A character from my ongoing web novel, Revolving Door!
Full nameJunia Paetina Marcia
BirthplaceCarthage, Modern Roman Empire

Marcia doesn't do things halfway. She takes no prisoners. She pushes the knife all the way in. There's something of a fierceness to everything she does, always full of intent and feeling. If something doesn't catch her fancy, she doesn't bother herself with it.

Starved of affection and lasting bonds throughout her life, she is constantly seeking attention of any sort, and no place awards more attention than the arena. She truly knows how to work a crowd, and has a flair for visual spectacle that her audiences love so. Even outside of the limelight, she wears a persona, pretending that her insecurities—neediness, fear of abandonment—don't exist, insistent that those who point them out must be joking. Flaws? What flaws? She only knows the stage, only knows how to perform.

She flirts with almost anyone she finds attractive; most respond eagerly, and then she becomes the ghost in the night to them, giving them an evening to remember and then leaving without a trace.

With abilities that allow her to manipulate the physiological and emotional states of those whom she touches, Marcia is often forced to confront moral dilemmas about autonomy and freedom when using them. She'll make the necessary sacrifices to secure the least harm for the most people.


The first person to give Valeria a name was the patriarch of the domus to whom she was sold as a slave. When he attempted to assault her, she killed him with her powers and fled into the protection of a fellow slave's friend, the doctor Tadla, who made her an apprentice. Tadla came to be like a mother unto her.

Two years later, Tadla was captured during a Vandal siege. Valeria then took the woman's nomen and cognomen, Junia Paetina, and signed up to be a soldier, using her powers to manipulate her way around rules that should have barred her from entry. She killed and interrogated Vandals in the hopes of recovering Tadla, but the woman was nowhere to be found even after they had laid waste to the largest camp.

Junia Paetina now gave herself up to a gladiator dealer and was sold to the colosseum at Carthage. There she became increasingly famous as a highly entertaining battler, to the point where the Emperor Alexius himself asked that she be bought over by Constantinople.

Impressed with her inaugural battle there, in which she killed five bulls, the emperor awarded her the agnomen Marcia. Given a doorway to success, she went on to climb society while maintaining her career in the colosseum.

TadlaThe doctor was the first person in her life with whom she had a stable relationship of any sort, one that lasted a short two years. Tadla taught Marcia about physician arts, and much more: she inspired Marcia to forge forward and carve out a life of her own. Marcia saw her as a mother and took her name when she vanished.
VesperMarcia was attracted to Vesper almost from the very moment they met, and Vesper's seeming obliviousness to flirtation, or indeed to anything that isn't the job at hand, has been a source of great frustration. It is when she's at her most sincere that Vesper finds her most admirable. Outside of their romantic (mis)adventures, Marcia and Vesper counterbalance each other in many ways, with the former's zest for life tempering the latter's prudence and abnegation, and vice versa.
Hong YiHong Yi is endlessly fascinating to Marcia, not least of all because he's the descendant of a culture that, in her world, is one of her people's greatest enemies. This guy seems harmless enough. And he's a riot, at that. What harm could come of it? Knowing he knows more than he appears to, she is determined to have him open up. She almost sees him as a version of herself who is a little more well-adjusted.
  • Marcia likes to associate herself with imagery related to bulls, hence her bull-horn helmet. She's also fond of wearing blood red because it makes the spilled blood look less distasteful on her.
  • She's proficient with the gladius and the axe, having a lot more arm strength than one might expect.
  • Her makeup is always on point.
  • She doesn't drink because it reminds her of her first home.