The campaign takes place in an alternate version of our world, a world where magic functions and dragons are real. Specifically, it opens in the year 1425 on the Italian peninsula, the end of the middle ages and the dawn of the Renaissance. The Italian peninsula is divided up among numerous rival powers and city states. Our campaign begins in and is centered around the incredible city of Florence.

You have journeyed to Florence seeking adventure.

Great instability has befallen the city, and its society finds itself riven by endless power struggles and intrigues. The ancient noble families, the wealthy mercantile clans, the Church, the Wizards’ and the Thieves’ guilds are but a few of the factions embroiled in constantly shifting alliances and deadly feuds. It is a time and place where one versed in sword or spell craft can find much work and maybe even make a fortune.

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Pia
Patience and trust
Pia was impulsive, she knew that. It has gotten her into much trouble and had taken more than one lashing for it. Luckily, the day she was set to get her worst flogging yet, Giovanni stepped in.

Pia had grown up on the streets and the only family she had were the other street urchins she begged and lived with. But they were all just children, some just barely walking.

Adults to her were untrustworthy, greedy bastards that only cared about one thing. Themselves.

But she may be starting to change her view. First Giovanni saved her from what would possibly been a terminal flogging. Granted, he did ask for her to steal for him, but she felt he would have done it even without the favor back. Or least she liked to think that.

Then, Giuseppe started to teach her how to defend herself and fight. For years, her efforts for begging and pickpocketing had been taken from her by bigger kids. She was fast and often gotten away, but when they caught her, she took quite the beating.

She could tell that she often tried Giuseppe's patience but he still continued his lessons. She found that the lessons really helped her concentrate and was teaching her to think before acting. Sometimes.

She still did not truly trust adults, but she would at least give them a chance. For now.
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You lead, I will follow
I've survived out here in the world a long time. I was tough as a kid, just as likely to pick a fight as any of the boys, and more likely to win. Once I left the family home, I learned that as a woman if you're going to make it you need to find a man who can handle himself. Not a husband or even a lover - a man who can lead, make decisions, guide the rest of the party to success.

Giovanni is that man. Whether he's wearing a jaunty hat or a simple religious frock, he exudes knowledge, confidence, leadership. I knew it the minute I first saw him. It was a few months ago, I was on my way to the market, when I came upon 2 men debating the merits of fresh vs brined olives. Such a ridiculous topic but you should have seen Giovanni in his full glory. Gesticulating, thrusting his chest out, punctuating his points with a toss of his head. His opponent, withering under the heat of Giovanni's sound logic, never had a chance.

Since that day I have trusted this man implicitly. I know whatever adventure our party encounters, this stable genius will lead the way.
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A Slight Change of Style
Of all the things Giovanni hated about life at the monastery - and he hated almost everything about life amid that dank, miserable huddle of buildings - it was the clothing that tormented him the most. He still shuddered when he recalled that coarse robe the color of faded shit that made him itch like a dog with mange. He had never felt such elation when he finally burned it in the campfire. That day he had spent his meager silver on a pair of sky-blue hose and a jaunty red tunic. He figured that the silver cross, which he had filched from the abbot's cell on his way out of the monastery, would be enough to signify his status as a cleric.

All he needed was a hat, and when that drunken noblewoman in the wagon rain from Naples left her thickly-plumed hat at the edge of the firelight while she stumbled off to puke, Giovanni's outfit was complete.

But his first few days in Florence had been disenchanting. People looked at him strangely when he claimed to be a priest, and some people even seemed to find him slightly ridiculous. He had never experienced this in Naples, when he dressed as jauntily as he pleased, but that may have been because people knew that he was an Alighieri, and feared disrespecting the family, especially his uncle Fausto, who was better knows as the Finger, due to his habit of relieving people of their digits when they crossed the family.

Agnola's rejection was most disappointing. He had never been good at getting women to consent to doing anything more than cooking for him, but he had hoped that his priestly status would help. There had been nothing but withered old men at the monastery, and the women he had met since leaving there had not seemed at all interested, but he still had high hopes about Florence.

So the next day, he traded the foppish outfit and the rest of his gold for the black habit of a Dominican monk. The plumy hat fetched him enough silver to buy a robe of soft linen, with gold thread work. Not as stylish as he would have liked, but still much better than the literal hair shirt that had afflicted him at the monastery.

He studied himself in the mirror, and was most pleased. "Buono," he said, blew himself a kiss. It saddened him to change out of it and don his simple adventuring clothes - leather breeches and a simple tunic - but he gave the teenage serving girl a silver to watch over the clothes carefully while he was away.

"If God allows me to return from this dangerous endeavor," he told her, "perhaps you will join me as I pray in thanksgiving."

Session: Game Session 01 - Sunday, Mar 29 2020 from 8:00 AM to 11:00 AM
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Excerpt from the Journal of Giuseppe Uccisore
March 30, 1425 - Florence

Pia’s insolence taxes my patience. We’ve been here barely a day and she acts like a dog let loose from its leash, all the training and discipline, cast off like a collar. Hopefully, some temperance might rub off from spending time with Adelesia. I cannot speak too harshly, based upon my own foibles. After tracking down this Vincenzo fellow, imagine my embarrassment when this lying churl acted as if he wasn’t who he said he was! I nearly succumbed to the gratification of taking a pair of pliers to his balls, when that cox-comb Giovanni stepped in.

Luckily, a distraction, by the name of Agnola has a job for us. A Duchessa caught by her husband with her harp instructor’s delicate finger work in her knickers. Another Noble sob story, send in the street ruffians to fix it. If the combination to the strongbox doesn’t work, I’ll be taking Agnola’s delicate fingers.

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Hirow's tale, Pt. 1
Hirow sat down by Sister Orsolla at the hearth of the inn. The day had been warm, so no fire was lit. Nevertheless, the stonework was the focal point of the room.
"You never did tell me why you had to flee your homeland." she said as he settled. "And why you are hunted."
Hirow slowly pulled something from his pack wrapped in cloth. She glanced at the cloth, and then looked back at him. Hirow sighed.
"It is a tale I am loath to tell. Would it suffice to say that the Sultan and I had a difference of beliefs?"
Orsolla gave a quizical and somewhat impatient look and said nothing. From the cloth he withdrew a wooden flute, which he then used the cloth to polish. Without looking up, Hirow continued.
"The Sultan can be a cruel man, most especially to women. And though he has four wives, he also enjoyed a harem of almost a dozen young women; a most cruel enjoyment. One day I could bear his treatment of them no longer. Foolishly, I spoke to them, thinking I might devise some easement to their suffering."
Hirow paused and took a deep breath. He folded the cloth and set it on the pack. Then he brought the flute up to his lips.
"The Sultan was so enraged by my transgression that only by the grace of Allah was I able to flee with but my life. A fatwa was issued and a price was put upon my head. A most impressive price, I am led to understand..."
Hirow began a slow, somber song.
Orsolla listened and after a while the rest of the room seemed to fade.
She began to nod her head in time with the drums.
Drums?
She opened her eyes and glanced around the room. No drummer or drums could be seen.
She moved her head from side to side, tilting and turning it. The sound of the drums was coming from everywhere. And from nowhere.
Hirow stopped playing, and the drums stopped as well.
"A sound, it flies like a bird through the air and on into your ear. Once inside the ear it stops at a gate, and on the other side of this gate a musician sits at a harp." Hirow paused for a moment, checking for her reaction. "This musician, he replays faithfully all of the sounds that reach the gate. It is this music that travels into your head, where you hear it."
She looked pensively in the direction of the ceiling rafters, imagining it.
"When an angel sings to you or when he speaks to you, there is no sound that traverses the air. Another person in the room, he might hear nothing. There is nothing that reaches the gate of your ear. Instead, it is the angel sitting at the inner harp; he himself is plucking the strings."
Hirow put the flute to his lips and resumed playing. Orsolla closed her eyes and listened.
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