Giovanni of Florence
I don't know what to say. Can I just talk and have you write it down? Ya? I can do that. I don't know where to start so I am going to just talk about what they wrote about me in this thing here booklet that comes with the trumps. Ok?
This is not the God of War, nor is he Dionysus. He is a force of nature on the battlefield and is nearly oblivious of his actions afterward. He is a tavern-brawler and street fighter swaggering through the crowds of shadow's lowest docks and camps.
Well, Damn. That doesn't make me sound too good. It makes me sound like a thug. Who wrote this crap? God of War? Look, I fight. I like it. Ok, it can be bloody business but really that isn't what its about.
War consists of 10 parts: 3 parts marching, 4 parts waiting, 2 parts training, and 1 part fighting. The marching part is fun because you sing, you wave at the pretty girls. Or boys if your like that. If you can march fast then you can take the pretty things off for a little hump and tickle then catch up. Me? I can march fast... Marching is good exercise and there is lots of stuff to look at. Some of it is not very pretty but it is all there to be seen.
The training is good exercise and it is important. The 1 part of fighting is a lot of killing and dying and a lot of great people die in battle and it's a damn shame to hit the field without knowing how to defend yourself. I've seen good boys die bad deaths because stupid generals threw them into battle unprepared. I have killed a fair number of generals, by stealth, for making that mistake. Served them right and the Pantheon of Battle is better off without them. I am a master of the crossbow and its amazing how many problems can be solved by a meter of iron delivered at 100 meters a second.
Still, war is dangerous business, and pretty stupid when you get down to it. Reasonable men ought to be able to solve a problem at the table rather than at sword-point. Sadly there are not a lot of reasonable men in Amber so the likelihood in shadow of finding reason is tainted. Maybe now that Random is king there will be more reasonable people. Good democrats should run things.
The 4 parts of waiting is the main part. That is camp life. Singing, dancing, gambling, humping, eating. Now the food can suck, but not always. Some times it is really good. The Pantheon of Battle is better for the voices of the boys. The songs can be lewd or pure, loud or soft. It is all fun. So most of war is having fun.
Now I am not saying war is good. That 1 part of fighting spoils everything else.
Giovanni is frequently called la Conde, the Count, amongst the sergeants of the veils. He is the master sergeant smacking his path amongst the tough guys and thugs of the lowest levels of the Armies of shadow. He speaks the Italian of Michelangelo which he learned at the painter's knee. Di Vinci was his drinking buddy. He can train an army's grunt soldiers in combat skills like few in shadow.
I am a count. I had a county once. It was in Italy and it was small and I lived there a long time. Till Random killed Mirelle. I left it tracking Random but I was not good at it and I kept getting distracted. Now I find out that Mirelle is alive and is in the dungeon downstairs. I went and saw her. She was calm and sick and I can't help her. Fiona told me she would take care of it.
As for being the Master Sergeant, I like that. Few people can thrash a master sergeant and sometimes even they need it. It helps them remember their duty. This thing comes out and says I live with thugs. Maybe I do but I don't think that is the point. Any general who does not realize that it is the Master sergeants and the sergeants that run the army deserves to die on a pike.
Sure I knew Michelangelo. Di Vinci too. They were great guys. They talked a little over my head but they had their good points. Michael wanted me to carry heavy things for him. Leonardo wanted me to jump out of tall buildings. I am not sure why. I did so for him because he asked me too and I healed fast.
He found his way from campaign, to war-band to burning cities and never quite remembers to sign up anywhere. Every army that he sets his tent in seems to assume he is supposed to be there. He has another marker to remember. People seem to forget him, if not his legend. They may remember the Count was around, but he never gets stuck with the blame. He is a good gambler and a good loser. He always has his pockets full and always pays for drinks.
There is that 1 part of war again. Burning cities. They are not nice.
I go places. I leave when it suits me and I stop when it suits me. I don't know why. Sometime I shadow-walk thinking I liked a place but I didn't like that one general, or the fact so many people had crossbows or pikes, or the cooks served too many rats in the stew. You do know, right, that nearly every sword age army stew has some part of rat in it? No. Pretty gross eh. But it is the fleas that cause plague. Oberon once told me any shadow I was on all the fleas suddenly died. Cool huh?
I don't know what they mean by a marker but I have noticed that too. Officers tend to ignore me. I don't know why. Maybe it was something Oberon did. He was always pretty good to me. Who wants to talk to officers anyway. They are all do this, and do that. Clean this. Like a sword needs to be clean to kill. It just has to be sharp.
I am a good gambler. Good meaning I enjoy it. As for being a good loser I don't mind. I can always get more. I know some good places in shadow. It is cheap for me. So why not pay?
His temper is hard to rile, worse then his berserk combat style, but once it is he never forgets.
Ok. SO it takes a lot to piss me off. I don't sweat the little things. I do go a bit crazy in combat. It is fun sometimes. But if someone goes out of their way to piss me off I do them the favor recognizing their efforts by taking them seriously.
He has walked the Pattern.
So, Random, brother of the docks and the waters mine. I seem to have missed the big picture war you had. Sorry. I sure caught in a bunch of it of its side affect war fields.
It comes to it. So it shall. I know not what the shadowdark prepares for us, but if you'll have me, I'll go where you tell me too.
Though.. i do tend to get distracted.