Il Campo Scanto
The Contarini are one of the largest, oldest, and most connected Patrician families in all of Venice. Their origins trace back to the founding of the city, and their involvement in the politics of the city is extant. They have weathered through alliances, treaties, broken treaties, murders, assassinations, war, and remained on top through it all. There was a Contarini Doge in the 11th century.
The family has several cadet branches, and connections throughout Italy, the Coast of the Adriatic and elsewhere. Their fingers dip in and out of many pies; mining concerns, cloth, trade in precious jewels, banking. Yet in all things, it is their political capital that drives them, and their ambition to be not just among the greatest of families, but THE greatest family.
They vigorously supported the previous Doge, and their allies the Dandolo, in the moves made during the Crusade, and they have been paid handsomely for it. They were instrumental in ‘smoothing’ things over with the Pope during the whole debacle, and also have a variety of connections to the Church.
Allies and Enemies
The Contarini support many of the other older families, and tend to oppose the upstart families which have gained such prominence in the last century. They tend to see the later as late-comers, seeking to profit off centuries of hard work by them and others. They are allied to the Dandolo and the Molin in most matters political. They have marriage connections with almost every Patrician family in the city, save some of the new ones.
They have political animosity towards the Ziani, and they are no friends of the present Doge, nor his other allies. They have a growing feud with the Da Mosto. Bertucci Contarini, a Captain in the Great fleet, is held by some to be responsible for the deaths of several of the Young Da Mosto’s, and many of the Contarini think the Da Mosto’s families new-found wealth was in function stolen from them. Other tensions continue to grow and while the conflict is at present one of young people hurling insults, some fear it’s only a matter of time before blood is drawn.
The Contarini are one of the few families to not have direct connections to the Spira, at least not in recent years. As that family has become more and more associated with Brutality and uncivility, the Contarini have worked politically to isolate what they view as a blight upon their city.
Gasparo Contarini (1162 – ?) -The present Patriarch of the Contarini’s, Gasparo is a clever man who, born to a family of wealth and history, channelled the later to make more of the former. He is a regular member of the Council of Forty, and has much influence in the cities governance. He has served in the Armoury, amoung the legates and all manner of public service, while also monitoring elements of the families mercantile business. His devotion to politics became all the more intense when in 1211 his wife passed away. He has four children by her, one son and three daughters.
- Bertucci Contarini (1165 – ?)* – A prominent Captain during the Crusades, he earned wealth, but returned a bitter man. He continues to sail and look after many of the families holdings in the new Venetian territories, leaving the running of other business matters to others. Bertucci is the younger brother of Gasparo.
- Jacopo Contarini (1194 – ?)* – Jacopo is a competant young man of measured disposition. He is viewed by many as a cool head who knows when to fight and when to negotiate among the younger members of the family. He has some skill with numbers, and some with a sword, and put both to use as he may. The family elders have started to use him for diplomatic measures. Jacopo is first cousin once removed from both Gasparo and Bertucci, and thus second cousins with Berucci’s four children.
Donaldo Contarini (1198 – ?) – A Hothead who sharp mouth is only matched by his skill with a blade, Donaldo is one of those who set out to prove himself worthy of the life he was born into. He has ambition, anger, and far too little self-control. This later has gotten him into more than a few fights and greater trouble over time. His father indulges him for now, especially as the boy is so keen on preserving and avenging the families honour that it gives the family an edge in negotiations on such matters. His recent humiliation by the strange Mage Odysseus was a blow to pride he will not let go. Some say he fumes deep in his cups, others that he plans horrible, unchristian vengence, as a way to regain his manhood.
Gorita Contarini (1201 – ?) -The Oldest of Three Sisters, Gorita is a beautiful woman of talent and discretion, who is said to be exceptional skilled at the lyre and poetry. Since the death of their mother, she has felt responsible for her two younger Sisters, Maria and Helena. Sometimes, however, she resents having to be the ‘sensible’ one.
Maria Contarini (1203 – ?) -Night to her older Sister Gorita’s Day, Maria has been wild for a long time, ever since their mother died in 1212 A.D., and neither her father, nor servants can contain her. She is beautiful, and became a monster as soon as she realized it. She is guided by her passions, which sometimes result in good; such as her charitable works. More often though, they get her, and hapless bystanders in trouble. It is said her father’s urgency in securing marriage for his eldest daughter has as much to do with being able to then get rid of Maria as it does anything else.
Helena Contarini(1205 – ?) – Quit, studious, with a serious mind that has absorbed everything around it, Helena is a contrast to her older sisters. She reads both Latin and Greek and has even managed to read some of the works her Father and Uncles brought back from Constantinople. This hunger for knowledge is her only apparent vice, and many whispers that she should probably have been sent to a convent years ago, save her father would view it as a waste of good material.