled by a badly-aimed spear throw from one of the gladiators. Continue 

89 New look You go to the barber and ask for your hair to be cut. At the moment it’s really long (like a girl) and greasy, and you ask for it to be brought back to its lustrous shine and bounciness. The barber cuts your hair so it curls nicely at the ends and looks very Greek, and even washes it in pee to bring out the blonde colour. You get your eyebrows plucked to a beautiful shape, your nails filed and you work out a bit to chisel your abs. By the end of the process you look just like a Greek god. But weirdly, you don’t have an ounce of Greek blood in you. Even still, you are happy with your look. Continue 

90 Roman Holiday You hire a litter, pack your stuff and begin the journey to Rome. When you get there, you take in the sights and tourist destinations, watch a gladiator fight in the new Flavian Amphitheatre, go into all the best taverns and make merry all night long. When you get back home, you are so pleased that you survived your encounter with Licinus. But not for long! Assassins that work for Licinus come into your house at night and kill you, before you blabbed to anyone. Continue 

91 New togas You go to the forum and grab dozens of togas. You hand the vendor your money and wander off back home. Little did you know, you didn’t give the man enough money, and he forms a lynch mob and clubs you to death in your sleep. Continue 

92 Click again to end the slideshow!
Vale! Thanks for playing The Toga Detective VI, and hopefully we will see you again for more adventures! The End Click again to end the slideshow!

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