01 – The World of Brass Tactics
We were a once great house with wealthy and powerful holdings in the Republic of Lissitan – our family was noble and fair and respected the land. Over a generation ago, we were pushed back almost to the point of extinction – but they stopped short of wiping us out because they believed we were no longer a threat. Out of courtesy great houses are never destroyed, but simply left to wallow in obscurity.
Now, our Architect has revealed the plans for a secret project, one that might regain the house’s rightful place in the Council of Twenty. A new Scion is needed – and the time is right.
As a child he was constantly taking things apart to understand how they work. His parents petitioned the famed Nedane Academy to accept him at sixteen, though most Architects do not enter the Academy until their mid-thirties. Unfortunately, his youth made his experience at the Academy difficult and when Princeps Maravia invited him to be the Architect for her house, he left the Academy without completing his schooling. As a result, he has an unorthodox approach to the WarTable and yet yearns to return to the Academy and be accepted.
As the head of a household, he should have a scion to do battle for him. It is the way of things and allows a merchant to maintain the fiction of cordial relations with another merchant, while the scion provides the steel to back up any implied threats. Princeps Zavolto has subverted this natural order by kidnapping the scion of Gerro. That it is his daughter does not help. Gerro was never a strong strategist and has always preferred to be cautious, in both war and investment. His daughter was the bold one, and he was relieved when she showed talent at the war table at an early age. He is in his late fifties and has a shrewd understanding of business, but is generally considered, among his peers, as being too soft-hearted to be truly successful.
Edaria trained Zavolto on the war table, as she trained all the soldiers who worked for the house of Zavolto. She has always favored tricking her opponents into underestimating her. In her youth, she would sometimes play the bimbo. Now, in her eighties, she uses the grandmother card. Both ploys hide a cunning and ruthless mind.
In his thirties, and at the height of his powers, Zavolto has not lost a battle to anyone save Edaria. She trained him, so he hardly counts those. The idea of losing is alien. If he wants something, he reaches for it and succeeds. This has left him ill-equipped for failure and he sometimes over-extends because he has difficulty imagining a loss. At the same time, that surety makes him take risks that other princeps or scions wouldn’t contemplate.