The halls of the Citadel were nearly invisible in the pitch black of midnight, the weak light from the torch sputtering in meager golden hues. It wasn’t often that King Dominic called a secret audience so late in the evening and he knew in his heart that this night would be home to even more shadows before dawn broke over the horizon.
Rinascita, nestled on the shores of northern Italy, is home to the seat of power for both Italy as well as the Roman Catholic Church. When plague decimated Rome roughly a century earlier, the lone surviving heir assumed the throne and moved the capital to this region and the Pope followed soon thereafter. Today there are approximately 50,000 residents of Rinascita from all corners of the European continent.
Today, the Italian people benefit from the wealth and generosity of their king and are generally content with the flow of trade, culture, knowledge and international influence through the city. Rising influences of the Protestant faith can be found within the city walls, causing some discontent and disruption among the citizens on occasion.
International relations are tenuous and fluid but remain for the most part cordial and civil, resulting in the invitation for foreign ambassadors, nobles and politicians to take up residence within the city to work toward improving trade, negotiations, political discussions and peace between the nations overall.
The general stereotype of the Italians is that they are more concerned with keeping relations stable only for the good of their coin pouches and coffers. Rumors routinely fly about spies, infiltration and double-dealing, but there has never been any evidence to prove the allegations and local authorities will rarely investigate claims.
Known for lavish celebrations, a fondness for wine and dances as well as regular attempts to sponsor artists, designers and writers, Italians enjoy the finer things in life and this impression is bolstered by the regular Court affairs hosted within the Citadel and elusive private audiences with the King himself for a chosen few. Invitations to the King’s personal Royal Guard are considered the highest reward and levied at his sole discretion to those deemed worthy, regardless of their affiliation or previous loyalty. Italy enjoys a close and intimate relationship with the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, affording them a position of import in matters of the Church in regard to the state.
Italian Relations at a Glance
ENGLAND – A close ally of Germany and a powerful nation in their own right, England and Italy have a competitive and sometimes uncertain relationship. Vying for power in the same arenas, the two nations occasionally find themselves in a tense position.
FRANCE – Italy and France have benefited from a well-known and longstanding alliance by marriage. They continue to be close allies, the current Queen of Italy being a native of France by birth. They work in unison on major geopolitical issues as well as trade.
GERMANY – With Germany and France being enemies, Italy by proxy has also taken this stance to preserve relations with France. The continued attempts by Germany to take land from the border of France is a constant political issue that affects everyone.
SCOTLAND – Given the relative weakness of their current trade and political state as well as their geographic distance and minimal armed forces, Scotland and Italy are neither allies nor enemies and have very neutral relations with little issues to be had.
SPAIN – Overall, relations between these two nations are positive and mostly without issue, but the growing strength of Spanish trade routes, naval forces, and alliances with other nations makes Italy uncomfortable and relations can be tenuous at times.
CATHOLIC CHURCH – As the home of the Pope, Italy benefits from a very close working relationship with the Catholic Church, dedicated to fighting the influence of Protestantism and improving the wealth and power of the Church and nation together.
PROTESTANT CHURCH – As staunch and unwavering Catholics, Italy is dedicated to preventing the spread of Protestant beliefs that threaten the wealth and power of the Roman Catholic Church as well as the faithfulness of penitents and citizens alike.
MIDDLE CLASS – Italy understands very well the need for tradesmen and craftsmen in regard to trade, often attempting to bolster their position while ensuring that they are happy in their role and not eager for upward mobility, lest the modus operandi be upset.
LOWER CLASS – Striving to give the appearance of wealth, power and higher standing, Italy often attempts to improve the life of the lower class to keep up appearances of being a wealthy and generous nation with the wellbeing of all in mind.