Welcome to Gloria Patri. We are a mature, alternate universe, historical RPG that is set in 1492 Rome, Italy. The Borgia Pope now sits in the chair of Saint Peters and rules the country with a proclaimed divine right and an iron fist.
Behind the curtains his children plot and scheme to secure their hold of power. They seek to carve out an empire on the Borgia name. Lies, treachery, murder and lust drive the forces of the Papal States and blood shall run through the streets of Rome.
Only one question remains; how will your story change the fate of history?
Micheletto found himself at the barracks of the Papal Army, the Castel St. Angelo. He supposed he worked for the Pope now, doing God's work, and he was quite impressed when he was taken to a tour down the dungeons and torture chambers. Plenty of room to do God's work in. He had no need to exercise 'that' particular area of his expertise yet, and so he found himself above ground, training on iron dummies with his sword.
Micheletto was generally left to his own devices, as he did not fall anywhere within the Papal Army hierarchy and it was very awkward for any of the men to command or obey him. He did not know any of these men, and generally he steered clear of their drills and exercises, preferring to use the training area only when it was vacant.
Cesare knew where to find him. “You should come join me. It is boring practising by myself,” the condottiero had said to Cesare. If the newly-minted Cardinal could find some time away from his religious duties, he might meet Micheletto there, waiting for him with his sword.
A rematch is long overdue, Micheletto thought to himself. When they first met, Cesare had proved to be deft with the blade, and Micheletto had been kicking himself at how easily he had let the other man put a dagger to his throat. If it was someone else he would have been dead – granted, he had managed to turn the tables at the end, but it was a mistake that Micheletto did not want to make again.
Micheletto's sword was nothing fancy – it was trusty and practical, and in a price range that he could afford. Its handle was long enough to accommodate a two-handed grip, yet its blade was weighted in such a way that it could be wielded by one hand. It was neither a greatsword nor a longsword, hence it was known as a “bastard sword”. The style may be crude but it gets the job done – kind of like Micheletto. Murder may be crude, but it was often the quickest and easiest of the means to achieve an end.
For training, Michele was dressed in a loose white shirt and had his pants tucked into knee-high boots. Ever since working for the Borgias, the assassin had felt the need to hone his skills more than ever. Cesare, he knew, was a man who could get into all sorts of trouble. It was his duty to protect him, and to do that, he needed to be quicker than the man himself.
Cesare was itching to do something besides mill around the halls of the Vatican all day. He was feeling rusty with a sword, even though he probably wasn't but he felt his edge was slipping. Cesare always felt that he had to be the one to protect his family. His sister and youngest brother and mother especially. Juan could take care of himself. Cesare knew his father was now very well protected however he still had his father's back and did as he was told. That didn't mean that Cesare wasn't smart if not smarter than his father though. He had already thwarted an attempt on his father's life and he knew exactly who was behind it. However out of that attempt Cesare had earned the service of an assassin by the name of Micheletto.
It hadn't taken much to be honest. and now, well now Micheletto was one of his most trusted friends, to a degree at least. he trusted the guy to not divulge family secrets. Cesare also trusted him to help him keep his family safe and not get caught in doing some of the things Cesare might ask of him. He had spoken and found Micheletto in the shadows several times and there were times he found him training. It was something Cesare couldn't do much with his new duties as Cardinal. Cesare was looking to change that though. He needed to be as sharp as he could, and there were things that Cesare had plans for that would require him to wield a sword.
Cesare took his chambers and changed into simple black attire and headed down to where he knew Micheletto would be practicing. Cesare was going to take his friend up on the offer of training with him. He was itching for a sword in his hands. He was itching to hear the clang of steal on steal. He missed it and frankly lately him and Juan had been at odds more than they got along, so he needed to remain sharp else Juan would gain a big head if he beat him in a sword fight. Cesare and Juan were highly competitive and it seemed to grow more and more so over the last couple years. Cesare smiled and entered the space Micheletto was practicing in. "good form there, not sure I have seen it done that way before. Perhaps you can show me a few moves." Cesare said with another smile this one aimed at his friend and employee, though friend sounded better.
Micheletto smiled as he saw Cesare approaching. Really, there wasn't anyone else who could make him smile like Cesare could. Gone was the icy cold gaze of a killer, and instead Micheletto seemed almost warm and genuine, like he was truly happy to see his friend. It was a fleeting look – when Cesare stepped into the room, Micheletto turned back to continue training.
“You should provide more of a challenge than an iron dummy,” he said. Grinning, the assassin swung his sword to hack at the left and right sides of the dummy, as if to make a point. Then the sword came down in an arch and glanced off the dummy's padded metal shoulders – it would have opened a deep gash, possibly severed a limb or two if the target had been made of flesh and bone.
Micheletto paused for a moment when Cesare complimented him. He shrugged and said, “You're too kind, my lord. My form is closer to that which is used by street thugs and hedge knights. There is nothing 'proper' about it – perhaps that is why you have not seen it before.” Micheletto stepped back and twirled his sword around once. Despite his attempt at being humble, he had on a cocky grin and was all to eager to show Cesare one or two of his moves. The condottiero felt the most at ease with a sword in hand, and he was longing to have a live target to spar with – someone who can dodge and parry, and someone who can deal their own hits back.
Micheletto learned most of his fighting skills in Valencia, when he was a mercenary who swore his loyalty only to the highest bidder. There were bits of Spanish fencing that he picked up from his time there - the rest was improvisation. He liked it quick and dirty, and at any time he would have an untold number of daggers hidden about his person, which he drew with his off-hand to catch his opponent by surprise. Hopefully he won't be pulling this with Cesare today – it was just a friendly sparring match after all, not a duel to the death.
The assassin made his way towards a rack lined with weapons, including swords of various length. He said, “Are we to use practice swords, or real steel?” The prospect of drawing blood brought a grin to Micheletto's face - it was clear which option he favoured. He liked to have a little danger in things – nothing like a bit of risk to generate some excitement. Cesare could live with a few cuts and scratches, but he wouldn't want any real harm to come to his master. “I'm supposed to protect you, after all. I wouldn't want to wound you too badly,” Micheletto said. But really, with a comment like that, how could Cesare 'not' choose real steel?
Cesare was in a better mood the moment he spotted his new found friend. since he had gotten Micheletto to work for him Cesare didn't feel quite so alone and honestly he liked the intrigue that Micheletto provided, not to mention Cesare felt safe. lately it was just a spy game, but Cesare felt he was gonna truly need Micheletto's skills sooner rather than later. "I am not so sure about that. I feel I have gotten rusty in my clerical robes." He did honestly he felt he was losing his edge now that he was a Cardinal. It was a boring position, for the most part. Cesare longed to get out of the Vatican and just ride, or go and do work that most couldn't. So far he was stuck so near his father he wondered why that truly was.
Cesare moved and watched Micheletto and saw his form was certainly one he had never seen before. He chuckled a bit at Micheletto's answer. "Ah that explains it. However given who you normally face and how you work I am not surprised. Though I do think I'd like to learn a few of your moves." Cesare was not a novice, he was actually pretty good with a sword and dagger, as Micheletto knew all to well from that day they met. However Cesare had never killed. Much as perhaps at times he had wanted to kill his own brother, Juan, growing up he had restrained not to mention knew how much it would have displeased their parents. Lately the brothers were far from seeing eye to eye and Cesare was perhaps more openly jealous of the position Juan held than he would like, but Cesare was not enjoying the cloth, he hadn't for a long while and now he was a damn Cardinal.
Something was gonna have to give sooner or later Cesare would prove to his father someday that he could lead the Papal armies. Cesare arched an eyebrow then grinned. "real steel and I have no doubt you will avoid hurting me in any serious way. But this is to be a learning lesson as well. I would like to learn as well as stretch and practice my own moves." Cesare moved to the array of swords and picked up a few and balanced them in his hands before deciding on one. He made a few slashing movements and then moved a bit out into the open field. "If my father caught me here, I'm not certain he would smile at me. However thankfully he never comes here. Every man has a right to know how to fight and defend himself and in my opinion the rest of the Cardinals are too soft and scared of their own shadows."
Micheletto smiled wistfully and thought to himself, “What a shame.” Cesare Borgia was too handsome to be married to God, and those formless clerical robes can be so unflattering. Micheletto preferred to see Cesare dressed as he was, in form-fitting black, and grinning and itching to put his sword to the test. Some men were born to fight, and Micheletto believed that Cesare was one of them. It was a waste to trap him in clerical office... the women of Rome must be weeping the day he took his vows.
Micheletto knew that his friend was more than capable of handling himself with a blade, but he still felt the need to protect Cesare all the same. If Cesare knew how to defend himself against all sorts of attacks, it would make Micheletto's job easier, and so he was quite eager to show Cesare what he could do. The assassin held his sword in front of him, vertically, with the end pointing forward. In response to Cesare's words, he gave his friend a wolfish grin, and instead of admitting how much he cared for Cesare, said, “Yes, it would not be wise for me to injure you too heavily. After all who will pay my salary?”
The condottiero took a stance as he waited for Cesare to pick his blade. The weight of his sword felt familiar in his own hands – he's had this one for years and he knew how to work it like an extension of his arm. “You have to do what you want to do, regardless of who your father is,” Micheletto sincerely believed this. While he wouldn't advice Cesare to do what he did to his own father, he still thought that Cesare should make his own way. Micheletto, who was the more worldly and experienced out of the two of them, laughed and said, “If anyone ever caught me doing half the things that I did... well, I am sure that they would not smile at me either.”
When Cesare was ready, Micheletto stepped in to attack. He was hoping to take this opportunity to learn a few of Cesare's moves as well. With both hands on the grip, the he swung his sword – right cut, left cut, downwards and upwards – in a series of strikes that are simple, predictable and easy to parry. If Cesare had the initiative, he could block one of the moves and counter with an attack of his own. Micheletto's intentions were to guage Cesare's skill, so that he would know what to teach him, and how much he would have to hold back to avoid injuring Cesare.
Some things remain true about Cesare Borgia, man of the cloth or no. He was was always itching to fight. Whether it was in practice or with words. He had his down moments where he could be very sophisticated and brilliant, but there were times when that other side reared its head and well it was harder to push it down lately. he wanted out of being a Cardinal. He had plans and he just simply had to bide his time now really before he could actually strip himself of those robes. It was not going to be an easy task and as long as Juan held the position that he did Cesare knew there was no changing their Father's mind on the subject. Cesare smirked a bit at Micheletto and had to admire his friends words of wisdom and knew out of everyone Micheletto understood him the best as of late.
Cesare grinned and then readied himself swinging the sword he chose a few times to really get a feel for it before stepping into position. "I am sure my family would find use of our talent though to be honest I doubt you would stay long in their employ, least not without killing Juan before leaving." Cesare said chuckling a bit. He knew he was lucky to have found Micheletto, he had suffered under his own hands so to speak to keep a secret for him. Micheletto had already more than proven himself loyal to him. Cesare readied himself and then parried and blocked Micheletto's blows with his own sword. he wasn't quick enough just yet to get his own moves in though.
Cesare took a step or two back and then to the right and left his sword held firm and ready to deliver a few of his own attacks now. He was watching Micheletto though as he moved and was trying to at first mimic the moves he had made in that last bit. Cesare shook his head. "It isn't so much that he would be disapproving, he knows already I'm trained enough in certain elements, however he thinks cause I am a man of the cloth that I know little of war and combat. I will show him someday though that I know more and can do more than be a simple man of the cloth." Cesare was smart there was no doubt about that and being a Cardinal he saw the deviousness in the faces of the others and well to be honest Cesare needed to remain ever on point and on guard to protect his father and family.