Since antiquity, marble is highly appreciated as a building material for architecture and it has been used in manifold variations for the adornments of innumerable religious or royal buildings. Marble is a crystallizing limestone, snow-white or in various colours and patterns, being composed of iron, graphite, quartz, mica, garnet and other ingredients. The most important deposits of marble on our planet we find in Austria, Germany, Italy (Carrara) and Greece.
Well, our story plays in the second decade of the 13th century, in Italy. Once there was a wealthy, but eccentric Lord in the Tuscany, named Fabio di Toscannelli, who was well-known even in the neighbouring countries, because of his escapades and exceptional interests. A slim grown up man, 44 years old and being loved by all the young women of the Italian aristocracy. That’s why he was called “Bellissimo”, too. Obviously, Lord Toscannelli himself loved all the women in a seductive manner, so that he got the reputation of being a kind of “Casanova”. Besides everybody noticed his remarkable passion of collecting weapons, although he hated wars and preferred only the comfortable things in life. However, his collection of pikes and lancets was ranked as unique and spectacular. Furthermore, Lord Toscannelli lived in idleness most of the day preaching his philosophy “dolce far niente”, that means, “How sweet it is to do nothing”. He even tried to sweeten the lives of his poor and plain subjects by remitting the taxes for several months or by inviting the population to his pompous banquets full of bear and wine. Not only for this reason, people loved this showily dressed man. They highly esteemed his outstanding intelligence and his daily care for the common weal.
Toscannelli’s Castle totally erected of pure white marble, twinkling in the hot midday sun like a lighthouse even through the nights when the ships were passing by the Italian shores. Everybody admired this castle as an art of work and even the Pope himself in Rome had paid attention to it. Therefore, it wasn’t astonishing at all that Lord Toscannelli was called for an audience to talk about the secrets of marble. The result of this meeting was a profitable deal: The “Holy Father” ordered a gigantic amount of that valuable marble to alter different segments of the Vatican’s Palace. Of course there were many enviers on the scene who couldn’t understand why the Pope had chosen such a Casanova, sluggard and worthless, like Lord Toscannelli. One of the most insidious adversaries, Duke Vittorio Di Ravenna, (the Snake) was collaborating with criminal bandits, as everybody knew, had announced resistance to that uncommon deal…
Some notes and hints:
This map should be well playable on normal and hard, but it’s a real challenge on very hard, maybe impossible. Be careful with the consumption of food; use your initial quantity of gold wisely. There isn’t much wood in the Tuscany those times, please use it sparingly. Train enough crossbowmen to optimize your defensive situation and try to protect your hops farm to guarantee a constant hops supply. I have placed a few hovels in enemy’s colour just for decoration, if you want to, you can destroy them.
Good luck and enjoy! Comments and ratings are always welcome!