Uneasy Lies the Head
Navigatorial Families of Neu Ungren
Other Navigatorial Families of Neu Ungren
Randolf (57): By nature a bit of a push-over Randolf Fugger was never a satisfactory son for his aggressive and brilliant father and never truly learned ropes of the business. Even though he is satisfactory captain of the ship he is a poor merchant and since the death of old Johan Fugger the family has been reduced from the position that was equaled only by the Bartolini’s to practically that of the second rate navigatorial house. It was only recently with the advent of the young Andreas that the family has started to regain the lost ground. Having gladly passed the rudder to his son Randolf enjoys the simple life of the gentleman of means worried only by the marriage prospects of his daughter.
Andreas (25 – Died): To many, Andreas Fugger is the brightest star in Neu Ungren sky. Brilliant navigator rumored to have made improvements to family routers as early as at the age of 16 his mathematical skills are only equal by his ability to drive a hard bargain. He recaptured much of the Fugger markets lost by his father and in the process won significant following among the River Rats as most of his shipping tends to be up Tierz. His attempt to gain significant access to the Imperial Market was interrupted by the murder of the Imperial Envoy last year. Fact that he is one of the most accomplished fencers, possibly the best dancer and one of the most handsome young men in the city only adds to his luster.
Andrea (27): Quite possibly equally brilliant to her accomplished brother, young and beautiful Andrea Fugger is quite definitively trapped in female body. Without channel in trade or navigation her brilliance has made her one of the principal femmes of the Neu Ungren high society (position now threatened by the even more beautiful Illona Serwosy). Her expertise of human nature probably exceeds that of her brother. Rumors of her sexual appetites and experiments are widespread and the number of her lovers already very long.
Fuggers claim to be the oldest of all currently extant Navigatoral Houses. They also claim descent from the pagan Lords of the Marsh although these days they are at least nominally faithful. Their standards of hospitality have never wavered and “good as the Fugger wine” has been a by-word in the city for more then a century. Marriage partners for Andrea and Andreas remain one of the prime items of the city rumor mill.
Orseolo (73): Though still nominally head of the family, Old Orseolo is now largely content to watch his sons take care of the increasing Parvi fortunes. Timely alliance with the rising fortunes of the Espieries has brought Parvis into the ranks of top five families of the city. Recent disappearance of his grandson is the only thing that clouds the old age of this vital and mentally acute old gentleman.
Anna (68): Dedicated wife of old Orseolo Anna Parvi was his childhood friend and early bride. Still remembered as one of the great beauties of the city in her time she is now interested in many charitable institutions she heads. One of the prime members of the matrons’ society her word is listened with attention by many in the city’s upper orders.
Orso (47): Older son of Orseolo, Orso is day-to-day head of the family although he rarely makes important decisions without consulting his brothers. Competent but often boorish and somewhat ruthless he is respected but not liked by his peers outside family.
Orsello (43): Middle of the three Parvi brothers Orsello handles the supply side of the business and is thus frequently in the Emirate of Harid which Parvi prefer to Bardia as their southern contact point. Fact that he married a southron girl, and a daughter of Emir’s half-brother and Vizier was an item of much gossip in the city and his half-breed sons still engender interest when they visit the city. Fact that they should be moving permanently to Neu Ungren soon in order to join college should reduce their mystique somewhat.
Orsellino (39): Decent Navigator and good merchant Orsellino is quite possibly the most competent of the there brothers. He is quite content with his lot in life and enjoys his life to the fullest.
Angelica (45): Wife of the Orso. Following the example of his father Orso married a childhood sweetheart and had no cause for regret as she endowed him with two healthy and intelligent sons and unquestioned fidelity. Disappearance of Raymond and particularly unspoken allegations of his involvement in the death of Philip Jonathan have hit Angelica hard but she is coping buoyed by the public absolution by the old Espierie and success of her second son in both business and college.
Fathima al-Vadi (35): Exotic southern wife of middle Parvi brother has never gotten used to the dismal climate of the Tierz swamp and thus spends most time in Harid. Her good looks and somewhat of an arrogant nature, as befitting one born into southern nobility, have done little to earn her friends among the ladies of the city.Flora (formerly Flora Espierie) (28): Married some seven years ago to the youngest of the Parvi brothers to cement the alliance Flora have found the happiness with her considerate and intelligent husband. Possessing the typical Espieire human touch and not an ounce of his brother’s overbearing arrogance she is one of the most popular younger matrons of the city and almost everybody’s confidante. Malicious and untrue rumors that she had an affair with the Andreas Fugger have more likely then not been started by the rejected and insulted Andreas himself. After deaths of her brother and brother in law she worked hard to placate her father and preserve the alliance.
Sergio (24): Younger brother and great friend of the murdered Raymond. Sergio was on the borders of the demonological crowd in the college. As Raymond’s trusted confidante he knows more of the whole affair then possibly any other outsider. As a consequence he has a grudge against the Espieries, despite liking for his aunt Flora, and holds old Jonathan’s absolution of his brother from P.J.’s murder as a personal insult. Besides that young Parvi is a brilliant mind. Much more his own man then his brother ever was he has already had several highly successful crossings as well as noting but the highest praise from his teachers at the college. This does not mean that he is a workaholic, however, and few men take pleasures of the college with as much as gusto as Sergio Parvi. By his intellectual appetites he is a natural companion to Ambel Tervellie but the shadow of dead Raymond hangs between them.
Daniella (18): Tomboyish daughter of Orso, Daniella Parvi is just entering Neu Ungren Society. She has joined her uncle on two of his crossings and is said to have shown remarkable piloting skills. She wants to join the Navigatorial college despite the manifest impossibility of such a thing and prospect of having to marry her is already worrying Orso and Angelica.
Arslan (16) and Hakim (15): Both of the southron sons of Orsello are mysteries for the Neu Ungrenites. Raised at the court of their maternal grandfather, vizier, they seem to be both too haughty and too outlandish to fit well once they come back to Neu Ungren to learn the arts of navigation and take their rightful place in society.
Livia (9): Young daughter of Flora and Orsellino is already promising to be blessed with Espierie good looks and charm.
Raymond (5): Younger Raymond is son of Flora and Orsellino, very little can be said of him by this point.
Parvi clan is relatively new to the highest stratum of Neu Ungren but not to the city itself. Ostensibly of River-Rat origin they have done well over the years particularly from their tight alliance with Espieries. On the other hand they have been such staunch supporters of the Espieries in their rise that all the benefits of the alliance are at the very least mutual. With diversified interests and a number of competent people in the family Parvi fortunes seem fairly secured.
Krizstof (70): Despite the significant riches and influence of his status as elder Navigator, Krizstof Salver-Chervez is an unhappy man. He despises his mother and uncle for their decision to break the long line of highly esteemed but dirt poor Chervez nobles and throw their lot with the Navigators. Magyr in both looks and heart Krizstoff never truly learned the art of Navigation. When on a crossing he is accompanied by the number of pilots and after unpleasant experience of having to put down a mutiny led by one of their number he rarely crosses any more leaving the business to his sons.
Ersike (51) (formerly Ersike Turock): Lady Ersike is if anything a bought bride. In his desire to marry a true Magyr nobility old Krizstoff spared neither time nor money. Marrying a man 20 years older then her, however, turned out as not too bad for the plain looking Ersike. Not only has it rescued her from the tedium of the parched Turock castle in south Donetz but put her in the center of the social network that she is enjoying immensely to this day.
Laszlo (34): Despite the fact that he was doing his family navigation since he was in his early twenties, Lazslo Salver-Chervez considers himself a poor navigator. That is not really true as he, while not imaginative or bold like the Andreas Fugger or Lucca Santoni, is as safe a pilot as any and knows his routers well. His imagined weakness caused him to spend inordinate time in college and even to this day he is one of the most dedicated students there. Contrary to the most he is more interested in the intellectual then epicurean side of the institution and has studied many fields open to inquiry. However, as a perfectionist, he considers himself as bad a scholar as he is a navigator. Shy and silent, he has a few friends besides his younger cousin (twice removed) Ambel.
Valeria (30) (Now Lady Valeria Bolo – see the Nobility of Neu Ungren)
Magdollna (27) (Now Lady Magdollna Balas – see the Nobility of Neu Ungren)
Lajos (25): Second son of the old Krizstof is almost a total opposite of his insecure brother. Reckless and inconstant he is always enthused about whatever was the last thing he had head about. He swings widely between his father’s Magyr snobbery and total dismissal of the Empire. He feigns nonexistent brilliance and has brought his ship more then once in deadly peril in attempting to emulate Andreas Fugger. He is one of the wildest firebrands of the Navigatorial College but lacks either attention span or charisma to be realy dangerous to anyone but himself. At Ambel’s advice he was left out of the original Espierie demonological clique.
Salver-Chervez should be doing better then they are. Vast Salver wealth combined well with the ease of business in the empire that Chervez name provided. And generation ago it looked like that, if anyone ever does it, it will be them who will be supplanting the Santoni as the greatest inland merchants of the city. Krizstoff’s lack of enthusiasm for trade and the simmering quarrel with the Chervez-Tervellie squandered lots of opportunities. Nowadays, Lazslo’s work is helping family recover somewhat but it still has more routers and orders then the know-how as to how to fill.Chervez-Tervellie
Isaac (73): As a son of Ferentz Chervez, Isaac Chervez-Tervellie is a scion of one of the oldest and proudest branches of Magyr nobility. Famous for their defense of feudal freedoms and privileges, as far back as the first succession crisis their name goes as far back as any records of Magyr can be traced. The downfall of the family can be attributed to the fact that they were not willing to cut any more slack to their own Magyr emperor Istvan I then they were to the Theogenes. Under the pressure from early Korolys family fortunes waxed and waned but they moved steadily westwards to avoid the tightening imperial grasp on their ancient freedoms. For three generations they have lived in the Donetz mixing their blood on two occasions with Esthawans. After the decline of Gollenburg and the Esthawan the family moved to the city to attempt to improve their fortune. In a foreshadowing of what was to happen to Serwosy some two generations later, this move only exacerbated the dire family situation and within a mere decade they were reduced to genteel poverty in Neu Ungren. They remained in relative obscurity for over forty years living of the miserly stipend from the mayor. This changed some seventy years ago when Ferentz Chervez and his sister Tamara decided to fight the fading into the obscurity by offering on sale their last remaining asset: their name. They made it known that they will marry into navigatorial families bringing the reputation of Old Magyr nobility in exchange for the riches and prestige of the new class. The “silent auction” of the two young Magyr was a scandal of the century in Neu Ungren, publicly scorned by both leading Nobility and head Navigatorial families. None of it prevented, however, the vigorous competition among the mid-ranking Nav families for the privilege. The true winners were Salver family, one of the richest new men families of the time. It snatched the Lady Tamara and the right to half a family name. The sum paid was sufficient to enable the Lord Ferentz to himself marry into the riches albeit of the significantly more modest Tervellie family.
While Krizstoff, first and only son of Lady Tamara was burdened by the anxieties of his dual status, his easy going cousin Isaac was entirely different type. Following the example of his father he enjoyed the life into which he was born to the fullest. One of the principal Don Juans of his day as well as a master fencer, decent pilot and a poet of note he left more mark on the city then the three generations of Chervez nobles. As a head of the family during the Esthawan rebellion he earned the Mayor’s gratitude by maintaining the strict neutrality towards the mutinous relative but was not in the least implicated in the disgraceful affair that ended the war. An accident on board the ship seven years ago left him bed-ridden and largely paralyzed but his mind remains perfectly sharp. He acutely misses his south-bound son to whom he has since passed the responsibilities of family business but enjoys the presence of his only grandson Ambel.
Gaius (55): Only son of Isaac, Gaius was not the full replacement for his flamboyant father that the Neu Ungren society had expected. He never felt at ease playing the card of his august background, putting it all down to “ancient history”. Very good navigator ever since his early days he was drawn towards the south and even in his youth used to spend more time in Bardia then in the north. When the death of his wife in childbirth repeated the tragedy of his father he became ever less willing to spend time in Neu Ungren. As a consequence he developed a network of contacts in Bardia , going so far as to establish the inland trade routes and travel further inland himself then any of the living Neu Ungrenites. He returned briefly to Neu Ungren with his son to ensure that the child gets the proper Northern education but as soon as Ambel entered college at the age of 16 he went back to Bardia, this time permanently. His skills and influence and particularly his lack of local alliances prompted the Emir to install him as a Kadi early this year. He is somewhat estranged from his ailing father but has a warm relationship with Ambel who counts the southern travels with his father as some of his most cherished memories.
Third generation of Chervez-Tervellie is as distinct from the first two as they are from each other. He lacks the swashbuckling spirit of his grandfather but is not a perennial outsider in the city like his father either. Keen mathematical ability makes him second only to Andreas Fugger as a Navigator but he lacks latter’s piloting abilities. Having spent early teens traveling through the inland southern lands his views were always less limited by the Neu Ungren fog then those of his peers. His self assurance and good looks have always made him one of the in-people at the college. While he tended to be moderating influence on his peers, curiosity that sometimes bordered on morbid led him into trouble several times, including the occasion when another boy died during the Ambel instigated investigation of the Flotsam rock castle. He was a natural member of the Espierie demonological crew.
- Pietro (61)
Pietro Sorranzo is as well known in the southron market and the small shops around Totbab canal as he is in the rich bazaars of the south. Inveterate collector of the southern artifacts from the era of the caliphate, in particular exquisite jade miniatures, he is said to possess the collection that rivals that of the Emir of Bardia himself. In terms of business he is a keen mind with uncanny sense of the future prices which occasionally leads him into dangerous speculations but is more frequently beneficial to the family.
- Valentina (51)
Valentina and her sister Christine used to be slaves captured in the upper riverlands and sold through the Neu Ungren on route to Bardia. Rescued when Galbo Sorranzo attacked the Slaver on which they were kept, two sisters attracted the Galbo and his brother and quickly they married in one of the most lavish ceremonies of that generation. Although her sister’s death has been a severe blow to Valentina, she remains a cheerful matron and a great supporter of Patriarch Maltino and his religious causes in the city.
- Galbo (54)
To this day there are few citizens that do not know of the deeds of Galbo Sorranzo. Since earliest age Galbo was an adventuring spirit. Contrary to most of his peers, however, his adventures were informed by the unyielding moral compass. From his famous assault upon a fully armed slaver with his merchantman to his participation in ill-fated attempt to overthrow the despised Black Sultan of Toka, there are countless reports of his willingness to risk his life to help those who were wronged or oppressed.
All of this did not make him a poor trader or a liability to his family. His reputation for fairness and personal honor made him a favored trading partner in the south even among those princes who knew that if there was ever an uprising against them Galbo Sorranzo would be in the first ranks. Dealing more with the southern side of business he has himself become somewhat of an expert on Caliphate period, if for no other reason then so that he can fulfill his brother’s increasingly difficult orders.
Death in childbirth of his beloved Christine has left him quite desperate and for almost a decade he became a bit of a recluse and a lone wolf almost actively courting death in his adventures. It was only after the significant convincing by his brother, whom Galbo respects immensely, that he chose to marry again, this time to their cousin twice removed Francesca Zorzzi, a choice which he never regretted.
These days Galbo has hung down his scimitar and passed his router to his son and nephew. He is, however, still willing to be excited abut the good cause and was among the first of the Navs that congratulated the newly minted Knights on their success as well as being one of the most vocal supporters of Jonathan Espiere in his bid for the war.
- Francesca (33) [Formerly Francesca Zorzzi]
Her marriage being an arranged affair between her father who needed Sorranzo connections to advance his own failing fortunes and his relative Pietro, Francesca was not expecting much in terms of Marital bliss. She turned out to be pleasantly surprised as the Galbo Sorranzo turned to be not only good looking and gentle despite his relatively advanced age but much more pleasant head of the household then her father. For the past 12 years the two lived in harmony except for a short period of alienation caused, according to the rumors, by a short-lived affair Francesca had with Luca Santoni. Whatever the truth about that it did not seem to have poisoned the marriage terminally and the Francesca remains happy wife and the mother of the second set of the navigatorial twins.
- Vittorio Pietro (29)
Son of the Pietro and Valentina Vittorio is well mannered young man with keen interest in fine arts and poetry and perhaps best understanding of the subtleties of the southern history and politics of anyone in Neu Ungren, but sadly little business acumen or navigatorial skills. Knowing his strengths and weaknesses, he infinitely prefers the confines of the college to the crossings. Yet, he takes his duties to the family seriously and is giving his limited best to learn the ropes of the trade.
- Vittorio Galbo (28)
A competent navigator and sharing his father’s remarkable physique Vittorio Galbo, Galbo’s son by his first wife, appears to most to be the true hope of the Sorrenzo family in the coming generation. In fact he is as much an unknown quantity as David Espieire. Growing within his uncles’ family after his mother’s death and father’s withdrawal Vittorio never felt like he totally belonged despite the efforts of both Pietro and Valentina. He idolizes his father but often, in trying to emulate him, replaces the truly felt moral motivations for the sheer love of adventure and daring-do. Moody and impulsive he has on occasions proved dangerous to both, himself and the others. Unfortunately for the family, his business sense is as poorly developed as his cousin’s. Despite their differences cousins are excellent friends and fiercely loyal to each other.
- Cesca (25) [Now Cesca Contarini]
- Flora (23) [Now engaged to become Flora Knapp]
Despite the title there was little that the Graff Knapp could offer to one of the richest Navigatorial families to gain this marriage alliance for second son. And yet when the youths met at the last year’s carnival celebrations and developed feelings for each other, Pietro Sorrenzo was quick to give his blessing. Flora now counts herself as one of the happiest girls in Neu Ungren and her remarkable dowry is likely to much improve the Knapp fortunes.
- Donatella (12)
There is yet too little to be said about the Galbo’s twins except that they are intelligent, curious children. The ugly rumors that they are Luca Santoni’s bastards are most likely untrue despite their chestnut-red hair. Galbo himself has never shown any hint of believing them. There are early signs that Donatto is showing the mercantile spirit so needed in the second generations Sorrenzos.
Sorranzo clan is one of quietly successful ones in Neu Ungren. Successfully managed by the half brothers Pietro and Galbo who stand as loyal friends and companions. Exceptional looks of their female progeny together with substantial dowries make them among the most desirable brides in the city. Two Vittorios cousins are currently engaged in college and despite few successful crossings between them remain city people.
- Vera (57)
After the death of Antonio Ruggero, his spinster sister Vera became the de-facto head of the family and one of the rare females to be ever admitted to the Captain’s council. It was not a strange role for her as she has for most of her life conducted the mercantile and civic affairs of her sea-bound brother. Dressed perennially in black since the death of her brother and maintaining the no-nonsense attitude she is known for hard bargaining and the shrewd business sense.
- Teresa (53) [Formerly Teresa Grimani]
Physical opposite of the wrinkled, black-clad, juggernaut that is the head of the family Teresa Ruggero, Antonio’s widow is more alike her sister in law than many realize. Socialite by nature she has accustomed herself to the significant freedom that her husbands perennial absence from the city allowed her. In that time she had developed the extensive contact network starting with but not limited to her own enormous Grimani clan; network that Vera uses mercilessly to the benefit of the Ruggero Family.
Together with lady Isolda Espierie and Mathilda Barbarigio Teresa is one of the pillars of the respectability in the female circles in Neu Ungren and the bi-monthly tea-parties that she and her sister in law organize are events of much social importance. Her charitable donations almost rival those of lady Isolda herself.
- Georgy (30)
Having grown under the iron fist of his mother and aunt Georgy Ruggero has developed more spine than one could have expected but less then is necessary for a successful mercantile career. Fortunately he has inherited his father’s love for sea and talent for piloting and navigation and is thus rarely seen in the city. The fact that he had no recorded affairs and is avoiding even a subject of marriage has some in the city speculating on his sexual preferences. If truly unable to produce an heir this would, coupled with the early death of his brother Oton mean the extinction of the legitimate main Ruggero line at his death.
- Angelica (27) [Now Angelica Falabianco]
- Oton (24)
One of the original demonologists Oton was there more out of the desire to rebel against his straight laced matrons and out of the sheer awe of the Philip Espierie then out of any deep malice or will for power. He had a respectable if plodding intellect and would have probably become stable if somewhat dull civic gentleman.
- Zoe (22)
While her older sister was a carbon copy of her ugly but respectable mother, younger Zoe was always both stunning looking and a black sheep of the family. If such a thing were ever conceivable about Teresa Grimani it would be easy to think of Zoe as a cuckoo in Antonio Ruggero’s nest. Instead of the baked earth look of most of the Ruggeros she looks like a fragile piece of porcelain with the head of almost transparent silvery hair and the violet eyes. Her constitution is tiny, Stagire like, but wiry and strong and her many adventures have left her with the reflexes and endurance many man would envy. Since earliest age she used to flee the house for the sprees with the Banker teen-gangs and exploration along Totbab canal and the docks. Tenacious and stoic, many punishments inflicted on her by her aunt only made her even less tractable.
It was therefore not nearly as surprising as it was disgraceful when it turned out that she was pregnant at 19 with an unknown father. No amount of threats and hardship inflicted by Vera would force Zoe to ether disclose her lover (as she knew he would then be crushed by all forces her mother and aunt can muster) or get rid of the child.
With time, however, Vera relented realizing possibly that in young Jacob Georgy there might be the only heir to carry the Ruggero name to the next generation.
Contrary to what many expected, wildcat Zoe is proving to be a loving, if a bit unconventional, mother and while the social elite of the city has not even begin to forgive her faux-pas she seems to be content in the love for her son and her limited circle of friends.
- Jacob Georgy (3)
By the reckonings of many, the Ruggero bastard is a wunderkind. Fully able to read and beginning to write at three and also already understanding Stagirus and basic maths he charms the very same socialites who shun his mother for having him. Recently, his mother and him were invited to a private audience with Major Gergely who wanted to see the brilliant child.
Speculations as to who is Jacob’s father are bread and butter of the chattering women of the high circles. It is a common consensus that a father of such a little genius could not be an ordinary Banker brigand and that it is probably someone of importance. The usual suspect, Luca Santoni is all but eliminated by the light (and non red) hair of the child and the fact that he tends to acknowledge his conquest but no other credible candidate has been fielded.
Ruggeri are doing well but not spectacularly in business, just as they have for generations. Focusing more on servicing the needs of Neu Ungren itself then on the export market they do not have much external contracts. They compensate with a plethora of agreements with the local small merchants among whom Vera Ruggero has a status of a minor demon.
Ludovic Contarini is a man of infinite patience and self restraint. He was the one who negotiated the peace with Rudolph Fugger following the deaths of their fathers and he was the one who worked hard to rebuilt the relations between the Contarinies and the other Navigatorial families and ultimately won back the seat on the Captain’s council for his family. To achieve that he renounced the ancient Contarini claims, ended the blood-feuds with the Mastro- and Malopieros surrendering in law the routers they have held for the last two generations. In doing so he ultimately settled for the rank of a third tier family despite the fact that the Contarini are one of the oldest navigatorial families in the city, but have also assured the continuation of the family.
He achieved all of this despite the fact that he is as cold and aloof a person as any Contarini. Dark and pessimistic with the thin lips high cheek-bones and sardonic manner Ludovic was never liked even by those captains who accepted him back into their clique. He won his arguments by the strength of his reason rather then that of personality.
And what a reason it is. Even his enemies admit that Ludovic is one of the shrewdest and most lucid men in Neu Ungren. Never an intellectual (he did not even go to college) he is nevertheless a master debater on most subjects and a past master in predicting the price fluctuations and the vagaries of supply and demand.
In keeping with the Contarini tradition Ludovic married his cousin Annete when she was just 14 years old. Nevertheless theirs was a happy marriage, Anette provided human side to Ludovic, hosted and entertained and was a fitting representative of the “reformed” Contarinies in the social circles. Physically similar to her husband to the point of scandalous Anette always had significantly more charm than she knew how to use to further the goals of her husband and family.
Middle Contarini brother lacks all the self discipline and tact that nature so generously bestowed on Ludovic. Cantankerous to the point of agression, sensitive to slights to the point of mania, vain and proud beyond most men, he is a survivor of dozens of formal duels and countless ordinary fights. It was only his brother’s restraining influence that had prevented Orlando from killing someone really important in the duel and thus destroying the hope of regaining respectability for the Contarinies. Even this influence was exerted with difficulty. Twice had Ludovic officially renounced Orlando and twice have the brothers reconciled driven to each other by that peculiar Contarini love for each other.
What made Orlando’s wild temperament that much more frightening was the effortless ease with which he mastered everything he set his mind on. As a Duelist he mastered every weapon used in Neu Ungren to the point of perfection. As a Navigatior he is perhaps only one in the last two hundred years with not a one, but two new routers to his name – another fact that contributed to the rise of the Contarini fortunes in this generation. As a pilot he is outmatched by his savant son but even so he can hold his own against likes of Lucca Santoni and Andreas Fugger.
Sister and lover to all three Contarini brothers and mother-aunt to one son of each, Rea was always a natural soul-mate of Orlando. Same fiery dangerous temperament and same effortless brilliance have always drawn them together. If anything her relation with the Neu Ungren society and her respectable brother was even more tumultuous then that of Orlando. Despite the fact that she is, and always was, unattractive by most objective standards she had many lovers and it is said that in the argument over a lover she challenged and killed Victoria Ruzzini, another major femme of her day. This caused Ludovic to briefly banish her to Harrid where she was also soon in trouble for her untoward behavior. It is also almost certain that the several domestic servants of Contarinies were killed by Rea after they have been caught stealing or spying on their employers. To this day she remains on the margins of polite society rarely invited to social events and yet unavoidable topic of rumors and conversations. One of those rumors has her as the first ever lover of then-young Lucca Santoni.
Brooding, inconstant, drug addicted, Silverster Contarini is both like and unlike his brothers. As prone to destructive moods as Orlando he is more inclined to direct those towards himself and has once in drug-induced delirium cut off two middle fingers of his left hand. Yet, when at all sober he is perhaps most personable Contarini and his melodious convincing voice was at the times invaluable asset at the Captains council for his curt brother. Only Contarini of his generation to attend the college he developed a reputation as the dangerous yet strangely attractive loner. The Best looking of Contarinies, yet distinctly one of them, he was a forbidden dream of many young ladies and hidden idol to many young Navs. It was his legacy that Isidor Mastropiero tried so hard to exorcise from the college. Compulsive gambler he won and lost fortunes in the Black Peter came in and out of debt that would have crippled the family. He navigated the crossing while drunk for the entire time and one time spent three months living among the sewer rats of the cathedral district without any contact with his family.
Oldest son and heir to Ludovic and Anette he was groomed as the new public face of the Contarini family, and with some success. Well spoken and reasonable he tries hard to emulate his father’s conciliatory ways. In all who speak to him however there is a strange disturbing impression of suppressed inner tumult. Despite his calm approach, soft voice and respectable looks, it is hard not to feel intimidated when in his presence, the aura particularly noticed by small children, even his own, who inevitable break out in tears or flee his presence. Not a very good navigator he leaves that part of the business to his younger cousins and cousin-brothers and mostly remains on shore furthering the business in Neu Ungren and the riverlands. The Fact that the Sorranco’s have acquiesced to the marriage of Cesca to him was widely seen in the city as a confirmation that the Contarini have abandoned the slave-trading ways and as a triumph of the diplomacy of Ludovic.
Formerly, Cesca Sorranzo. Despite the strange new family in which she has found herself Cesca has managed to fall in love with her disturbing husband.The Two of them represent the island of normality in otherwise rather strange world of Contarini private life and Cesca remains a frequent member of the social circle. Treated very well by her husband she has gotten used to the lavish state she is in, much beyond what the richer but more austere Sorranzos were maintaining her in.
One of the (non-identical) twins of Ludovic and Anette Gabriela is perhaps the sanest of her generation in the family. A socialite she is frequently seen at the parties and events. Not particularly interested in the family business she spends most of her time indulging in her passion for arts visiting practically all performances in the city and patronizing most of its artists of note. The later has lead her to become a good friend (and frequent lover) of Lucca Santoni and even occasional guest at Isaac Chervez-Tervelie.
Gabriela’s twin has for a long time shown same level of sanity as his sister developing into a decent navigator and almost normal civic gentleman. His sanity was, however, brought into question by the rather unhealthy obsession he developed for Steffana Venier-Dorna. After an inconsequential meeting between the two at the Fiesta di Soldati three years ago he became obsessed by possessing her to the point where he became somewhat unhinged and threatened (although only his father) that he will rape and abduct her if he can not have her by other means. Fortunately for him, at the same time Venier-Dornas approached the Contarinies with a proposal for the extended joint venture using the combination of the routers, combination that was very important for the Dornas. The ever conciliating Ludovic introduced the Steffana marriage contract into the deal and settled the matter. Since his marriage Marcus calmed somewhat and has had several very lucrative crossings but other signs of compulsive behavior have been noticed in him since.
Little is known of the family life of the girl who was once one of the more interesting members of the social circle. Ever since her marriage she was working hard to win back some freedoms she has enjoyed under her father’s roof and with some success. Her relation to her husband seems at times that of fear and at times of unyielding coldness. Nevertheless, Steffana remains a fiery character she was throughout her childhood although there are signs that the fetters of the long and childless matrimony are starting to weight her down.
A result of a (drunken? involuntary?) liaison between Ludovic and Rea, Otto is least insane of the three sibling children of his generation. Although accepted by Anette as her own he nevertheless grew a very quiet retreating child his passions being those of an academic: languages, history and philosophy. However, even in those he does not display the kind of brilliance some of the other Contarinis have in their areas. He purposefully eschews the black and blue outfits typical of his family and is frequently seen in the garb of the ordinary worker of a college librarian.
Son of Orlando and Rea this manic-depressive illiterate capable of the bursts of violence that put both his parents to shame is the best natural born pilot Neu Ungren has and perhaps the best it ever had. Without a router (he would be incapable of reading or using one) he has already several times sailed to Barburata and through the treacherous waters of the pirate islands and has brought ships into the bay, to escape the storm on the paths that do not appear on any known router under the conditions that people like Luca Santoni describe as impossible. Unfortunately beyond piloting his skills run dry and he is want to keep company with his double uncle Silvester indulging in drugs and alcohol which the rest of his family finds preferable to his habits when sober. Among the later he has committed several brutal rapes among of middle class young women which Ludovic had to work hard to keep contained.
A bastard daughter of Orlando whom he brought back from Harid and recognized as his own, Darya has been one of the most interesting young debutantes of the past few years. tHE Same whirlwind of energy as her father but with slightly more developed sense of the society around she is an adventurer in spirit, a masterful fighter with the twin scimitars and the swashbuckler extraordinaire. Never able to stay in the city for long periods she has currently joined (under assumed male identity) the Benedek levy and has head to the war with the witches. Some of her friends assume that besides the thirst for adventure this is a part of the bet she has made that she will make love to Ricard Benedek.
Middle of Rea’s sons this one by her youngest brother Domenigo is not as visibly insane as his oldest half-brother. Similar streak of cruelty, particularly towards women runs through him as well. Exceptionally charming and well-spoken and as good looking as his father at his prime as well as impervious to such sins as have beset old Silvester he was ever a charmer of women, but always choosing the ones whom the liaison with him will hurt the most. A year and a half ago for example he has deflowered Bernicia Hoffman causing her to be sent to a three year long virtual imprisonment in one of the Oran monasteries, even his lesser trysts were always calculated to cause the maximum long term physical and psychological suffering to his lovers. Recently he has played the card of the repentant sinner to woo and marry pious Lada Gian-Lorentzo Mastelli despite the advice of her father. She is now his virtual prisoner and subject to assorted psychological tortures while he continues in his debacherous ways outside the marriage.
Besides this particular interest of his he is an upstanding captain, a very good navigator and a collector of Stagiri mosaics.
Illegitimate child of Silvester and Anna Fallabianco Roberto is recognized by both and grow up between the two households. With Contarini smarts and the grounded persona of Fallabiancos he is one of the brightest starts in the family future. Always cheerful kid he is somewhat more at place with his Fallabianco relatives but he adores his father and respects his uncles and cousins and is perfectly willing to bear the ancient Contarini name. Popular in the college he smartly avoided the demonologists and kept to the saner crowd. Friendly and good looking he is much desired by the young women of his class but is in (unrequited) love with Zoe Ruggero. An excellent navigator he has this year had a misfortune of running the Carnivalle crossing. When he is not away he is an enthusiastic and interesting party-goer.
Donato (3) – Son of Vito and Cesca
Donattela (2) – Daughter of Vito and Cesca
Steffana (27): Ambel’s cousin, was a tomboy, Now Contarini.
Elenora (24): trouble maker who wants to avoid getting married
Galatio (15): Prospective explorer of jungles
Oldest daughter of Alberto Malpiero and widow of Tomazzo Geidar holds a position of honor in both families and is considered by many to be a matriarch of the Malpieros. She is exceptionally well educated and is perhaps the only woman to ever receive full Nav education (courtesy of Johan Fugger who was charmed by the intelligence and spirit of his lieutenant’s daughter). She has run several crossings by herself on behalf of both of her families and has assisted her husband on several more. With her chiseled face and stark flat figure she was never considered a great beauty but was in her time wooed by some of the most eligible bachelors in the city including Randolf Fugger.
Dina’s younger brother and the nominal head of the family is not an intellectual slouch either. Altough he lacks his sister’s brilliance he is more then passable navigator and insofar as it can be said – excellent slaver who prides himself on losing the least number of slaves to exhaustion and mutiny of all captains. This comes from the fact that of all the slaver operations in Neu Ungren Malpiero is one that is run with least violence towards the slaves. If he has one main vice it is his unwillingness to commit and his tendency to prevaricate.
Lorreta (42) [Formerly Lorreta Vanier-Dorna]
Frivolous and somewhat shallow Lorreta is very happy in the Malpiero household. By far least intellectual household member she compensates with good spirit and excellent home-keeping skills as well as great love and devotion to Barbano who on the other hand treats her with respect and love uncommon in her former household. Once rather beautiful she has been hit rather hard by middle age and slight overweight.
Second son of the Alberto, Grapelli Malpiero is the closest to his father in hot temperament and can-do attitude. Overactive and inquisitive he is seldom content to be in one place for a long time. He is frequently away from the city and when in the city enjoys seeing it from all possible angles. When he is available he functions as the family fixer and is considered by many to be only fixer in town that could be compared to late Gregor Dunn. He is well known for his exceptionally wide network of contacts in all walks of life. He used to run dangerous errands for Fuggers after his father’s retirement but his personality did not fit well with Andreas and in the last several years he has cooled to them.
Rebbeca (33) [Now Rebbeca Masteli]
Heir to Msser Barbano, Amadore is turning into a bit of a disappointment. He is content to follow the fashions of the day rather then think with his own head and is slowly abandoning the family’s unorthodoxly efficient practice concerning the slavery. When prodded he is still capable of the sort of practical intelligence his family is justly famous for but the prods necessary are becoming increasingly strong. None of that is easily visible from his everyday appearance whereby he cuts a handsome rouge-cavalier figure assisted by his excellent Dorna looks and large helping of wit
Rosana (23) [now Rosana Candiano]
Barbano’s second daughter has something of her aunt to her. As sharp witted as Dina she also has self discipline and the inner calm that make her seem much older then her 15 years. For a better part of her childhood she was considered a boring if smart. It is only now with the approach of her adulthood that smarter among her relations realize that she was spending the time actually learning about the world and that she is now getting ready to enjoy it.
Grappeli recognized this bastard of his early last year, apparently following the Luca Santoni’s example. Son of a riverlander girl related to Enekieks Vallente thinks of himself a riverlander first and Nav second and he still spends his time equally between barge and the New City. He is to say the least uncertain about the slaving part of the family business but is otherwise beginning to like the position in a Nav household. He idolizes his father and is a great friend with him – something that was a case even before he was formally recognized.
Diana (29) unmarried, gothish
Kalabakian – Corvo
- Enrico (79)
Enrico Mastropiero is a man who continues to live despite having died in spirit almost fifty years ago. As a young navigator he was a friend as well as a client of the Johan Fugger and became in many ways his right hand man and the executor. More than anything else he was one of the main transport people in Fugger’s vast slave trading enterprise. While this improved the family fortunes considerably and even led to the Mastropieros acquiring a wholly new router it acted corrosively on the soul of the young captain who was brought up deeply in the religion of the Living God. It was true that slaves who were transported on Mastropiero ships were spared abuse and pain while under the captain’s authority. It was also true that the men whose ships he was assaulting under the Johan’s orders were (usually) the sort that deserved it, but it did not change the fact that the upstanding captain knew that in the eyes of the God and his Saints he was a Slaver and a Pirate. Yet, three bounds tied him to Johan and made it hard to break away. First was the bound of loyalty for the Mastropieros were brought into the respectability of the Navigatorial status from that of the mere pirate pilots, not to mention their lives spared, by the magnanimity of Angelus Fugger, Johan’s grandfather and the victor in the famous Pirates War. Second was a bound of friendship, for the Johan was a charismatic man and, since their boyhood days, Enrico’s companion and mentor. Third and the strongest was the bound of fear or Johan was a vengeful man and Enrico was married to a beautiful girl, Fabrizzia daughter of the Mayor of Doran of the ennobled Doni family Varenci. Fabrizzia was a perfect match for the young captain when they married at the age of 18. Scion of Varenci who got ennobled for their services to the faith she was as faithful and full of ideals as her young husband. As soon as they moved into Neu Ungren Enrico’s troubles started, as he had to keep ever more of his business hidden from his wife. To make matters worse Johan had made it clear that he fancies Fabrizzia and that the only thing keeping him from making a move on her was his friendship and loyalty to Enrico.
As the time went by after his three children were born in quick succession and the Fugger’s business because more and more involved and violence more and more routine Enrico finally lost the taste for it and asked his friend to let him move out. He even offered to return the router he was given and pay his family debt to Fuggers in money, even if it meant financial ruin for his family. Johan just laughed at him. To teach him a sharp lesion and bring him back to fold he decided that arrange the bursting of the bubble Fabrizzia was living in. He made it so that she learned where the money she was putting into the good causes was coming from and what sort of business her sons are to inherit.
What he did not count on was the unbending nature of the Varenci. Faced with what she saw as the betrayal by the man she sworn to be faithful wife to for life she walked to the Istvan Bridge in her bridal gown, and jumped into Tierz.
That night Enrico turned off. He did not respond to Johan’s or anybody else’s entreaties and only work he did was once a year crossing on one of the old dangerous Mastropiero routers that maintained the family. He grew detached from the world, spending dangerous amounts of time in the Cilitian monastery and scarcely seeing his children. Once sure that he does not wish to seek revenge on him for killing his wife, Johan gave up on the man understanding that all the utility has gone out of him even if he were able to somehow blackmail him into working for him again. He continues to this day, ghost of the dashing captain he once was wormed only, and only occasionally, by the presence of his grandchildren.
Oldest of Mastropiero sons Baltasar felt the weight of family responsibility early as he became somewhat of the surrogate father for his younger brother and sister. Raised by the nuns of the St. Martha order that were the companions of his mother he shares the deep, empathic faith that is characteristic of the Order of Martha more then of either of the two major orders present in Neu Ungren. By nature conciliator and with deep sense for other people’s suffering he proved to be one of the most beloved Navigators among the ordinary people and small merchants both in Neu Ungren and, perhaps even more so, in the south. The trust placed in him by almost all he meets was one of the reasons for the slight revival of Mastropiero fortunes in his generation.
Under most circumstances he appears as the dour, humorless man but is a dedicated husband and a loving father.
Baltasar continued his father’s tradition of marrying from Doran when he married his second cousin Vera whom he met on a family finding trip. Also an initiate of St. Martha Vera worked hard to get them to set up a convent in Neu Ungren. Slightly more frivolous then her husband for many years she was one of the most intriguingly masked women on the Carnivalle if for no other reason then the fact that she used to make her masks herself rather then ordering them from the Mascareri, who finaly gave up by the time of her 32nd birthday and gave her an honorary membership recognizing the fellow craftsman when they saw one. She still occasionally makes her extraordinary masks for her children and nephews but has been suffering from arthritis in the last few years making it difficult.
Now, Angelina Bastrokian
Youngest brother was but a suckling infant at the time of his mother’s suicide. With mother dead and father all but he did not have inner reserves that have made Baltasar the society pillar that he is. Throughout his youth he oscillated between the bouts of drinking and whoring and the periods of guilt and repentance. It is known that he holds a deep and disturbing secret from his youth, as he has often, in his cups, referred to himself as the damned sinner but nobody, including his brother knows what it is. He married several times, first time very young, at the age of 19 to an even younger girl from the city merchant classes. It is rumored that he assaulted her while drunk while she was pregnant and that she miscarried. At any rate soon afterwards Baltasar shipped her of to Doran to join the Sisters of St. Martha. Jerome married again to a southern lady with whom he had an affair while on the crossing and has a son Gammal from that marriage. Eventually his drunkenness was too much for the second wife as well and Baltasar arraigned for her to return to Bardia well provided for and undertook to raise the boy. His third marriage was the one that eventually redeemed him. It was yet again, in the family tradition to their relative on the mother’s side Dominica Varenci of Doran. Close friend of Vera. Dominica have heard of the troubled Jerome and took it as her duty and the sacred goal to redeem him. In this she succeeded, although not without great pain for herself in the beginning, and for a bit over 20 years now Jerome has been more or less exemplary father of the family with only sporadic bouts of drinking.
Stoic by nature Dominica did all it took to redeem and cure her husband. Less outwardly religious then her cousin and a close friend Vera she is perhaps even more so in the recesses of her heart. One thing she failed in was succeeding in making Gammal feel like her son and she frequently blames herself for the young man’s alienation.
Oldest son of Baltasar combines the best characteristics of both his parents. His father’s congeniality and true sense for other people’s pain on one had, and his mother’s good humor and outgoing personality. Until he officially graduated some years ago, he was one of the most popular and interesting young Navs at the college and the parties he organized are still remembered for both their quality and the lack of dangerous and macabre that came into vogue with his leaving the field to the new generation best exemplified by the likes of P.J. Espierie. Now married and with a son of is own he is a respected captain, decent navigator and a good merchant.
Formerly Marcella Ruzzini, part of the famous double marriage that tied Mastropieros closely to the promising Ruzzini family. Marcella has always been attracted to the handsome Isidor and found herself very happily married indeed. It therefore took a considerable effort to Lucca Santoni to convince her to sleep with him. The affair lasted for several months and fortunately did not result in pregnancy. Marcella believes that Isidor never found out and hopes he never will. That fear is the only stain on her otherwise happy circumstances.
Now Dona Ruzzini
Not as popular as his brother Leonard spent most of his college time actually studying. Interested in mathematics he became a dedicated student of Gian-Carlo Masteli and a good friend of his son Pietro. He is dying to put Gian-Carlo’s theories to a practical test and has several times imperiled his ship and cargo in the attempts to improve the family router. He dreams of the exploration and the day when he will get his father’s permission to sail into the unknown like the David Espier. He has had several marriage proposals but does not seem eager to marry just yet. As religious as the rest of the family he abstains from the company of prostitutes leading some to question his sexual tastes (although in truth he is indeed not gay)
A beautiful blond girl whose looks and hair color would in many other families invoked a question of cuckoldry. Alessandra is intelligent and articulate as well as having the same non invasive but deeply felt faith as her parents. Despite it all she is deeply troubled young woman due to her deeply felt, deeply emotional, and to her undying shame deeply sexual, love for her cousin Francesco. Ever since their childhood, which is to say for over a decade she has been infatuated with him, something she sees as a tremendous sin and yet one she can not live without. (Church of living god frowns but accepts marriages of second cousins as the Vera and Baltasar are but concerns any relation between the closer relatives as the mortal sin). As a consequence she has always presented a very unattractive side to the rest of the male-kind of Neu Ungren robbing them of what would otherwise be one of the more desirable society girls. By now she has been driven so much to distraction by her cousin that she is considering joining the nunnery except for the fact that she could not bear to be separated from him.
Oldest son of Jerome Mastropiero is now estranged from the family. Old enough to remember drunken rages of his father he never forgave his uncle’s decision to keep him in the city. As soon as he reached adulthood he moved out into the area around Totbab where he felt more at home among the southerners as he felt like one as well. It is believed that he got involved into the underworld there and is building a criminal career for himself. Isidor’s offer to help him get to Bardia was brusquely rejected.
Younger of Jerome’s sons is a good navigator as well as a decent pilot and trader. He was too young to be permanently scared by his father’s excesses and appears to have grown a decent young fellow. He has somewhat over-exaggerated sense of epic which together with the religiosity inherited makes him see the world in the rather black and white terms, the trait that eventually led him to fighting the slavers. Of all the grandchildren he (together with Alessandra) is the old Enrico’s favorite and one of the very few living souls that can bring the smile to the face of the old captain. He enjoys his cousin’s (whom he considers practically a sister) attention but has not yet realized that there is something deep and forbidden behind it.
Mastropiero family came out of obscurity to feed on the carcass of the Contarinies after the pirate war some hundred and twenty years ago. With the Golden Eagle destroyed and Angelus Fugger firmly in charge of Barburata, the pirate captains with Contarini routers found it much more profitable to take the Angelus’ offer of amnesty and respectability then to fight the rearguard action on behalf of their disgraced masters. The chief among those were the Piero brothers who held two routers each and went on to become heads of he two new Navigatorial houses: Mastropiero and Malpiero. The paths of the two houses diverged from there and Mastropieros did their best to atone for their pirating ways becoming one of the most upstanding and civic minded Navigatorial houses, as well as one of the most religious ones. Their principles were sorely tested generation ago when their ancestral clientage to the Fugger have drawn them into the slave trading schemes of the Johann Fugger and led to the suicide of the wife of the present patriarch of the house.
Since the death of Johan, Mastropieros have resumed their role of quiet respectability.