The Renaissance
Italy. 1492. As the Borgia pope reigns, Italy falls apart. Plot, counterplot, intrigue, high art, and more await.
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"Is nothing sacred anymore?" Giovanni muttered.

Lorenzo chuckled and released the two. He pointed to the door. "Speed in the resolution of this matter would be greatly appreciated, my friends." A glint in his eye stated that this was not, in fact, a request.

12/24/2010 #31
J.A. Fletcher

"I should love to know what it is that I am doing."

12/24/2010 #32

"Giovanni will inform you on the way out." Lorenzo gestured toward the door again. "Go, get out of my sight."

Giovanni sighed and made for the door, not acknowledging his new partner in crime.

12/24/2010 #33
J.A. Fletcher

"Inform me of our mission." Adriano said as they walked through the door. "And anon you shall have permission to attempt to end my life."

1/2/2011 #34

Giovanni let out a bitter chuckle. "Such permission I do not need. Our mission is to dispatch one friar by the name of Giorlamo Savonarola. His preachings are inflammatory towards the Medici and His Holiness, and stirs the peasants to riot. He is currently speaking to the masses outside the Church of Santa Maria della Grazie."

(Just to be clear, we have to fail. Savonarola has to at least set off the Bonfire of the Vanities before we kill him off.)

1/2/2011 #35
J.A. Fletcher

"Have you any idea of how we shall go about it?"

(No idea what that is, but okay!)

1/3/2011 #36

"He often retreats inside the rectory between inflammations. It is there that we shall end him. Silently. Eventuali idee brillanti, professore?"

(Translation: "Any bright ideas, Professor?")

(It's a long story. Here, read this.

1/3/2011 #37
J.A. Fletcher

"Do you wish to expire him with his own cross?"

2/9/2011 #38

Giovanni snorted. "We're not paid for poetic justice. It needs not be any more complicated than it must."

2/9/2011 #39
J.A. Fletcher
"It was a joke, but I see that you are devoid of any humor. I have the answer. It is a mixture that, when drank, stops the heart of the victim naturally. I learned of it on the dark continent."
2/11/2011 #40

Giovanni raised an eyebrow. "'Dark continent?' Is that the one with the mullatoes or the one that sank to the bottom of the sea?"

2/13/2011 #41
J.A. Fletcher

"The mulattoes. The latter is pure myth."

8/3/2011 #42

"And mysterious islands full of treasure are fact. Magnifico."

8/3/2011 #43
J.A. Fletcher

"I have a map of the La Tresura. Give me a map of the lost continent, and I shall try to find it."

8/3/2011 #44

"There have been maps of the lost continent since Plato first wrote of it. That does not garauntee its existence."

8/3/2011 #45
J.A. Fletcher

"I know not of these maps. I am a very simple man, according to you."

8/3/2011 #46

"You've yet to convince me otherwise."

8/3/2011 #47
Irish toaster

Roger Hawthorn was not a drinking man, though many urged him to reconsider. His closest friends promised that diplomatic dealings were far less stressful when sharing a goblet of wine with whoever needs convincing...Still; Roger favored a sharper mind and would decline his friend's kind offers, though he was grateful. No, Hawthorn was content in drinking water at this Gala, after all, for him it was stiflingly hot in his formal wears.

Am I truly the only one who feels trapped in a fur-lined furnace? He mused, draining another cup of water.

8/3/2011 #48

Lorenzo did his best to make the rounds of all the various powers-that-be at the gala. As odd as it may seem, maintaining cordial relations with all these dignitaries was the hook on which Italy's tenuous peace hung. Even so, Lorenzo was sick and tired of talking to Frenchmen and pompous cardinals and fat merchants of Venice. As he mad ehis way across the room, he spotted the sole English diplomat at the get-together. He approached hawthorn and bowed low.

"Ah, Roger! I welcome you to my home."

8/3/2011 #49
Irish toaster

When Roger turned to see Lorenzo he bowed with a sweep of his hand.

"I am honored Lorenzo, my lord. I come with greetings from Lord Mormount, who has asked of me to send his high regards. He praises your name at England's court as an inspiration."

Roger felt wooden now as he spoke the words, hoping Lorenzo did not take note how hollow they sounded. Even to Roger, the prepared lines were ill at ease with his own, usually frank and honest nature, respectful or no. Still; he knew such formalities were a necessity, at least for now. He hoped Lorenzo would not take him for a mere spinner of words and false compliments.

8/3/2011 #50

Lorenzo, wise as he was, loved a good ego-stroking. He noticed nothing amiss. He pointed at Roger's cup of water. "The wine is not poisoned, you know. At least, not yours." He smiled sardonically.

8/3/2011 #51
Irish toaster

Roger glanced at his cup and attempted a laugh. It sounded false, even to him.

"Pardon my lord." he said quickly. "I do not drink and admittedly I am not yet accustomed to the Italian climate, lovely as it is."

He winced at how ungrateful he must seem but he strived to be honest. "Nor am I yet accustomed to the titles and curiosities of the Florentine court, my lord"

He finished wondering if he should have said 'your Grace' rather than 'my lord'; after all to Hawthorn's knowledge it was Lorenzo who ruled these parts, at least by power if not necessarily by right. Yet he heard many things of Lorenzo, his cruelty his charity...he was determined to see for himself the man on everyone's lips.

8/3/2011 #52

Lorenzo chuckled and put his arm around Roger's shoulder. He'd had trouble with the French lately, and the English were just the type to resolve it. Lorenzo did not care for Roger Hawthorn; indeed he did not care for most, if any, of the dignitaries populating his house this evening. Regardless, Lorenzo de Medici was a master statesman, a chess grandmaster playing with pieces of men and nations.

He chuckled again and said, "Roger, my friend, the first thin you must realize is that we Tuscans (indeed, we Italians) are men of ego. The Pope has His Holiness, the Neapolitans have a king, and I will take anything that feels good."

Florence was still ostensibly a republic, but everyone, including Lorenzo, was aware of the facts.

8/3/2011 #53
Irish toaster

Hawthorn was always uncomfortable being touched, even a hearty embrace. It took considerable effort not to wince in Lorenzo's presence. He resolved that this was the way of the Italians, personal, intimate...uncomfortably so.

He nodded. "As you say my lord"

He cast his gaze around the gala, noting all the dignitaries present. He knew that he must speak to as many at this gala as he could, he may not get such an opportunity again. It truly was a grand affair, no doubt Lorenzo wished to show his true power to all the power-players across Europe. The lavish setting seemed to Roger like the peafowl's plumage, a demonstration of prowess...

"I would be honored to discuss matters between our great houses in the future, if it please you my lord. Such matters of diplomacy should benefit us all. The Kingdom of England has but the highest admiration for you and Florence."

8/8/2011 #54

"And we have nothing but respect for you, my friend! Which is way I wonder if I might ask something of His Majesty's Government."

8/10/2011 #55
Irish toaster

What could he possibly desire from my realm so far away? Roger wondered. Gold? Surely Lorenzo has an abundance of coin.

It unerved him but was not sure as to the reason why.

"You're Grace has but to ask. What is it you would request of my King, your grace?"

8/10/2011 #56
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