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Chapter One: In Which Three Of Our Players Are Introduced, And The Stage On Which They Will Play Is Revealed

<l`Aquila> There was an explosion over the Doge's palace as the parade continued in front of the Piazzo Publico. A bright red, and then a bright green as a stately procession of horns played on in celebration of the duke Visconti in Milan, a long enemy of Venice. . . soon the armies of Venetia would march towards the Ambrosian Republic, and crush the Venetian Rival to the dirt, expanding the influence into Lombardy. . . putting Venice in arms reach of that Florentine Dog, de Medici. . .
The fireworks exploded over the darkened city, lit by lanterns as the processional played through the streets. Effigies were burned, and the seal of the house of Visconti defaced, while members of the Senate watched on in approval. Members of the great houses had their showing. . . although the Doge and his Capi were nowhere to be seen. . . as was only fitting. They had to remain in the palace to prevent their corruption
The Visconti was dead, long live Il senato e la gente di Venezia, Serve well Council of Ten, Long live the Doge, Long live the Republic of Venice. . .
* Rosalva_Solario will look out the window of her newly acquired home, it was a nice residence, thought not overly splendid. It was normally a noble's vacation home. She looks out from her veil over the waters below the new lights in the sky then to the stars.
* l`Aquila   The Morosini house and the Veniers were marching over the bridges as the gondolas bearing their men traveled down the canal. . .
* Rosalva_Solario will watch them from her window her lights are low.
* l`Aquila   They carried lanterns as they moved through the streets, resplendent in colors. . . The Morosini attempted to move past the Veniers, however one young man spat at the Morosini. . . men reached for blades and loud words were spoken as the two yelled. . . one of the Gondolas of the Morosini bumped the side of a Venier gondola. . . and just then there was a knock on the door. 
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen moved through the throng of people....he was a very tall man...and here in the cities of Italy where height was not what they were known for..the man stood 5'11-6 feet...a giant even among his own people here he stood out. Dressed in a high collared Black  doublet and Pants. Belted at his hip..a Blade...Very little jewelry.. though the clothing was of a fine make...
* Rosalva_Solario will stand and go over to the door. She will speak softly.
<Rosalva_Solario> Who is there?
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen he was fair skinned...again something to set him apart from the olive skinned folk..though his hair was Black as coal..aside from the flecks of grey that had begun to appear at small intervals. His eyes Deep set with a heavy brow and Matching eyebrows...those deep set eyes were ice Blue..
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen The truly interesting feature though was his scar...starting at his hair line....and moving down his face...missing his Right eye by a fraction and continuing down his face and neck...were three...maybe four deep gashes..long since healed...but wounds like this left remembrance...the scars vanished down his throat...and into his clothing
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen And so the giant walked through the revelers...through the crowds...
* l`Aquila   A voice speaks through the door, unrecognized. "Signoria Solario. . . Signor Loredan would like the pleasure of your company this evening. . . to discuss the matter on which you spoke with him." 
* l`Aquila   Signor Loredan, a trader, part of a noble family that once supplied a great Admiral of this city, wealthy, powerful. . . a member of the Odyssean Lodge. 
<Rosalva_Solario> Of Course. When does he wish to meet with me?
<l`Aquila> The Odyssean Lodge seemed small for its stature in the civic politick, however it was well designed to make premium use of the space. Down the bridge of the Four Generals, past the paper shop. . . two stories tall with several rooms. Space was at a premium in Venice and the lodge house contained many rooms, lit well by oil. . . its exterior plastered freshly. . . its interior like a richly  colored jewel of paintings, portraits and odds and ends from about the world 
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen moved down across the Bridge...his long strides not stopping for reveler or braggart raised eye to a urchin who nearly brushed close enough to cut a Purse...and go....past the Paper shop...and too a building he was passingly familiar with...he knocked
* l`Aquila   Fiorenzi stood in the main room of the lodge staring at the map on the wall. He dared not venture outside this evening, the Venetians would tear him apart for his birthplace, however the Lodge cared little for civic politics. . . he was dressed fashionably considering his circumstances, exiled to the lodge as he was, until he could sneak away from his business, and move down the coast. 
* l`Aquila   The door was opened by Nicolo. . . the porter. He nodded at Ulrich whispering "l'Aquila is upstairs with Signior Loredan. . . they are speaking. . . loudly." 
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> "They usually are...." he entered with a brief nod in greeting to Nicolo.. "I will await your Master here then...I have not the temperament for angry Venetians" and he did just that....
* l`Aquila   Fiorenzi nodded to Ulrich saying "Who does?" 
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> Spaniards...
* l`Aquila   Nicolo closed the door and signed a name into the large tome, sitting down in his chair, taking the crossbow and setting it back against the table. 
<l`Aquila> The voices come from upstairs, shouting in Italian "We need not wait Signor Loredan, we have the ship and the men, we can leave before dell'Oro even has time to prepare his plan."
<l`Aquila> We can reach the holy land within the week, and take the spear before dell'Oro can even find provisions or local guides!
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen found a seat...crossed his legs....folded his hands and waited...
* l`Aquila   The other voice speaks "Pace, Antonio.. . pace e silenzio." 
* l`Aquila walks down the staircase ten minutes later. . . stroking his bare chin. Captain di Caorle had a face like a bird of prey, with hawk like nose and piercing blue eyes that betrayed his northern complexion. His hair was once brown, peppered now with grey. He was dressed befitting a meeting at the lodge house with Magister Loredan. . . It suited him, but was only an extension of his form and  body, the clothes did not make l'Aquila, he was a man who filled his clothing. 
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen stood...and nodded...
* l`Aquila stopped and smiled on the staircase, looking down over the room. "Herr von Riesen. . . was the festival not to your liking?"
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen a grunt... "Politics and Wine are a Mix only Italians would think is a good idea..."
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen smirked slightly... "You're well?"
<l`Aquila> Molto Bene Ulrich. . .
* l`Aquila smiles as he says "An old dream has been resurrected. . . we sail to Jerusalem. . . and then . . ."
* l`Aquila flips a coin from his hand, letting it flip into the air and land in his palm.
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen rolls his deep set eyes....
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> Working with anybody I know....or am I spilling new Blood?
* l`Aquila shows the coin to Ulrich. It is not gold nor is it silver. "We'll know when we get there, Herr von Riesen"
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen examines the coin with Narrowed eyes
* l`Aquila   A Suncross is stamped upon its side. The sigil of the Lodge of the Venetian house of the Odyssean Lodge. . . It's a sigil, the mark of investiture from the lodge, meant as marque to communicate to any others in the Order. . . the metal, however, is new to you. 
<l`Aquila> Do you recognize this metal?
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> No...I do not...
<l`Aquila> Nor do I, nor do the Alchemists. . . it fell from the heavens. . .
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> Hmm...I am no Alchemist...however I have a keen nose for Value...and -that- is a very worthwhile piece of Coinage...
<l`Aquila> Flame does not melt it. . . nor does it react to solvents or unguents. . . it is worth more than you know.
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen rose a eyebrow to this...
* Rosalva_Solario will walk into the front doors she is a lady wearing a long black Cloak also dressed all in black. On the front panel of her dress bears half a sun completed by a crescent moon. She wears a long black veil. Her appears even so covered is lovely. She pulls down the hood of her cloak to look around.
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> This is a good would make if very difficult to mill I'd assume..." The High guild and their coins...and values...and the protection of such things
* l`Aquila   Nicolo walks to Rosalva Solario, offering to take her cloak as he says "Signore Loredan awaits your company upstairs, Signora. . . may I introduce you to Capitano Antonio Maximille di Coarle and Captiano Luigi di Firenze 
* Rosalva_Solario wears two pieces of jewellery that stand out a large copper coloured pendent on a chain, and sitting above and between her breasts a cross with a star in the center 3 stars hang from it one on each cross bar and one from the very bottom it is tied around her neck by a dark blue ribbon.
* Rosalva_Solario will turn to the men and curtsey properly.
<Rosalva_Solario> Good evening gentlemen. excuse me.
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen with the lady present the man stood at attention...or as close as he could get out of a military uniform....with a brief nod to the Lady
* Rosalva_Solario will allow herself to be lead upstairs.
* l`Aquila turns to the lady, bowing as he slips the coin into his palm quickly, it disappears from view as it goes into his sleeve. "Indeed, may I introduce Herr von Reisen before you are led away. . . "
* l`Aquila   Nicolo pauses for a moment, allowing the Captains to meet Rosalva. . . 
* l`Aquila   Captain Firenze bows as well. . . 
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen bows...a stiff...matter...nearly mechanical in its precision...
<Rosalva_Solario> a new member of your crew Antonio?
<l`Aquila> Old and new, Rosalva. . . I've sailed with him many times before, we had lost track of one another, but I am happy he is with me on THIS voyage.
<l`Aquila> It is odd to see you far from Padua, though. . .
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen stands silently...the Large Northerner keeping to himself....taking in his surroundings
<Rosalva_Solario> I recently acquired a home in the city though.. that is a story for another time. if you will excuse me. Antonio. a Pleasure "Herr Von" Reisen.
* Rosalva_Solario will turn to be lead up stairs.
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> "Signora Solario..." bowed again...the man...sounded like he was a Native of Padua with accent and Inflection
* l`Aquila   Nicolo walks Rosalva up the stairs. Pietro Molo walks in from the back, dressed in finery, with a sharp sword by his side, he looks like a scion of a noble family. . . young, crass, arrogant, deadly in his own way. He watches Rosalva walk up the staircase as he moves between Firenze and l'Aquila among Von Reisen "Ah, she found her way up, bene. I was hoping to show her the way. I could find with the stars in her eyes."
* l`Aquila   The stately figure of Signore Loredan stood among the frescoes of the council room. His back to the table, he wore red that covered his girth. His fingers were jeweled. . . his hat majestic. . . his beard trimmed. The older man turned as he said "Ah, Signora Solario. Buono Sera. . . " 
* Rosalva_Solario will smile and curtsy to him properly and gracefully smiling under her veil.
<Rosalva_Solario> Signore Loredan. to hear from you is a unexpected pleasure on this.. interesting night.
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> I shall transfer my Baggage aboard then sir?" looking at Antonio...among others he was unfailingly professional
<l`Aquila> The people of Venice are happy that the Visconti are dead and gone. You do not recall the pains the Visconti gave us so many decades ago, but it is fresh in my mind. . . you are beautiful as ever, Signora. . . though I understand the Falsetti are not happy with your place with the late Doctor's affection.
* l`Aquila shakes his head to Ulrich saying "We wait for now. . . the ship is being built. We'll see it tonight." He flips out the coin once more saying "This metal is valuable. . . we've been commissioned to find more. . . in addition to general discovery in our voyage."
* l`Aquila takes a chain from his pocket, slipping it through the hole in the coin, and then placing it around his neck. . .
<Rosalva_Solario> It does not make the night any safer. Yes it is unfortunate.... I miss him greatly... though I swear to the heavens his family has no reason to.. I am sorry.. I am... upset...
* Rosalva_Solario will look for a place to seat herself.
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> "I see..My duties then?" he asked...
* l`Aquila   Moro says to Firenze "Ah, Firenze. . . trapped inside again when the celebration is outside?" Firenze shakes his head as he says "I dare not risk the high spirits of Venetians on this night." Moro smiles as he says "I would not send a dog out in this night. I would not even send a Florentine out in this night. . . how is the food here this evening?" 
* l`Aquila looks up the stairs saying "We wait. . . enjoy a meal. . . "
* l`Aquila   Signore Loredan gestures to a chair, pulling it out for the lady, before sitting down himself behind the table. "It is sad, but understandable. You will want to leave Venice soon." It wasn't a question 
* Rosalva_Solario will sweep into the chair and sigh.
<Rosalva_Solario> I suppose I must...
* l`Aquila   Signore Loredan smiles as he sits back in his chair, crossing his meaty hands "I have found you a ship, and you. . . you have given me an opportunity. Tell me, Rosalva. . . do you know of the story of Daedalus?" 
* l`Aquila   Signore Loredan says "And how he dared the heavens?" 
* Rosalva_Solario will smile a little.
<Rosalva_Solario> Of Course I do.
* l`Aquila   Signore Loredan pours wine into the goblet from the carafe. . . he offers a goblet to Rosalva saying "We live in times of great potential. . . and I say it is time that man dares the heavens again. . . I've found the best Captain I know. . . he has with him the finest pilot and a fine crew. . . but no Navigator for where he wishes to go." 
* l`Aquila   Signore Loredan says "Signora, may I tell you a secret." 
* Rosalva_Solario will take the Goblet and lean in a little close so that he can talk to her.
* l`Aquila   Signor Loredan says "I do not understand men like l'Aquila. . . or like my kinsman, Pietro. Men who give their lives without expecting riches in return. My kinsman gave his life fighting the Turks for this city, and his name is famous for all time. 
* Rosalva_Solario will listen leaning forward.
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen kept to himself downstairs...examining some of the art...and odds and ends....
* l`Aquila   Signor Loredan says "l'Aquila has traveled far and wide, and while he has made profit, he goes out once more. . . I. . . I on the other hand, expect a return on my investment, and know that the dreams of men are merely . . . currency in my fingers. . . I know that the problems of men are simply. . . ways to move forward. Still. . . perhaps I am effected by my own dream of greatness in the future
* l`Aquila   Signore Loredan shakes his head as he says "I was once shown an image of Europe shaped by trade and by reason, rather than by . . . pain and treason and superstition. And perhaps it . . . has touched my once cold heart. Still, this voyage has a goal. . . though it moves far beyond Earth, into places more lofty. . . 
<Rosalva_Solario> to the Stars?
* Rosalva_Solario looks up almost as if she can still see them.
* l`Aquila   "If the winds take you there." 
* l`Aquila   "You should meet the Captain and Herr von Reisen. . . " Loredan rings the bell by his goblet. Bertaccio walks into the room. "Tell Capitano l'Aquila and Herr von Reisen to join us, Bertaccio. . . and then bring supper up for us. It is late and I would not send them away unfed." 
<Rosalva_Solario> I have met Captain l'Aquila he is an old acquaintance. thank you for thinking of me Singore Loredan.
* l`Aquila   The man raises his eyebrow "Truly? You've met l'Aquila once before? What an odd congruence of coincidence. . . then again, we move in small circles." 
* Rosalva_Solario will pull the veil back from her pretty face. to sip her wine.
* l`Aquila walks upstairs with Ulrich behind him. . . he's wearing a medallion now. . . with the sundisk showing the sigil of the lodge house. . . "Signore Loredan, has she said yes?" l'Aquila bows to Solario and Loredan, sitting down at the table. Another two chairs remain open. The chair at the head of the table remains clear. . . though a glass is placed there. Ulrich knows better than to sit there, though. 
* Rosalva_Solario will smile to Antonio and nod her head slightly.
* l`Aquila   Loredan looks at Rosalva and then nods again to l'Aquila. He pours extra goblets of wine from the caraffe, before pouring one finally to the head of the table. . . 
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen the Germanic giant stayed silent...stoic as was his want on most occasions of those mechanically precise bows to Senor Loredan....and taking a open chair...not the head of the table...he may not have been Venetian...but he was no lout
* l`Aquila nods as he says "Good." He winks at Rosalva saying "There's a universe to see for you, Rosalva. I hoped one day you'd join me." He smiles in that roguish way he had.
<Rosalva_Solario> I am glad you feel that way Antonio I am told you need a Navigator?
* l`Aquila   Loredan nodded once to Ulrich as the meal was brought to the table. . . a covered plate placed at the head of the table. Loredan says to Ulrich "How was Cathay, Herr von Reisen?" 
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> Profitable...
* l`Aquila smiles to Rosalva saying "You'll be a natural, bella donna. . . Avete il cuore per le stelle. You have the heart for the stars.
* l`Aquila   Loredan nods as he says "Good to hear. I was surprised to hear that you had signed on with l'Aquila. . . what is he offering you?" 
* l`Aquila   Loredan continues "If you don't mind me asking." 
* l`Aquila   Loredan smiles "Professional curiosity, of course." 
* Rosalva_Solario will smile warmly at l'Aquila she has a smile that lights up the room. She relaxes feeling much better then when she arrived.
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen nodded slightly and sipped his wine "I have never stopped a man from asking Questions Senor Loredan...however my Payment is between the Captain and myself...."
* l`Aquila   Loredan nods as he says "I mean no offense, Herr von Reisen. I am a man who wonders what price your talents fetch on the open market should those talents ever open themselves to me in the future." 
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> There is no offense Taken senor....I'm far too much the stereotype of my Country men for offense not to be noticed" set his cup down "I will say this involves trade rights and opening of routes and territories for myself and my guild..."
<Rosalva_Solario> Where do you plan to sail Antonio?
* l`Aquila   The dinner itself is sumptuous, though not overly so. Eclectic, beginning with a fine Antepaste of meats and cheeses. . .  The Risotto follows soon afterwards. 
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> Tell you still do business with Ignazio Camperi..the Banker? 6 he asked Loredan
* l`Aquila smiles as he says "We sail first to Jerusalem, to test this new vessel that we find ourselves in. And then? Where no man has set sail before. . . "
* l`Aquila   Senior Loredan nods as he says "On occasion, Herr von Reisen. And should you find new trade routes of interest to you, I will be most interested in doing business with you as well. As I had with your father." 
* l`Aquila   The risotto is placed before the empty seat. l'Aquila looks at Loredan fore a moment saying "dell'Aque?" He raises an eyebrow. Loredan looks at l'Aquila and shakes his head "Nothing yet, Antonio. . . you?" 
* l`Aquila looks to the empty seat and then shakes his head "Maybe tomorrow, Lorenzo. . . "
* l`Aquila   Lorenzo Loredan nods and then looks to the seat, before looking back to von Reisen. "Where were we?" 
* Rosalva_Solario will smile at l'Aquila.
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> I was going to say..Ignazio is a fine man with a talent for his business...however I have lending houses not in venice proper..could offer extremely completive rates from my offices in Genoa...and Rome
<Rosalva_Solario> I would certainly like to come with you Antonio You know I adore travel you will have to let me see your new ship.
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen eats a bit....the man had manners....
* l`Aquila smiles as he says "I'd love to see it myself. I'd heard it was the pride of the Arsenal. . . though they speak little of it. . . I'll be traveling there tonight after dinner. . . to sneak in and have a look."
* l`Aquila   Loredan nods to Ulrich saying "We'll see what we can arrange when you return from your voyage, perhaps. . . perhaps you will be wealthier if you find more of this Primal Metal. . . Do you know that metal stopped a ball of flame from the hand of a pagan?" 
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> I was not told of such no....very interesting" nodded and ate
* Rosalva_Solario will bite her lip for a moment then look to him.
<l`Aquila> Loredan stares at the medallion saying "Some unearthly beast. . . was called into the service of the Pagan, trying to steal it from de la Cruz and the group that found the fallen star. . . the rest of the crew was consumed in flames, while de la Cruz survived. . . he threw the rock at the head of the beast, and it died instantly. The pagan tried to take it, but then clutched her throat and could  not breathe, aging ten years in a minute. 
<Rosalva_Solario> Do you need company?
* Rosalva_Solario will look over at Loredan.
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen nodded slightly...the German fellow did not seem terribly surprised by the statement....
* l`Aquila smiles as he whispers to Rosalva "I would be stupido to deny such a compagno bello
* l`Aquila   Loredan continues "de la Cruz shot the Pagan, and took the stone. . . fire did not melt it. . . solvents did not change it. . . it is a pure substance. . . rarer than diamonds, purer than gold itself. And the Order need more of it. . . a weapon against the Traditionalists. . . against infernalists. . . a substance to change the face of a world." 
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> Agreed...
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> Also those who have it can make a tidy sum..." nodded slightly and ate....remaining quiet
* Rosalva_Solario will merely grin set her goblet down and place her veil back over her face.
* l`Aquila smiles as he says "It is beyond worth, Herr von Reisen. . . what price can you place on the priceless? What price on a world?"
* l`Aquila   Loredan nods to Reisen saying "It has a limited market, but yes, those who find it can set their price. . . although as an investor on this voyage. . . I gain a portion of its discoveries. . . " 
* l`Aquila   Loredan speaks calmly "My profit." 
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> Hmmm..Well..that would depend on the current average Price of other worlds...from there I'd place between a 60-75% percent markup on the gross....and begin negotiation" said with straight face he nodded to Loredan "Of course
* l`Aquila   The fish was well salted, tender and served with vegetables from the local market.  The meal passed without incident. . . and soon the sounds of revelry outside the lodge began to die away, limited to a few cries of pleasure, as the night wore past the middle point. Signore Loredan excused himself to his room, leaving l'Aquila, Solario, von Reisen and Nicolo awake. . . 
* Rosalva_Solario will place her veil back down over her beautiful face after the meal and settle back in her chair.
* l`Aquila   Firenze dozed in the chair of the lodges main room downstairs, resting by the fire, a rutter open on his chest. 
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> So you go to see the Ship then?
* l`Aquila smiles at Solario saying "So, signora. Are you ready to scandalize the town?" He smiles to von Reisen saying "I wouldn't miss it for the world itself. I've waited to see this ship all my life."
* Ulrich-Von`Riesen nodded slightly" You Odyssians enjoy yourselves. I have hard matters to deal with....Inform me when we sail..and stop by for dinner tomorrow...I am at the Wounded Stag Inn...near the Caponi Library
<Rosalva_Solario> I believe so. I am already scandalized I have little to lose.
* l`Aquila nods as he says "I shall see you tomorrow then, Herr von Riesen. With luck, we leave by the end of the week, should the ship be prepared. . . we'll need to find crew. . . "
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> "I assume I'll fill my regular Post then? As for know my predilections... l'Aquila...I trust in your ability" nodded
<l`Aquila> You'll get what we find, Herr von Riesen. . . this voyage is worth the sacrifice, and you know it.
* l`Aquila 's piercing blue eyes are gleaming with an almost insane power. . . his smile wide enough to cut through possibilities and move into the future. . .
* Rosalva_Solario will stand and place her cloak back on carefully.
* l`Aquila stands as he says "Sleep well, Ulrich, I know you love the sleep of land, and we will soon be away of it for a proper bed"
<Ulrich-Von`Riesen> Senora...a pleasure" Bowed again "Allright l`Aquila...atleast keep me near the weapons..." smiled briefly..bowed..and the the giant retreated down the stairs
* l`Aquila laughs as he offers a hand to Rosalva "A man of focused heart and grim features. You wouldn't know the passion beyond the stoicism if you hadn't seen him in hell. But then again, perhaps we'll see him together in the heavens. Shall we, Signora?"
<Rosalva_Solario> take care Herr von Riesen.
* Rosalva_Solario smiles to Antonio and offers her hand over to him in a dainty manner.
* l`Aquila grabs his cloak on the way out and starts to move downstairs. He looks to Rosalva saying "You might wish to change into something a little less. . . beautiful. . . for this, Rosalva. . . "
<Rosalva_Solario> what would you suggest?
<l`Aquila> Something you can climb in
* l`Aquila grins
<Rosalva_Solario> I don't think I own anything like that is there anything I could borrow?
<l`Aquila> But of course. . .
* l`Aquila smiles widely in that way he does. . .
* l`Aquila   The Arsenal was quiet at this time of night. 
* Rosalva_Solario will follow.
<l`Aquila> The Byzantine-style establishment may have existed as early as the 8th century, though the present structure is usually said to have been begun in 1104, although there is no evidence for such a precise date. It definitely existed by the early thirteenth century and is mentioned in Dante's Inferno. The name probably comes from Arabic Dar al Sina’a ("Dockyard") and the concept was clearly Islamic as much as Byzantine.
Initially the state dockyard worked merely to maintain naval ships built privately, but in 1320 the Arsenal Nuovo was built, much larger than the original. It enabled all the state's navy and the larger merchant ships to be both constructed and maintained in one place. The Arsenal incidentally became an important centre for rope manufacture, while housing for the arsenal workers grew up outside its walls. 
<l`Aquila> Venice developed methods of mass-producing warships in the Arsenal, including the frame-first system to replace the Roman hull-first practice. The new system was much faster and required less wood.
<l`Aquila> The Arsenal employed some 3,000 people who apparently were able to produce nearly one ship every three days. The urban district of the Arsenal, which is complex and integrated, is centuries old. The layout of the Arsenal derives from a geometrical, functional matrix that remained constant during its development over the centuries. The geometrical laws on which this vast complex was based can still be seen in the elemental and repeated module of the shipyard, whose design was dictated by the simple rules of ship building techniques. 
* Rosalva_Solario will follow in what ever Antonio gave her to wear. never having been here she will look at everything with interest, nervousness controlling her slightly she holds onto her companion's arm.
* l`Aquila   The stone cut lions of the Porta Magna stared down at the street, although the canal rode directly underneath them. . . Lit by torchlight, they seemed almost to be breathing in the darkness. . . 
* l`Aquila stands in the back of the Gondola staring up at the lions as he punts forward with the pole. He looks down at Rosalva saying "Comfortable, Signora?"
<Rosalva_Solario> Not completely I am not accustomed to dressing as a boy.
* Rosalva_Solario will smirk a little at him calming her nerves.
* l`Aquila smiles as he says "We shall purchase more suitable clothing for you on the voyage, then. However dresses are not suitable for climbing rigging or on the sea. Don't you know it's bad luck to bring a woman on a sea voyage?" He smiles as he punts under the lions, ducking down under the bridge as the gondola enters darkness. . .
<Rosalva_Solario> I have heard such things. I wonder how people assume women to get anywhere...
* l`Aquila smiles as he says "You should ask my ships Surgeon. she finds a way."
<l`Aquila> "Or perhaps the engineer. . ."
<l`Aquila> Ah, Qui e, here it is. . . l'Aquila plants the pole into the canal, stopping the Gondola in place. He calls to Rosalva saying. "Tie off the rope to that second knot while I open the gate."
* Rosalva_Solario will laugh a little a little nervously and then go to tie off the rope as instructed.
* l`Aquila plays with the stones with the grating by the wall. . . after a few moments, the wall is pushed inwards. . . and the sound of running water can be heard. "Sit down and hold on to the seat." l'Aquila places the pole into the holder on the side of the Gondola, and then goes to the rope and unties it, keeping it wrapped around the post as the front of the ship starts to turn into the canal. . .
* Rosalva_Solario will tie it as tightly as she can before going to join Antonio.
* Rosalva_Solario will tie up the boat when ever it is appropriate.
* l`Aquila nods as he says "Sit down, hold the side of the seat."
<l`Aquila> Grip tightly!
* l`Aquila   The front of the ship points into the secret offshoot of the canal that l'Aquila just opened up. 
* Rosalva_Solario will sit down and hold on tight.
* l`Aquila kneels down, untying the rope, and then holding the end letting it remain wrapped tight against the mooring. . . he then kneels down, grips the side of the boat, and pulls on the rope letting the boat rush into the side canal. The ceiling passes just overhead, an inch away from the top of Rose's scalp as the water moves the ship quickly in pitch darkness. . . a smell of mildew and decay  under this part of the city. . . the boat bumps the wall on the side 
* Rosalva_Solario will duck down and put a hand up to put over her mouth to muffle her shriek.
* l`Aquila grips hold as the ship seems to roll down a hill, before settling in pitch darkness. . . drifting. . . A light from behind you
as l'Aquila lifts a lantern on a stick, placing it on the hook at the front of the Gondola. Underwater canals. . . the ceiling looms overhead.
"That was the fun part. Now we go in to see the ship."
<Rosalva_Solario> Oh... Oh... my ...
<l`Aquila> You never knew about this part of the city?
* Rosalva_Solario will slowly pick herself up off the bottom of the boat.
<l`Aquila> Venice is built on swamp and venice. . . it sinks slowly into the water. . . but if you know the way, you can find secrets even here. . .
<l`Aquila> Roman catacombs . . . old networks of caves to hide from the hun. . .
<l`Aquila> Under the Arsenal
<Rosalva_Solario> incredible...
* Rosalva_Solario will look around as she recovers herself.
* l`Aquila   Skulls rest along a part of the wall in an enclave. . . l'Aquila begins to punt in a direction, humming as he goes. . . he glances at the walls for something then sees an X on the wall. He hums to himself quietly. 
* l`Aquila   Bats screech and fly as the boat approaches. . . though they move away from the gondola 
* Rosalva_Solario will grab onto his waist when she hears the bats and close her eyes.
* l`Aquila wraps an arm around Signora Solario saying "Shall we turn back then, Signora?"
<Rosalva_Solario> No I was just startled..
* Rosalva_Solario will go to sit back down looking embarrassed.
* l`Aquila smiles as he says "You do well, you don't scream. . . but there ahead you see?" He points to a part of the wall where there is a small dock with stairs. "That is where we go."
<Rosalva_Solario> I will get use to these things I am sure... Is it horrible if I say thank goodness?
<l`Aquila> Not at all, Rosalva. . . it is natural to be afraid of those things which are horrible.
* Rosalva_Solario will smile a little and look to the stairs.
* l`Aquila   The gondola pushes against the edge of the stone walkway. . . l'Aquila leaps out of the gondola with a rope and then starts to walk along the walkway, pulling the gondola to a mooring. . . he ties the ship off, and then extends his hand to Rosalva from the stairs. 
* Rosalva_Solario will put her hand to his carefully and get his help to get out of the gondola.
* l`Aquila   There are the sounds of mosquitoes and crickets as the two climb to the dock of the Arsenal... In the distance a man walks carrying a lantern. l'Aquila feels his blade by his side, then nods, whispering "Quiet now, we're nearly there." 
* Rosalva_Solario will nod but not say anything so that they are both quiet she will stay close to Antonio though.
* l`Aquila lets his cloak fall around him, lifting the hood over his face, he moves in the darkness slowly, reaching into the fold of his cloak, and pulling out some jerked meat. . . he sniffs at it, then nods, tiptoeing slowly, then tossing the meat into the alleyway. . . he then walks quickly towards a doorway. . . locked.
* Rosalva_Solario will follow as quickly as she can. also pulling up her own hood.
* l`Aquila reaches into his cloak and starts to play with the lock, as footsteps come close. "Something there, Fabrizio? You smell something?" There's the sound of panting as you see the light glow around the corner of the building. "What did you find?" l'Aquila continues to fiddle with the lock, and then the dog growls. . .
* l`Aquila   The door clicks as the guard says "Don't eat that, you don't know where it has been. . . one of the dockhands could have left it. . . " l'Aquila gestures Rosalva inside 
* Rosalva_Solario will turn around to see what is behind them.
* Rosalva_Solario will hurry inside.
* l`Aquila hurries inside as well, closing the door behind him, then working to relock it, playing with the latch, and then letting it settle. l'Aquila exhales as he looks at the ship sitting in the dry-dock, not quite yet completed. You can see in the moonlight through the window, that the ship is slightly different.
* Rosalva_Solario will put a hand on her chest and take some deep breaths. before looking at the ship.
* l`Aquila   The rudder is too large. . . and made of silver it seems. The bow of the ship is as well, and you can see where the bow would move. . . as well as the masts sticking sideways out of one side of the ship. You see upon closer inspection it's installed on the other side of the ship too, but it's locked into place. . . become almost a decorative siding. . . 
* l`Aquila   The masthead is clear, and you can see the bulb ahead where it's meant for ramming. The ship itself is large for a Merchantship, but the design seems . . . shallow. This ship could cut over reefs, cut through anything, really. . . the construction is
practical. . . the rigging unlike anything you've ever seen. . . the size impressive. Good for long voyages. . . 
* Rosalva_Solario will take a look taking the sight of the amazing vessel in.
* l`Aquila smiles as he says "There she is. . . now all she needs is her name. . . "
* l`Aquila   The ship was in transit already, between concept and reality, from dreams to innovation and beyond. . . the ship sat there. . . waiting for a story to fill it. 
<Rosalva_Solario> <gently> she is amazing Antonio...
* l`Aquila smiles as he says "It will carry us beyond the limits of imagination, Rosalva. . . nothing but possibility. . . from the head of God through the hands of men. . . it's the future."

End of Chapter 1