Welcome to the Masquerata!
Today we’re going to learn a little about the Patricians and their infamous masqueratas.
The Patricians Hunting Party is out on Friday, so we’re going to have a look at these psychos (and hangers on) and find out a little about the Patricians too!
Who Are the Patricians?
Venice has long been a republic, but the system of rules isn’t necessarily fair.
Rule of Venice is decided by the Doge, a figure elected for life. The current Doge in 1795 is Ludovico Manin, who is a surprisingly fair and just ruler. But who got a say in the Doge’s appointment? Venice is not a democracy, and not everyone gets a vote!
Only noble families get a say in stately matters, although there are quite a lot of them! By last census there were 480 families of Patricians who had a seat in the Grand Council.
Of those 480 families, most are quite poor. Before the Rent in the Sky opened ushering in a new age of prosperity (and fear) for the population of Venice, the city was dwindling. A huge amount of noble families sold most of the possessions and estates. However, a name means much more in Venice than wealth. These nobles soon found that they could sell their council votes to the highest bidder – usually another Patrician who was trying to change laws to benefit their own business endeavours.
The Patricians are a selfish bunch – caring only for themselves and their blood relatives. They will sell their votes, kill, steal, and fraternise with very unsavoury types all in order to maintain their lavish lifestyle.
And What a Lifestyle!
The Patricians host exquisite parties, with a new one in a new place almost nightly. There are several of the richer families who host parties more often, with some parties running every night with attractions from all over the world.
Invites to these parties are secret and highly sought after. By day the Patricians will make deals with each other and outside influencers not only to gain personal wealth, but to rub shoulders with those they know throw the most lavish events when the sun sets.
The parties have become the most outlandish soirees, the best hosts providing more and more perverse attractions. From secret orgies to expansive buffets offering delicacies from across the world, these anonymous parties offer the Patricians an excuse to let out their inner demons. It’s no wonder that syphilis is so rife among the upper class.
On July 17th 1793 these parties took a violent turn. The excesses of one party became too much, and the revelries spilled out onto the streets. Passing groups of citizens fled in terror as the masked nobles chased them before cutting them down. The exhilarating rush of murder quickly became the new high to search for, and the parties were dubbed as Masqueratas, often ending in base violence.
Some of the Masqueratas focus more on violence than others, and attract different sorts of guests.
The best fighters are invited to these Masqueratas to accompany the richest nobles. While most of the aristocracy are trained in duelling and swordplay, some bring with them unique skills. The dubbed Syphilitic Nobles are a prime choice of guest. Although not welcome at most parties (for obvious reasons), the disease riddles their minds, causing them to lash out in violence, and care little for their own personal safety. This makes them excellent hunting companions, and hilarious to the nobles accompanying them.
More exciting still are the Adventuring Nobles. These individuals have travelled across the world searching for treasures. They bring with them speed, experience, and a keen eye. Whether through hunting animals in the plains of Africa or chasing quarries in the dense jungles of South America, they are often experts at blood sports. More welcome than that though are the prizes they return with. Mystical talismans and ancient artefacts that lay benign on their collection often glow with eldritch power upon their arrival in Venice. These are prized possessions by their holders, and extremely beneficial in skirmishes, since their latent power offers Patricians gangs the rare gift of magic.
Working for a noble family comes with its problems. Although you are paid well, the requirements are somewhat more than a normal job.
Quite often the Household Staff will be dragged out with the Masqueratas. Some will angrily accompany their masters, knowing that every night could spell their demise, but having to provide for their families. Others are hired specifically for their history, whether from fighting in war or for particularly violent acts that landed them in jail (a mere inconvenience for those of means).
Some are trained for battle, and others merely follow their benefactors out of loyalty – many have worked for the same family their entire lives!
So, what do you think? Are you feeling particularly psychopathic? Want to do whatever you want with no consequences? Want to lure a bunch of lunatics to your party and then go out onto the streets with them to murder people? Well if you do, don’t do it in real life – do it in Carnevale!
The Patricians Hunting Party will be available to pre-order on Friday, we’ll have all the information you need right here!