Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Your Venice Bankers

Dec 30, 1650, Tuesday morning
Weather: with chilly temperatures and cloudy conditions, with a light breeze

Though the breeze is light, the water in the Lagoon of Venice is too choppy for ice, so despite the winter the water is open, murky and deep.  The barge crossing the lagoon is driven by two dozen oarsmen, yet it is large enough for all of you and your horses.  It makes the seven mile journey in fairly good time.

Though it is only chilly, the humidity upon the water makes the cold perhaps the worst you've experienced since that night when you were drenched just before crossing the Brenner Pass.  Venice is a welcome sight; a spectacular sight.

How can one describe it.  Never has there been such a mountain of pure ornate wealth piled upon piles, artistic and an engineering wonder, like Venice.  The barge lets you off on a pier near St. Mark's Square, with the Cathedral towering over you, forcing you to gaze at it in wonder.  You question someone in the square to find your bankers - the Banque of the Rothschilds - and you are told the way.  You arrange to leave your horses at a ostler's near the docks - this costs you 10 c.p. each, leaving the men-at-arms and Hichem behind, as the place is busy and being near the docks, someone could mistake your horses for cargo.

The party obtains for themselves a gondola, paying the gondalier 2 c.p. to take all four of you a distance of two hundred yards across water - there is no other certain means of getting where you are going, as you do not know the maze of necessary bridges - and you are almost struck by filth being thrown from the windows.  The odor is something magnificent, and quite different from any city you've known - salt mixed with feces and swill - and the surface of the water is a bit thicker than water.

The tower of the Rothschilds is a 130-foot campanile rising far into the sky, with no windows at all below sixty feet over the ground.  You're shown in; you demonstrate the title to your land and you look around at the quite small room that is the main floor.  As the walls of the tower here are 8 feet thick, there is little room for living space; so you begin to climb eight flights of stairs, 11 stairs a flight, until you are high above the city.  You see from one of the narrow windows - the walls being much thinner now - the rooftops of Venice stretching away in every direction, 2,000 massive stone squares, each four floors high as as big as gatehouses.

A banker meets you.  He looks over your paper, he examines his records (which must be fetched) and determines that your back rent amounts to 19 months, from 157 residents of the island of Greater Koufonisia.  He offers you a page to sign, if you want to obtain the coin: 2,296 silver pieces.  And he assures you that the bank is more than happy to continue gathering the rent for you, for the future, allowing for your agent to collect it at your will.

59 comments:

Lukas said...

Thoughts...

Shopping
Cathedral
... profit? Check?

Andrej said...

I say we let the bank continue collecting rent, yes?

Lukas said...

I agree.

Maximillian said...

Upon arrival, I remove my bearskin, and stow it with the horse. That's not something to be wearing in a city. This would expose my weapons to plain view, so I suppose I'll leave them with the horse as well.

Ahmet said...

Yeah, they can handle it... though I don't know when we'll be passing this way again.

Andrej said...

They will hod the coin indefinitely, it seems... so it really doesn't matter when we pass through again. Should we find ourselves et up somewhere we can always write letters and take over collection.

One question for the bankers, though. How much are they charging us to collect rent?

Alexis said...

Ahmet would know that there are bankers in Constantinople who might be more convenient to collect from in future. Venice is bound to be out of your way in future. Just want you to consider the issues therein.

Alexis said...

They're charging nothing. They are, however, using the money to profit elsewhere.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet informs Andrej that not only are the bankers of Constantinople more convenient, but they are also more honorable and more handsome.

Maximillian said...

forgive my konfusion, but do you all know if Koufonisia is under the (military or economic) control of Venice? Do we know the state of affairs between Venice and the Ottomans?

Andrej said...

I suppose when the time comes to switch banks we could leave it up to the banks, yes? That is we take no action as of now but should we later deem to shift collection operations to Constantinople we let that bank worry about how to do it. Is this reasonable?

Maximillian said...

I'm wondering if we're taling about mortal enemies, or peaceful rivals.

Andrej said...

Max, I believe its under Venetian control or part of a bishopric if I recall, but borders on Ottoman territories. The banks at this time have become international entities, though, so...

Andrej said...

P.S. Haven't the Italian cities and the Turks always hated one another... at least as far as controlling navigation in the Agean goes?

Alexis said...

Well, the Rothschild bankers are certainly happy to go on collecting the rent.

Andrej said...

A quick Google search indicates that we are in the midst of the Cretan War between Venice and the Ottomans.

Maximillian said...

(ooc: Well, I don't have any particular goals in Venice at this time, beyond sightseeing. I'm curious what sorts of beasties live in those canals, and perhaps more curious whose job it is to keep them under control. This could be an interesting place to come when Lukas can grant us all waterbreathing)

Andrej said...

Our options seem to be: sign for the money, split it up and let the Rothschild's go on collecting until we have other arrangements firmed up.

or

Sign for the money and have them cease collecting, and make our own arrangements once we see Kofunisia for ourselves and then head to Constantinople

Maximillian said...

I think crete is pretty near koufonisia.

Ahmet said...

Ahmet would strongly urge Option B, of course. ;)

Maximillian said...

It's your rent, I don't have an opinion.

Lukas said...

I don't think we'd need 'water' breathing.

Personally, I would be fine with either options. We probably don't PERSONALLY have to do much, I mean we have minions now.

Andrej said...

Given mine and Lukas's ambivalence, Max's lack of an active interest and Ahmet's strong feelings let us conclude our business with the Rothschild bankers, collecting our money and terminating their role as collectors.

Assuming this is done without further incident the party should find itself back along the canals of Venice, each of Ahmet, Andrej and Lukas 765 silvers richer.

(OOC: What I love about the 2,296 figure is that I'm 99.999% certain Alexis did not pull that out of his ass, that it breaks down to precise tenants paying rent over the past several months. Had I been DMing...)

Alexis said...

Price table, Candia, Crete, nominal economic master of Naxos and environs; total population affected by market zone: 4,949,773

Total number of trade references passing through or originating in Candia market: 813.65

Total amount of gold in market resulting from references: 9,646,545.3

Velocity of money based upon % of references that are marketing: 4.2

Gold x velocity: 40,818,548.6

Per Capita Income of Candia and environs: 1,583.34 c.p.

Per Capita Taxation, assuming 7%, corresponding to "rents": 110.83 c.p.

Number of months back rent (4-40) = 19

Total population of Koufonisia based on modern population of 366 divided by same ratio used to determine reduced population of Naxos territory: 157.

No ass pulling.

Alexis said...

(OOC: I tell you honestly I cannot wait for you to get to the Ukraine, where for the hex you choose to settle - and those that you explore - I get to roll to see if there are deposits of copper, herds of wild cattle, lowlands for wild rice or wheat, etc., all in keeping with Civ4)

Alexis said...

2 c.p. to take a gondola back.

Maximillian said...

I love it Alexis.

If anyone else has loose ends to tie up, perhaps we should split up; I offer to begin searching for a boat to offer us passage and begin those negotiations. Or, we could all go together.

Ahmet said...

I'm ready to move on, but no rush if someone wants to hit the market or whatever.

Alexis said...

Move on to where. I need to be told.

Andrej said...

Let us return to the docks to gather our horses and henchmen.

There Maxamillian and Andrej will see about getting us a boat to Fiume.

The rest of the party can join us or preferably install us at a nearby inn and take theie leisure. I'd like to see the market list for Venice. :)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Love it, Alexis. Speaking of that hex in the Ukraine I've had all kinds of thoughts on how to proceed once we get there, some of which I'd like to lay out for you and the party prior to leaving from Fiume, so that we may all plan ahead. I've refrained so far because of it being so far into the future... but its getting closer.)

Ahmet said...

(OOC: But we are stopping in Anatolia first, yes?)

Andrej said...

But of course, Ahmet... not to mention Kofunisia itself. But decisions/ discussions we ultimately need to make/ have might be better informed while in Fiume, and I don't think we'll be coming back this way so figure to have them then.

Maximillian said...

(OOC: Alexis, you'd asked with the last list whether we preferred the excel or pdf pricelists. Excel is a little easier, as it allows me to calculate my spending directly, and copy/paste the items into my character sheet, but whichever way is more convenient to you is fine.)

Alexis said...

(OOC: I had hoped I could post a pdf on blogger, but it can't be done, so excel is fine for me)

Do people want a market sheet for Venice?

The cost for travel to Fiume will be 23 s.p. per individual, and 45 s.p. per horse. It is a 3 day journey.

Maximillian said...

(I'm fine without a pricelist, I just remembered your question. The boatride's a bargain)

Beginning the day we embark, I'd like to get in the habit of casting Shillelagh in the morning.


Andrej said...

Not to be a pain, but yes... I'd like to see how the prices of goods here in Venice, a trade hub, compare to places we've been and places we're soon going.

Other than curiosity, I suppose I'm all stocked up and ready to pay the ship's passage and go unless Lukas wants to linger in Venice some, which is fine by me.

226 silver total for Andrej, Sofia and their four horses.

Maximillian said...

pd 91 silver for Mareo, Fodom (his horse) and me.

Ahmet said...

Having an entourage is getting expensive!

92 s.p. for Ahmet, Enrico, Tazio and Carlito, 135 s.p. for the three horses, for a total of 227 silvers out of my pocket.

Lukas said...

I don't have to linger. Though a price list might be a good thing to see.

I have paid my passage.
2 horses
2 people

Andrej said...

Regarding the price list once more, given availability Andrej may want to purchase a large chest and a lock. In composition and effect, what is the difference between a warded and un-warded lock?

Alexis said...

(OOC: I hope to work on the 'trade hub' concept vs. the 'secondary trading city' ideal at some point, but at the present you'll probably find the prices in Venice differ little from those in Bozen. The slow change in prices adjusts as you move from dense area of trade to lesser area ... granted, Venice has one of the highest trading agglomerations I've calculated, but the prices won't be so unchanged. The considerable drop in the price of iron makes it difficult now for you to compare prices with Germany.

I'll get you the Venice list this evening. I'll try not to be distracted)

From the spell Glyph of Warding that you have a copy of, you can see that the cleric can incorporate into the glyph the effects of whatever spell the cleric possesses.

Andrej said...

So purchasing a warded lock is essentially buying a lock with pre-applied glyphs? That's very handy.

I assume the warded key allows one to bypass the glyphs without setting them off but are they glyphs still active if the lock is opened with the key for future tampering?

The warded lock comes with 3 wards... do these have to be spell effects Andrej has or can they be any spell effects?

Andrej said...

Andrej purchases two small chests, two warded locks and two warded keys.

Let me know what my options are for the wards as per question above. If they are Andrej's spells, he selects his only offensive spell: cause light wounds.

Are the three wards triggered sequentially (once each time for three times) or all at once?

Otherwise, Andrej and Sofia are ready to board the ship for Fiume.

Alexis said...

Wow.

I so did not understand Andrej's question yesterday.

I simply had not understood that you were referring to the equipment list, and applied the D&D meaning of warded:

Read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warded_lock

Alexis said...

(OOC: Fellows. I have written a post about recent events on this blog, which includes a confession. I urge you to read it)

Andrej said...

(OOC: Read and commented. Rather than think less of you I think more. I'm always on the look-out for things to steal entirely for my game, adventures chief amongst them.)

Ahhhh, I see. OK, still bought the chests and warded locks and am ready to board the boat to Fiume.

Alexis said...

Everyone?

Probably won't get anything up for a few hours. But I wrote about Fiume once before, ages and ages ago.

Ahmet said...

I am ready to go.

(OOC: I have no problem with stealing, especially from an obscure source. It's much better if we all don't know the words ahead of time.)

Andrej said...

(OOC: When did you write of Fimue? Not for this campaign, was it?)

Maximillian said...

I'm pretty busy with meetings and prep this AM, but I've paid my fare and am ready to board to Fiume.

Ahmet said...

I found an entry from 2009 involving Alonzo, Vespasiano, and Pyxaanthal.

Morning, Fiume Harbor

Andrej said...

(OOC: Hey, how about that. Nice catch Ahemt. I had forgotten all about that other campaign.)

Lukas said...

I have paid my fare and am ready to go.

I am fighting the urge to spend money on that last book. Considering there are many available, maybe I can make a special order at some point with a messenger.

Alexis said...

(OOC: Well, I just lost the day. I don't have the time to work up the background for the next post, so we'll have to pick this up tomorrow. Sorry, all)

Andrej said...

No worries, we'll get going tomorrow.

Alexis said...

The boat won't actually be leaving until January 2. So please pay 3 more nights of stabling and lodging. If you haven't got the info with you, I'm not worried. Pay it when you're able.

I'm working on the next post now.

Andrej said...

Stabling & feed: 11 cp per horse-day
Inn stay: 10 cp for the common room or 4 sp for a private one.
Food & beverage: one can eat well enough for 5 - 10 sp a day.

Andrej sees that a whole, stewed turtle is on the menu for only 8 gp however...

Alexis said...

The next post is up.