The people seem more amenable to recruitment now, so the senate asks the Pontifex Maximus to slaughter a goat to see if the gods are once again happy with Rome. Lucius Aemilius Paullus discharges this duty solemnly, selecting the very finest goat from the temple district pens and slaughtering it on the steps of the temple of Mars for all to see, for it is widely rumoured that Rome will be marching against the Gauls this season.
But as the entrails spill across the marble, the large crowd of onlookers sees the haruspices recoil in horror. The intestines, it turns out, are severely discoloured. This can only be another Evil Omen!
Aemilius spends all he can on temple offerings to mitigate this, even raiding the faction treasury, but it isn’t enough. At last the priests are satisfied that the gods have been at least mosty placated, but by then Aemilius has been stripped of office in his disgrace.
The remaining effects from last year expired, both the evil omens and the manpower shortage.
Then at the start of the Eastern Grain Company turn an event happened, which was evil omens once again.
This is very bad for the Pontifex Maximus, who must immediately pay 20 talents from personal treasury or be stripped of his office for major corruption.
As he didn’t have this much, the rest plus a 10 talent fine is levied from the faction treasury. There wasn’t enough there either, so Rome pays the difference (ignoring the fine), which comes to 9 talents. Ouch, @CraigM.
To the players, I’m really sorry. I swear I’m using random.org.
To the lurkers, would you care for some popcorn?
@Juan_Raigada: it is your initiative in the forum, what would you like to do?