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Author Topic: The Republic Reborn  (Read 187352 times)
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« Reply #1560 on: November 08, 2013, 11:59:20 PM »

Speech on the Senate stairs after DaVinti

We all welcome that Senator DaVinti has agreed to join myself and others in distributing grain to the people. Last season, I distributed 1 WP of grain and this season I will distribute [4]+2WP (contingent upon exactly what grain[4] means), all the grain I can acquire and I am emptying all larders I have.

It is a pity that the Senator DaVinti wished not only to not have our Council act to intervene to save Senator Borsarius from his imprisonment, but he actively counseled kicking him out from the Inner Council. Senator Borsarius, the friend of the popolo, Senator Borsarius, the distributor of grain, Senator Borsarius, who always went the extra league to secure grain for the people; Senator Borsarius, the humanitarian and my good friend, in whom I had trust and whom I respected. People, let us mourn Senator Borsarius, who Senator DaVinti despises and who, if he was here, would have been able to secure even more grain for the people- but let us thank Senator DaVinti for his largess in relenting and contributing to the people's health, nonetheless, for even ill-mannered people can do good deeds.

So people, you have no doubt heard my admonition to the Senate, the Senate will ensure that all who have at least 1 WP of grain to orderly distribute it. If there is riot, there will be no distribution that day. So, if you fear that someone is holding back grain, come to your Senator, and the Senate will conduct an investigation- if there is riot instead, then the food will be lost- it will be spoiled; But! The city will thrive if there is order- then our pilgrimage season will be great and all will be full in their bellies. If there is order, we will have prosperity. The Senate is bringing you grain and the Senate is bringing you order.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2013, 12:01:16 AM by Light Dragon » Logged


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« Reply #1561 on: November 09, 2013, 12:10:33 AM »

Orders

-Spend any spare money gained or left over (after paying my armsmen) on repairs, focusing first on the land rented by Sismondii then my own enterprises.
-Give out the extra bread from my bakeries to the poor, have 50 of my heavy armsmen to be around when the hands out happen. They are to stop any rioting with extreme prejudice
-Bring my remaining 100 men and masnada to Monte Brittorium and check it out.
-If farfa instigates trouble with me, begin raiding their lands. If they leave me alone I will also leave them alone
-If farfa leaves me alone, raid to the south of Monte Brittorium, in the northern Tivoli lands, but stay  extremely safe. Focus on stealing grain and shipping it back to Rome.
-Send multiple agents to Tivoli, they are to begin forming sleeper cells and building a network of spies, informants and traitors within the walls of Tivoli.
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« Reply #1562 on: February 19, 2014, 02:54:28 AM »

Anno Domini MCLIX
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: Vittorio Manzinni and Roberto Basile
Our Pope: Adrian IV
Our Prefect: Antonio Demetri della Suburra
Our Rage: Seething [4]

This Season’s Top 5 Popular Issues

1. “Barbarossa is coming… will he be a tyrant or a liberator?”
2. “Down with the Prefect and all the hoarders!”
3. “Bread is too expensive!”
4. “Surely we would have starved without Manzinni and Capocci.”
5. “It is time to restore justice in Rome.”

News from Abroad

News reached Rome early in the season that Baldwin III, King of Jerusalem, has married Theodora Komnene, the niece of the Greek Emperor Manuel Komnenos, linking the eastern empire and the crusader kingdom in a marital alliance.  Many are hopeful that this development will help to secure Jerusalem against its foes, particularly Nur ad-Din Zengi, the Seljuk governor of Syria.

Otto von Babenburg, Bishop of Freising, son of the late Margrave Leopold III of Austria, has died at Morimond Abbey in Burgundy.  Otto, a close associate of Friedrich von Hohenstaufen and veteran of the Second Crusade, was widely respected for his diplomatic skill and his writings on ecclesiastical and secular history.  He was in the process of writing a history of the emperor himself, entitled Gesta Friderici imperatoris (Deeds of Emperor Frederick), and this duty has now been taken on by his disciple Rahewin.

News of Italy

Following the Diet of Roncaglia, Emperor Friedrich von Hohenstaufen dispatched representatives throughout Lombardy to enforce his pronouncements.  These officials carried out their orders to establish a podesta, chosen by the emperor, in every great city of Lombardy, and to supervise the election of consuls in those cities, over whom the emperor has claimed the right of nomination.  To some cities which supported the emperor in his campaigns, like Lodi, Como, and Pavia, he has given assurances that he will only nominate their leaders from among their own citizens, but the other cities he has of Lombardy has generally nominated foreigners, typically Italian noblemen with imperial sympathies.  Other officials have traveled through Lombardy and Tuscany to collect the fodrum tax and assess the proper tribute to be paid for the imperial regalia in Italy.  It is said that the emperor’s own clerks have estimated that the Imperial regalia claimed at Roncaglia – not including the fodrum – theoretically amounts to an income of 30,000 marks of silver per year; for some perspective, the annual ordinary revenue of the King of the French is estimated to be only 20,000 marks.

Although the emperor released his allied Italian troops from service and several other foreign contingents began their journey home, he still possesses a considerable German force in Italy.  This party moved west from Roncaglia, first to Monza, a town near Turin that had long been a vassal of Milan.  The emperor pronounced the freedom of Monza and claimed it as the sole property of the emperor, on the grounds that Monza, though of little importance now, was once the capital of the Kings of Italy (indeed, its cathedral still holds the Iron Crown of Lombardy).  The emperor’s party then traveled to the Piedmontese city of Alba, where they spent Christmastide.

The emperor’s rest, however, was interrupted by the intransigence of the maritime communes.  The emperor had issued a proclamation at Monza that the islands of Corsica and Sardinia were imperial property, on the basis that they had once been possessed by the Roman emperors of old, and had sent representatives to Genoa and Pisa to make good on these claims and collect the fodrum as well.  When the delegates sent to Genoa returned, however – it was closer, and thus they returned first – they reported that the Genoese had refused them entry and were hurriedly building up the fortifications of their city.  The emperor gathered his troops and marched on the city at once, but the confrontation there did not end in battle.  In a conference between the emperor and the Genoese consuls, the consuls claimed a grant of independence dating back to the time of Emperor Heinrich the Saint, and furthermore argued that their services to Christendom – keeping the shores safe from Saracen pirates and supporting the Knights of Christ in the Holy Land – were tribute enough to the universal empire.  After some debate, the emperor agreed to accept their privileged status and future immunity to imperial levy or taxation in exchange for twelve thousand marks of silver.  It is unclear whether a similar agreement has yet been offered to the Pisans, who control over Corsica directly and Sardinia through native vassal rulers, the giudicati.

Yet even as conflict was avoided between Barbarossa and Genoa, it erupted in Lombardy, where the emperor’s demands on the reluctant communes proved too much to bear.  The emperor had dispatched Rainald von Dassel, Chancellor of the Empire (and recently-appointed Archbishop of Cologne), and Otto von Wittelsbach, the Imperial Marshal, to fulfill the terms of the treaty with Milan and oversee the installation of an imperial podesta.  No sooner had they arrived and begun their task, however, than the house they were staying at was surrounded by an angry mob, and the two men were barely able to escape the city with their lives.  The city of Crema, a Milanese ally, also rose in rebellion against imperial officials upon being told that the emperor had ordered the destruction of their city’s defenses while those of their neighboring rival Cremona were to remain intact.

The news has undoubtedly reached the emperor by now, but the response of “Barbarossa” to this fresh defiance is not yet known.

News of Latium

The people of Bagnarea, less than ten miles south of Orvieto, have risen in revolt!  Bagnarea was granted years ago by the Pope to the Monaldeschi, a powerful Orvieti family, but they have been accused of misrule and corruption by the local population.  Pandolfo Monaldeschi and his retainers were forced to flee the city, and the people of Bagnarea have unilaterally proclaimed themselves to be a free and independent commune.  They have reportedly appealed to the His Holiness the Pope, Adrian IV, to recognize their independence.  Considering that it was the Church that originally granted the town to the Monaldesci and that the Curia is currently residing in Orvieto, however, His Holiness may not be quick to grant this request.  It is unclear at this point if the commune of Orvieto will intervene – the rivals of the Monaldesci in that city may be perfectly happy to see them ejected from their fief – but the Monaldesci themselves are a family of no small fortune or power, and will likely contest this brash act.

Word has reached Rome that emissaries of Pisa have arranged with the Papal Curia to purchase a quarter-share of the town of Gregoriopolis, ostensibly as a “trading colony,” and have received the right to post a garrison there.  Those familiar with developments in Rome have conjectured that the move may be a response to recent Genoese activity in the Tiber estuary, and perhaps a means to consolidate their control over Gregoriopolis itself, which the Pisans have for several years been using as a source of marble for their grand projects.

The engagement between Oddone Colonna, Lord of Palestrina, Castrum Colonna, and Tusculum, Vexillifer Ecclesiae, to Margherita de Savelli, daughter of Giovanni de Savelli and cousin of the late Aimeric de Savelli, has been called off.  Aimeric, who was killed in battle with the Romans last year, was apparently instrumental to the arrangement, and without him the prospective alliance between these two houses has dissolved.  Some whisper that the split has been the cause of much acrimony between the Colonna and Savelli clans.  Noblemen with unwed daughters are surely rejoicing, for the most eligible bachelor in Latium is apparently eligible once more.

News of Rome

The valley of the Tiber has been deluged by nearly continuous rains this season.  While the sudden storms that created flash floods in recent years did not occur, the sheer volume of the rain throughout the season led to slow-rising flooding throughout the lower estuary and in the city of Rome itself.  Arenule et Caccabariorum was largely underwater again, as were parts of Pontis et Scorteclariorum and S. Angeli in Foro Piscium.  Reported deaths were low but the damage to homes, workshops, and churches in these areas has been considerable.  Grape growers gave thanks to God that the rain did not start a month or two earlier, as that would certainly have ruined the harvest.  As it stands, these winter rains may well benefit crops in the coming year, though many fields in the south were left fallow this season because of the recent fighting.

The food crisis this winter was largely addressed by two parties – Senator Vittorio Manzinni and eques Niccolo Capocci, who in early December released large amounts of grain into the Roman markets.  Manzinni’s grain was given away at public locations and churches; Capocci’s grain was for sale, but at pre-famine prices.  While distributing free grain is not an unusual act for a prominent senator, as men like Barzalomeus Borsarius have demonstrated in the past, Capocci’s action was unexpected, creating conjecture that he was attempting to parlay his new citizenship into power, or had been pressured by the Senate or other agents.  While distribution in the past had often played into the hands of speculators, the sheer amount of grain distributed without warning apparently caught many off guard.  Those who had been hoarding grain or charging fantastic sums suddenly disgorged their holdings and cut their prices, afraid that they would be totally undermined if Capocci’s and Manzinni’s supplies were sufficient to stem the crisis.  Certainly nobody cried for the speculators, but the sudden glut of supply also cut the legs out from under a number of local peasants and cattani who had been counting on higher grain prices this winter to compensate them for losses and fallow fields caused by Tusculani pillaging.

The rains were so persistent that they seemed to dampen even Roman belligerency, but there were some flare-ups.  Farmers selling grain in Trastevere, enraged that the cheap and free grain had destroyed their profits, rioted and seized a wagon of flour that was crossing the bridge into Trastevere, but Pierleonist armsmen managed to disperse them and recover the flour with only two deaths from among the peasants.  Fights were reported in some distribution areas but most of them were not serious until an incident on the 16th of December.

On that day, crowds converged on a convoy of grain-carts guarded by Capocci armsmen in Columne et S. Marie in Aquiro, within a stone’s throw of Senator Calafatus’s villa.  A fight erupted between Capocci’s men and another squad of armed men belonging to the Prefect of the City, Antonio Demetri della Suburra.  The fight directly led to half a dozen deaths, and at least 30 more deaths caused by trampling when the crowd fled in a panic.  The prefect later claimed that Capocci had been selling grain illegally taken from ecclesiastical lands and that his men had attacked the prefect’s troops when they attempted to seize the contraband; Capocci struck back, saying that none of his grain was illegally taken, the prefect’s troops had attacked first without warning, and that the prefect was merely attempting to disrupt grain distribution to protect his own profits, as the prefect himself was hoarding grain.  Capocci demanded compensation for the grain seized and his men who had died; the Prefect released some seized grain to the Senate for distribution, but refused compensation to Signore Capocci, and has ordered him banned from the city.  Niccolo Capocci has sworn not to allow this “injustice” to stand, but there have been no more major incidents since, perhaps because of the ongoing poor weather.

While bread prices remain high and hunger is more prevalent than usual among many poor Romans, an acute famine has been averted.  The Roman contado, however, is still troubled – though some of the displaced peasants have returned to their lands, last year’s raiding disrupted the planting season.  Many will have very little to harvest this summer, leaving them destitute and potentially increasing grain prices further, which is likely to have an impact on the city as well.

Only a few days ago, a small party of Lombard knights arrived at the city gates bearing a banner of the Hohenstaufen eagle.  They were led by Guido III di Biandrate, Count of Biandrate, who announced he had come to Rome as an emissary of the emperor.  He was accompanied by senator Barzalomeus Borsarius, who has been unconditionally freed by order of the emperor.  Count Guido (no relation to the late “Count of Tuscany” Guido Guerra) is a Lombard nobleman who is known as a personal friend of the emperor; the two of them fought together in the Holy Land when Friedrich von Hohenstaufen was merely the Duke of Swabia, and the newly crowned emperor rewarded his friend with the territories of Novara, Asti, and Chieri.  He was also an honorary captain of the Milanese militia, however, and was the chief mediator between the emperor and Milan during last year’s hostilities.  Rumor has it that he convinced the Milanese to come to terms – and convinced the emperor to spare the city.  While that accomplishment may be eclipsed by the renewed rebellion of Milan against imperial authority, he remains one of the few close allies of the emperor who is somewhat respected by the Lombards – perhaps why he was chosen for a mission to Rome.

Special Events


Finances

Treasury: 3 WP

State Projects:
None

Income: 2 WP
  • Duty, Patrician Pierleone: 1 WP
  • Papal Stipend: 1 WP

Expenditures: 0 WP
  • Mint Fee: 1 WP (Spring Only)


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.







It Lives!

RR is back.  As RR has been gone for a while, I expect that I've missed some things.  Please review and let me know!

As of writing this, letters and maps are still in progress.
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« Reply #1563 on: February 19, 2014, 04:20:46 AM »

A delegate from Perugia is received by the Lesser Council

Honored Senators, I bring word from your loyal friends in Perugia.  My lord camerarius, Ildebrando Ferrante, foremost of the consuls, wishes to express his friendly concern for the strident stance that Rome is said to have taken at the recent Imperial Diet.  He apologizes if he is misinformed, as Perugia itself was not invited to send a delegation to that august assembly.  My lord advises the wise leaders of Rome, in his capacity as an ally of Rome, that if war breaks out between the Emperor and the Sicilians again as many knowledgeable men suspect shall happen, both of our cities may well be on his path southward.  My lord feels it is an unnecessary risk to antagonize a man at the head of a powerful army who may imminently be casting his shadow beneath our walls or yours, least of all if he is also the emperor.  He urges great caution in this matter and prays for a reconciliation.

The consuls of Perugia are pleased to report that Perugia’s war against the perfidious blackguards of Arezzo has progressed well in the previous year.  A number of that contemptible city’s noblemen were captured by our brave militia in a skirmish this past autumn, including the son of one of their consuls.  The consuls of Perugia express their confidence that these artless poltroons will be compelled to sue for peace in the coming year as they face the further reduction of their lands.

Spoken to the consiliarii by Count Guido di Biandrate

Senators, I offer my apologies for the temporary indisposition of Senator Borsarius.  Naturally he was treated in a manner befitting his station as a guest of the emperor by the emperor’s loyal vassals.  I would hope that this inconvenience will not be held against His August Majesty by the Romans.  In truth, he loves those who love him, and turns away from all those who do not.  Our emperor is a true Christian, but he has perhaps not fully mastered the injunction of Christ to mankind to love one’s enemy.


Speech of Count Guido di Biandrate to the Senate of the Romans

Senators!  I am honored to be in Rome and among the elect of the Roman people.  I stand where in ancient times, the Emperors were acclaimed by the Senate, and the great lawgivers expounded the codes which even now bear their name.  It is those same laws, perfected by God’s law, which have been bequeathed to us by Justinian; the genius of the Romans has built the edifice upon which the Empire rests.

It is in fact in the furtherance and restoration of this law which our Emperor has come to Italy.  You know well the abuses that have been heaped upon honest subjects in these times.  The roads are seized by thieves and bandits, and pilgrims and merchants are subjected to cruelty and violence.  Men conspire against their neighbors, seeking to reduce them to subjection and slavery in defiance of their lawful rights.  Even our mother Church has not been wholly removed from these abuses; lords of the church, believing themselves responsible to no-one, have acted as petty princes and held the swords of condemnation and interdict over the necks of the people, who are persecuted not for their errors but for their wish to be free from extortion and subjugation.  Italy cries for the restoration of justice and peace!

Some have attempted to present an image to you of the Empire and the Church in breach with one another, with the emperor seeking to assert new authority over the Church.  This could not be further from the truth.  His August Majesty honors the Throne of Saint Peter and acknowledges no other before him in the ministry of Christ.  It is the obligation of imperial arms to preserve, advance, and protect the Holy Church.  It is not the emperor who has caused whatever friction and doubt now exists, but those within the Church who have sown seeds of discord and sought to turn God’s order on its head.

Let us remember that the blessed Gelasius, Bishop of Rome, said thus to the Emperor, that there are two powers by which the world is ruled – the sacred authority of the Church, and the royal power – and that to each certain things are relegated; dominion over souls to the Church, and dominion over earthly things to the Empire.  These malefactors would declare instead that the Church ought to rule over the Empire and all therein, in defiance of tradition and rejection of the laws of men and God.

His August Majesty is titled Roman Emperor; and indeed the true capital of the emperor must ever be Rome, Queen of Cities.  So it is written on the imperial seal, that Roma caput mundi tenet orbis frena rotundi.*  No city holds a higher place on earth than this, and the emperor has not forgotten the entreaties of the Romans that their freedom should be preserved and respected and their ancient dignity should be upheld against all usurpations.  Indeed, Rome is the rightful seat of Saint Peter’s heir, but so too is this the Rome of Constantine, and His August Majesty would not see it oppressed or bound by the outrageous lies of those who deny the true and just words of Peter and Gelasius.

My voice is not the only one you have heard, nor shall it be the last one you hear on this matter.  There are hypocrites who cry of civic freedom when their own communes have reduced others to slavery, and those who speak of the dignity of the Church while they pollute it with vain and ungodly fantasies of temporal dominion.  The emperor stands for law; when he came to Italy, he did not come with foreign tradition nor tyrannical dictates to force upon the people.  Rather, he summoned the lawyers of Bologna, whom he asked to enlighten him of the proper rights and regalia of his office that they might be restored – not innovated, not created, but restored.  The empire is law, senators, and shall be a bulwark against all those who seek to corrupt and subvert it.

The claim of these corrupt churchmen to boundless authority over Rome is false, cruel, and deceptive: false, because if the Roman Emperor is sovereign over anything, then he is surely sovereign of Rome; cruel, because to shackle this city to those unnatural bonds frustrates and humiliates its people; deceptive, because in truth these corrupt churchmen seek plunder rather than godliness, and create these evil innovations to extort from the Roman people.  At stake is both the dignity of the emperor and the dignity of Rome – of this city, of its ancient traditions, and of its people, who know well the oppression which I refer to, far better than I.

The very name of our emperor means “peaceful rule,” and it is a reign of peace which shall be inaugurated over Lombardy.  The war and rebellion which threatens in the north is the work of enemies of law, enemies of peace, and enemies of Rome.  His August Majesty wishes the Romans to stand with him; he would have Rome and the Emperor joined by love and honor, not suspicion and fear.  He takes up the sword reluctantly, but his hand does not waver, for he takes it up for your liberty and dignity.  The victory of the emperor is the victory of Rome!

*Literally “Rome, head of the world, holds the reins of earth’s round orb.”

Arnold of Brescia addresses a crowd gathered around the portico of Santa Maria Rotonda ("The Pantheon")

The Cardinals speak of the succession of the apostles, from the companions of Christ to every Pope since; the commands Christ gave to Peter, they will say, echo down to Saint Peter's noble heir today.  Do not mistake me; I do not doubt that their words are true!  Our Holy Father, our Vicar of Christ, is indeed an apostolic successor.  But I charge any honest man, any faithful Christian who heeds the Word of God and loves Christ and honors the Virgin Mother, to look upon that apostolic throne and tell me what apostle sits there now.  Ask the cardinals which of the apostles of Christ it was that raised arches of gilt and silver; that girded themselves with armor and rode a horse into battle; that sent tax collectors to rove over their great estates; that made men bow and scrape before them, demanding bribes from all who approached.

The betrayer of Christ sold him for a handful of silver.  But a handful!  Surely the cardinals must scoff at so small a man as Judas, for the price they have extracted for Christ is more vast than a simple man may imagine - silver and gold and luxuries to fill a fleet of ships.  They sell his sacraments and his grace, his salvation and his promise of eternal life; they set up a marketplace in every cathedral in which Christ is bartered away.  He is for sale in the halls of the Curia and in the palaces of the bishops.  I tell you, they are deceivers, and you are the deceived if you believe that the promise of salvation given by such charlatans, these successors of Judas, is genuine - for men may spurn Christ at their peril, and sell him a thousand times every day for the luxuries of this earth, but salvation will not be theirs, nor theirs to give.

These wholesalers of God delight in the misfortune of Rome.  Why should they not - they have caused it!  The Curia's servants have plundered the lands of the Romans; the cardinals meekly call for "peace" as Roman land is despoiled, while they heap titles and honors and riches upon the very men who despoil it.  They run to their hilltop city as Rome cries out for bread, and their prefect, their creature here who usurps the authority and law of your Senate, sits - as we have heard - on mountains of grain, and accosts those who would give it to the people.  Truly these men must think Christ a great fool - for why should they give loaves and fishes to feed the poor of Rome when they may sell them at great profit, and grasp even the shirts from your backs?

The crowd roars...

I call upon those worldly bishops, those successors of the apostle who is admired least of all, to choose - between the kingdom they have built for themselves on this earth, or the kingdom that God has prepared for His faithful.  Let them choose either the state they are now in, or their salvation.  Let them remember that the Kingdom of God is not of this world; and let you, Romans, be faithful and obedient to those priests, blessed by God, who choose rightly and are true successors of the righteous apostles.  Here, in Rome, in the very heart of Christendom, the people of God have dared to speak the truth openly, without fear, that the clergy dwell in vice and luxury and accumulate wealth only in defiance of God, and that they shall be good shepherds to their flocks only when their lives truly reflect those of Christ's righteous apostles, and not the avarice of the apostle most accursed.  I do not hate these men; I fear for their souls, and I pray that they shall no longer be deaf to God's Word, that they might receive the salvation that awaits them the moment upon which they repent!

Spoken to Roberto Basile by Melloul ibn Hasan al-Fezazi, aka. “Avenazon”

Emir, I hope you have been satisfied by the work I have rendered unto your household in these recent years.  I am thankful for your wisdom and patronage in times that have been most trying.  Such has been the successful nature of your venture, which I am pleased to have assisted, that I am no longer certain whether my services are worth the generous allowance you have given for them, and I do not desire to be a burden upon your household.

If you no longer require my services, I hope you will not continue to retain them simply out of obligation to or pity for me.  In recent weeks I have been speaking with a fellow Jew who has told me of the desire of the Father of the Christians and his councilors to obtain the services of a surgeon.  Even if that opportunity should come to naught, I do not believe my skills have grown derelict in my time here, and I am sure I will have no trouble finding work for my hands now that I am no longer in the state of destitution in which I arrived upon these shores.

If this is amenable to you, I would propose to you that, upon receipt of my final payment which is due to me as per our agreement, I should end my service to you.  If I indeed receive employment at the court of the Father of the Christians I will be sure to speak well of you there.
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« Reply #1564 on: February 19, 2014, 03:10:12 PM »

Letter to Arrigus Sismondii

Dearest colleague and brother in Christ,

It is undoubtedly known to you that I have returned to Rome in the company of the good Count Guido di Biandrate. The circumstances of our last farewell were less than ideal, and my brother Bernardus informs me that I have missed much in my temporary absence. It is perhaps unsurprising that the good Senator de Vinti spearheaded the movement to see me removed from the hallowed hall of our commune's governance, but nevertheless it is apparent that I have lost much face--and moreover, faith of the Roman people--in taking my somewhat impulsive stand against the tyranny of the German King.

You will forgive my continued absence from the Senate and Council. I am afraid that my health, though typically robust, has deteriorated from the long ride in the winter rain. Extend my apologies to our colleagues as I recover; I hope to resume public appearances this very season, but I fear that my diminished stature has perhaps made me a liability to those whom I call friends and allies. It grieves me that my only concern - preserving the civic liberties of our commune - has been undermined in my expression. I must privately confess the fear that I alone have doomed the republic to the yoke of empire, much as the slayers of Caesar must have remarked on encountering the cold vengeance of Augustus.

Thus always to tyrants, no? Are we not all the children of God? Does He not love all of us with equal vigor? Why, in the name of Jesus, must we submit then to either Pope or Emperor? Crisis looms; all things fall apart. Are we fated to this suffering?

Many thoughts abound. The darkness of my captivity has illuminated my soul. I wish you well in all you do.

With dearest affection,
Barzalomeus Borsarius
Senator? of Rome

Letter to Roberto Basile

Beloved and Most Revered Consul,

My recent captivity at the hands of the German King has at last ended, though the mark of that dark time lingers. I have taken to a winter's illness after a hard ride through the rains that plague the region, and I will unfortunately be absent from the Senate and Council until such time as I recover. My brother Bernardus informs me of your staunch support in my absence, and I must admit both relief and gratitude that the Council opposed the motion to see me removed from office. I am especially grateful as those acts which led to my removal from the city could be seen by a less judicious and magnanimous man as the seditious usurpation of your office. It is with the utmost fervor that I praise your generosity in seeing that I, acting as appointed by your counterpart, acted in good faith to embody our notions of civic independence, though my heart weighs with the failure of my representation.

I had much time to consider how my predicament had unfolded, and I came to several conclusions regarding the weakness of our institutions. We lack offices to conduct very basic functions, and the two functions we do recognize - that of an Interior and Exterior Consul - fail to represent the nuances of domestic and foreign policy, and are presumably unchecked in the other's absence. I come as a humbled man to suggest that we further extend the offices of our commune to include a Deputy Consul of the Exterior, or some equivalent, that can act as the hand of the Consul whensoever he is away at war. Should this deputy be in one body as the Consul Interior is a matter for the Senate's debate, but it should be made clear what the line of succession is in delegating foreign matters in the Exterior Consul's absence.

To restore justice to our people, I propose that we create an office of Tribune to administer those such remedies that might be found in civic law. Though the ecclesiastic representatives claim some jurisdictions, our Tribune would settle disputes between neighbors and find equitable remedies to the grievances of our people. Drawing from the number of the Collegium's students may prove useful in this, but not wholly necessary in my view. Moreover, our Tribunes may be empowered to hear matters of criminal law, those such that are found to be non-concurrent with the crimes held to be the church's purview.

In addition, in light of my own failures before the Senate, I humbly supplicate that an officer should be appointed within its own body to ensure the morality of those in its ranks. An office of Censor, with the authority to remove those such Senators - even as myself - who are found to have violated the spirit of our noble commune, or at the least to be unworthy of its office. I would be the first to submit to the Censor's judgment to deem my worthiness as a consiliarii and Senator.

I submit these suggestions in the humblest of spirit and look forward to any response.

With respect,
Barzalomeus Borsarius
Senator, for now, of Rome

Letter to Consul Manzinni

Esteemed Consul,

I write to you with the frank intent of expressing both my gratitude and regret. Gratitude for both the opportunity to represent our Commune to the Diet, and for your steadfast support in my absence of my defiance of the Emperor. Regret in that any of this was necessary and that my opposition to the German King may now have grave repercussions for our city.

I have taken ill from the long, rainy ride home, though it is my hope to return to the Council and Senate before the season's end. Alas, my stature is severely diminished in that august body, and I fear that there are yet those who conspire to undo all I have accomplished. As ever, I hold you as a friend and dear ally in these times of trouble, and rest assured that I am in your debt.

With respect,
Barzalomeus Borsarius
Senator of Rome

Letter to Hugo de Vinti

Esteemed Senator,

I grow weary of backchannels and arguments on the Senate floor, wearier still of aspersions lodged against my name and family. I have heard from my faithful friends those words said against me in the Senate, and I am keenly aware of the personal vendetta that has fueled them.

My time in the German King's custody has softened my heart and cooled my temper. I have no quarrel with you, nor do I wish you ill. My tongue was perhaps too hot during your time as Consul of the Interior, and I apologize for whatever slight it is that you have suffered at my hands. Indeed, at times I have been foolhardy or perhaps less than conciliatory; for these and other flaws, I am sincerely penitent.

I wish for you to mark these words, however. My heart has softened to those I have wronged, and my folly recognized. However, my heart has hardened doubly to those who throw aside the good of the commune for their own personal aspirations, those who turn the honest hand of friendship away out of petty dislike. From this time until the end of time, those who seek to capitalize on my temporary decline, who further besmirch my name, who threaten my welfare and that of my family, shall know nothing so mighty as the weight of my vengeance, short of the hand of the Almighty Himself.

I seek reconciliation and friendship with all those who do so in kind. For those who wish to destroy me, I shall be ready to reciprocate.

With respect,
Barzalomeus Borsarius
"Spice Trader"

« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 04:00:07 PM by Elven Doritos » Logged

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« Reply #1565 on: February 19, 2014, 03:36:23 PM »

Population Report for 1158

While the past year has not exactly been a peaceful one, the city's losses to violence have been relatively small, the fever was mild this year, and large-scale famine was averted.  The population of Rome increased as a result, though much of the increase has to do with misfortunes beyond Rome's walls - the ravaging of the southern contado by Tusculani men forced the peasants there to seek refuge within the city, only some of which have returned to their cottages (or what's left of them).  The ruined state of those lands may lead to many of these peasants turning to menial and agricultural labor to survive, further expanding the city's ranks of urban poor.  On the plus side, the successful pilgrimage last year and the expansion of Roman industries over the past few years have yielded modest dividends in terms of expanding the citizen classes.  The rolls of the citizenry were also expanded slightly by the reassessment of the cost of citizenship owing to the introduction of the crossbow as an alternative to the spear and shield of the pedites; it seems to be only marginally less expensive, but a few Romans who did not qualify for citizenship before found the "discount" enough of a reason to claim citizenship this year.

Population: 29,280 (+1,580)
  • Equites: 420 (+20) [Citizens and nobles of households wealthy enough to bring a warhorse to the militia muster]
  • Popolo Grasso: 8,460 (+160) [Citizens of households wealthy enough to provide for a pedes (infantryman) or balistarius (crossbowman) in the militia muster]
  • Popolo Minuto: 20,000 (+1,400) [Non-citizen subjects without political power]
  • Ebreo: 400 [Jews, non-citizens exempt from military service]

Stats

Vittorio Manzinni has gained 3 Popularity but lost 1 Influence.
Barzalomeus Borsarius has lost 1 Popularity.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 03:43:43 PM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #1566 on: February 19, 2014, 09:05:26 PM »

Before the Senate

Your words are well spoken, Signore! We are humbled by the high esteem in which the Emperor holds our Eternal City - for surely no sentiment so gracious has ever been put before our August company. Think carefully on these words, Senators. By the indifference of the Curia, Rome has suffered. It has become more and more evident that from the walls of Orvieto we are seen in the lowest regard. Have we not been faithful servants to the Holy See? But when last has the Curia sent a single word of its gratitude to the Senate of Rome? Where in Rome can a single Cardinal be found? They care little for the good of our city, and their servant - the Prefect - looks down upon our good works, even while he tries to take the bread right from our mouths! Did the Curia object when Rome was subjected to the naked aggression of the Tusculani - sworn vassals of His Holiness? And indeed, what grain was sent by the princes of the church to fill the bellies of Romans left hungry by the depredations of those same men? None! Rome suffers, Senators. We are beset by wolves on every side, and the Curia takes its cut from the pilgrims who come to seek Christ in this great city, but turns its gaze away once silver has lined palm. I do not know what has earned us this neglect, Senators, but if the Emperor promises prosperity and law, perhaps we should harken to him. If His Imperial Majesty brings order where he goes, and if he should make the roads of Italy safe once more for honest men, then why should we reject him?

I do not say that we should defy our Charter, Senators. No, but perhaps an amendment is in order. If His Holiness is beset by evil counselors, he himself surely remains a just man, and God's First Servant upon this Earth. Since the justice of the Holy Father cannot reach our city, then we should acknowledge the equal righteousness of a justice that can. Count Guido has spoken truly that the dignity of Rome belongs to its people, and it is past time that we should cast off the injuries that have been heaped upon it.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2014, 09:10:35 PM by TheMeanestGuest » Logged

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« Reply #1567 on: February 20, 2014, 08:01:53 PM »

Letter to Signore Luidolf

Signore Luidolf,

I feel the relation between us two has grown to be quite enjoyable and healthy, whatever the circumstances of our first meet was. I am aware that you are still pondering whether you will accept the vicariate or not, but in the spirit of trust, I will now state my offer for the lease of some of your lands as I said I would.


Such a deal is of no trivial importance. Labarum will prosper once it is repopulated, which my industry will help achieve. Under your wise governance and protection, not just those participating in my trade will come for work, but many citizens of Rome and other peasants who have been displaced thanks to the Tusculani aggression.

I hope the terms suggested herein please you.

With utmost respect,
Hugo De Vinti
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« Reply #1568 on: February 21, 2014, 10:19:30 PM »

Letter to Senator Borsarius

Senator Borsarius,
When a Roman comes to me with a situation, I listen to him. I can never promise to remedy to his problem immediately, but eventually I will.

It is sad that you hid your hopes for reconciliation among the thick shadows of threats. Perhaps, when you find the light within yourself, you can try again. For now, I still think you a fool, and would greatly appreciate your departure from the Lesser Council, however unlikely that is to happen.

Sincerely,
Senator Hugo De Vinti
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« Reply #1569 on: February 22, 2014, 05:27:46 AM »

On the Senate Floor

Count Guido of Biandrate was warmly received by the senate, which loudly applauded his speech.  A number of senators stood afterwards to commend the count and voice support for the emperor, including Consul Basile himself.  Arnoldists praised the emperor as the city’s deliverer from ecclesiastical tyranny; noblemen hailed the emperor’s “renovatio imperii”* and welcomed the coming of lawful rule to Italy.

Yet while the speech was well-received publicly, it also exposed the softness of pro-Imperial sentiment among the senators.  While there are certainly senators who fully embrace the imperial cause, many – even many Arnoldists – are anti-Papal first and foremost, and pro-Imperial only by default.  The tales of the emperor embarrassing the Curia’s emissaries were welcomed in Rome, but with Frederick back in Italy and a real Imperial ambassador standing before them, other associations came quickly to mind.  The destruction of Tortona and the humiliation of Milan have raised some fears that the emperor is no more a friend of communal liberty than he is of ecclesiastical supremacy.  If the emperor was victorious, would an imperial “podesta” be placed over Rome as in Lombardy?  Others keenly remember “Barbarossa’s” own bloody foray into Rome during his coronation, and recall that it was not so long ago that the emperor and the pope were facing down the Romans and razing Capocci’s castles side by side.  Some cautioned quietly that Rome must be wary of exchanging one master for another.

These sentiments were hidden away when Count Guido was addressing the Senate, but they have only grown since.  It should not be doubted that the emperor is still popular among a good number of senators, and seen by many more as the pragmatic alternative to Papal subjugation, but the days before his coronation when the Senate hoped excitedly for their collective deliverance at his benevolent hands are gone.  The starry-eyed imperial idealism of the past has been tempered by the names of Tortona, Milan, Genoa, and Spoleto, not to mention the far-reaching language of the recent Diet proclamations.

...

Yet the Emperor and his ambassador are not the only names the Senate is discussing.  In domestic affairs, Prefect Antonio and Signore Capocci are on the lips of many.  The Arnoldists, never supporters of the Prefect whoever he might be, are out for blood – they accuse the prefect of facilitating the famine, causing violent and deadly unrest within the city, and banning a Roman citizen from Rome with out so much as giving the Senate a word of explanation.  This, as far as they are concerned (and the Arnoldists are not all alone in this sentiment) is a gross abuse of power, reminiscent of the years before the revolution when prefects ruled the city like kings.

Other senators, particularly the equites and sections of the more moderate citizen-senators, loudly disagree.  They argue that there is no evidence to suggest that the prefect hoarded food save for the word of Signore Capocci himself, who is undisputedly hostile to the Pope and his officers.  There is also no solid evidence as to who started the deadly fight between armsmen of the two men, and while they condemn the prefect’s attempted seizure of Capocci’s grain within Rome even if it was contraband, they note that for Capocci’s guards to dispute clerical demands with steel would be entirely in character for the signore and his followers.

The Senate seems broadly agreed that the exile of Capocci cannot stand, as he is a Roman citizen now, and it would set a dangerous precedent were the prefect - or anyone else in the Church - permitted to expel citizens from Rome as he wished.  Yet while the equestrians and their allies call for the Senate to interpose itself as a moderator between the two men, the Arnoldists call for the prefect to be deposed and expelled from the city – at the very least.  While some among the latter grudgingly admit that the Senate, if it is to honor its word, must allow His Holiness to install a prefect, they argue that this prefect is no longer acceptable.

...

Other matters have taken up much less of the Senate’s time.  There have been a few proposals and discussions about the studium and the legal system, flood relief for the poor of Arenule and other districts, and projects for aiding (or exploiting) impoverished peasants in the southern contado, but these matters have been addressed only fitfully over the past season.  The revolution in Bagnarea seized a little more senatorial attention, but there is no clear consensus on what it means for Rome and what, if anything, Rome ought to do about it – some have compared the small city to Spoleto or Rieti, newly befriended communes whom Rome has aided to protect their liberty, but Rome has no quarrel with Orvieto or the Monaldeschi and Curial involvement in the matter is unclear.  In any case direct Roman intervention seems to be off the table considering the Faliscan League’s presence between Rome and Bagnarea, though there has been somewhat of a detente between Rome and the Faliscans lately - the two sides haven't really had so much as cross words since the Farfan war.

* “Restoration of the Empire”
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« Reply #1570 on: February 23, 2014, 11:21:46 AM »

In the Senate

Senators,
Since my tenure as Consul of the Interior, I have involved myself deeply in matters of judiciary nature. With my strong convictions, the wealth of my family and the support of the Senate, I was able to court the services of a highly qualified magister, to build the studium and then contribute to its continued relevance by funding the purchase of academic material. However, as important as such achievements were, there is still plenty to be done. The general populace has yet to see something concrete, and they long for justice.

In general, trust in the local lords and other power holders to dispense justice has eroded long ago. The people want us to right the wrongs, and I intend to do just that.
It is my sincere belief the Senate has to come together and forcefully change the current state of affairs.

All this is well, but what is there to do?

I propose we centralize the process of dispensing justice by holding courts in a designated Supreme Roman Court. By institutionalizing and centralizing the Roman courts, the people's trust will be restored and support for our August institution, the Senate, will increase.

If the Senate allows me, I shall further investigate the matter and come forward with more concrete plans.
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« Reply #1571 on: February 23, 2014, 08:58:33 PM »

Letter to Borsarius

Greetings Senator,

It brings me relief to see you returned safely to your family. My family and I have been (and do remain) steadfast in support of them and you. In your absence there were some attempts to take advantage of the situation so as to unfairly oust you. Regardless of what others may say we feel that your stand before the German king did honor to Rome and her people and I would not have opportunists clawing at your seat in utter disrespect for the sacrifice made. If ever you require my assistance you have but to ask, I for one will not allow evil motives and greed to trample the noble purpose of our senate. My wife further tells me to let you know that you are ever in our prayers.

Kindest Regards,
Arrigus Sismondii

Letter to Roberto and Ricardo Basile and to Vitorrio Manzinni

Your assistance in destroying that den of brigands brings hope of more peaceful times to come. With the torre cleared I shall be free to begin the laying of a road between Rome and Antium which shall now offer us a secure route. Once the harbor at Antium is fully repaired and this road laid it shall provide a secure anchorage for any ships Rome and her friends wish to hire or construct. Your contributions have aided Rome and furthermore they have personally assisted me in the safe return of my men. I thank each of you for your contribution to this affair. Furthermore to Ricardo I wish you and your new family the best of health.

Best Regards,
Arrigus Sismondii

To Bernat de Luceram

The matter with the schola has certainly caused me some consternation as they seem completely unwilling to budge, even to quite reasonable requests. I had considered letting the matter be as I have been quite busy with Roman matters further South. However, you do me an honor in approaching like this and I hear wisdom in your suggestions. I shall seriously consider the merit of starting an alternative guild. Yet I am unsure if we would have enough weavers to have a chance against the schola. Still perhaps you have some ideas, I will admit I am unfamiliar with the finer workings of weaving guilds but perhaps you could offer advice. I do see that something which could compete with the schola might hope to improve the Roman markets greatly.
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« Reply #1572 on: February 23, 2014, 09:14:12 PM »

In The Senate, Response to DaVinti

I see no harm in Senator DaVinti conducting an investigation into the creation of a Supreme Roman Court, but as I understand, we already have a Supreme Roman Court- the courts of this Senate are the supreme court. I presume, however, that he has more detailed plans and I am sure that when his plans are more than half-formed ideas, he will inform us of them. Now, let us move on to more pressing, immediate issues.

I welcome Count Guido's appearance, his comments on the importance of the legal system and his recognition of the scholars of Bologna. We too here in Rome have invited and received a Scholar, the great Rogerius, to advise us on legal matters. We too here in Rome have established a workable and just temporal legal system, and this system has both trained men of skill, and assisted this Senate in its resolution of temporal disputes. Rome always welcomes law.

To Borsarius

I welcome your return, Senator. I am troubled to hear of problems with you health. Your goals will not be undone. The people did not starve in your absence. I took the lead, along with Signore Capocci, in distributing grain, while others were campaigning abroad.

On another matter. The loan of 5WP has come due and I am prepared to pay it. If, however, you will permit me, I would like to renew it, again for a year, on the same terms. I have had several building projects in mind that none other here have the skill to create and which will greatly benefit this city. These projects were delayed due to the threats of assault from abroad.

To Senator Sissmondi

Senator,

First, congratulations on your recent victory. I am glad to have contributed in some way to the assault and rescue.

On another topic, This information is just between us for the moment. I have decided to undergo the construction of a forge mill. I had two locations that were appropriate in which to site the structure. This structure can greatly benefit the Commune, but only if it is kept safe. I have made arrangements to station troops near it, but I wish to know your counsel. One location was near the banks of the Tiber and the structure would be susceptible to flooding- something no man can defend against; so I decided to site the structure outside of the walls to the south of the city- within reach of Tusculani raiders and other saboteours. If the structure is located there, I would like to know that I have friends who can benefit from it and who can benefit it, by providing defense. With the forge mill, wecan equip up to 100 soldiers with armor in a single season; normally, producing that amount of armor can take up to a year.  Do you have any thoughts?

« Last Edit: February 24, 2014, 01:20:56 AM by Light Dragon » Logged


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« Reply #1573 on: February 24, 2014, 12:59:42 AM »

Orders

Armies
-1 WP Upkeep
-10 Palatini defend Forge Mill. One acts as a runner to bring assistance in case there is a threat.
-20 Palatini (on patrol through through my holdings in X, XI, XII. Patrol ones will respond to unrest in my districts and will send a runner for assistance to Senator Calafatus and Basile; if the disturbance is an another district where I do not have interests, then just give me an intra turn PM, please. At all times at least my masnada will remain at my home to protect it.) Patrol will also respond to reinforce my home if necessary. If my home is assaulted, send a runner to Sissmondi's holdings for assistance. and, if I have the manpower, send one to Calafatus for assistance. If someone else is assaulted, please PM me. Patrol will respond to disturbances at the Forge Mill, if necessary.
-20 Palatini (or the balance remaining of Palatini, if I miscounted) at or near home. Half of these Palatini will respond to disturbances at the Forge Mill, if necessary.
-All Masnada at home.

Construction
-5 WP Construct Forge Mill outside of the city to the south in the original planned location where land had been acquired. Spend 5 of the Required 15 WP. (Note: My assumption is that if I then spend 10 in Summer, the mill will be completed by Autumn, when it could be used to make armor for troops, fulfilling the need near the end of autumn, and it will be earning income in Winter, correct?)

Forge Mill

Forge Mill (Urban, Manufacturing)
Blacksmithing is largely a cottage industry, performed by a single smith and his apprentice(s).  It is hard work, particularly beating the hot iron, which must be repeatedly hammered and re-heated until the shape is right.  A water-powered trip hammer (or maglio, or martinet) greatly reduces the labor involved; now a single apprentice can simply hold the metal while the massive hammer does the work, then hand the piece off to a smith for finer crafting.  This enterprise is a large-scale workshop in which a number of blacksmiths work, often organized in a societas (partnership or confraternity), to produce large quantities of tools, horseshoes, nails, armor, and weapons.
Cost: 15
Income: +1 in Spring and Winter.
Bonus:  If you own at least one Forge Mill, upkeep for armored soldiers is reduced by 1 WP for every 3 WP in upkeep you pay (that is, reduced by 33%).  Your 25 free masnada are also considered armored at no extra cost to you.  In addition, for each Forge Mill you own, you can equip up to 100 soldiers with armor in a single season; normally, producing that amount of armor can take up to a year.  You may “lend” this last ability to other players who are raising armored forces.

-10 WP Construct Lumber Yard in previously agreed location with Cattani (Wait. Only earns income in Winter).
- Continue negotiations and staking out the best land for a Lumber Yard in the previously agreed location with Cattani, discuss construction of the location in Summer, put down for a firm offer on the location.

Inquiries
* Research the market for a storehouse for oils. How much income would it earn? When would it earn income? Are there other concerns that would need to be taken care of if such a storehouse was constructed.
* Would it cost anything different to have a storehouse for grains? Is it treated the same as a regular storehouse.

Council

Policy
5 WP Pay back loan to Borsarius.

Total Expected Expenditures
11 WP.




« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 12:22:06 AM by Light Dragon » Logged


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« Reply #1574 on: February 24, 2014, 01:26:18 AM »

Intra-Turn Order

Intra Turn Order/Request

-May I figure out the Prefect's movements around the city? e.g. tracking him. How many and what type of soldiers usually accompany him? Is there anywhere he is usually unprotected or less protected.

Regarding Tracking Him:
Are his movements public?
Are they usually known ahead of time?
If not:
-I would like to have some of the masnada shadow the prefect; not the same ones every time, and sometimes they'd just pay a street urchin to do something not obvious- e.g. "follow Peter, who's a guard under Suburba- I wanna know when he gets off so I can tell him what's what for futtering/harassing/whatever my cousin." and thus unobtrusively track the prefect to create a schedule.

-If that does not work, I would like, to the extent it's minimal and would not likely raise alarm, to speak with Senator and Equite friends casually about Surburba's favorite parties- where he likes to go, what he likes to see at parties- and seem like I'm trying to suck up to him for my next great party; thereby gathering valuable information regarding his movements.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2014, 11:40:17 PM by Light Dragon » Logged


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