(With thanks to Fritz Leiber)
Sundered from us by gulfs of time and fragmented histories dreams the Most Serene Republic with its canals and marbles and jewels, its hidden daggers and heretical sorceries. Its empire of trade spans the Middle Sea: northward the green-forested Holy Empire of the Germanies and the barbarian Slavic Realms, eastward the turban-wearing Turks with their moon-curved blades and veiled harems, beyond them the desert where caravans creep from fabled Cathay along the dusty Silk Road. But westward, linked to the serene city by Roman road and strong-oared galley, and further warded by high castles and ruthless lords, lie the rich vineyards and walled cities of Italia, sun-kissed legacy of the Caesars, o’ershadowed by the spider’s web of Rome. And yet greater than all these, floating in the azure lagoon between sea and marsh, is the elegant and canal-mazed metropolis of Venice, thick with thieves and velvet-clad merchant princes, lean-framed sorcerers, sultry courtesans, and glittering condottiere – Venice the Imperishable, Serenissima, jewel of the Adriatic, beloved of St. Mark, the richest, most beautiful city to grace this fallen earth in this Year of Our Lord 1492.
For the game system, we are using Other Worlds by Signal 13. Other Worlds is a narrativist system similar to Heroquest that puts the emphasis on the emergent fiction rather than on tactical maneuvers or simulation. For a review of the system, see here.