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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?

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Louis de la Tremoilles

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Jan 7 2015, 12:21 PM
August 1492

Evening was drawing in. After a cloudless day, showing off acre after acre of icy blue sky, tendrils of red and smudges of pink began to taint the vista overhead. The streets were full of the noise of tradesmen closing up for the day, shutters rumbling down and the click of locks. A last few plucky salesmen continued to hawk their wares to those heading home. Apprentices congregated ahead of a night spent at the taverns and brothels of the City. Hooves clattered on the cobbles and the wheels of great carts creaked and groaned under the weight of unsold produce being taken back out to the countryside. Over this noise came the muffled clanging of a great battery of bells, ringing out from the Campaniles and belfries that punched the skyline of Rome. Laughter, cursing, tears, shouts, curses, songs, screams - the music of Rome.

Louis was stood in his study, staring idly out over this moving tapestry of life from the open window. On his desk sat a stack of letters, still to be read. Business, business, business - it never slept, much like the City. A gentle breeze lapped at the crimson curtains, which billowed softly at its touch. Drumming his hands briefly on the window sill he turned on his heel and eased himself into the easy chair behind his desk.

Despite the open windows, the room was still gloomy and he had required his servants to light the candles around his desk. The previous occupant of this Palazzo, a Cardinal who now sang with the Choir Immortal, had had a drab taste - all the walls of this room were daubed in crude religious frescos in sombre colours, making the room even darker. It was on his 'to-do' list to brighten his inner sanctum up.

He lifted the first letter on the desk. His eyes flicked over it quickly - a petition from some local magistrate in the Romagna who claimed Papal troops had despoiled his vinyard and cost him an obviously inflated amount. He tutted to himself and flung the letter into the pile which his clerk would later destroy, unanswered.

Next in the pile were a series of letters, bound together with rough twine. A cursory look at the writing showed that they had come from the Prior of one of the more troublesome monasteries he was titular abbot of. Likely more demands for money to amend a whole litany of problems. He picked up his pen and scribbled a note to his clerk on the upper letter to tell him to send the usual, template 'it is on my mind and I will get round to it shortly' letter.

Next was an altogether different item. Thick vellum parchment of the better sort, rolled into a scroll and sealed with thick, red wax. He brought the scroll closer and examined the seal. It was what he had hoped it wasn't - three fleur-de-lys: the emblem of the Kingdom of France.

He let the scroll fall unopened back onto the top of his desk and idly stroked his beard with one hand, the other one drumming a tattoo on the wooden tabletop. He guessed the contents of the letter already - King Charles VIII (or more realistically, one of his councillors acting in his name) would be asking him in no uncertain terms why a Spaniard had been elected to the Seat of Saint Peter when he had categorically been told by the French Privy Council NOT to allow such an eventuality to take place. Worse still would await if somehow they had found out that he had disobeyed his instructions and actually voted for Borgia. The ballots of the Conclave were meant to be secret - but nothing in Rome is ever secret for long.

He was beginning to grow agitated, wondering what to do with the unopened letter when there came a gentle tap on the door. One of his servants entered and coughed gently.

"Your Eminence, Cardinal Ascanio Sforza Visconti is in the Hall and asks if you are receiving visitors?" the servant asked.

Cardinal Sforza? The Papal Chancellor? A rare occasion that he would deign to make a visit. In fact, to his mind, it had always been Tremoilles who had visited Sforza at his residence, never the other way round. What could this betoken? Trouble, most likely.

"Show him in," Louis replied, "I shall receive him in here - and see that wine is brought in for our guest."
Jan 6 2015, 05:56 AM
The Lateran Palace - 1492 AD

Since the recent Conclave the whole of Rome had been buzzing with excitement and rumours concerning the Papal Ball, thrown by Rodrigo Borgia, now Pope Alexander VI, to celebrate his election.

An election bought with ducats, florins, lands, benefices, threats and promises - so in all respects a thoroughly typical Papal election. Louis could not stand on his moralising platform, as he had allowed his principles to be bought for a string of benefices - the profits of which would most helpfully increase his private coffers. This was most necessary as he intended to expand his Palazzo, and also needed to start thinking of amassing a suitable dowry for his illegitimate daughter.

Such lowly, worldly, practical thoughts were running through his head as his mule trotted onwards through the packed evening streets of the City. His guards kept up a light jog alongside him. Although Louis had a personal dislike of riding horses, he would not allow his guards to ride theirs so as not to make him look ridiculously diminutive on his simple mule.

"Make way for the Cardinal!" one of them cried, using a wooden staff to hammer any unfortunate beggars, children or tradesmen out of the route. As the evening crept in, the City's streets were growing packed as the great and the good made their way from their lodgings to the Lateran Palace to feast their eyes and bodies on what was being heralded as one of the most sumptuous, debauched and glittering balls in recent Papal history.

Louis did not doubt it for one minute. The new Borgia Pope was all of those things - wallowing in riches and lust. What irked him was that Borgia did not have the decency to veil these sins as the rest of the Curia did. Did he not intend to place a Cardinal's Hat on the head of his bastard son? Another had already been nominated Papal Gonfaloniere. His beautiful daughter, who under any other circumstances could have been hailed as a new Helen of Troy, was being set up in the trappings and status of a princess! Borgia made no secret of his affairs with a string of beauties. Sometimes Louis had to wonder whether, by letting himself be bought out, he had sold the Papacy to Oriental despotism and debauchery.

As he neared the Lateran a military presence became more prominent. Halberdiers in polished armour were stationed at regular intervals - several were checking the credentials of guests and their entourages to prevent assassins sneaking in.

The Palace was positively glowing from the light of innumerable candles, torches, fires and braziers - almost giving it the appearance of a halo against the inky blue evening sky. The courtyard was awash in a sea of humanity - lords and ladies in their finery, accompanied by troupes of servants. Bishops and Cardinals stood out in their purple and red cassocks, humbler priests in blacks and browns. As Louis dismounted, handing the bridle to one of his retainers, the Venetian Ambassador and his large entourage barged past, heralded by trumpets, with one man bearing a large Venetian flag, which hung lazily in the lack of wind. The Ambassador was wearing a large cap, set with a peacock feather, clasped in by a giant ruby the size of the better part of one's thumb. He was followed by gaudily glad young bravos, with slashed doublets, coloured hose and more jewellry than half of the Trans-Tiber whores.

Somewhere in the crowd should be the Ambassador of the Most Christian King Charles VIII of France, whose support had been critical in Louis' rise to the Curia and who now expected him to dance to his tune. He was sure that the French Ambassador would seek him out to question him on the Conclave, the results of which they were particularly unhappy with due to their emnity with Spain.

On the other hand, the joint Ambassador of Ferdinand and Isabella, monarchs of Castille and Aragon, would be strutting around full of pomp and bombast. Louis thought he caught a quick glimpse of him as he entered the main Palace doors, wearing a blazing white doublet, sewn with pearls. Again, he would not be surprise if, before the night was through, there would be fights between the French and Spanish entourages - blood was already up and alcohol would only fuel fires of passion.

He tutted to himself as he was almost knocked over by a Neapolitan lord on his thoroughbred horse, escorting a dark, beautiful woman in a flowing silken dress and elaborate headpiece. A gaggle of monks scurried past, heads bowed and hands stuffed into the arms of their robes. He adjusted his crimson gloves and forced his way onwards and up the steps - taking a deep breath as he readied himself for the evening ahead.
Jan 5 2015, 07:34 AM
Hi there, here's my long overdue character application, please feel free to suggest amendments and I'll change it accordingly!



First Name: Louis (Jean Baptiste Leon)
Last Name: de la Tremoilles
Title: Cadinal-Bishop of Santa Clara
Gender: Male
Birthdate: 29 May 1457
Place of Residence: Rome
Social Class: Nobility
Occupation: Cardinal
Sexual Orientation Hetero
Play-By: TBD


Appearance


Height: 5'7
Hair Color: Dark Brown
Hair Length: long
Eye Color: Blue
Overall General Appearance: Louis is of middling height and, unlike many ecclesiastics, does not tend to corpulence by maintaining a strenuous exercise regime. As a natural Frenchman, he has a flare for ostentation, and enjoys wearing jewels, as his wardrobe is limited to his clerical garb. He walks with a mild limp in his right leg, caused by an ill set broken bone as a child. He has a habit, when nervous, of drumming his fingers together.


Personality


Overall Personality: Louis is ambitious - who at the Papal court is not? He is very much aware of his noble heritage and his inherent superiority as a Frenchman, coming from the greatest Kingdom in Christendom. He is a backstabber and a devoted political manipulator who is bent on taking control of the College of Cardinals so as to further his own aspirations to become Pope, to enrich himself and his family. He is also something of a miser, hoarding money from whatever sources he can, although he can spend liberally and in huge quantity when he thinks that the ends may justify the means. He is bookish and does not enjoy the more martial pursuits of hunting and riding.

Flaws: Avarice - it is unChristian, but Louis loves money and will extort it from whatever means necessary. Corrupt - he is not above taking bribes and 'gifts' for services. Envy - he hates seeing others do better than him.

Secrets: It would be a public relations scandal of great proportions if it was to be found out how many sinecures and simonious holdings and offices he has, drawing income from each. He also has a secret family with his long term mistress.

Goals/Aspirations: 1. To hold office in the Papal Curia. 2. To become Pope.


Family History


Grandfathers: Paternal - Louis (III) de la Tremoilles, Count of Savres; Maternal - Philippe de Blois, Viscount Granvelles

Grandmothers: Paternal - Marie de la Tour d'Auvergne; Maternal - Margaret von Solm (illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Lorraine)

Father: Louis (IV) de la Tremoilles, Count of Savres

Mother: Margaret de Blois

Siblings: Philippe (b. 1450); Henri (b.1452-d.1452); Margaret (b.1452-d.1453); Charles (b.1455); Marie (b.1460-d.1463); Catherine (b.1462-1467)

Mistress: Caterina Livorno

Children Louis (illegitimate, b. 1480); Catherine (illegitimate, b.1483-d.1483); Henri (illegitimate, b.1485-1486); Charles (illegitimate, b.1489), Louise (illegitimate, b.1491)


Character History


General History:

Louis was born in 1457, at the castle of Savres in the Champagne region of France, as a younger son of the reigning Count of the area, Louis III. Louis' namesake father's family had initially served the Dukes of Burgundy and had fought with them against the French and then against the English after the Treaty of Arras. His father had then made the decision to abandon the Burgundians and took service in the court of Charles VII of France, who welcomed him as a body-knight and royal favourite. It was thanks to royal favour that he was able to secure the marriage to Louis' mother, Margaret of Blois, who was a substantial heiress in her own right, from her father's lands along the Somme river.

As a younger son, it was not expected that Louis would inherit and he had older brothers who would require their fair share of lands and patronage to get on in life. It was when his early tutors stated that he had an aptitude for letters that his father decided to dedicate Louis to God, in the benefit of all their Immortal Souls, and handed him over to the Church.

Louis was therefore sent to the monastery of Sainte-Germain for his further education. He tired of the all male, cloistered world and rejoiced when he was dispatched to study at the Sorbonne in Paris. Here he learnt the Trivium and Quadrivium, whilst also learning the pleasures of wine, women and money. Although he enjoyed a debauch, he also proved to be a capable scholar and won the patronage of the Bishop of Bourges, who was about to be dispatched the the Papal Curia by the King of France. The Bishop engaged Louis as his personal secretary and chaplain, with him taking Holy Orders before he left.

Louis' arrival in Italy was eye opening. He fell in love with the beauty of the land, with its women, its architecture and its politics. Here great men rose and fell, fortunes were made and lost. The Papal Court was no different! Here artists rubbed shoulders with princes, paupers, murderers, saints and sinners. Whilst in Rome, he impressed several of the French cardinals, including Cardinal Beauvais, who encouraged the Bishop of Bourges to release him from his service and he enterred that of the Cardinal. The Cardinal began Louis' simonious career by helping him be appointed as abbot in absentia of several rich Alpine monasteries and eventually the plum position as Bishop of Palermo. He never travelled to his See.

Through the Cardinal's graces, Louis engaged himself in the management of the Papal States, working in the offices of the Papal Chancellor, who dispatched him on several missions to towns in the Patrimony of Saint Peter. During one of these he met Caterina Livorno, the raven haired daughter of an osteller with whom he fell in love. Unable by his Holy Orders to make such love public, he conspired with her to spirit her to Rome, where he installed her as a 'maid' in his household, where in fact they lived in secret as man and wife - the union bearing several children whom Louis dotes on and for whom he desires glorious careers.

Upon the Cardinal Beauvais' death in 1487, Louis was able to use his family connection's at the French Court to encourage the French King, Louis XI, to petition for him to receive a Cardinal's Hat for France. With the liberal application of bribes to the Chancellor, the idea was given to the Pope with support and Louis was duly appointed as Cardinal Bishop of Santa Clara, which came with a rich string of benefices to support a lavish lifestyle. However, the French King demanded that Louis be 'his man' in the Curia, by way of repayment for the support he had given him.

Directly after his appointment as a Cardinal, Louis took his seat in the Papal Curia. His present employment is working under the Papal Chancellor, working in the office managing the Papal Lands in the Patrimony of Saint Peter. He hears appeals and cases brought by citizens of the land, as well as handling disputes concerning tax, military service and trade.

Louis, as a Frenchman, was not initially supportive of the Borgia Pope Alexander VI. France is the arch-nemesis of Spain, from which Borgia hails and which he pursues a policy in support of. The French King is keen to use Louis as a voice in the Curia to support French policies and, as such, he is pitted against his will in an anti-Spanish position.

However, during the election, Louis allowed himself to be swayed and vote for Borgia thanks to the liberal gifts which were bestowed on him for his vote. Here his personal corruption trumped his national pride. He continues to be supportive of the new Borgia Pope, so long as Alexander is liberal to him in gifts and favour. If Louis feels like these are threatened, he is not averse to shifting his support to the opposite camp. For now though, he may be accounted a Borgia supporter

The door is now open for Louis to push further for his own, and for his family's, glory.

-------------------------------------------

The Puppeteer


OOC Name: Nathan
Age: (26
Preferred Means of Contact: PM
Fun Fact About You: I am a historian, who specialises in 15th century Italy. I was also an extra in the Harry Potter films!
How Did You Find Us: Through Aeterna Roma and RPG forums
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