Il Campo Scanto
The Da Mosta family is one of the many families that have risen to prominent and Patrician status in the past two centuries. The family Patriarch, Paulo Da Mosta(1121-1196 A.D.) was the first to achieve true fortune, first in the Alum Trade, then in exotic woods, especially Ebony from Africa. Growing wealth gained them prominence, and marriage and political alliances with others in the Republic.
By the time of the Fourth Crusade, the family was already wealthy, with extensive connections in the Crusader States, Egypt and the Byzantine Empire. Younger members of the Family rushed for the Adventure of the crusade, supported by senior members of the family looking to expand their holdings. The house produced several war heroes and martyr for the Venetian cause but also contributed greatly to the victory of the Latin Empire and the emergence of Venice’s diverse colonial empire in the wake of the Crusade. Money flowed into the house, and they were able to gain prominent political positions within the Republic, as were many other newly wealthy families.
Their position is still precarious though; they have many rivals, both of the old monied variety, and other families all clawing for the top positions. It remains to be seen if the newer generation of the family will be able to expand the gains already achieved.
Of course, the presence of a powerful magical Regio in their Casa, and the presence of the New Covenant are a gamble almost as great as the Crusades. Only time will tell if it will lead to wealth or woe.
Allies and Enemies
The Da Mosto’s are allied with the Michiel family, an old and ailing once prominent house. They work together politically. Because of this assosciation the Da Mosto’s have also ended up somewhat on the side of the Ziani and in opposition to the Dandolo’s.
The Vendramin are old advesaries from the early days of the families rise. Paulo DaMosto and Tello Vendramin were rumoured to have fought over both access to certain Alum sources in Egypt and over a certain Courtesan. It is rumoured the famous scar Tello bore came from a fight with Paulo, though rumour has now long outstripped reality. The family has been on opposite sides of many political causes for generations, as well as outright feuding. It hasn’t come to physical blows in almost a full generation, but much simmers beneath the surface.
Like many families in the city the Da Mosto’s have some marriage connections to the scurrilous Spira family, though where they sit is anyones guess.
The Simonezza family are contemporaries and some-times economic rivals, though talks about marriage and financial alliance emerge from time to time.
The Contarini family is a relatively new adversary. Bertucci Contarini was a Captain in the Constantinople Fleet in 1204. Some claim the DaMosto’s and Molin’s usurped both Glory and Treasure from him. Others that the good Captain was responsible for Carlo DaMosto’s death our of spite. For now the conflict mostly revolves around young people spitting at each other in the Campo’s.
Paulo DaMosto (1121 – 1196)
Paulo was the founding father of the mercantile branch of this family. In 1142, establishing a partnership in Tyre with his brother-in-law Iacobello Sanudo, he got his start importing alum from Egypt into Tyre for the dye industry. While the import of alum into the crusader kingdoms was a staple of his business, private ventures into the import of ebony wood from Egypt into Venice became a secondary source of income, largely run by his son Nicolo. Iacobello remained in the Venetian district of Tyre, while Paulo returned back to Venice in 1148 as their small trade empire blossomed. In 1160, Iacobello and his wife and children passed away in an outbreak of disease, and full control of the company passed to Paulo, as his sister Maria was his only remaining family. Diverting much of the alum trade into Venice instead of Tyre while maintaining the ebony trade, Paulo had brought a small amount of recognition to the DaMosto name. Paulo enjoyed reasonably good health until 1182 when an accidental fall left him with a broken leg and a lengthy recovery. His two sons, Nicolo and Zanino were well established in the company business by this time, and seamlessly took over the matters of trade, with the elder Nicolo handling most of the ebony trade and the younger Zanino taking over the alum imports. Paulo spent his remaining years surrounded by his grandchildren, while still maintaining close relationships with his sons, often offering his input and advice, but effectively remaining retired.
Maria Sanudo (1125 – 1200)
Maria was born into the Sanudo family, with only one sibling, her brother Iacobello. The Sanudo family immigrated to Tyre in 1128, when Maria was a young girl, with her parents lost at sea in 1141 on one of their many voyages home to Venice. A business relationship between her brother and a younger son of the DaMosto family soon developed into a logical marriage between the two families, and she was soon Maria DaMosto. Maria moved back to Venice in 1148 with her husband and one young child, heavy with a second that was born only months later. Two more children followed, and Maria dedicated herself to motherhood, seeing to the needs of the children as her husband was often away to Tyre or Egypt for business. Maria made her most significant contributions to her husband’s business by being well-liked and admired by her peers in Venice, helping to arrange two very favourable marriages for her daughters. Even in her later years, Maria found herself still active, a common sight in the market. Despite much of the wealth
her husband had accumulated, Maria held a reputation for humility and working tirelessly for her family. Maria eventually passed away in her bed, peacefully and unexpectedly one spring morning.
Caterina Michiel (1150 – 1219)
Caterina was the daughter of the Michiel family, and even from a young age, was possessed with a devout desire to have everything strictly ordered and organized, often to the displeasure of those around her. An arranged marriage to the DaMosto family was a difficult transition for her, for while her mother-in-law Maria was a kind soul and always an available shoulder to cry upon when needed, the family was woefully disorganized and the household lacked anything resembling structure. Worse, neither her husband nor her mother-in-law appeared to be bothered in the slightest by this, seemingly unaware of how troubling this was for her. Caterina raised two sons, Nicolo and Marco, both of whom took after her greatly in personality and with whom she was extremely close with. When her younger son Marco died during the sack of Byzantium, Caterina found herself shattered inside, her passion gone, pushing all of her energy into maintaining strict order in the DaMosto household, knowing that without her presence all would dissolve into chaos.
In her last year, a chest cough slowly grew progressively worse until it left her a fragile shell of a woman, and she passed away surrounded by a mourning family.
Paula DaMosto (1148 – 1210)
Paula DaMosto was the eldest daughter of Paulo and Maria. Named for her father, Paula was nothing like him in personality. Paula was quiet, almost reclusive, but always maintained a close, loving relationship with both her parents and siblings throughout her life. Paula married into the Morosini family, and with her husband, Antonio, raised two children, her son Angelo and her daughter Maria. The Morosini family remained in friendly contact with the DaMosto’s, as Antonio’s trade in alum was often closely aligned and included temporary partnerships on the occasional shipment. Paula was in good health when a freak accident left her drowned in a canal.
Antonio Morosini (1135 – 1180)
Antonio Morosini was the eldest son of his family, who traded heavily in alum and were involved in the dye industry. Antonio’s mother was close friends with Maria DaMosto, and when he found himself unwed and in charge of the Morosini family trade, he was quickly matched with the quiet, young Paula. Himself quiet and reserved in private life away from his job as a merchant, Antonio and Anna found themselves well matched at home. Antonio’s son Angelo had only begun to follow him into learning the life of a merchant when a fit of apoplexy took him during a business negotiation, and he died
with his crying ten-year-old son beside him.
Maria DaMosto (1150 – 1212)
Maria DaMosto was the younger daughter of Paulo and Maria, who grew up in Venice and was married off at the young age of seventeen to Luca, a younger son of the Molin family. Maria was the most troublesome child of her siblings, and her marriage was the result of a discovered indiscretion of an intimate nature between Luca and herself. Discovered in a naked embrace one night by a rival of the Molin family as they attempted to sport secretly in a dark alley, Maria’s name was quickly circulated in the local gossip, with a great deal of unwanted attention being brought to her popular and well-liked mother in the market. Despite years of marital fidelity, both Maria and Luca were speculated upon for decades, with a long list of ever-changing candidates for rumours of their most recent affair and infidelity. Maria and Luca only ever had one child survive, as one earlier miscarriage before and a second after appeared to leave Maria infertile. That child, their son Valerio, became the sole focus of both Maria and Luca, leaving them both devestated when he perished during the fall of Constantinople during the fourth crusade. Valerio left behind a young son, Luca, a grandchild for Maria and her husband to dote upon and raise until the older Luca passed away from a wasting disease. A broken heart left Maria to rely upon the generosity of her brother Nicolo’s DaMosto home, where care for the young Luca was increasingly given until Maria passed in her bed one night after several weeks of increasing frailty and lack of appetite.
Luca Molin (1144 – 1210)
Luca Molin was a younger son of the well connected and wealthy Molin family, whose youthful indiscretions with the much younger Maria DaMosto quickly led to a marriage and eternal gossip in the community. Luca fathered one son with Maria, who also had multiple miscarriages before becoming infertile. The lack of further children appeared to encourage further gossip for both Luca and Maria, as constant speculation of infidelity intruded upon their lives. However, neither Luca nor Maria ever strayed from one another, their being a love match that lasted the length of their lives. Luca’s son Valerio was treasured and given endless attention by Luca, leaving him quite broken when he died during the fourth crusade during the fall of Constantinople. Valerio had left behind a young son named for Luca, who became the focus of his attention until a wasting sickness eventually stole his life away.
Carlo DaMosto (1177 – 1204)
Carlo was the younger son of Nicolo the elder and Caterina. Much like his brother, Carlo was a serious youth, but as a younger son felt he needed to prove himself. His decision to join the fourth crusade in search of glory and riches for his family was largely inspired by his admiration for his brother, knowing that he would never be as intelligent or gifted in matters of business, Carlo believed that he could still be just as dedicated and could contribute to the family wealth and the prestige of the DaMosto family. The fourth crusade was his path to doing so. However, Carlo was gravely injured during the battle for Constantinople and died before he could come hom to Venice. Carlo left behind a young wife, whom he barely knew, and ignorant of her being pregnant with his child.
Anna Foscarini (1174 – 1200)
Anna Foscarini was a shy young woman who was always small and fragile looking. Her marriage to Angelo Morosini was a pleasant one, as he was a hard-working young man who did his best to provide for her and their young son, not only in material wealth, but also giving her all of his attention and affection. Yet, after only a few short years, Anna caught a strange fever that would simply not go away. Some days would feel better, others worse, until severe aches
and pains within her body kept her in bed. The pains consistently got worse and she soon died in excrutiating pain.
Ippolito Spira (1172 – 1202)
Ippolito was a middle child of the Spira family, and was always considered a handsome and dashing young man. A marriage to Maria Morosini provided a few happy years and a young daughter he doted upon endlessly. His wife was more than a little eccentric, but her sweet nature encouraged Ippolito to indulge her whenever possible. However, all came to an end late one night, when after an evening of visiting with old friends and making his way
home, Ippolito was confronted by enemies of his family. In an exchange to spare his own life and that of his wife and daughter, Ippolito gave up Spira family secrets at the request of his enemies. It came as a great shock to him when the first knife stabbed into his neck, stifling his attempted screams. He died in dread of what vengance his family enemies would exact upon the wife and daughter he loved. Unbeknownst to him, his enemies agreed to never act against Maria or Paula, but have continued their feud with the Spira family ever since.
Valerio Molin (1171 – 1204)
Valerio was the only child of Luca and Maria Molin. Valerio grew up in loving household, filled with laughter. For reasons he could never understand, Valerio always noticed the sneering glares and sinister whispers that surrounded his parents. His best guess was only that perhaps other people were jealous of the true affection his parents had for each other. As Valerio grew older, his parents arranged for a marriage between himself and a young woman by the name of Isabella Da Padov. Isabella was an attractive young woman who had caught the eye of many men, including Valerio. Despite suggestions at an earlier age that they would wait and see what Valerio thought best, by the age of thirty, Valerio’s parents decided that enough time had passed and the marriage was arranged. The marriage was a difficult one for the family, as Isabella was soon found to be a shallow, self-absorbed woman who had little time for anyone else, including her own son. Valerio himself was very happy and proud to be a father, but the constant reminder of his parents constant love and bliss contrasted rather strongly against his own marital situation. Discreet infidelity ensued, only making the comparison of himself against his parents that much worse. The stress Valerio put upon himself eventually influenced a rash decision that he pushed upon two of his cousins to join the crusades. Joining the Venetian forces in Constantinople, Valerio saw his cousin Carlo struck by several arrows during the fall of the city. Ignoring all common sense, motivated by the guilt of having pushed his cousins into joining, he ran out from cover and into the open where his cousin lay. Just before he reached his prone cousin, an arrow struck him directly through his left eye, killing him instantly.
Rosa DaMosto (1188 – 1211)
Rosa DaMosto was the only daughter of Zanino and Vittoria to survive infancy. A cheery, if plain looking girl, Rosa turned into a cheerier and even more plain looking woman. Her marriage to the rather short Donato Michiel, a distant relative of Catarina Michiel, Rosa’s aunt by marriage, was short but fertile. Rosa found herself constantly happy and almost always pregnant, her first child arriving less than a year after her wedding. However, tragedy struck the couple when Rosa had complications giving birth to the couple’s third child Salvador, and while the baby was able to be saved, it was cut forth from Rosa after she had died from intense internal bleeding.