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Author Topic: The Republic Reborn II: Reborn Again [Orders Due Jan 31]  (Read 34987 times)
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« Reply #90 on: January 16, 2015, 12:43:33 PM »

In the Lesser Council

I am not inclined to implicit trust in the man Cassi either, Senator Sismondii. However, he has shown me the details of Tivoli's defences: the arrangements and features of its gatehouses and towers, the height of its walls, the placement of its armouries and watchposts, and the disposition of its defenders. The level of detail is clearly painstaking, and to my eye seems possessed of accuracy. I shall of course work to confirm these things, but in my meeting with the man I noted genuine contrition and the appearance of honest sentiment. Of course, to ensure this remains the case I have proposed a period of demonstrable faithfulness of one year and one day before he is restored to citizenship. I am confident that with this information any well-prepared siege against Tivoli should be successful.

But this matter is not foremost in my concern, and I think it has been spoken of enough. Annibaldo has promised grain enough to eliminate our famine. I have received no figure of bushels or of pounds, but through sources am inclined to believe the enormity of the supply. If this council indeed places its trust in me, I will determine such veracity beyond doubt and see proper arrangements made.

I will propose then that we accept the terms of Signore Annibaldo conditionally. If - and only if - Rome should be delivered from famine by his action, the Signore will then surely be worthy of the honour of Patrician.

A Letter to Cencio Pierleone

Signore Cencio,

You remind us of the importance of honour, seeming, and dignity. It is not my intent to stain the title of Patrician by transforming it into a bauble to be sold, and you must trust me when I say I shall be sure Signore Annibaldo earns this honour - if it is indeed granted to him - just as I will be sure that you yourself earn the honour by your own merit, and not solely those of Patrician Giordano. But I am a realist, and as Consul it is my duty to see that the reality of hunger be tended to before the the considerations of honour. I would sell every scrap of dignity I possessed if it would save the mortal lives of the Romans - this is my duty. I can say with absolute assurance that there is no other way by which I can guarantee the succor of the Romans. I have sent to Genoa that that Commune might deliver aid to us in our hour of need, and I have placed silver aside in case such aid should indeed arrive. I cannot, however, know that this effort will be successful. I must know, Signore, that the Roman people are safe. This is my responsibility, and it is yours as well.

There is no intent on the part of the Senate to insult your person or to insult the legacy of your esteemed uncle. I must make this clear. The position of your family in Rome is at risk neither in esteem nor in bearing. I ask of you only that you continue to place your trust in me.

Consul Roberto Basile

A Letter to Annibaldo Annibaldi

Signore,

The consilium has further deliberated on the terms you have presented to us. We are concerned that by the ordering of events as they proceed it should appear that the title of patricius is being sold, and not earned. Indeed, while you and I know that the delivery of Rome from famine will in truth earn this great honour and more, this is not the case for each and every Roman.

To your first consideration - we are agreed. If the Romans should be delivered from famine by your action, you shall receive the honour of becoming a Patrician of Rome. This we extend conditionally. Rome must first be saved for your person to rise in worthiness and esteem among the Romans. We will grant you this dignity subsequent to your arrival, not upon it. However, when you appear before us we shall greet you as a Roman Citizen and Knight of the City, and accept you into the Equestrian Order.

You will receive an escort to the Field of Mars, as is fitting to your standing and your gift.

If His Holiness should seek to appoint a new Prefect, you will be considered first among those we would support.

And lastly, your properties in Rome will be recognized as restored, and you shall be permitted to rebuild your familial tower on its former site.

Do not think us parsimonious or mincing, Signore, and do not think that we look askance on your Most Christian charity. But you must recognize that this charity is only proposed, and has yet to occur, and so these alterations are of some necessity.

Consul Roberto Basile,
In Nomine Senatus Populusque Romanus
« Last Edit: January 16, 2015, 02:33:28 PM by TheMeanestGuest » Logged

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« Reply #91 on: January 17, 2015, 01:12:40 AM »

Before the Lesser Council

Given these terms I will support Senator Basile's proposal. Dealing with the matter of famine is far too critical for us to ignore a possible solution just because it doesn't sit well with us. Especially considering the proposed terms which make any reward to the man dependent upon his faithfulness to us.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 04:46:13 PM by Nomadic » Logged

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« Reply #92 on: January 17, 2015, 02:13:55 AM »

Letter to Consul Basile

God willing I will not need all of Rome's might.  This is a poor season for a long siege, so I will not conduct one.  I will wager on a direct assault, an escalade by cover of night; the only engines I plan to use are scaling ladders, which are already being built at my own castles.

In six days, on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception [December 7th], I will loudly announce that I am coming to Rome to address the Senate, and on the following day I will make sure that Poteranum sees me doing this.  I shall make an entrance into Rome, but slip out at night with you and your men, rendezvous with my own men south of Poteranum, and take the tower under cover of darkness.

Our meeting-place shall be in the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian at dusk on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception [December 8th].  Come with your best picked men.  It is a good ten miles from the gates of Rome to Poteranum, and we shall have to cover it at night, so it is imperative that your men all be on horseback; mount them on plowmens' nags if you like so long as they can keep up.

Signore Capocci

Letter to Senator de Vinti

You are welcome to join in the glory, senator.  I have no need for great numbers, but skilled, brave, and loyal men who you can raise quickly and quietly.

In six days, on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception [December 7th]  I will loudly announce that I am coming to Rome to address the Senate, and on the following day I will go forth to Rome and make sure that Poteranum sees me in the act, so as to lead them into a sense of safety.  I will enter Rome as promised, but at dusk I will slip out of the city with myself, your men, and any other loyal Romans, rendezvous with my own men south of Poteranum, and take the tower under cover of darkness.  I am preparing ladders and intend to take the tower by escalade.  God willing, dawn will see our lances atop its battlements.

Our meeting-place shall be in the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian at dusk on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception [December 8th].  Come with your best picked men.   It is a good ten miles from the gates of Rome to Poteranum, and we shall have to cover it at night, so it is imperative that your men all be on horseback; mount them on plowmens' nags if you like so long as they can keep up.

Signore Capocci

Letter to Consul Basile

Consul,

My Lord Annibaldo, Lord of Molara, accepts your proposal without reservations.  He suggests that his entrance would best coincide with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception in honor of our Holy Mother, one week from now.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2015, 10:10:53 PM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #93 on: January 17, 2015, 09:55:08 AM »

Nomadic, I fear you are mistaken Signore Annibaldo for Pandolfo Cassi.
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« Reply #94 on: January 17, 2015, 03:54:12 PM »

Not mistaken them, just used the wrong name. Was reading too many letters at the same time when I made my post. I've fixed that though, thank you.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 04:46:40 PM by Nomadic » Logged

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« Reply #95 on: January 17, 2015, 07:25:18 PM »

By request, the deadline for orders is extended to tomorrow, Sunday the 18th.  Please talk to me if you need any more time.
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« Reply #96 on: January 17, 2015, 10:42:22 PM »

A Proclamation to the Reatani

Friends and cherished allies, hear now the words of Roberto Basile, Consul of Rome!

The city and countryside of Rieti have each been sundered one from the other - the Reatani know that this cannot stand. By negotiation and by council has attempt been made to suture gaping wound, yet still this wound persists. The Senate of Rome has considered these matters at length, and has come to conclusion. It is clear that the people of Rieti must be allowed their own liberty, and that the authority of their Consuls must be recognized by the Bishop. The Commune of the Romans hereby recognizes the Council of Rieti as the representative and lawful authority of that city and of its attendants. The Senate calls upon the Bishop Dodone to abandon restriction against this rightful government, and to formally return the rule of Rieti to its citizens. The alliance of the Romans to the Reatani is hereby reaffirmed, and the Romans shall come in assistance should they be called upon.

Know that the Romans abhor unjust violence, and know that they should be greatly aggrieved if conflict should arise in this country from malice and ill-will.
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« Reply #97 on: January 18, 2015, 02:54:08 AM »

Letter to Senator Guillelmi

I am writing you to make you aware that through some effort I have been able to get Senator Basile to push forward on the Rieti issue. There were some issues interfering with his ability to directly focus on it before now. However it now appears that he has been able to make a decision on it. I am hopeful that this will ultimately lead towards stabilization in the area, though I suspect there may yet be some chaos there in the short term. On that matter we must hold strong and be patient. The support of Rome shall win through for our allies there in the end.

As to the election process draft it seems a good start. I shall consider its structure and how we might further improve it. It is likely too soon to push forward with something of this nature yet we should still be ready when the ideal time comes.

Orders

- Pay [1 wp] upkeep for palatini
- Allocate [1 wp] to continue work on the mole.
- Allocate [1 wp] to continue extending the road from Antium.
- Investigate what we could reasonably tax the schola in return for formal senate recognition and legal protection (ie - what sort of wp could we get out of them yearly that they would consider reasonable). Talk to Guillelmi if necessary to help figure this out. Also look into what if any extra costs this might create for us.
- Begin looking for an area in Rome proper that would be appropriate to build a small house. Preferably somewhere away from floods and more riot-prone areas.
- Support the granting of the patricianship to Cencio Pierleone.
- Support the granting of the patrician title to Annibaldo with the stipulation that the promised grain must be delivered first and that it must be enough to reasonably deal with the issue of famine.
- Support the commutation of exile for Cassi as proposed by Senator Basile.
- Collect all letters from the senators to the German Emperor and prepare to make the journey to see him. For protection I will bring 15 of my masnada with me. The remaining 10 masnada shall remain at my rocca to watch over my family and assets.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 04:52:39 PM by Nomadic » Logged

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« Reply #98 on: January 18, 2015, 02:00:08 PM »

Orders

-Have my agents and masnada track down Britto, or whoever may be suspected.
-Gather the best poets that I can, get them to write a series of satirical poems about Alexander. Publish them and distribute pamphlets, under the name Consola.
-Send investigators along with the procession going to the Imperial Summit. Once at the summit, have them split off to the following areas
  • Gather information at the summit
  • Head to the city of Toulouse, gather information on the happenings there and if the Kings of France and England have leanings in the schism
-Send agents to the following places to gather information: Toffia, Tagliacozzo, Velletri, Segni, Palestrina, Ferentino
-Investigate if there are any lands for sale in the vicinity of Rome.
-Oppose the lift of penalties on Pandolfo Cassi & appointment of Annibaldo as Patrician
-Support Cencio Pierleone for Patrician
Up to [3 WP] can be spent on these ventures.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 03:22:42 PM by Llum » Logged

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« Reply #99 on: January 18, 2015, 02:02:36 PM »

A Signed and Sealed Letter of Evidence

Your August and Imperial Majesty,

The following is what I know to be true and to have occurred on the day of September 8th, in the year 1159:

It was late morning on the third day of the Papal Conclave, and I awaited news of the outcome while tending to Communal business with several other Senators at the Curia Julia. Of a sudden a harried and lathered messenger burst in, crying of fighting in the Leonine City and at the Vatican itself. I stepped outside and observed a tall plume of black smoke rising from nearby to St. Peter's Basilica. I pressed the man for information, and was told that the late Prefect of Rome - Signore Antonio Demetri della Suburra - had gathered his men and attacked the Papal Conclave upon the revelation of the election of the Cardinal Ottoviano dei Crescenzi to the Papal Mantle. The late Patrician of Rome - Signore Giordano Pierleone - gathered his soldiers in attempt to relieve the Conclave and rescue the Pope-Elect. In ensuing clash the Patrician was mortally wounded, and his men put into disarray. By this point I had gathered my own armsmen, and had begun to muster the Roman Militia. News shortly reached me that Signore Oddone Frangipani had moved from the Field of Nero and taken the northern Vatican gate in effort to join his strength with the Prefect. I knew then that I could delay no longer if Rome and the Church were to be saved, and set out at once with those men I had gathered. The gate and bridge were near deserted as my party arrived at the Castel St. Angelo, and all was in chaos. As the brave Romans moved to battle blaze and restore order in the City I observed from the battlements of the Castle a great party of knights and soldiers - bearing the banner of the Frangipani - make hasty retreat through the gate they had seized. His Holiness Victor was then united with us, and I learned of his timely rescue by Senator de Vinti, who only just retrieved the Papal party from death or capture, the Prefect having taken a well-placed arrow as he sat his horse and brandished his sword at the Holy Father.

It took many hours then to restore tranquility and calm in the Leonine, and to extinguish many blazing fires and to gather up the bodies of hundreds of dead for proper burial. Indeed, it was a terrible and red day.

Roberto Basile, Consul of the Romans

A Letter to Annibaldo Annibaldi

Signore,

We are agreed then. Arrive at the Porta Asinaria on the day of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and I will await you with an escort of brave and loyal Romans that you might enter the city.

Consul Roberto Basile

Orders for Spring 1160

- The monetarius Romollo Vanetti shall be instructed to continue the restriking of silver deniers with communal arms, as well as the minting of new billon deniers. As much of the treasury's 8 WP is to be branded with the Commune's arms before it should be disbursed for various expenses.

- Deliver the above letter of evidence to Senator Sismondii, and wish him well on his journey to the Imperial Conclave.

- Place my full support in the Senate behind the commutation of the sentence of Pandolfo Cassi, and behind those measures to bestow a Patricianate on Cencio Pierleone, and to accept the aid of Annibaldo of Molara - bestowing a Patricianate on him as well if he should deliver the Romans from famine. The agreement with Cencio will be as he presented to the Senate, and the agreement with Annibaldo will be as I presented to him in my letter of terms.

       - Cassi's exile will be revoked, and he shall be given a period of parole of one year and one day in which he must demonstrate himself a faithful Roman in order to have his citizenship returned.
       My masnada will keep a close watch on the man for the immediate future for any sign of treachery or plot - I am not yet entirely convinced of him. I shall then examine the plans of Tivoli's
       defences and keep them safely in my tower. One of my trusted agents will be apprised of these details and sent to Tivoli - assuming the identity of a non-Roman, obviously - in order to
       roughly compare Cassi's figures with reality in order to determine their veracity, particularly as regards the appearance of the gatehouse and the height of the walls. My agent is to avoid
       drawing attention to himself, and return shortly to Rome.  

- Gather one hundred of my masnada to me, and muster a sizable detachment of the Roman Militia to await Annibaldo Annibaldi and his party at the Porta Asinaria on the day of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Some among my Senatorial supporters shall be with me, as well as any other Roman Senator or dignity who should deign to be there. Upon the arrival of the Signore, I shall greet Annibaldo as a Roman Citizen and Knight of the City, and accept his pledge of arms to enjoin the Equestrian Order. He shall then be escorted to the Forum, where we shall be joined by further waiting militiamen, and then to the Field of Mars to commence the orderly and organized distribution of grain to the people. The Militia shall be instructed in diligence and observance, and shall keep order among the people. I will not allow any chaos or plot to mar the day.

- The Gregoripolitans shall be informed of the bequest of their town to the Roman Commune by the Emperor. My masnada at my fisheries shall continue to keep order in the settlement as they have done, and shall further take man a small post at the gatehouse of Gregoriopolis, maintaining a Communal banner and making themselves available to aid the people of the town. For the most part it will be business as usual.

- A watch is to be kept for vessels at Gregoriopolis in hope that grain should arrive from Genoa. I will authorize with Consular authority the holding of [3 WP] in silver from the treasury in order to pay for any such delivery. The dole of any such grain is to be done in keeping with practice of past seasons.

- Some among my agents and masnada shall be sent to the Demetri villa in order to survey it for salvageable material that might be added to my palazzo and torre. Likely everything of obvious value has been absconded with already, and so my men shall look for good furniture, wooden paneling, fresco or statuary or fine stonework that might be added to my estate to enhance its aesthetic. They shall of course still endeavour to look for any hidden coin or wealth, unlikely as it might be to find any such.

- On the eve of the feast of the immaculate conception twenty-five of my masnada - led by my trusted and able captain Simone Lombardi - shall mounted on horseback meet Niccolo Cappoci at the Baths of Caracalla to join him for the taking of Poteranum. Simone shall bear my regrets that I could not personally come, but shall invite Capocci to take advantage of the subtle skills my masnada might lend in the covert attack on the tower. Many among them are able sneaks, scouts, climbers and killers, and these skills will likely be of utility on that night.

- It is to be made known that those Romans dispossessed by fire and riot shall not be abandoned, and the Senate shall see to their safety and shelter. [5 WP] from the Senatory Treasury is to be disbursed for a multi-pronged effort: The Senate shall make use of the Theatre of Marcellus at last, and any vagrants or squatters will be cleared from it by my masnada. It shall be declared that any dispossessed family of good character may take refuge at the Theatre, and there be afforded temporary shelter - which the people shall be aided in constructing in designated areas by the provision of wood, canvas and other materials. Basile shall speak to the people there gathered, and will tell them that permanent tenement shall be built by the Senate at the theatre for their habitation, and that they shall receive two seasons free of rent or lien in order to rebuild their lives and families. Construction of these tenements shall commence as soon as possible, and be overseen by masons and workers that I have previously employed. Clean-up of those parts of Rome ravaged by fire (starting in Pinee et S. Marci) is likewise to be begun, with those buildings too gutted to be saved torn down and wreckage slowly cleared. If any of wrecked material should be in good enough condition to be salvaged for construction, it will be put to purpose at the Theatre. Basile will endeavour to cooperate with Consul Viviani in this effort if at all possible.

       - Basile recognizes that the capacity of the Theatre may not be sufficient, and so there shall be some measure of selection if necessary. Families, holders of regular work and profession, and
         those of known good character are to be prioritized in this instance. My masnada and agents shall be compassionate but firm, and shall make sure that no conflict, dispute or riot should arise,
         and in rotation a troop of them shall remain at the Theatre to provide order and security, particularly when grain is doled out.

- My masnada are additionally to periodically serve as thief-takers when possible, arresting known criminals and bringing them to be tried by the Roman courts.

- As per usual [2 WP] of my own money will be afforded for the maintenance of my company of masnada.

- If no Genoan grain ships arrive by the close of the season, Basile will authorize the expenditure of [2 WP] from the treasury to see to the restoration of Trajan's Market as a courthouse of Roman justice. This is to be done in cooperation with Senator de Vinti.

- Basile will keep himself apprised of the situation in Rieti, and shall send a man to the Consuls for that express purpose.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 04:56:41 PM by TheMeanestGuest » Logged

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« Reply #100 on: January 18, 2015, 06:02:48 PM »

Before the Lesser Council

Thank you all, for my welcome to this Council, to the Senate, and to Rome. It is an unexpected honour, both to be elevated to the rank of Senator and to be made Consul so swiftly. It is my fervent hope that I will serve this city to the best of my abilities.

I find myself in agreement with Senators Basile and Sismondii. Though, doubtless, Senator de Vinti's suggestion is well-intentioned, I cannot agree to embark on such risky military adventurism at this time – not when another means of feeding Rome present themselves so painlessly. As I will say before the Senate, I believe we must elevate both Signore Annibaldo and Signore Cencio to the status of Patrician: the first to feed the city and cultivate a new and likely propitious alliance with an obvious man of means with virtually no material cost for ourselves, and the second to preserve good relations with the Pierleone family.

If, however, Signore Annibaldo fails to deliver on his promise to relieve the famine afflicting Rome, he will have proved himself unworthy of the name Patrician; I thus concur with suggestions that his title only be bestowed upon delivery of his proffered grain.

Before the Senate

As Consul of the Interior – a position whose honour it is my fervent hope I will uphold – I find myself in agreement with Senator Basile. While I am no friend to the so-called bread-breakers, it would be folly to add to the manifold woes of Rome; would we heap the bodies of the battle-slain upon the victims of famine? Doubtless calls to mobilize mob and militia come from a desire to feed the people and exact righteous devastation on our enemies, and I am sure that such daring suggestions come from those whose love for Rome burns with the passionate fire of true patriotism.

The element of fire and its choleric temperament have their uses; a physician might tell you that yellow bile, the humour of fire, imparts ambition and will to a man. But an excess of any humour can be dangerous, and though the fires of ambition must be kept well-stoked if Rome is to survive and prosper, left unchecked they can consume all that they touch. The season of fire is summer, when the months are warm and dry; but now, in winter, the ascendant element is water. Though the people of Rome cry out for bread, we must be patient and level-headed – phlegmatic – if we are to survive and avoid the disaster that reckless action and quick-temper may precipitate.

Water, after all, brings life; while at times it takes the course of least resistance, seeming always to yield, it flows around all obstacles, finds all cracks and crevices, exploit all routes in its search for the sea. A river may fork and twist, divert itself, flow through hidden ways or narrow to a trickle, but always it finds a way forward. Water can grow into a raging torrent, can wear a mountainside away if given sufficient time; thus, though it may seem the weakest of elements, its true nature is far fiercer than flame, more lasting than earth. Here and now, I believe, we must assume the phlegmatic temperament of water, yielding to circumstance while finding means of achieving our objectives which may be unexpected; and we must choose life, not death, if we are to survive and prosper.

It is my belief that we must name Signore Annibaldo of Annibaldi, Lord of Molora, Patrician, and to welcome him back to Rome. It is my hope that once more his family's tower might rise over the city to cool is in the summer months with its shadow. Though Signore Annibaldo may be newly returned to Rome, this we share in common; if this Senate would have me as Consul of the Interior, surely we can extend the same grace to a man as charitable and noble of purpose as the Lord of Molora, especially when his generosity may yet prevent the spilling of Roman blood while filling Roman bellies. Can there be more honourable ends than seeking peace and plenty for our beloved city and its people?

But though we honour Signore Annibaldo, I would not have us scorn the worthy Signore Cencio Pierleone, who I hope to count as both friend and neighbour. I respect Signore Pireleone's eloquence and level-headedness in the matter of the Patricianship – truly a phlegmatic mind at work. I thus approve of Senator Basile's call to elevate both Signore Annibaldo Annibaldi and Signore Cencio Pierleone to the Patricianship!

Letter to Hugo de Vinti

Senator de Vinti,

I thank you for your warm welcome and apologize for the lateness of my reply; my return to Rome and recent elevation to Consul of the Interior have left me with precious little time to arrange my affairs and adjusting from a life of travel and scholarship to one of politics has been tumultuous, to say the least. A thousand names scarce-heard since I was a young man now fill my ears. Despite my newness as Consul of the Interior, however, I believe myself worthy of the tasks ahead, and welcome your friendship and advice in the days and weeks to come.

Sanguineus Viviani

Orders for Spring 1160

-Sanguineus will vote to elevate both Annibaldo and Cencio to Patrician (the former only if Rome is fed).

-He will oppose any call for war or violence, even to feed the city.

-He will remain neutral on the matter of Pandolfo Cassi.

-Sanguineus will spend up to [1WP] to begin constructing and furnishing a basic laboratory and library in his home in Trastavere, preferably procuring any translated or original Islamic alchemical texts as well as any equipment he can obtain; at the very minimum he will try to acquire basic texts such as the Turba Philosophorum and various sacred Christian, Jewish, and Isamic texts. He will devote a portion of his time to study and experimentation; current research interests include medicine (particularly life elongation, a classic alchemical subject), demonology, and numerology.

-Investigate marriage possibilities for Cerrus, while looking into the possibility of getting him legitimated, perhaps by Papal decree (via Victor, not Alexander) or some other legal means, quietly consulting with appropriate authorities.

-Meet Senator Basile and any others of note at the Porta Asinaria on the day of the Feast of the Immaculate conception in order to greet Annibaldo.
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« Reply #101 on: February 01, 2015, 05:55:32 AM »


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: Roberto Basile and Sanguineus Viviani
Our Pope(s): Alexander III (“Sicilian”) and Victor IV (“Imperial”)
Our Prefect: None
Our Rage: Fuming [5]

This Season’s Top 5 Popular Issues

1. “Lord Annibaldo, our hero!”
2. “Down with Octavian, that pompous Teutonic bootlick!”
3. “Down with Rolando, that corrupt Sicilian toad!”
4. “We demand bread!”
5. “Keep these indigents out of our neighborhood!”

News from Abroad

It has been reported that the consuls of the Commune of Pisa have signed a treaty with Abd al-Mu’min, the Caliph of the fanatical Almohads, establishing peace between the commune and the caliphate and opening African and Mauretanian ports to Pisan trade vessels.  The treaty has been widely condemned by church officials, the most outspoken of whom has been Siro de Porcello, the Archbishop of Genoa, Pisa’s arch-rival.  His criticism has questionable moral authority, particularly considering that Genoa has maintained commercial relations with the Almohads since 1153 and still enjoys greater privileges than the Pisans have reportedly been granted.

Hermann III “the Great” von Baden, Margrave of Baden and Verona, has died.  Hermann was one of the longest-serving and most devoted allies of the Hohenstaufen family.  The margrave of Baden since his father’s death in 1130, Hermann fought alongside King Konrad III von Hohenstaufen in the Second Crusade, and in 1151 Konrad granted him the Margravate of Verona for his loyalty.  He ably served Konrad’s nephew and successor, Emperor Friedrich “Barbarossa” von Hohenstaufen, taking part in the emperor’s interventions in Italy and fighting in the siege of Milan in 1158.  Ill health prevented him from personally participating in the emperor’s current campaign, and on January 16th he passed away at his family’s castle of Hohenbaden.  He is succeeded as Margrave of both Baden and Verona by his only son, Hermann IV.

News of Italy

The winter brought no respite at Crema, and the Imperial forces and their Lombard allies endured a stalemate against the defenders throughout December.  The new year, however, brought a sudden and unexpected end to the siege.  On the night of January 6th, magister Marchesius, the famed siege engineer and chief architect of Crema’s defenses, snuck out of the city and defected to Emperor Friedrich “Barbarossa” von Hohenstaufen.  It is said the emperor richly rewarded him, though it remains unknown whether there was any sort of pre-arranged deal.

Marchesius’ aid proved critical to the emperor’s efforts.  While the exact information he conveyed to his new employers is unknown, he did supervise the construction of an astonishing bridging machine.  This new machine could lower a bridge 60 feet long and 9 feet across, covered the whole way to shield the assaulting troops, directly onto the walls.  With archers upon the previously built Cremonese tower suppressing the defenders, the imperial troops were able to move it into position.  On the 21st of January, the imperial army began a simultaneous assault from the tower and the bridging machine, and drove the defenders from a substantial portion of the outer wall.

Despite initial success, the city did not fall to that assault.  The Cremasci rallied at the inner wall and managed to hamper the attack with a fortunate shot from one of their own engines that smashed the tower’s drawbridge.  While they had arrested the progress of the attackers, however, the Cremasci could not dislodge the besiegers from the outer wall.  Realizing that the eventual fall of the city was now practically certain and hoping to spare the city from a violent end, the Cremasci leaders offered to surrender in exchange for the terms the emperor had granted to Tortona – Crema would be lost, but its people would be permitted to leave in peace.  On the 27th, the emperor accepted their surrender.  The emperor kept his word, and around 20,000 Cremasci were dispersed to the surrounding villages and towns.  The imperial army then spent a week toppling the walls of Crema and burned the city to the ground.  After Tortona and Spoleto, Crema is the third Italian city the emperor has utterly destroyed.

The promised church council at Pavia to resolve the issue of the Papal schism had been delayed by the Crema’s resistance, but with the emperor’s victory it could now be held.  The emperor entered Pavia on Candlemas (February 2nd) in a triumphal parade which was greeted cheerfully by the Pavesi, and the council was officially convoked on the 5th.  Prelates representing both the pro-Victor (Ottaviano Crescenzi) and pro-Alexander (Rolando Bandinelli) parties were present, as well as ecclesiastical representatives from England, France, and Denmark, and abbots and provosts from around the Empire.  There was, however, a conspicuous absence.  While both of the rival popes had been invited, only Victor actually appeared.  Some of Alexander’s braver partisans attended to argue his case, but Alexander himself evidently refused the summons and never left Latium.

The council lasted for six days.  The precise discussions at the council are known only to those who attended – Church councils are not in the business of publishing transcripts – but the essential details of the deliberation and its results have become widely known.  The chief presiding princes of the church were Pellegrinus, Patriarch of Aquileia, Hermann, Bishop of Verden, and Daniel, Bishop of Prague.  The fact that these were all loyal supporters of Emperor Friedrich seemed to bode ill for Alexander’s cause from the start.

The chief arguments of the pro-Victor faction were mostly procedural:  Firstly, it was noted that Victor, not “Rolando,” had been enmantled at Saint John’s Basilica (the manner of the enmantling evidently notwithstanding); secondly, that Rolando had appeared after the election lacking the papal insignia, while Victor possessed it; thirdly, that Victor had been acclaimed by the people of Rome, as reportedly attested by the emperor's legates and the delegation from the Senate of Rome itself.

Having decided for Victor, the council closed with ceremony on February the 11th.  Victor had already been crowned and consecrated at Farfa, but now he would be enthroned.  Emperor Friedrich led Victor’s horse and held his stirrup as he dismounted, the same act that he had performed only very reluctantly for Pope Adrian some years before.  The emperor, followed by the other bishops, abbots, and princes present, then kissed Victor’s feet.  Ascending to the altar, Victor was enthroned and hailed by the crowd of dignitaries, and was presented gifts by the emperor and the princes.  On the following day, being the Sabbath, Pope Victor called a general council of all the ecclesiastics present and renewed his excommunication of “Chancellor Rolando,” as well as a number of his chief ecclesiastical supporters by name.  As a final act, Victor publicly issued a summons to the consuls of Milan and King William de Hauteville of Sicily to answer for the “injury” which they had inflicted upon Church and Empire.

The latest word from the north is that Pope Victor remains in Lombardy, though few doubt he will soon return to Latium – perhaps now with more substantive imperial aid – to compel the obedience of the clergymen who still defy him and to ensure that Rome, the City of Saint Peter and seat of the pontiff, is firmly in his grasp.

In other news, Welf VI, Margrave of Tuscany and Duke of Spoleto, has announced the convocation of a diet in the Tuscan city of San Genesio.  Margrave Welf, the head of the powerful Welf family that rules Saxony, Bavaria, and much of Swabia, had fought against the Hohenstaufen King Konrad III but was granted Tuscany and Spoleto by the newly crowned king Friederich von Hohenstaufen in 1152 in an attempt at reconciliation between the two premier families of Germany.  Nevertheless, Welf has been a virtual non-entity in Italy for the last eight years, preferring to reside in his familial lands in Swabia.  As far as is known, he has only set foot in his Italian lands once before, when he traveled with Friedrich to receive the imperial crown from Pope Adrian IV in 1155.  All the cities and feudatories of Tuscany and Spoleto have been summoned to the diet to be held in late March.  It is expected that they will be required to swear fealty to him and his twenty-five year old son and heir (also named Welf).  Whether this marks the beginning of a more active interest in the Margravate on behalf of the Welf family is unclear.

News of Latium

On the 7th of December, the day before the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, Signore Niccolo Capocci, a Roman eques, set out for Rome with some fanfare – presumably, it was thought, to spend the feast day in Rome and to be on hand for the arrival of Signore Annibaldi, who was expected the following day.  He did both these things, but had a third objective as well – the capture of Castrum Poteranum.  A Papal fortress near Rome, Poteranum was briefly possessed by Capocci after the Roman-Farfan War, but was reclaimed for the Church by imperial forces during Barbarossa’s campaign in Latium.

In the pre-dawn hours of the 9th of December, a force somewhere around a hundred men scaled the castle’s walls, seized control of the gate, and caught the majority of the garrison still in their beds.  Only one casualty was reported, when the attackers shot and killed a guard attempting to raise the alarm.  The remaining garrison, twenty-two men in total, was captured; Signore Capocci subsequently released them, though without their arms.  With hardly a battle, the rocca had once again fallen to Signore Capocci.  It is rumored (and widely believed) that Capocci accomplished this feat with Roman aid, though no direct involvement of the Roman militia was evident.  Giovanni Conti, Cardinal-Deacon of Santa Maria in Portico, protested the “theft” of the fortification in his care, but no statement on the matter has yet been heard from either pope.

The “Sicilian” Pope Alexander III, having refused the summons of the emperor to Pavia, spent most of the winter in southern Latium with his temporary center of administration at Ninfa, where he presently remains.  Once news of the decision at Pavia reached Latium, he swiftly excommunicated the emperor.  Pope Alexander claims that, having received the votes and the obedience of the vast majority of the college of cardinals, he is the canonically elected pope, and that “Victor” is a usurper and imperial puppet forced upon the Church in the service of Barbarossa’s ambitions.  Already Alexander has begun diplomatic efforts to undermine Victor and the emperor; he received Sicilian and Greek delegations at Ninfa in February, and imperial officials have alleged that they have intercepted letters sent by Alexander to Milan, Brescia, and Piacenza inciting these cities to revolt against the emperor.

Acquapendente, at least technically still embroiled in its war with Orvieto, was among the first of the Latin communes to declare itself for Victor.  Bagnarea, whose expulsion of the Orvietani lord Pandolfo Monaldeschi sparked the war, soon followed the example of its ally and protector.  Bishop Milone of Orvieto subsequently declared for Alexander, though the consuls of Orvieto themselves have yet to announce their recognition of one pope or the other.  The “war” itself continued to be largely quiet, with both sides refraining from significant military activities during the winter.

It was assumed that Civitavecchia, a dependency of the Abbey of Farfa, was effectively in pro-Imperial hands after the consecration of Pope Victor at Farfa, but this was reversed in February when Pietro Latro, a nobleman and vicarius of Civitavecchia installed after the Roman-Farfan War, declared for Pope Alexander, repudiated his agreement with Farfa, and declared himself Signore of Civitavecchia, which was quickly ratified by Alexander’s curia in Ninfa.  Latium’s only major port is now in Alexandrine hands.  It is unclear how this will affect the policy of Pisa, which possesses a small trading colony in that city and has not yet announced an official stance on the schism.

Declared Roman support for the Consuls of Rieti against the bishop of the same diocese has failed to immediately resolve the crisis there.  The bishop remains entrenched in the countryside, while the consuls control the city itself and its militia.  Some predict the coming campaign season may see the outbreak of actual hostilities between the two sides.

A banner of Rome has for the first time been raised over Gregoriopolis to affirm the imperial grant of that village to the Senate.  The Gregoriopolitans themselves seem to care little one way or the other.

News of Rome

Signore Annibaldo Annibaldi, Lord of Molara, made a grand entrance into the city through the Asinarian Gate on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th.  With him were sixty horsemen and a procession of wagons bearing flour.  His party was joined within the gate by an honor guard of Roman militia and the personal troops of Consul Roberto Basile.  The original plan, it seems, was to process directly into the Campus Martius, but rumors of food moved faster than the wagons.  By the time the procession had reached the Forum, there was already a crowd of thousands north of the Capitoline; Roman militiamen attempting to clear the way in advance were greeted with a shower of thrown rocks.

Reportedly it was suggested to Consul Basile that the wagons – and the rest of the party – be diverted west in order to circumvent the gathered mob.  The consul, however, opted instead to sway the crowd with oratory, going ahead of the convoy with thirty of his men.  It is possible that many – indeed, most – were prepared to heed him, but at least a few among the crowd were either too hostile or too hungry, and ran headlong towards the convoy.  Fearing that they would be left with nothing, the rest soon followed.  Basile and his men were forced to flee, and were quite nearly trampled.  He and his men may owe their lives to Signore Annibaldi and his knights, who galloped headlong at the crowd.  Shouting and waving their swords, their great chargers whinnying and stamping the ground, sixty of them were sufficiently intimidating to check the crowd.

The procession retreated southwards, but the crowd turned on the Senate House instead.  The few individuals inside were saved by barring the great bronze doors, which the mob unsuccessfully tried to force.  Then the rioters turned on the Tabularium, the decrepit building which houses the senatorial treasury.  The Tabularium’s few guards, heavily outnumbered, fled immediately.  While the militia did reclaim the structure soon after, it was not before the mob had looted the treasury to the tune of [3 WP].  The losses would likely have been even greater were it not for the fact that a large amount of the silver coinage had recently been moved to the mint for re-striking on the consul’s orders.

Annibaldo’s flour wagons were eventually escorted to warehouses and bakeries in the south of the city, where the process of making and distributing bread soon commenced.  This was a delicate process, by necessity spread throughout the city.  Unrest was reported in many locations, with the militia responding to some incidents but unable to keep order everywhere.  Several dozen people were reported killed or seriously injured in the following days as bread was distributed, but no major riots were started.  Signore Annibaldi himself provided security where he could, riding about the city with his men and making himself a conspicuous sight; other notable senators also lent their personal guards to security.  He was warmly received by the people and loudly cheered wherever he went in the Campus Martius.  Subsequently, by the acclimation of the Senate, he was made a Patrician of Rome.

The new patrician’s flour shipment seems to have allowed the city to make it through the winter without experiencing the horror of starvation that once seemed inevitable.  Times, however, are still lean, and bread prices remain high.  Harvest season, coming in late summer, is still months away.  While most anticipate that Rome as a whole will be able to hold out until then, there will likely be many hungry bellies among Rome’s poor between now and harvest time if more is not done.  As has been demonstrated this past season, the hungry masses can very quickly become the violent masses.

Though sporadic disturbances occurred in multiple districts throughout the season, violence has become alarmingly high in the riverside slum of Arenule et Caccabariorum.  Many lower class laborers fled here after the fire.  The district has taken on the appearance of a shantytown ever since its hasty reconstruction after the floods of recent years, and the militia has had great difficulty responding to disturbances in its narrow, muddy streets.  Bread distribution here was almost impossible; those shipments that did make it were frequently hijacked by gangs which have already begun carving themselves out little fiefdoms among the poor and displaced.  Virtually the whole region is presently a no-go area for any Roman who hasn’t paid off the local toughs.

The winter also saw a concerted attempt by the Senate to resettle Romans who had lost their properties and livelihoods to the recent fire.  Consul Basile focused much of his efforts on the Theater of Marcellus, which had been unused for some years after it was ceded to the Senate by the late Giordano Pierleone.  The theater proved useful as a temporary shelter and a distribution point for the senate’s welfare, and permanent tenements were constructed in and around the structure.

The natives of S. Angeli in Foro Piscium, the region in which the theater stands, were not altogether happy with this arrangement.  S. Angeli, though not a wealthy district, is home to many fishmongers, smiths, weavers, and other artisans who resented homeless indigents from the slums of the Campus Martius being settled in the midst of their community.  Fights and robberies were reported throughout the season, mainly between the old residents and the newcomers.  In early February, the assault of a coppersmith’s wife – allegedly by one of the newcomers – led to a mob attack on the new tenements by local workingmen.  The mob is said to have included a number of local artisan-citizens armed with their militia gear.  Many families were chased out of their new residences and around twenty people were killed.

Those people made homeless by the fire with slightly more means spurned the “relocation.”  Many have moved to northern Trivii et Vie Late.  That neighborhood has been largely unpopulated since the cutting of the Aqua Virgo centuries ago, but the aqueduct was recently restored, largely by the efforts of Senator Hugo de Vinti.  The new water source had attracted few new residents until this season; for some, perhaps the loss of their homes in the fire was the impetus necessary for relocation.  Few of the truly poor are among these new residents, however.

The monetarius and mint-master of Rome, Senator Romello Vanetti, has begun re-striking Papal silver deniers into new deniers bearing the arms of the Senate and People of Rome, apparently on the orders of Consul Basile.  This is an act in direct contravention of the will of the Curia as expressed by the late Prefect Antonio Demetri della Suburra, but with his death and the collapse of his administration in the city there is little to arrest the re-striking process from going forward.

In a rare defeat for the foreign policy of consul Basile, the Senate narrowly rejected the commutation of the sentence of exile for Pandolfo Cassi, a disgraced merchant who was stripped of his properties and citizenship after he fled to Tivoli in the wake of a failed plot to assassinate then-prefect Pietro Colonna some years ago.  Assurances that Cassi had valuable strategic information to offer failed to impress factions of the senate led by senators Signore Bocca and Hugo de Vinti.  The ambivalence of other consiliarii left Basile just a handful of votes short of the majority he needed.

 Nathan ben Mordechai, chief rabbi of the Jews of Rome, has died after less than three years in that office; he was a man of advanced age.  Rabbi Daniel ben Abraham has been chosen as his replacement.

The Schism

Many parties which had been waiting for word from the emperor’s council at Pavia have now cast in their lot with one side or the other.  The Annibaldi and Savelli, houses close to the Tusculani, have declared for Victor, but the Tusculani themselves (as well as another related house, the Colonna) remain neutral.  Niccolo Capocci has declared his support for Victor, though his relative Pietro di Mizo, a cardinal, has taken the side of Alexander.  The Count of Segni and his family, the Conti, have declared for Alexander, joining the ranks of the Frangipani and Demetri.  As mentioned, Signore Pietro Latro’s declaration has placed Civitavecchia into Alexander’s camp as well.

Acquapendente has declared itself for Victor, which was never seriously in doubt, but its current enemy Orvieto has yet to officially go either way.

Perhaps the most surprising declaration was that of Gerardo di Meda, Brother-Master of the Templar Priory of Rome, who quickly declared for Pope Victor after news arrived from Pavia.  The Grandmaster of that order, being in the Holy Land, undoubtedly remains unaware of the schism, but Master Gerardo apparently felt no need to wait for instructions from higher up.



Finances

Owing to the death of Hadrian and the Papal schism, the Papal stipend was not received this season, and may have to be re-negotiated with the Pope(s).

Treasury: 0 WP

Income: 1 WP
  • Duty, Cencio Pierleone: 1 WP
  • Rent, Colosseum: 2 WP (Spring Only)[/i]
Expenditures: 1 WP
  • Upkeep, Senatorial Palatini (50): 1 WP
  • Mint Fee: 1 WP (Spring Only)

State Projects:
None

State Properties:
Theater of Marcellus
Colosseum
Tabularium (Treasury)
Curia Julia (Senate House)
University


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.







Update

This update was delayed a bit by sickness, but hopefully we should be good now.  As usual, let me know if there's anything I missed.  Letters, maps, etc. will be posted later.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 04:39:33 PM by Polycarp » Logged

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« Reply #102 on: February 01, 2015, 04:23:04 PM »

A Letter to Roberto Basile

Consul Basile,

I was mortified to hear of the unfortunate incident at the Forum, though the timely intervention of Signore Annibaldo's men confirms that the Lord of Molara was a useful ally to make. I write to you now on two different matters, however. As you may have heard, I am somewhat inclined to scholarship, though I find less and less time to devote to such pursuits. My sources tell me that at one time you had in your service a certain man fled from Fes, Melloul ibn Hazan al-Fazazi, otherwise known as Avenazon, and that this learned individual, by dint of his expertise in matters alchemical, aided in the production of the exquisite oil of orange now sold as a perfume, quantities of which my wife has taken to wearing, to my continual appreciation. It is my understanding that Avenazon has now left your service, but I wonder if you know where this man may have gone - whether he still resides in Rome, or has taken up his trade elsewhere? Rumour holds that he took up as position as a physician with the Curia, then in Anagni, but even this seems uncertain and his current whereabouts are unknown to me. I would also be interested in arranging a tour of your perfumery, if such a thing would be amenable to you; it is my understanding that it is quite busy this season, and I would relish the opportunity to witness the production of its famed scent.

I am curious, also, as to your thoughts concerning the criminal activities in Arenule et Caccabariorum, where the activity of certain thuggish rogues seems to have comprimised the distribution of the bread gleaned from Signore Annibaldo to a portion of the city's population in greatest need of it. The deplorable violence in S. Angeli in Foro Piscium is also of concern. I am considering hiring a band of masnada, as they are sometimes called, to help clear out the wretched gangs in the riverside slums, seizing any stolen bread and distributing it to the hungry. Unless I am mistaken, you employ men of like character yourself. Were I to attempt to cleanse the riverside of the criminal filth that have infested it, would you consider lending some of your own men to the endeavour?

Consul Sanguineus Viviani
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 05:06:09 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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« Reply #103 on: February 01, 2015, 05:00:21 PM »

A Letter to Sanguineus Viviani

Consul Viviani,

The Romans shall be as they shall be, and the gentle hand is not always best to guide them. I had indeed employed the services of Avenazon for several years, and his talent and knowledge were of some use in the establishment of my perfumery. As you know, after leaving my service he found employment with the Curia - indeed, tending to the failing health of His Holiness the Bishop Hadrian. I had some small correspondence with him subsequently, and as a favour had him travel to observe the birth of my grandson Giovanni. He is not in Rome, however, and where he is now I could not say, but I suspect I should face little difficulty in finding him should that be your desire.

I have heard of your scholarly pursuits, and I may be able to more immediately aid them. I have in my possession a fragmentary copy of the venerable Rhazes' Book of Secrets, indeed translated into Greek. If knowledge is what you seek to find, Rhazes offers plenty. It would be little trouble to have a further copy penned as a gift for your own use. Likewise, you are more than welcome to join me at my estate on the Viminal Hill this Saturday. We shall break a midday meal together, and then I shall take you to my perfumery. We have only just begun this season's pressing and decanting and my nose can tell already that it is a fine and orange year indeed. I'm certain you'll find the copperwork of interest.

To crime, I cannot abide it. It has been my own intent to scour the thieves out of that rathole, but I will defer to the office of the Interior on this matter, as your experience of Governance has matured and I sense you are eager to shoulder more of Rome's responsibilities. I would ask that you leave the matter of the Theatre and Piscium to me, but once that matter is settled I shall absent myself from all Consular authorities within our walls, save those necessary to defence. You must excuse me, for your predecessors were not quite so able or interested, and so of necessity many of these things fell to me. To find a good prop for your house is not so much a matter of coin as it is of relationship. Of course you can pay any man to swing a club for you, but what you desire are loyal men who love your house and who will fight for it in any way that you should ask. You have some friends and followers about you, I have seen, so ask of them advice - perhaps they have nephews! In any case, my masnada shall join your men when you have gathered them and think the time is right. They are skilled, and well-suited to display of the firm hand. Let us take these criminals before our courts and show the popolo that Roman law cannot be flouted.

Consul Roberto Basile

P.S. - As Rome's Consul and General, I must always think first of the city's defence. My motion to pardon Cassi was defeated by a single hair. As such - and as I said before the Senate - I have yet to secure all of the man's plans and information. I am required by my position to always keep in mind a strategy for the reduction of hated Tivoli. I will introduce this motion once more, and I must ask this time for your support on the Senate floor. With it, we shall no doubt be successful, and Rome shall be further secured.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 05:09:38 PM by TheMeanestGuest » Logged

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« Reply #104 on: February 01, 2015, 05:47:14 PM »

A Letter to Roberto Basile

Consul Basile,

Your letter gratifies me; I would be delighted to join you at your estate on Saturday, where perhaps we can discuss Avenazon further. As for the Book of Secrets, I would greatly appreciate a copy of such a work, and would gladly compensate you for the expense.

Though I have but lately returned to Rome, my father had many friends here; I shall seek some of these out to assist in the recruitment of a worthy and reliable prop to purge the Arenule et Caccabariorum of its parasites. Like the leeches of a physician we shall draw the bad blood from Rome and restore the riverside to health. It strikes me that the petty villains who have so ignoably seized bread intended for hungry mouths have doubtless amassed some quantity of coin from this wretched endeavour. Should we, through our efforts, acquire this ill-gotten wealth, perhaps some portion might be set aside to aid in resettlement efforts in S. Angeli, which in turn might quell the discontent plaguing the district around the theatre? I am unsure as to the legalities of such action, but perhaps you can advise me.

On the matter of Cassi, I would be pleased to offer my aid. As I had only recently returned to Rome, I felt it was not my place to weigh in on this matter and had initially deemed it prudent not to interfere. When I arrived, despite my rapid elevation to Consul, Rome's political landscape was somewhat murky, like the gases produced from a mixture of salpetre and vitriol, distilled by flame; it takes time and patience to eventually yield a clear solution. Now Rome's mysteries begin to yield to careful scrutiny.

Consul Sanguineus Viviani
« Last Edit: February 01, 2015, 05:48:45 PM by Steerpike » Logged


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