Daydreaming of Vodacce

Vodacce, 7th Sea’s Quasi-Italy, was always the part of the setting that fascinated me the most – sword-and-knife-fights that go from city roof to canals to piazza and ending in a filthy alley. This is what I’m looking at while day-dreaming of treachery among the merchant princes and fate witches.

I’ve put together images from NYPL’s Digital Collection, all free to use except for the image of Mr. Borgia just below this. True to his family’s history, his use is ambiguous and dangerous.

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “A rare etching of Cesare Borgia, first born son of Alexander VI.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47dd-c496-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The palaces.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1879 – 1880. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-acaf-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The riva, No. 1” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1879 – 1880. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-acb8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Morning at Venice.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-bf8d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The beggars.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1879 – 1880. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e3-ac8d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Veduta dell’ Arco di Costantino, e dell’ Anfiteatro Flavio detto il Coloseo.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1748 – 1751. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/639b6496-e4e3-e1ae-e040-e00a18061b63

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General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Infanteria de linea: [a] Alferez del regimiento de los morados viejos; [b] Sargento, del regimiento fijo de Sicilia.1718” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1910. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-99ec-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “St. Peter’s and the Vatican, Rome.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1750. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47db-a015-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Schweizer Garde”The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1910. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-95ab-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Magistrate of Florence, MCCC” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1840. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/5e66b3e8-b83c-d471-e040-e00a180654d7

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Veduta dell’esterno della gran Basilica di S. Pietro in Vaticano.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1748 – 1751. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/639b6496-e4e9-e1ae-e040-e00a18061b63

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Veduta interna della Basilica di S. Pietro in Vaticano.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1748. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/639b6496-e4cf-e1ae-e040-e00a18061b63

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Colonna Antonina.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1748 – 1751. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/639b6496-e4da-e1ae-e040-e00a18061b63

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Habit of the dutchess of Venice in 1581. Femme du doge de Venise.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1757 – 1772. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-3c8a-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Italy. Papal States, 1820” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1910. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-791e-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Roman consul” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1814. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47d9-680c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. “A nun of the antient[sic] Order of St. Augustin. Religieuse de l’ordre ancien de St. Augustin.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1757 – 1772. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-8179-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. “A nun of the order of Font Ebraldi. Religeuse de l’ordre de Font Evrauld.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1757 – 1772. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-817c-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection, The New York Public Library. “A Franciscan nun. Religieuse Franciscaine.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1757 – 1772. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e4-817d-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “The grand piazza.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1748 – 1751. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/639b6496-e4bd-e1ae-e040-e00a18061b63

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Two Musicians Playing the Violin and the Lute” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1538. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/d7e050f0-2efe-0133-3bef-58d385a7b928

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The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Print Collection, The New York Public Library. “Ponte magnifico.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1748 – 1751. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/639b6496-e516-e1ae-e040-e00a18061b63

 

7th Sea’s Dracula

Once upon a time a brave band of men and women built a fort on the edge of a dark, antediluvian forest. The forest was so deep and so dark that it was said that there were places no human foot had ever tread, trees that took their sustenance from their roots deep in hell’s sinful blood because the sun could not penetrate the roof.

The steadfast men and women were ordained by the church’s own  and became knights. The Order of the Star, known for fighting monsters. The villagers around the fort called it Der Stern and so their star badge was born.

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Der Stern

The knights were led by an Imperator, a devoutee of the Vaticine Church. When the church told him that the forest’s darkness had spawned its demons in the south, the Imperator marched his brethren south to the Crescent Empire.

knights head south

The knights march south.

They found no demons, only people. The church told the Imperator to take his knights to farther south, to Ifri but when they arrived – once again they found only people.

The church told the Imperator to take his knights to Cathay but his knights did not believe him and abandoned him, returning home to their own struggles, enriched and educated by their travels.

The Imperator was not enriched, nor was he educated by his travels.

The knights who had learned from the people of Ifric and the Crescent Empire and taken that wisdom and friendship back with them to Theah left the Imperator alone with a small retinue of his most zealous, most devout and most hateful.

They called themselves the Society of the Dragonists. The more the Dragonists looked at the people in the foreign lands they traversed the more hate infected their hearts, the more false demons they saw everywhere. The only demons they saw were the ones in their own hearts. They replaced their humanity with the darkness and hate they knew from the forest.

In denying people their humanity, the Imperator lost his own. Mirrors refused to carry his reflection and the sun showed disdain for him, as if he had been born on that forest floor, among the demons and the hellspawn he once hunted. The Society of Dragonists, led by their Supreme Dragon, have wandered undying, draining the world of resources like parasites for over 500 years.

Dragonist Founder

Duke Sigismund Dracula, Society of Dragonist’s Supreme Dragon

 

Strength: 10

Influence: 5

Monstrous Qualities: Nocturnal, Shadowy

When the Supreme Dragon comes to a new city, his retinue will spread out and find their prey, looking for landed folk to marry, seduce or charm. They’ll find foreigners to terrorize. Eventually, they will bring the Supreme Dragon from a ship on the bay, laying some building they own’s cellar with soil from the Walder Forest, so their lord might sleep, gestate and come to full power.

They will seek to increase their power through land-grabs and turning other folk into monsters, be it through their cursed blood or through their ugly xenophobic hate.

Imagery Thoughts

When describing vampires, I’m going to go with blood-sucking imagery. The Dragonists will be seductive and then once their hate is uncovered it will be an array of circular lamprey eel mouths, human-sized mosquito proboscises, and good ole fashioned giant bat wings.

Story of Die Kreuzritter taken from and inspired by the 7th Sea 2nd edition, page 261. The Imperator was in that story, waiting for me.

Art

General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Porta der Damasco.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1910. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-78f8-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Knights of Malta, 1048-1799” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1910. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-7901-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
General Research Division, The New York Public Library. “Johanniter.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1910. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e2-78f4-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Female Musquito — Natural Size And Magnified ; Culex Pipiens — Head Of Male.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1858. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-2aad-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library. “Petromizon marinus, The Lamprey.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1785 – 1797. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-6925-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
Art and Picture Collection, The New York Public Library. “Indented Javelin Bat ; Vampire & Javelin Bat ; Trefoil Leaf Bat ; Three-Toothed Horseshoe Bat ; The Rear-Mouse Bat.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. http://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47e1-34d2-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99