Uneasy Lies the Head
Mastelli household has often been compared with rabbit warren, and the habit of the old Gregor to marry young women after his wife dies and continue producing children has done little to change this impression. Now his children by his third wife are growing up side by side with his grand children. Fortunately the family fortunes are making sure that none of the many children will be a problem. The size of the family also serves as an asset as practically all positions both on sea and land are filled by people whose loyalty is never in doubt. The family has been on a slight upwards path for a while and looks forward to accelerating that trend.
With ten living children Gregor Mastelli is holding something of a record among the upper classes of Neu Ungern. Adding to this the almost as numerous progeny of his there brothers and this makes Mastelli clan by far the most numerous in the city. Sometimes described as an old lecher for his preference for young wives and great number of children Gregor is in fact very devoted to his wife (of the moment) and his family never availing himself of the courtesans which are easily (and discreetly) accessible to those of his rank. Fine pilot, if not navigator, he is much troubled by gout which makes sea voyage painful for him. He still tries to do at least one crossing ever second year but is otherwise rather stationary. Never much of a socialite he is content to limit his public appearances to several occasions a year and lord over the vast Mastelli palace in the unfashionable northern part of the new city with the benign but firm hand.
He is known to have passion for puzzles, riddles and rebuses and is known to have invented several very well known ones himself.
Not much can be said about the four wife of old Masteli except that she continues the tradition of being young and looking even younger. Coming from the impoverished small merchant stock she was by many considered bought bride. If so she does not seem to mind approaching both her strange husband and her enormous family with the imminent common sense.
As good if not a better pilot then his brother, Gian-Carlo Mastelli is frequently out on the sea. His personal quirk is the idea that there can be a scientific basis for navigation. Following it he has indeed succeeded in improving the efficacy of the several family routers but has not yet succeeded in fulfilling his life’s dream of creating a new one. The fact that a relatively unknown boy David Espieire has achieved this feat does leave him somewhat hurt. When in the city Gian-Carlo teaches the fundamentals of Navigation at the Nav Colledge and is by many considered to be the best theorist on the subject in the city (an admission that some make with a bit of snigger).
Contrary to the Gregor, the youger Mastellis have had the luck (or lack thereof) that their first wives still live. Saskia Masteli was a daughter of a River Rat and her marriage to Gain Carlo was arranged by his brother (for whom many suspect to have been her lover). Her exotic northern look however hid a shrewish personality and her nagging and constant arguments make Gian-Carlo’s life always miserable when he is in the city.
Sharing the family luck with piloting skills Gain Lorentzo is not nearly as interested in Navigation as either of his brothers. While he does his share of the family business he is by nature an urban type equally at home at the gambling party in the Lady, Gladiatorial Match at “Kinfy” or the fancy striptease at “Butterfly”. He is mostly in charge of the trading aspect of the family business with his specialty being dazzling the visitors by all the Neu Ungren has to offer until they are too stunned and flabbergasted to resist the Mastelli deal. Fact that he enjoys all the spectacle and debauchery to the hilt even in his age, only makes him that much more interesting host. He is rumored to have as many bastards as Luca Santoni but contrary to him he neither acknowledges them nor provides for them in any way.
While not nearly as shrewish as Saskia, Angelina Mastelli despairs of her husband’s outlandish ways. She enjoys the socializing and would like nothing better then to belong to one of the inner circles of the female society. Her husband reputation and the very fact that she is one of “Mastelli wifes” do not help.
Fourth Mastelli brother is possibly the most ordinary of the lot. His main passion is for the deep sea fishing and many lavishly mounted sharks, hammerheads and giant catfish that grace most walls of Mastelli mansion are his prey. Between his brothers and nephews there is little business that is left for him to do so he is mostly content to be family accountant
Probably the happiest among the Mastelli wives, Dominica has a faithful if somewhat disinterested husband and devoted children. She seems content with her lot and is mostly oriented towards the family.It is a carefully guarded secret that Sorrigo is not even remotely aware of that Dominica had an affair with the highly ranked member of nobility some 13 years ago. She was not discovered and prudently closed the matter after a single summer of infatuation.
Oldest son and Heir to Gregor Vittorio is more then a little sick of the vast clan he lives within. It is not that he dislikes any of his brothers, half brothers, uncles an cousins personally but rather the fact that within all of their idiosyncrasies, habits and conflicting personalities it is very difficult for him to raise a family of his own. Vittorio is a decent navigator but not up to the standards of his father and uncle. He is a conscientious merchant but without style and panache of his other uncle. Even as a fisherman he can not measure up to the third uncle so all in all he does feel somewhat superfluous in his own house and his wife’s affair with Luca Santoni did not help the matters any. He is not truly bitter but has sardonic self deprecating wit that makes him somewhat of a character in his social circles. Perennially on the run from home he is accepted both in the Nob and Nav circles and is one of the few who have engendered true friendship with some members of the Gergely household. Answering to the Bartolini taunt in the Captain’s Club about him preferring to dine with the Gergelies then with his fellow navs he replied that it was the intimacy and privacy of the Major’s palace with barely 500 relatives and servants that keeps drawing him there..
Rebecca (33) [Formerly Rebecca Malpiero]
Lively and intellectual, Rebecca Malpiero was a brief comet on the Neu Ungren social sky. Several important navs vied for her hand before she was won by the Vittorio Mastelli. While she did love her husband she still felt the need to be constantly wooed and adored, something the cynical Vittorio had no intention of. The gap was filled by the Luca Santoni who would not suffer the jewel such as Rebecca to be “mounted as trophy fish on the warren wall”. He appealed to her love for intelligent conversation and thirst for politics as well as to her need to feel desirable. Sadly for her, Luca’s interest in women rarely outlasts the season and at the end of it she fond herself burdened by both sense of betrayal and the tremendous feeling of guilt. She admitted the affair to her husband, who quite possibly heard about it already as Luca Santoni was never known to be very discreet about such things and two of them have managed to get over it although with difficulty. Rebecca is one of the very few former lovers that bears profound grudge against Luca Santoni.
Well in the years that indicate Spinsterhood in her social circles, Lada Masteli is an unhappy woman. She had a long platonic affair with Horos Pall heir to the Graff Pall of Seimel. However, despite the relative poverty of the Palls and the considerable dowry Gregor was offering, or perhaps just because of it, old Graff rejected the relationship as inappropriate as Lada was not only non-magyr but a year older then his son as well. She is now struggling to find a place for herself in life. Her father loves her dearly and is willing to help her in any way he can including setting her up as a family representative in Miskoltz, the city she loved eve since seeing it first time when she was a kid.
She has a great relationship with her youngest uncle sharing his love for the fishing and frequently confides into him.
Veronica (31) [Now Veronica Candiano]
Salvatore Mastelli is a young political force among the Navs. Since the early years he either accompanied or represented his Father on the Captain’s Council and has a keen sense for the unstable power arraignments of Neu Ungren. He has influence disproportionate to his youth and family wealth among the elder Navigators and earned the Espieire gratitude by throwing himself full heartedly behind their call to war. He has a number of centuries members in his personal clientele and is rumored to have wanted to run himself only to be advised against it by his father. If it comes to that that the Neu Ungren actually takes control of Friulli or even Timosvar and not just give it over to a pliable aristocrat, it is his name that is bandied as a possible “Podesta” or a governor for it.
Rosalio Gian-Lorentzo (26)
Oldest of the Gian-Lorentzo’s children Rosalio is very much a younger version of his father. More than the blood the upbringing has to do with it as the young Rosalio was treated to a visit by one of the most well known courtesans as his father’s gift for his 15th birthday. Some differences between the two remain however, mainly in the fact that while Gian Lorentzo is at home in all parts of Neu Ungren from the poorest to the most posh, the son tends to gravitate towards the higher end of the spectrum. While it does mean that he is more acceptable in the social circles. Also, contrary to his father Rosalio is very interested in the virginal girls of his own social class and although they should knew better by his reputation more then a few of them have been dangerously attracted to his handsome looks and cavalier and worldly manners. Having a particular taste for Magyr girls he made several passes at Illona Serwosy and while it is almost certain he never got what he wanted form her she did not scorn him like he deserved either.
Pietro Gian-Carlo (25)
Much as Rosalio takes after his father, so does Pietro Gian-Carlo after his. Bookish type he does not subscribe to his father navigational theories but is nevertheless interested in mathematics and, surprisingly for a man of his class, principles of thermodynamics and metallurgy. He made several attempts to obtain some information about the guild methods, going so far as to convince his father to offer to any guildsman willing a very prestigious chair at the Nav College but without success. He did however succeed in getting hold of several pumps and boilers of guild manufacture which he attempted to reverse engineer with mixed success. In addition to that, Pietro is a quite successful, if amateur, painter and the portrait of Duke Major he did for his cousin to give to Gergely at the occasion of his six decades in power is considered one of the best.
Well executed aquarelle schematics of boilers and pumps vie with stuffed fish for the limited space on Mastelli walls.
Ellena Gian-Lorentzo (24)
Gain-Lorentzo Mastelli can not be blamed for discrimination based on sex among his children and his first daughter was introduced to the wonders of the Neu Ungren at barely older age then her brother. While she never became another Andrea Fugger she does remain one of the not so many women of her class who will openly be seen in such places as “Kinfy” or even “Place on the Marsh”. Curious and self confident, if not outright debacherous like her father and brother, Ellena also has a charitable side and is often moved by cruelty and poverty she sees on her fun-seeking excursions. Rather then giving to the worthy charities, she has been known to spend significant amounts of money helping individual people with whose suffering she empathized. Fact that she has probably be conned out of at least some of that money by the unscrupulous had made her warier but not less willing to help and those who have been true to her know that she can be a strong friend.
David (24 – Dead)
The most intellectual among the original Demonologists, David literally grew up in the library of Nav College underfoot his beloved uncle Gian-Carlo. He was always interested in the occult and alchemy and was a prime candidate for the demonological group. Before he left for his exile he made his fiancé, Anabella Zorzzi pregnant with a child which is due very soon.
Another college youth. Only reason he was not in with the demonologists was that he was on the crossing at the time. Good navigator he has too hot a temper for his own good and tends to draw conclusions on flimsiest evidence. Even before everything was known he declared Maltino responsible for the death of his beloved brother and sworn a personal vendetta against him. It was only the most stern warning from his father and a careful surveillance by the family fixer that has so far prevented him from doing something stupid.
Philip Sorrigo (19)
Philip is so close to his cousin Leonora that some are starting to suspect their relationship to be more then simply familial love. It went so far that when he went on his first crossing last year he succeeded in persuading his uncle to let his daughter pilot the ship for him. The two are also both first rate fencers quite frequently sparring with live steel all over the Mastelli mansion. Finally they have a custom of always appearing in matched costumes of unparalleled innovativeness and excellence on the annual carnival party.
Leonora Gian-Carlo (19)
Two great loves of Leonora Gian-Carlo are her cousin Philip and the ships. She was never so happy as when Philip pulled what looked like an impossible task and convinced her father not only to let her come on his first crossing but also pilot his ship. While initially sailors thought it a pinnacle of bad luck for an 18 year old girl to be given the pilots ropes by the end of the perfectly executed voyage even they had to admit that the blood of the Gian-Carlo Mastelli has to count for something. Well tanned and fit she presents a stark contrast to the most among the rich female population of Neu Ungren.
Lada Gian-Lorentzo [Engaged to become Lada Contarini] (18)
While his two older children enjoy the libertine lifestyle he introduced them to, Gian-Lorentzo’s youngest legitimate daughter abhors it. Having somewhere found religion she believes most of her family, and her father in particular, to be servants of the Demiurge and can not wait to be as away as possible from them. Having been born the most good looking of all Mastelli girls she had little trouble attracting young Domenigo Contarini into asking for her hand. Fact that she choose to not listen to her uncles or her fathers advice regarding this particular charming young man means that she is in for a world of unpleasant surprises as soon as she says her marriage wows.
Coquettish and perennially dressed in the most expensive finery Beatricia Mastelli is a picture of the pampered and spoiled nob girl. Fact that she is also rather intelligent – a fact carefully hidden behind the insipid exterior – will make her one of the most dangerous young debutantes when she enters the society this year. For the last several years she has sensed the effect she has on men and is starting to truly enjoy the power associated with it. Already she has tortured some of her cousins by the “accidental” indiscretions and have honed her skills within the limited confines of her circles. At 16 she would be true Discreet Companion in the making if her social class were not setting serious obstacles in that path.
Fabio Gian-Carlo (16)
Also about to enter society is Fabio, who was one of the Beatricia’s victims and is hopelessly in love with her. Trusting, reliable sort of fellow he lacks his father’s intellectual spirit but is likely to become a solid nav if he does not fall pray to some P.J. Espierie of his generation.
Pietro Sorrigo (15)
Andreas Sorrigo (11)
Salvatore Vittorio (9)
Fulvio Vittorio (5)
Not much yet to be said about the underage members of the Mastelli Clan except that as most kids would they seem to enjoy the fact of their vast family. Salvatore Vittorio already at 9 shows that he will be sharing his father’s legendary wit and young Marco, Gregor’s son of (very) old age is healthier and livelier baby then any 60 year old has a right to expect.