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Zeorus

Purgare Ecclesia

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Cornelis returns to Dillenburg safely and quietly. He knocks on the door to Johann's chambers and is called in to report his findings. Johann sits in a comfortable chair by a large window. He rises from his chair to embrace his friend and mentor.

Count Johann V: You have been missed, Father. What have you found in your travels?

Father Cornelis: While in Rome I was approached by a man, a Sir Westwick. He is English, I believe, but unable to leave Italy. He requests your aid in removing a corrupt Cardinal, Umberto Cavaleri.

Count Johann: What kind of aid does he require? Money? Military aid?

Fr. Cornelis: He refused to go into much detail, but he requests an audience with you. I told him I would arrange as best I could for you to travel to Rome to meet him.

Count Johann: Tell me more about this Cardinal. What did he tell you? Did you hear anything else?

Fr. Cornelis: Westwick describes him as one who controls the Vatican's finances. He uses this power to enable ruthless criminal activities. He was put in power by the Borgias. I also heard rumors of his complicity in the slaughter of many families who stood in the way of the Borgias or Cavaleris. They call him the Blood Cardinal.

Count Johann: It is true, then? The Church has taken wealth and greed for its object of worship?

Cornelis sighs with a heavy heart.

Fr. Cornelis: It is, Your Highness.

Johann grabs a sword and cloak from his closet.

Count Johann: Westwick shall have his audience. We leave for Rome at once.

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*Yusuf had been looking for his brutal nun assassin for over an hour, he came across her at a local nunnery at St Agatha’s Monastery. He quietly tapped her on the shoulder while she was praying.*

Yusuf Imad al-Wahid:“I have another assignment for you, we are to leave for the Republic of Florence, I need to meet up with a Florentine Diplomat under the name of Niccolo Machiavelli who can grant me access to contacts within the Medici family, also you are to investigate this Fryer named Girolamo Savonarola, he is said to be preaching heretical doctrines which call for the end of the Papal Order, I want you to report to me what his activities are, understood?”

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*Ariana had just finished her prayers, and looks at Yusuf with apprehensive eyes.*

Ariana:“Yes I understand, am I required to spill blood in the streets of Florence as well Excellency?”

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Yusuf:"Well if that should happen it is definately not going to be of my design...I just want you to be pocking around, while I do what I do best."

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*When the Count arrives in Rome he is received at Sir Westwick's Roman small, rather incognito Roman property. He is ushered in side by a giant of a bodyguard, apparently, Westwick's only companion. Inside, Westwick sits at a table facing a door, a modest meal more befitting of a peasant than a landowner before him which he has not yet eaten. An identical plate awaits Count Johann on the other side of the table. As the Count enters, Westwick stands and bows his head.*

Sir Warren Westwick: My Count, we meet at last. Warren Antonius Westwick at your service. You must be hungry.

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Johann is accompanied, as always, by Father Cornelis. Johann takes his seat while Cornelis stands behind him. Johann addresses Westwick in German; he speaks Italian but is not entirely comfortable with the language.

Count Johann V: Many thanks for your hospitality, Sir Westwick. How can Nassau be of service?

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Yusuf and Ariana rode to Florence, in a hurry, they were to meet with the ambassador of the Republic of Florence and a council to the Medici’s; Niccolo Machiavelli. Yusuf met up with him in his home in Florence.

Niccolo Machiavelli: Ah Your Excellency…Heard both of you where coming, and you brought a nun with you…Interesting…Please come in."

*Both Yusuf and Ariana went in and sat down on his wooden table in the dining room.*

Yusuf Imad al-Wahid: “Thank you Excellency…My business here is not official.”

Niccolo Machiavelli: “Ah…So my Moorish friend why are you here?”

Yusuf Imad al-Wahid: “What can you tell me about this mysterious Friar going under the name of Giralamo Savonarola?”

Niccolo Machiavelli: “Ah…He is a cleric of the Catholic Dominican order…A rather devout and many would say zealot one.”

*Yusuf raised his eyebrow in interest.*

YusufImad al-Wahid: “Go on?”

*Niccolo Machiavelli poured him a glass of wine, knowing the Muslims could not drink alcohol; he used it as a test to see if he was devout or logical. Yusuf drank the glass of wine and passed Machiavelli’s little test.*

Niccolo Machiavelli: I thought you people couldn’t drink alcohol?”

Yusuf Imad al-Wahid: “Please, like the creator of reality cares about something as trivial as one man drinking wine…Now back to this cleric?”

Niccolo Machiavelli: ”Point taken…Well, he is a polarising figure her in Florence… He preaches salvation from the exploitation of the wealthy, particularly that of my benefactors the Medici’s…and that of the Borgia Pope in Rome…Why?”

Yusuf Imad al-Wahid: “Well if more people by into his far out beliefs, and they permeate throughout Italy, they could spread across Europe…Something which my country wouldn’t like to see…It will be within our mutual benefit to…Protect the Medici’s from the follower of this man, what is right isn’t always popular, and vice versa…An expression which I believe that you are well aquatinted with….Correct?

Niccolo Machiavelli: “Yes…It is...So what are you going to do about it?”

Yusuf Imad al-Wahid: “Well I could use your contacts, and spies to report back to me about this Friar, while you get me some inside information on the political affairs of Florence, and some information about the Medici’s…Sound fair?

Niccolo Machiavelli: “What’s in it for me?”

Yusuf Imad al-Wahid:"My nun associate there will be your contact in Rome, and she has a good number of contacts of her own. “

Niccolo Machiavelli:“I see…Well I don’t see why not…However there is another person in this city with some underworld contacts as well…An Englishman under the name of Warren Antonius Westwick…He isn’ here right now, I hear he is in Rome…However he is a person worth seeking out as well…However he and I do tend to differ on a few issues, that being the Borgia Pope, the Borgia save been a benefactor of mine as well, so I have to distance myself from him. “

Yusuf Imad al-Wahid:“Very well…I shall come back again.”

Niccolo Machiavelli:“I will have a servant of mine inform you of his arrival back.”

*They both shook hands and Yusuf and Ariana left.*

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Johann is accompanied, as always, by Father Cornelis. Johann takes his seat while Cornelis stands behind him. Johann addresses Westwick in German; he speaks Italian but is not entirely comfortable with the language.

Count Johann V: Many thanks for your hospitality, Sir Westwick. How can Nassau be of service?

*Westwick nods slowly and interlocks his fingers.*

Sir Warren Westwick: Johann, before I give you the details I must make a point. My following words border on the heretical, hence our current surroundings. You need not doubt the loyalty of my manservant, I trust him more than my own blood. However, should you be offended or otherwise disgusted by my words I do encourage you to leave post-haste. Such a reaction on your part would prove me wrong. it would be evidence that you do not think as I do.

You are, in short, here because I believe you are both far-sighted and intelligent enough to realize that if the poison at the heart of Rome is not extracted, then true servants of the Lord will have no option but to forge new paths to the Holy Kingdom; paths that do not include the Vatican.

I would honestly prefer to avoid this. I believe in the singular Kingdom of Man under God, but if man's connection to God becomes soiled by sin, it's sacredness is forfiet, and we are left with but one option.

What say you?

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Johann releases a heavy sigh; he has met a man who shares his feelings toward the Church but laments the state of Christendom.

Count Johann V: How do you propose the "poison" be extracted?

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Sir Warren Westwick: As I understand, there is a heretical Italian member of the Dominican Order currently operating in Florence by the name of Girolamo Savonarola. He prophesizes a Christian renewal in response to clerical corruption and despotism, as well as a new biblical flood. I may not believe him, but he could be useful either way.

Now, I'm not proposing that we abandon our ideals of a pure papacy and rush to embrace heresy, but I do think we should meet with him and hear what he has to say for ourselves. Do you agree?

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Johann looks into his glass of wine thoughtfully.

Count Johann V: It sounds reasonable. I would be interested in hearing what he has to say. May I suggest that Father Cornelis join us to give a theological perspective on this Savonarola?

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ooc: I do not recall getting that message- I assumed you were going to play him. Pardon that error :S Should I play him or do you want to?

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ooc: Did you not get my message asking whether you were playing Girolamo Savonarola or not?

If you where refering to me, then no I did not.

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ooc: Did you not get my message asking whether you were playing Girolamo Savonarola or not?

If you where refering to me, then no I did not.

ooc: Oh, strange. Are you though?

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OOC: Well thats perfect, Svun has the head of the Sforza family and possibly Savonorola in her belt, and both of those people hated the Borgia Papacy, so it might be you two who will be the two clashing sides.

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ooc: I guess we set up a meeting in Florence. We'll say Westwick's contacts have put the word around.

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ooc: Sounds good. If you don't mind answering Johann's question, Rand, we can continue :)

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ooc: Waiting on Rand- Johann needs approval to take Cornelis with him.

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