Sarah Tintagyl Posted April 17, 2010 Report Share Posted April 17, 2010 [i]La Castello Rivaldino Forli, Romagna[/i] Night had fallen over the city of Forli, resting along the fertile plains of the Romagna of Eastern Italy. Caterina Sforza, the Countess of the Romagna and the wife of Girolamo Riario, stood on the roof of the Rivaldino, the battlements that looked out over the darkened city and countryside. Cranking her fingers against the stone of the fortress, she returned to the glass of red wine she had with her and took a long gulp, the red liquid running down her mouth like blood. It was an omen of what was to come, she knew that all too well, that she would be the one dining on blood. Behind her, she could hear the sounds of great wooden door leading back into the citadel opening with a great creak and armored boots echoing across the stone roof. "Are they dead Tommaso?" She asked the Chamberlain, Tommaso Feo, in a dry voice without turning her head. "Si Madonna Caterina. The conspirators have been dispatched to Hell, just as you commanded. I thought that you would have liked to watch the rest of the executions personally?" A month ago, the Count of the Romagna, Girolamo Riario had been assassinated by a group of conspirators from the Orsi Family. Riario was not a popular count, his policies had brought famine, unemployment, and suffering to the people of the Romagna. But as his power began to fade, Caterina's had begun to grow. It had fallen to the young Countess of twenty-four to defend the Romagna from its enemies while Giralomo sat back in Forli recovering from various ailments and weaknesses. It was Caterina who journeyed out with the population to build parks, some of the first schools in the region, and attract merchants and traders from across Italy. In Giralomo's last days, the region was finally beginning to turn around, showing signs of prosperity and success. Then the conspiracy threatened to undo everything that Caterina had worked for. The Orsi had come in without notice, killed Giralomo over a dinner conversation and then proceeded to kidnap Caterina and her three children. However, it was the Countess' wit that secured the Rivaldino to outlast the conspirators. After help had arrived from Caterina's family in Milan and her own attacks on the conspirators, Forli and the rest of the Romagna had rallied to her side and the Orsi were put down and captured. It was then that the young Countess placed all her brutality into their torture and death. Some were dismembered and thrown through the streets of Forli, some were burned alive, and the Orsi patriarch was disemboweled by Caterina herself. A small price she believed for threatening the social stability of the Romagna and taking away her husband. Even if Caterina already had designs on Giralomo's life herself. She sighed at Tommaso's words. "One can only take so much death." The Chamberlain laughed. "This is the same Caterina Sforza that I have known for the past four years? I didn't think you could ever get enough blood." Caterina turned around and Feo stopped and gulped. Giralomo had been a lucky man, she was a breathtaking woman, long golden hair, crystal blue eyes, and healthy tanned skin, the scent of roses and wild herbs arose from her presence and her eyes never betrayed a sign of virtue. The Countess lived in sin, rage, lust, it was rumored even witchcraft, but if this was Sin in human form, his faith was easily betrayed. She smiled and walked over to him, opening his mouth and pouring the wine down his throat. "You're right, I can never get enough of seeing my enemies burn and scream. Which is why I don't think you would ever betray me...would you Tommaso?" "Never Madonna. I have sworn an oath to you, the entire city of Forli has sworn an oath to you. You above all else, even as Regent of the young Ottaviano." "Ottavinao will be taken care of in his own time." She sighed. "And don't worry, I don't mean anything stern, I mean to grow away from the Romagna and expand our power." She clasped her hands behind her back. "We can not allow ourselves to stagnate in Italy, or at least the Romagna. We have a great deal of social order to instill around the countryside, Bologna and Ravenna to be specific. Militarily, what are we looking at post-conspiracy?" "The galliaese fleet under Admiral Ordelaffi is still a force to be reckoned with in the Adriatic, especially with the decline of Venice as a power of late. They were hit with an economic depression that had completely wrecked their economy." "The Romagna more powerful than Venice?" Caterina chuckled. "I never thought I would see the day. Truly amazing and around Italy?" "We have not received any reports from either your brother in Milan, the Pope in Rome, or the Royal Family in Naples." "Perhaps I should update Gian on what has been going on in Forli." She rolled her eyes. "Actually, I should probably alert uncle." "The Moor?" Caterina glared. "Do not speak of Ludovico that way Tommaso, he is too valuable to my rule to be ridiculed for his complexion." "And his brutality, I believe I know where you get yours from Milady." "No." She kissed him on ear and whispered. "I am the daughter of the one who did not know fear." And left the Chamberlain staring out against the darkened horizon as the door shut behind him. Walking down through the castle, Caterina kept her head low as she bowed to passing courtiers on the way to her private quarters and sat down at her desk taking out a piece of parchment and a quill. [quote] [i]Dearest Brother and Uncle, I hope this letter finds you both well in Milan, my thanks for the military support to put down the Orsi rebellion will be paid in full in the next few months as soon as I can secure things in Forli, Imola, Ravenna, and Bologna, the work of a widow is never truly done. Europe however from the missives I have received is a changing continent and is finally coming out of these chaotic ages by the Grace of God and I hope that while Europe advances, Italy, specifically Milan and her Daughter advance with them. My sorrows that our advisors could not gain control of the Papacy from the Portuguese as well, but perhaps in time a Sforza will have control of that religious thorn in the south. If not you Brother and Uncle, then perhaps myself. Nevertheless, if possible, I would like to see both of you again in the future, with Giralomo's death I must rethink the future of the Romagna region and as always, the advice of my family is some of the most important that I can ever hold. I would be honored to host a feast in both your honors in Forli, of course I would also yearn to see the spires of Milan again as well. But I will leave that to your gracious counsels. I await your responses in haste. Your Eternal Servant Under God, Caterina[/i] [/quote] As she folded the paper, Caterina walked back out of her quarters to one of the courtiers in the stone halls. "This goes to Milan with the greatest haste. Do not betray me." He bowed. "Madonna, your command is my greatest desire." Caterina bowed in return heading back into her quarters to prepare herself for her night activities and as she relaxed in a hot bath of rose pedals, she reflected on the recent events. "You have the world at your fingertips Caterina." She said crushing a pedal in her palm. "It is time to make them understand it." Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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