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« Reply #435 on: April 16, 2012, 03:03:10 PM »

Hey folks, I had a rough day yesterday - my cat ate a poisonous plant and I was waking up every 3 hours or so last night to get updates from the animal hospital.  I hope to be able to finish the update today.
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« Reply #436 on: April 18, 2012, 03:44:39 AM »

Anno Domini MCLIV
Winter has passed into Spring…
Spring in Rome is awaited with great eagerness, for it is Holy Week leading up to Easter in which the great annual flood of pilgrims pours into the city.  While some are barefoot and penniless penitents, others are wealthy knights and burghers from all over Europe coming to marvel at the churches and relics of Rome and pay through the nose for accommodations, guides, and souvenirs.  In the fields, peasants are clearing ditches, fixing roofs damaged in winter, and planting summer crops like millet in fallow fields.  In the pasturelands, the sheep are shorn before the flocks return to the hills.  After Easter comes the traditional “campaign season,” lasting until late summer when the peasants are needed back on their fields for the harvest.

Our Consuls: Fortis Calafatus and Roberto Basile
Our Pope: Anastasius IV
Our Rage: Simmering

This Season’s Top 5 Popular Issues

1. "The Emperor is coming!  Who will defend us?"
2. "Is it time to mend our fences with the Pope?"
3. "The Senators and their Courts are corrupt."
4. "Down with the Consuls!" "No, down with the Equites!"
5. "Arnold of Brescia is a great man.  We should protect him."

News from Abroad

Peace has come to distant England, where King Stephen has warred with his cousin Empress Matilda and her son Henry of Anjou for the past fifteen years.  The king has agreed to a treaty in which he will reign for the remainder of his natural life, but Henry will succeed him thereafter, passing over Stephen’s own natural son.

The Almohads, a group of fierce and fanatical Moors, have conquered Grenada, the last independent Saracen city in Spain.  Save for the beleagued city of Tunis and a few Sicilian-held African cities, none defy their sovereignty in a great swath of territory from Libya to Spain.

Roger II de Hauteville, King of Sicily, has died peacefully in Palermo at the age of 58 – an unexpected end to the warlike and ambitious Norman king.  He has been succeeded by his only surviving son, William.  The royal chancellor, Maio of Bari, has been promoted by the new king to the post of ammiratus ammiratorum, chief admiral of Sicily; he is now clearly the most powerful man in the kingdom next to the King himself.

News of Latium

The siege of Rocca Sinibalda has been lifted.  With insufficient supplies and little discipline, the Reatini “army” simply melted away into the countryside as winter approached.  The Abbot of Farfa is said to have ordered the bells rung across the churches of the Abbey’s territories in celebration of the “victory” over unrighteous invaders and pillagers.

News of Rome

Rome has been ravaged by floods this December.  Rising waters put whole regiones below water, reaching all the way to the church of Saint Eustace.  Though nobody important cares about the ruined slums along the lower Tiber, damage was also extensive in the “tourist district” of Pontis et Scorteclariorum, with many inns and shops ruined.  Hasty rebuilding has begun to try to effect as much repair as is possible before Holy Week comes.

Thomas Brun, a magister of the Sicilian court and close aide to the late King Roger, has just arrived in Rome.  Rumor has it that he was dismissed from his post by the Sicilian chancellor, Maio of Bari, and desires to visit the sites of pilgrimage before beginning the journey back to his native England later in spring.

Rumor tells that some Romans visiting the tomb of Eugenius III have been miraculously cured of their ailments!  Hundreds of the sick and lame from Rome and the surrounding countryside have flocked to the tomb beneath the Basilica of Saint Peter, hoping that the divine grace of the deceased pope will grant them comfort from their afflictions.

The Roman Senate dissolved in chaos in early December following the decision by Consul Roberto Basile to overturn the verdict against Consul Fortis Calafatus rendered by Senator Domenico DeRosa.  Senators opposed to the consuls and wary of their growing power walked out of the session, joined by a number of noble senators incensed at the treatment of Senator DeRosa.

The senators braced for the inevitable riots, but it seemed the fiery wrath of the Romans was quenched by the merciless waters of December.  The flooding made any significant action on either side’s part impossible, and the riot-prone Roman underclass was far too busy salvaging what remained of their homes and livelihoods to round up the torches and pitchforks.  By the time the Senate began to come back together in February, the rage had dulled; it was a smolder now, less overt but perhaps no less dangerous.

Though the mob had squared off between Calafatus and Pierleone, the division in the Senate had settled into something else, a more fundamental rift between the popolo and the equites.  The nobles, though they had originally defended their peer Calafatus, resented the heavy-handed rule of the mere commoner Roberto Basile and were alienated from Consul Calafatus by his unprecedented support among the popolo and his rumored dealings with Arnold of Brescia.  They now found themselves allied with the non-noble equites, who feared the growing power of the consulship and the willingness of Consul Basile to upend his own courts.  Though outnumbered, the senate equites and their supporters are a substantial faction in the senate, and command far more resources than the bickering tradesmen who make up the rest of the chamber’s ranks.

The justice system of the Curia Senatus, formed only last year, seems to have come to an abrupt end.  The equites in the Senate have refused to sit as judges, and even the supporters of the Consuls have shied away from their duties, seeing in Senator DeRosa’s disgrace the possibility of their own destruction should they be on the receiving end of a similarly divisive complaint.  The Bolognese jurists, fearful for their safety, have returned home.

Expeditions

No expeditions occurred this year.  The small volunteer garrison of Castrum Nerulae has abandoned it, more concerned about the state of their properties in Rome than the fate of some fortified rock.  Whether Farfa or anyone else knows this is unclear.
 
Finances

Treasury: 8 WP
  • Defense Fund: 0 WP

Income: 2 WP
  • Duty, Patrician Pierleone: 1 WP
  • Tribute, Tre Fontane: 1 WP

Expenditures: 1 WP
  • Vigili Upkeep: 1 WP


Senatorial Inquests

Senators that requested information or launched endeavors have the results of their efforts listed here.  This information is private, but you may certainly choose to share it with the Senate.








Hey!

Thank you for your patience with this delayed update.  My cat is fine and says hello, or some feline approximation thereof.  Maps, front page updates, letters, and so on will all come in time.  As usual, let me know if I’ve made a mistake, neglected an order, or explained something insufficiently well!
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 07:19:48 PM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #437 on: April 18, 2012, 04:33:51 AM »

A New Member

The newly reformed Senate has approved the appointment of Senator Romolo Vannetti, a prominent goldsmith and moneylender, to the Lesser Council.  Though the most wholehearted support for his elevation came from the equites, he also enjoyed enough of a backing from the less wealthy senators to secure his election.  Perhaps this was because he is perceived as a man friendly to the popolo – or maybe some of them just owed him money.  Regardless, he now takes a seat as one of Rome's senatores consiliarii.

To Hugo DeVinti

Hugo,

Of course, any friend of yours is a friend of mine.  Do not worry about repaying me; my hospitality has not fallen so far as that!

Giovani de Vinti

To Roberto Basile

Roberto,

I am pleased to hear of your family.  My own son, Eugenius, is nearly twenty-four, and I take great pride in both his intelligence and education.  His Latin is still coming along, but his Arabic is excellent.  He writes poems, in Greek of course, though I do not think that is the direction in which his talent lies.  As I tell him, a man who can speak with all the men of the divan, Norman, Arab, and Greek alike, will be a very useful man indeed, and one with all doors open to him.

By the time your letter reached me, His Majesty was already on his deathbed.  By the time this reaches you I think it very likely that we will have a new king.  Roger was cursed with the death of three sons, but in a way the kingdom was bettered by his misfortune, for with only one remaining son there will be fewer quarrels as to the succession.  Still, his father kept the barons in line with his great force of will, and I do not know if William shares the same qualities.  The man who truly rules now is Maio, a man with great ambition who is detested by the barons.  They will surely pressure William to remove him when he gains the crown, but he is close to King Roger and may not be cast aside so easily by his son.  I fear the smell of unrest is in the air, but I pray that God will protect the reign of the lawful kings and bring all malefactors to ruin.

We know well of the treaty signed at Constance, but matters closer to home take precedence.  It will be useless to oppose the Germans if the king cannot even count on his own vassals.  In time, perhaps, we will turn to face this new threat, but I am sure Prince William spares no thought for faraway Germany at a time such as this.

John of Palermo
« Last Edit: July 28, 2012, 04:02:58 AM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #438 on: April 20, 2012, 02:13:20 AM »

To Senator De Vinti

Senator,

Whatever relations existed between the Romans and the Blessed Eugenius, may God receive him in glory, are of no import to Us or the Pisans.  We trust in God, who alone judges the sins of men, and We see no reason to mar the relations between the great cities of Pisa and Rome due to misunderstandings past.  You need not worry, Senator, that you have given Us any slight or insult.

You are well informed, Senator, for ground has been broken for a grand Baptistry to be raised adjacent to the Duomo dedicated to St. Mary of the Assumption.  We have entrusted this work in praise of the Lord and the risen Christ to Our servant magister Diotisalvi, our most accomplished architect.  We have no doubts as to your talent, Senator, but it will take generations for this holy work to be completed, and the time for fine sculpture has not yet come.  Regarding the marble, the magister informs Us that all that we require is already available to Us.  He informs Us that the stone our merchants bring Us is of the very highest quality, and that We need not bother with the solicitation of other offers, the cost being most excellent indeed.

In Faith,
His Excellency Villano Gaetani, Archbishop of Pisa, Primate of Corsica and Sardinia

Population Report

Continuing political uncertainty and the recent floods discouraged many Roman refugees from returning to the city this year.  Rome's population did increase slightly, but the gain was restricted to the lowest class of Romans.  The turmoil in the countryside due to war and economic upheaval has forced some destitute villagers and peasant families of the contado to try their fortunes in the city.  With the damage to shops and businesses caused by the recent floods, the roll of citizens - those who can actually afford to arm themselves as pedites - actually decreased slightly.

Population: 28,000
  • Equites: 400 [Citizens and nobles of households wealthy enough to bring a warhorse to the militia muster]
  • Popolo Grasso: 8,200 (-300) [Citizens of households wealthy enough to provide for a pedes, or infantryman, in the militia muster]
  • Popolo Minuto: 18,500 (+900) [Common subjects without political power]
  • Ebreo: 300 [Jews, exempt from military service]

Due Date

Orders for this turn are due Wednesday, April 25.  As usual, if you won't be able to make this deadline, let me know and we'll see if the date needs to be pushed back.  My objective is to get at least two turns done before the 7th of May, when I will be out of town for a week.

My map tells me that I still need estate locations from Llum, Light Dragon, and Turin.  If you have already given me this information and I missed it or forgot about it, I apologize profusely!
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« Reply #439 on: April 20, 2012, 01:57:05 PM »

To the Senate

Friends, countrymen, senators I think we can all agree that emotions were running high when last we met. Regardless how we feel, regardless of which side of the line you stood on, much work has yet to be completed and completed quite quickly it must be. The masses have suffered greatly this season. Their homes and shacks were washed away, their possessions destroyed by the floods. First and foremost, we must drain the city streets of water. This will appease the poppolo and it will help prevent Marsh Fever (Malaria), which could bring ruin to large swathes of the city. We must also create large cisterns of safe water, so that we will always have clean water for use during emergencies. To this end, I will be donating a modest sum of money to begin the process of establishing several large cisterns across the city.

Finally, we must discuss and vote on the establishment of the Magna Curia.
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« Reply #440 on: April 20, 2012, 05:33:14 PM »

To the Senate

*nods as a greeting*

Fellow Senators, I am ashamed that some within our ranks would await such catastrophes as the one Rome has suffered during the past season to come to their senses and finally endeavor to helping its worthy people. Prevention is usually a much safer avenue, and I convey to you all my wish that, in the future, all leaders of Rome and its honorable people may act as one in the furthering of its prosperity and security.

Yes, granaries and cisterns are indeed good assets to have. I recall it had been mentioned in the past, here in the Senate I believe, but remember only vaguely. Pleasing it is to see some are making headway into this matter.

It's true that this winter's natural mishaps need to be remedied to, lest we want an angry mob at our door demanding we do something about it with torches, forks and whatnot. I will personally be involved in this matter, but before I make empty promises I'll consult with knowledgeable folks first and listen to what the Senate has to say.

*pauses briefly*

I agree that a discussion about our judicial system is in order. I would like to stress that patience and tolerance would indeed help the process very much. We wouldn't want a... situation on our hands again now would we?

I will voice my opinion on other subjects in the near future.

*bows politely and sits down*
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« Reply #441 on: April 20, 2012, 10:44:07 PM »

Hi Polycarp- I gave a location for an estate a page or two back, and I also sent a PM yesterday.
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« Reply #442 on: April 21, 2012, 01:34:24 AM »

Got it!

To Senator Manzinni

Senator,

Allow to me to express my thanks for your assistance in rectifying some of the damage done to our city by the recent floods.

I have learned recently that your family has been acquiring a great deal of land in Ripe et Marmorate.  Of course, your business is your own, but I thought I would inquire as to your plans for this part of Rome.  If it is a commercial venture of some manner, perhaps we - being neighbors of a sort - might be able to collaborate.  I have been looking for a project worth investing in that would benefit our citizens after the recent unfortunate affairs.  Perhaps you have a suggestion?

Patrician Giordano Pierleone

Edit: I revamped the coats of arms on the "great families of Rome" post on the first page, and added a new one for the Tusculani.  The heraldry now ranges from historically accurate (Frangipani, Colonna) to questionable (Tusculani) to almost baseless (Pierleoni).
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 01:45:48 AM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #443 on: April 22, 2012, 07:01:43 PM »

To Pierleone

Dear Patrician Pierleone,

Thank you greatly for your interest in my business dealings. My investments certainly are directed towards a commercial venture. I have been working with Senator DeRosa on developing certain locations. I would enjoy seeing your involvement in the venture as well. One issue that gives me pause in an overt involvement, however, is that Senator DeRosa presided over your trial and there could be additional controversy were all three of us to unite in a commercial venture in such a connected manner.

But- there is the chance that we can collaborate in a less direct fashion. The Senator and myself see Rome as being sadly shy of its once great glory. We spoke and determined that Rome could grow great again by developing certain resources. One method would be by establishing the city as a trade hub, but the cost in dredging the waters is too great. The city could acquire an ally on the seashore, but it is difficult to hold land or alliances. Therefore, we set upon a different idea.

Many citizens of our fair city are out of work. Others have been forced from their land by ruthless Senators (referring to Arrigus' seizure of sheep land). With the Cardinals absent, the masons and carpenters are out of work. DeRosa and I would like to put Rome's people to work on great projects that can multiply all of Rome's wealth.

Rome should become a trade hub as it was in the past. If the routes of sea are closed, then the routes of land are open. Rome is at a crossroads between the Holy Roman Empire and Sicily. If the city remains stable, we can attract tradesmen and residents to live here and to contribute to the production of goods to both locations. Before people will move- they require stability and housing, so we have focused on those goals.

If you would like to assist, it would be appreciated if you could use your resources to assist with the acquisition of raw materials. Rome's leathermakers require cattle, Rome's glassblowers require sand, Rome's blacksmiths require ore.

On a related matter, I share your concern about the Emperor's imminent arrival and I too would welcome rapproachement with the new Papacy if it were possible. It is a pity that the Papacy and Arnold cannot come to an agreement. It seems that without the Papacy in Rome's embrace, the Emperor will strike down the city's leaders in shame and introduce unrest and uncertainty. But it will not do for Rome to scrape and grovel before the Pope. The best investment that can help Rome and its people for the future is an investment in security- in protection before the armies march South.

Once again, I thank you for your interest in this project and in our Great City.

~Senator Vittorio Manzinni

Out of Character

-Rent out the Ripe et Marmote land to Pilgrims for holy week. (1 wealth spent to fix up the residences before and after)
-1 wealth on the pilgrim guides and updates this year.
-Sell half of the grain that I have in storage for market price (hopefully this nets 1 wealth- if it wouldnt; then don't sell anything) (e.g. all of the grain would be 2 wealth).
-1 wealth on ship to Sicily to acquire more grain and to find out the political situation in Sicily-who's in charge, their feelings toward Frederick and Rome, etc.

Also a question- last turn did Fortis get the 1 wealth gift I gave him?
« Last Edit: April 22, 2012, 07:10:36 PM by Light Dragon » Logged


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« Reply #444 on: April 23, 2012, 09:48:51 PM »

At the Lesser Council

Senatores consiliarii,
I am worried about Rome current state of affairs. Though winter has shaken the Eternal City considerably, my main concern lies in the state of the law. Division among the ruling class of Rome when there is nothing to uphold the law and keep order is dangerous, to say the least. We must embrace unity once again and mend the wounds of our humble Republic.

Personally, I am of the opinion that the judicial system worked, though it is true that the formation of a higher court, a Court of Last Resort, would be in our best interest to avoid such conflicts as the one of the past two seasons. I propose that up to five judges be appointed to this grand court by the senatores consiliarii. This Court of Last Resort. I am eager to discuss this matter with my fellow consiliarii.

Letter to Consul Fortis Calafatus

Calafatus,
I am pleased to see you back into office and I wish to congratulate you. It is shameful to say, I know, but this flood might just have saved Rome, in the end. With yourself back in the fray, we can crush the dissent and continue on our expeditions outside our beloved city.

During the winter I formed a force of a hundred men. I am rethinking its size, but that is not the thing I mean to discuss with you, exactly. You also have men, but above that you have military knowledge. Having men is all well and good, but they aren’t worth anything if they can’t succeed in future ventures. I propose we hold joint training sessions to form loyal elites that would help organize the large forces we bring, or I should say you bring, in our expeditions. Not only do I propose we train them into martial arts and military doctrines, but that we hold classes on military strategies.

Indeed, many a good idea could spark from these classes. Many of which could be used in future ventures. Rome has enemies scattered all around Italy and even beyond. We would do well to prepare for these threats.

I will wait for an answer as to your interest in this matter before going into more details, but let it be said that we would surely benefit from this, and it would cost next to nothing.

On another matter, this one of Domenico DeRosa, I think such men have not a place among the senatores consiliarii. What say you? Would you approve of his continued presence at the Lesser Council?

Sincerely,
Senator Hugo de Vinti

Letter to Consul Roberto Basile

Consul Basile,
I foresee the Senate will not last long under such tensions. I wanted to ask of your intentions concerning this matter.

I think we should solidify our hold on the Justinian Law by creating a Court of Last Resort, or Grand Court. It would be a court invoked by any of the Consuls, and in which seats five judges nominated by the senatores consiliarii. Also, this would surely calm the fires of the DeRosa movement in the Senate.

With respect,
Senator Hugo de Vinti

Letter to Archbishop of Pisa

Your Excellency Villano Gaetani the Archbishop of Pisa,
I hope this letter finds you in good health.
   
I have sent a letter to this magister Diotisalvi, concerning the Baptistry of the Pisan Cathedral, but I felt you should be noticed of my interest in fostering good relations between our fair cities.

Also, I trust you have heard about the happenings at the Basilica of St.Peter, here in Rome? A testimony of how Eugenius loves the Roman people, even after his passing. Such compassion will never be forgotten.

Sincerely,
Senator Hugo de Vinti of the Republic of Rome

Letter to Magister Diotisalvi

Esteemed Magister Diotisalvi,
I hope this letter finds you in good health.

I have been informed, by the Archbishop of Pisa, Villano Gaetani himself, of your involvement in the edification of the Baptistry of the Pisan Cathedral. As the architect responsible for the construction of this grand cathedral, you shoulder much burden. The Romans would like to help in this matter, if you wish.

I have heard you had everything already planned out, but also that this work will take generations to complete.

I could be in a position to present you with a better deal if I would be given a list of the materials that you need, and the estimated quantity for each, as well as the planned decorations and sculptures. There are many capable marble workers here in Rome, a lot of who are greatly talented, and that are now seeking honorable work.

Time not need be an issue, when additional manpower and materials can be provided.

In Good Faith,
Senator Hugo de Vinti of the Republic of Rome

Spring, 8th Turn

- Reduce the small force assembled last season to 50 men. They will remain Heavy Infantry units, but the upkeep will be reduced to 1 WP a season. [Keep the best 50, picked for built, athletics, awareness and wit]
- Order rigorous training schedules for the 50 recruited men. [Physical exercises, athletics and musculation; sparring and military indoctrination; formations and ranks]

- Assemble a task force who understands my directives and the tactics explained in the De Re Rustica to drain the waters first in Pontis et Scorteclariorum, but then in the most touched places in Rome. [Spend no more than 1 WP on this]

Harvest Season

Make sure there is enough good quality equipment at all times to optimize production and gains. [Invest 1 WP in Flax Industry]
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 07:22:10 PM by Pymtein Magnushake » Logged


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« Reply #445 on: April 24, 2012, 03:00:15 AM »

Quote

Also a question- last turn did Fortis get the 1 wealth gift I gave him?

He did.

To Senator Manzinni

Senator,

I do not believe I can directly obtain such commodities for you, as my resources are largely confined to Rome.  My foreign contacts are not great, save for a few among the Pisans, who I maintain a correspondence with through their quarter at Civitavecchia.  I am, however, willing to consider giving financial backing to any projects to enhance Roman prosperity that sound promising.

Patrician Giordano Pierleone
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« Reply #446 on: April 24, 2012, 08:50:44 PM »

In the Senate

Esteemed senatores,

It is good to see everyone back in the Senate. Let this be a sign of more peaceful and prosperous times to come!

It is delightful to hear that many of our most noble senatores are already selflessly promoting the restoration of our grand city after the recent floods. I shall contribute by having some of my newly hired apprentices help restore ornaments on Rome's public buildings free of charge.

Like others before me, I would encourage the establishment of a stronger judicial system. Forgive me for being pragmatic, but I believe such a system needs to have real power to back up its authority, if problems similar to those we have had are to be avoided in the future. Perhaps a balanced council of wise and prominent senatores could serve this role?
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"Then shall the last battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day Tulkas shall strive with Melko, and on his right shall stand Fionwe and on his left Turin Turambar, son of Hurin, Conqueror of Fate; and it shall be the black sword of Turin that deals unto Melko his death and final end; and so shall the Children of Hurin and all men be avenged." - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Shaping of Middle-Earth

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« Reply #447 on: April 24, 2012, 11:30:05 PM »

Orders


- Send a commission of learned men out to scout for the best locations to establish large cisterns. Have them find out how much each cistern would cost, both individually and as a whole. Acquire the land for a cistern nearest my grandest hostel.
- Send learned men out to scout out a location on which to build a very large, very expensive, very beautiful cathedral-like church within the city of Rome*.
- Send learned men out to find suitable locations to found a university.
- Send men out to assess the prices of books, as well as the state of the Book and Manuscript Making industry in Rome. Inquire as to what materials would be needed to create a large book and manuscript manufacturing industry.**
-  Send a person to Morocco and find out the Islamic techniques for manufacturing books (specifically Marrakech). If my character would not know this, then send a man out to find out where books/manuscripts are created in large quantities first, perhaps someone in Venice or Genoa would know of such techniques. 


*Obviously a Cathedral  requires a Bishop but I want to scout out a location to build a church that is as large and as grand as a Cathedral.
** Large for the 14th century
« Last Edit: April 26, 2012, 12:36:15 AM by Elemental_Elf » Logged

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« Reply #448 on: April 25, 2012, 07:44:40 PM »

Just a little more than 4 hours to go!
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« Reply #449 on: April 25, 2012, 09:12:09 PM »

Orders for Spring 1154

Attempt to increase investment in moneylending (spend up to 5 WP on this):
  • Offer loans at cheap rates to those needing to rebuild after the floods.
  • At a small fee, offer to give out letters of credit rather than actual money to those who wish to loan money. The promise of credit on the letters is indefinite, so as long as one is in Rome there is in principle no need to cash them.
Help restore some of Rome's ornamental metalwork at no fee through apprentices, making sure that the name of my smithee is being promoted by doing so (use newly acquired apprentices for this [see last turn]; spend up to 1 WP on materials if needed).
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 09:15:09 PM by Túrin » Logged

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"Then shall the last battle be gathered on the fields of Valinor. In that day Tulkas shall strive with Melko, and on his right shall stand Fionwe and on his left Turin Turambar, son of Hurin, Conqueror of Fate; and it shall be the black sword of Turin that deals unto Melko his death and final end; and so shall the Children of Hurin and all men be avenged." - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Shaping of Middle-Earth

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