Daughter of Thieves is a Camp Jupiter fanfiction written by Huguenotical.
Julia Sepulveda is one of the last demi-mortal children of Laverna, the Roman goddess of trickery and conmen. Her family's name is shunned for their lineage and the actions of Julia's relatives. Once she is old enough to join the main camp, Julia swears that she will honor her family name under the 12th Legion.
(TBA as more characters arrive)
Julia Sepulveda: Daughter of Kelly and James Sepulveda Jr., legacy of Laverna. Vows to restore her family's honor and be a child even Laverna herself could be proud of. A critical perfectionist at heart.
Rafael Schaur: Son of Alessandro Schaur and Salus, Roman goddess of security and well-being. A well-to-do young man with innate talent.
Evangeline Gray: Daughter of Ferris Gray and Nadine Gray, legacy of Flora. A shy, awkward girl who desperately wants to leave camp more than anyone else.
Daughter of ThievesEdit
Laverna, the goddess of thievery and unlawful gain.
While not exactly a household name nor a name many liked to associate with, she was somewhat infamous. Originally a mortal girl who, using her wit and charm, managed to get a few acres of land from a man in Ancient Rome. Despite the man putting his trust in her, Laverna betrayed him and sold all of his land, took the money, and fled.
Following that was a series of trials with the gods and each time she managed to worm her way out of their grasp through some sort of trickery involving invisibility until finally they simply gave up and forced her into godhood.
While it wasn't what she'd intended, she was enjoying her new life. She became a patron to the thieves and con-men around the world and offered guidance and charm in times of need. Laverna enjoyed the perks of godhood and was free to consort with mortals as she pleased, though her children had the unfortunate luck of being....eh, criminally active.
And now, in the present day, Laverna's lineage has nearly died out. She watched her children and lovers die due to her own influence, the kind that made people steal and lie the way she did, only they weren't as good. They were often jailed or killed, and the ones who did live on did not marry or had children that eventually lost her influence over time.
But there was one exception. The break in Laverna's supposed depression, and he came in the form of James Sepulveda. He was a charming young man with slick, dark hair and a penchant for dusty gray suits. More to the point, he was a con man. He offered to do a safety inspection of your home, and then quietly nab the trinkets from your drawers and safes.
No one was safe. He moved around quite a bit and fell under new names. Laverna was intrigued by his cunning and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, this man actually knew what he was doing.
Under the guise of a client, Laverna visited his newly opened business in Arizona. After closing the blinds and taking his seat, he offered her a kind and well-meaning 'Now what can Ido for you?'. And Laverna spilled. She told him she knew of his crimes and that he was a thief, but Sepulveda didn't dare to break a sweat. The smile stuck on his face and he watched her curiously as she rambled on about his international scheme, turning from accusatory to downright gushing over how intelligent he was.
She proposed a deal, that they work together. Sepulveda had no other choice, for all he knew this woman could report him for gods' sake, and in the end they formed an agreement. To his surprise, she was faithful to her word and indeed did keep his little scam afloat for several years.
Before he knew it, James Sepulveda was settling down in Northern California. The money he'd managed to make off with, with a lot of unknowing help from his now-girlfriend, Laverna, was safe with him and would allow him to live comfortably for a long, long time.
Or so he thought. Everything came crashing down the day Laverna left.
Their son, James Jr., was just a year old the day his father woke up and discovered Laverna was not there. When he went to find his crying son, he was instead met by the sound of the police hounding at his door, announcing that they knew exactly who he was and that he should show himself out at that moment.
That was the day James Sepulveda realized, and wrongly so, that he'd been taken as a fool. He was taken into detainment for twenty seven years and his son was sent to live with James' mild-mannered, quiet older sister. Throughout his life, Junior would see his father just a few times and usually on their birthdays, and then return home where his aunt would be scrunched up in her chair, a book nearly pressed against her reading glasses.
She was a passive woman and allowed Junior to discover himself without her interference. He discovered he was quite a forger and made his lunch money off of copying signatures onto permission slips starting in third grade, and would later go on to perfect the 'bump-and-run', in which he would casually bump into someone and slip the money from their pocket or purse without being acknowledged.
As an adult, he moved out his aunt's house and met Kelly Monroe, a beachy blonde girl with a pearled smile and soft eyes. They would later marry and have two children, the youngest being James Sepulveda III. And the oldest.....
Me, Julia Sepulveda.
01: Home for HeathensEdit
As you can imagine, my family was not very well liked. Beginning at our old house outside of New Rome, in fact. My father was shunned due to his Father, and he was constantly asked 'Oh, you mean.....the Sepulvedas?' after introducing himself. He managed to find work somehow as an after-hours janitor at the mall an hour away.
We tried preschool and kindergarten, but I couldn't fit in there either. I had the impulse to take things and before my mother realized I was sneaking whole cubbies of toys and crayons home. She stopped sitting around and watching soap operas and started to homeschool me.
And sometime around then, before Jamie (my brother) was born and after I was put into homeschool, I finally got to meet Laverna, the goddess herself.
She was a tall and very slender woman, but even through the winter clothing she wore I noticed strong arms and legs, the makings of the perfect thief. She had short, curly brown hair and sun-exposed skin, coupled with eyes darker than coal and a smile.
"So, this is my son." I recall her saying as I played with the spoon in my mouth, watching her. She had her hands on her hips and watched my father with sharp eyes, but in record time they softened and she planted a kiss on his forehead. "A handsome one, it seems. I should hope so."
She ignored my mother and came to me next. The spoon fell from my mouth and without missing a beat Grandma Laverna bent over and plucked it out of mid-air.
"Julia Sepulveda..." She tapped her chin and I watched her carefully, looking into her pinched, impish eyes. She smirked and ruffled my hair slightly before standing back up again, impossibly tall against my little four year old body.
"She'll be a fine one, though it seems she takes a bit much from her mother." I felt a spark between them, a sort of hatred or rivalry, something mean. "Pray she won't, mm?"
"Is there any particular reason you're here, mom?" My mother retorted, leaving the kitchen with her hair pulled into a bun and moist with steam. Laverna nodded and reached into her purse, extracting a small set of pamphlets, purple with golden accents.
"Of course. I've been informed that if my son and Julia move her, she will better be able to understand her heritage and serve her homeland."
My father took the papers and leafed through them. It wasn't too far, according to him, thogh the entry sounded a bit too much for him.
"....Mom, I have to find this 'Camp Jupiter' on my own?"
"Yes." Laverna nodded, plopping down on the seat next to him and subtly bumping my mother away. "When you arrive, Lupa will give you intructions, and yo uwill rely on pure instinct to guide you to the future."
"That's harsh, Laverna."
My grandmother laughed then, a hearty, snorting laugh. She was trying to say something but the words were stuck in her throat until her uproar calmed suitably. "Aut vincere aut mori," She nodded to herself. "You will win, or you will die."
I began to cry a bit, I was young but die was not a word I enjoyed. Mother and Laverna promptly entered an argument and she forced Laverna out of our house while my father held me close, though between my back and his fingers I could feel the smooth purple papers.
02: Road to RomeEdit
Against mother's wishes, Father set out one night after work for "The Wolf House", as the brochures exclaimed. We had no contact with Father for a few weeks, and the night when mother caved and called into the police to file a report, father returned with news.
We moved into New Rome just three weeks later. We didn't exactly have many ties with the neighborhood anyway - I had no friends and we were the infamous Sepulveda family after all.
As part of his agreement with the woman he called 'Lupa', we were technically unfit to join him in New Rome as he was the only true member of the legion at the moment, but he managed to find a way around her rules. Father was to blindfold my mother and I and lead us down the road to Rome.
Needless to say, that was her last straw. My parents would not officially divorce for about a year, after my brother was born. It seemed that Kelly Monroe was simply not fit for the life of gods.
Or thieves, anyway.
We arrived at the edge of the woods and mother helped us unpack our bags before securing an orange swatch of fabric around my eyes. If she didn't hear from us in a week, she would call the police. We promised to find her somehow and she drove away.
I can't say much about the journey. I hit my foot on a few rocks, and felt water that whipped around my knees and seeped through my plastic shoes, until finally I heard the rustle and tug of my blindfold being lifted and was met with hundreds of faces.
Teenagers clad in purple, some with shining bronze and silver plates, mulling about the site. A few turned to look but were still passing us hastily, and my father was quick to pick me up and hurry along the hard dirt path, trying to avoid the stares of stray campers.
There was some sort of bathhouse to our left, judging by the smell of soapwafting from an open window, and to our right I could see white sheets being pressed onto beds through an open door. A cold wind struck our side and my father began to hustle further, and already I could feel that somehow we didn't belong here.
03: New RomeEdit
After about an hour of walking we reached a stone arch guarded by a white marbled statue without arms. My father sighed in relief and began his last stretch until suddenly-
He stumbled backward and fell on his butt, nearly dropping me in the process. My ankle bounced against the path and I yelped in pain.
"I need to see your identification." I turned around and saw the statue, lips moving and all. Frozen with terror, I felt my father gently pull me closer to him as he stood up.
"Right, ID..." He mumbled, jamming a hand in his pocket. He dug for a few moments and ignored the statue, who I could still hear rambling behind me, until he pulled out a thick, laminated card.
It had an ID photo of him that I remembered seeing in one of his older photos - him as a kid. To its right there were a few choice facts about him that I hadn't known aat the time.
James Sepulveda II
Son of Laverna, Cohort IV
A..cohort? What was that? My fathers hand shook slightly as he held it up to the statues face, and I could see its stone eyes pass over the words quickly. His eyes widened slightly and the statues head trembled a bit.
"Very well. Now, I should give a brief lecture about the rules of New Rome, beginning with-"
"Please." My father interrupted. "My daughter is.....sick. She needs to get inside. I will gladly come back for the lecture if you'll just tell me where the house is."
"I believe it is pertinent that your daughter also hears the rules, as she will be living and later serving here."
A voice tickled in the back of my head. Cough, Julia. Just give him a few coughs, maybe a sneeze for good measure. Look sick.
I obeyed against every cell in my body and let out three jolting coughs before resting my head against my father's chest, letting my mouth hang open theatrically. The stature watched me and sighed, turning toward the stone arch.
"Fine. You will return here and recieve the rules though."
My father nodded and as we passed through the arch, this time without the strange electric field holding us back, sighed. He pocketed the card once again and adjusted me so he could zip his windbreaker as high as it would go, nearly covering his entire mouth.
"Well, well, nice to see you, Jamie!"
My father paused and spun behind us to reveal his mother, this time looking even more radiant than she had in our home. Her hair was crimped or waved neatly in waterfalls down her shoulders and back, and her eyes were kinder. She had a more elegant and regal appearance, a royal purple dress that reached her ankles and a gold sash at her waist.
"What was that about?" Father jammed his thumb toward the entrance, barely a shadow from our position. "I thought this was supposed to be easy."
"They changed the rules, I can't help it." Grandma Laverna shrugged. "I got you your ID though, rest assured. You should have no problem from here on out."
"Mom it's.....okay, listen. Eventually they'll realize I'm not part of the legion. I never had any 'official' training. What happens if we have to go out and fight? What about Julia?" I looked up at my father questionably, at the time not really understanding what he said. Laverna shrugged.
"I'm doing the best I can, junior. I'm not one for all these godly rules either, but I have to follow them."
"You're a goddess, mom! Of course you do!"
"Not by choice, James. Not by choice." Laverna turned suddenly and cringed. In the distance, though us demi-mortals could barely hear, the statue man was yelling something at us.
"Keep it down James, Terminus'll get fussy." My father nodded, confusion on his face, but obliged. "Listen now, you need to go to the building with the blue roof. You'll get some clothes and towels and the basics, but from there on you'll need to get everything else by yourself. They'll give you your address, and the first thing you need to do is make a shrine."
"A...shrine?" Father asked.
"Yeah, to your patron goddess. That's me, in case you didn't know." She smiled suddenly, and it looked very childish from my perspective. "..I...guess they'll give you intructions at the blue house. I'm....I've never been a patron to anyone here, so.." She gave my father a kiss on the cheek and stepped away. "Good luck, James."
"Thanks, Mom." Laverna disappeared and my father and I continued through the bitter winds of New Rome.
04: Be Kind to Thy NeighborEdit
We followed Laverna's advice and arrived at the blue house, where my father was given a real, updated ID card, and I recieved mine. We were given uniform clothing, straps of cloth formed into dresses and pants and shirts depending on the day or weather, and then given the address of our home and some basic necessities.
Our home was conveniently between two other houses with their shrines outside, covered by a sort of tent with flaps that could be rolled down in the event of rain or heavy wind. From our front lawn, as father was unpacking, I tried to get some ideas for our own shrines from theirs.
To our right was a house belonging to the Gray family, so said their stone at the front of the yard. Inside of their little tent structure was a circular ring of shiny white stones with flowers of every color planted between them. In the center, a woven basket that displayed grass and sunflowers growing through the holes in the weaving. I could see several picturs inside as well, a man with dark skin grinning next to an orange-haired woman holding hands together.
To our left was the Schaurs, and theirs was a grand assortment. Eight golden snakes arched and connected to a golden-colored platform, almost like a sidetable. Some sort of vase-like contraption sat atop the table, and over its hole in the top there was a bronze colored plates. Another snake slithered from the table and arched its head to look into the bronze, and I noticed that occasionally coins would pop out of its mouth. There were pictures scattered around the vase, a big woman with short blonde hair kissing a stocky young man, a big woman wearing a purple dress and surrounded by flowers, and most intriguingly, the same woman holding a young boy, only four or five at most, who looked very uncomfortable.
Father decided, after examining them for himself, maybe we should build ours inside as the change of season was coming. I figured he was just too embarrassed to reveal that we were related to the biggest conwoman in the Roman pantheon.
We enrolled in the homeschooling system around our designated neighborhood. The idea was that every morning at 5:30, I and the other kids from our district would travel to Ms. McIntyre's home and take classes from her. Ms. McIntyre was a daughter of Minerva, and that was a fact she'd never let us forget. She'd been skeptical of my heritage too, claiming that it was 'okay to tell her the truth' and that lying would get me nowhere in New Rome. It wasn't until I flashed my ID that she begrudging accepted it.
The other kids were wary of me too. They thought I was a thief, that I would sneak into their houses and take their toys and candy without their knowing, and I was often excluded from a lot of things. Every afternoon I would walk a few paces behind the kids from my neighborhood, and no one cared. It was a lot like my old school, no one bothered me, and in turn I didn't bother them.
Until that one fateful day.
It was a Saturday morning and as part of my duties I was doing maintenance in the yard. Father had just gotten a job and was working twice as hard to provide more for us, and as a member of New Rome it was my duty to keep our house ship shape, as Terminus had passed through to me.
It was November and despite the average Californian weather it was still sweeping a cool wind down the town, so Iwas bundled up in about three small jackets to account for one big one, at least until Father could afford to get me better stuff. I had a small rake and was diverting stray leaves, a gift from a devilish god, into a recycling bag when he came over.
My neighbor to the left, the Schaur kid. He was somewhat stocky, like the man in the pictures on their shrine, with golden hair and green eyes. He was only a year or two older than me, six or seven at most, and I hadn't realized he was on our lawn until he called out to me.
"Girl." I turned to face him and cringed - one of the kids from school.
"Yes?" I asked, trying to sound as polite as possible.
"Where's your altar?" He asked, looking out to my blank expanse of land. I blinked, suddenly embarrassed for my father now, and dropped the rake I was using.
"We....don't have one yet." I answered.
"But you've been here for two months, you need one." He insisted. I shook my head though.
"I know, but we....can't..." I stumbled to find the words and the boy looked increasingly more impatient. He sighed and finally crossed the line between his yard and mine.
"I can ask my mom to help you. Who's your patron?" My breath hitched - I thought everyone knew. Maybe he was just making fun of me? Maybe he was just stupid?I looked down at my gloves, a knit pink, and mumbled softly.
"Who?" He responded.
"Laverna." I said louder this time, with a bit more confidence in my parentage. The boy looked shocked all of a sudden and cocked his head.
"I know that, but who is Laverna? I've never heard of her. Is she your mom?" My chest tensed for some reason - he didn't know who Laverna was. I could easily lie and make myself look better in my neighbor's eyes, finally have a friend for once in my life.
"She's my Grandmother, and she's-" I was interrupted by his door slamming, and the woman from the photos on his lawn came out. She wore a dress of oranges and golds and browns and looked like the sunset itself, her hair neatly braided down her back. Somehow, despite not having sleeves, she didn't seem to realize just how cold it was as she stomped across their yard.
"Rafael Boris Schaur, have you no shame?" She stopped at the dividing line between our yards and crossed her arms. "Did you even ask permission before intruding upon her home, young man?"
My neighbor looked up at her and sighed, his eyes falling downcast. "Sorry, mother."
"Sorry will not do every time, Rafael. You will ask permission before crossing into someone's yard unless it is an emergency, understand?"
"Yes, mother." The woman nodded and suddenly seemed to notice me. Her angered expression softened and she looked more like the woman of the pictures.
"...And you must be our neighbor, yes? It is a pleasure, Miss...?"
"Sepulveda. Julia Sepulveda." I answered, still a bit embarrassed. I braced for the incoming questions about my name.
"...Could you mean like the most deplorable James Sepulveda? Is he your father?"
"Hm. Well, it would have been nice to know that if you'd put your namestone out on your lawn. We wouldn't need to have this discussion."
"Well, you see, Mrs. Schaur-" Before I could finish the woman doubled over and began to laugh! Rafael touched his forehead and groaned softly.
"Look what you did, Julia." He mumbled under his breath. His mother continued laughing, an over-expression to my harmless mistake seemingly.
"Schaur? Oh, that's a real scheme, Julia! Hoo hoo!" She was still laughing though I could hear her various 'ha's and 'hoo's growing further apart. "No, no, dear. I don't comply to your mortal traditions of naming. I am Salus, and that is all."
And that was when I met my first unrelated goddess, and accidentally misnamed her.