The Death of Lamberto Fulvina
By Giampaolo Agosta and Giovanni Porpora
Year 963 After Crowning
Episode II. Lamberto's Trick
A friendly bet has been made between Signor Lamberto Fulvina and Don Ricardo de Belcadiz. If Signor Lamberto can bed one woman from each of the Principalities in a month’s time, Don Ricardo will have to publicly acknowledge that Caurenzans have superior charm with the ladies over Belcadizans.
Signor Lamberto Fulvina, Viscount of Verazzano
Signor Lamberto has recently made a bet with his friend, Don Ricardo de Belcadiz, to prove that Caurenzans have superior charm with women over Belcadizans. The bet entails that he bed one woman from each of the Principalities in a month’s time, to witnessed by their judges using a magical medallion and crystal balls.
“Signor” Alceo Boero
Alceo is a petty noble of Verazzano—more precisely he pretends this to be one (He is a mundaner.). He is sixty years old, plump, with gray in his hair. Alceo and Lamberto have been friends since childhood, and different lives have not erased (yet) what they have in common and what they have always liked most in life: women and intrigue.
Signor Vittorio Fulvina, son of Viscount Lamberto of Verazzano
Lamberto’s son is a strong man in his early forties, quite fearsome to behold, with a bushy black beard and cruel facial features. He rules Verazzano while his father is in Glantri City.
Alfiero is one of Lamberto’s more trusted servants. He often undertakes the more delicate missions. His loyalty is above every suspicion.
Palazzo Fulvina at Verazzano.
While Viscount Lamberto Fulvina is a good friend of Don Ricardo de Belcadiz, he is not above using a bit of guile to win the bet. When they announced the bet to their judges, Lamberto managed to turn the exact phrasing of the terms to his advantage. Signor Lamberto simply hired courtesans from The Sisters of the Private Houses, a branch of which is active in Verazzano, to fulfill the terms of the bet. Signor Lamberto discusses his plans at his home with his old friend, Alceo Boero over some Averoignian wine.
Alceo: So, amico mio, you are almost done!
Lamberto: Ever had any doubts?
(The two men start laughing, but approaching steps interrupts them. They turn to see the third man, Lamberto’s son, Vittorio.)
Vittorio: Dear Alceo, nice to see you once more in our humble abode. Are you drinking to my father’s cheating?
Lamberto: Tsk! Tsk! Tsk! This young fellow hasn’t completely understood the way politics goes in our beloved Glantri.
Alceo: Indeed, my old friend! Ah-ah-ah!
Vittorio: What does politics have to do with a bet? As they say in Fenswick, “That’s another cup of tea.” I simply meant that to lay with a woman is more complicated than to hire Sisters of the Private Houses, wouldn’t you agree with me, Alceo?
Lamberto: Let our guest not to take stands against an old friend of his. You’re right there, my son, but, you see, I’m not cheating. Don Ricardo and me agreed that—
Alceo: (Interrupting) “if Viscount Lamberto Fulvina will lay with one woman for each of our beloved Principalities in a month’s time, Don Ricardo…” etcetera, etcetera…
Lamberto: And that is what I am doing… until proved to the contrary.
Vittorio: What if Don Ricardo discovers this ... How should I call it then? This ‘trick’?
(Someone knocks at the door. Lamberto smiles.)
(A Belcadizan elf steps in. As he approaches the three men, Lamberto gestures towards him welcomingly. Then Lamberto turns to Vittorio with a wicked triumphant smile.)
Lamberto: How could he, my son?
(The elf kneels in front of Lamberto and removes a medallion from his neck. He addressed Lamberto in Caurenzan.)
Alfiero: Everything is fixed, milord.
Lamberto: Well done, Alfiero! Is she what we expected her to be?
Alfiero: The only Ethengarian woman in Verazzano, as you told me, milord. Her name is Leila and she has been invited to be your guest at this evening’s party.
(The three men watch Alfiero as his elven features blur for a moment then become those of a Caurenzan. Lamberto gives the man a pouch tinkling with coins.)
Lamberto: Go and have fun this evening, Alfiero.
Alfiero: Grazie, signore.
(The three nobles watch Alfiero as he walking towards the exit. As he opens the door, he turns with a wicked smile, jingling two pouches full of coins, then leaves quickly. The three nobles do not notice and have resumed talking.)
Lamberto: So you see, Vittorio, should someone say something about my dear ... Leila, well, you know, she was hired by a Belcadizan elf. Heh-heh-heh!
Alceo: A nice final touch, my friend. This night will be a great night.
Lamberto: (Severely) You should learn from myself, my son. When I am no more you will be the ruler of Verazzano. The full time ruler, I mean. (Casually now) By the way, someone happened to tell me you’re really looking forward for that moment to come.
Vittorio: (Ignoring any implications) I just can’t bear the thought of sixty year-old heartbreakers who like to play giovin donnaiolo—the lusty young lover. You ought to grow up father! (Looking at Alceo) And you have to choose better friends whom you deem worthy to feast with.
A brief but tense moment passes between Alceo and Vittorio. Vittorio then exits without saying a word. Lamberto stares at Alceo, but is pondering the meaning of his son’s words. Alceo becomes nervous from the intense looks of both father and son and is breaking into a nervous sweat.
Alceo: (Changing the subject) Here’s to your health, Signor Lamberto! (Lifting his glass) Shall your wisdom rule forever in Verazzano!
Lamberto: (Thoughtful, but smiling) Yes, my friend. This night shall be a great night.
Alceo: Indeed. (Wipes his brow in relief)
Will Don Ricardo learn of Signor Lamberto’s trickery? Should Signor Lamberto be wary of the loyalty of his friend Alceo, his son Vittorio, or his servant Alfiero? Who is the Ethengarian lady Leila? Discover this and more in the upcoming third episode of The Death of Lamberto Fulvina: Don Ricardo’s Move.