Photo Friday – Venetian Carnevale

One of the happiest times in my life was my honeymoon with Kainenchen in Venice, the week before Carnevale. The mascherari stores were open everywhere, selling stunning masks, and people were starting to go around in full Carnevale costumes, but the crowds weren’t yet overwhelming. Sure, we were both miserably sick and never recovered from jet lag, but every waking moment was pure delight. Our fifth anniversary is right around the corner, so today’s Photo Friday is picture of three people you might meet in Carnevale celebration. Um, I might include several more photos, because they’re just so pretty.

The game-content side of this post is about three people you encounter during the revelry. From left to right:


His Highness, Prince Vincenz von Wittinghausen

Scion of a proud and ancient line, ruler of an obscure and tiny (but wealthy) principality, Prince Vincenz is far from home. His volto mask conceals his identity and the diplomatic status he would normally possess, though his wealth shines forth like a beacon because he literally can’t imagine hiding it.

He’s here and masked because there are so few times that a prince can walk the twisting alleys and bridges of Venezia, speaking to such wizards and scoundrels as the Doge tolerates. He cannot be seen to invite practitioners of magic into his court, not with Inquisition and Reformation both beating down his door. These weeks are the only time in the year that he can advance his own training in the arcane.


Carnavals maskers uit venetië, by Dagoos at Dutch Wikipedia. CC BY-SA 3.0

Arpista the Mascherara

Even a prosperous mask-maker could not earn enough to outshine Prince Vincenz. Arpista has good years and bad in their trade, but the Carnevale is their favorite time of year, so they spare no expense. Arpista comes from the sect of mascherare who also practice magic, inscribing their spells on the inner faces of masks or embroidering them on the inside of clothing. In this way, Arpista has come into contact with Prince Vincenz, and expects to meet him again this year.

This year is different, though; the Curia is attempting to force them to expose the Prince’s practice of magic, which the Curia will use to discredit him all across Germany. Arpista is themself closely watched, so they must find someone who does not serve the Curia and use them to send a message to the Prince.


The Sea-Demon

Whoso wears this mask and cloak is given all the potency and malice of the sea, working the demon’s will for the whole of Carnevale, until at the end victims learn what they have done and hurl themselves into the Grand Canal. Only one mask and cloak hold such power, but the sea-demon’s treachery reshapes the mask and the cloak every year as it rests underwater. Only when the mask and cloak are recognized before the end of Carnevale can they be locked away or destroyed, and even then they will be remade if any remnant of them reaches the sea.


This is where we stayed. Windows on the upper left, I think?

The Hotel San Cassiano Ca Favretto, on the Grand Canal

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