Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Alden, Algardi & Amati

As a lark, I decided upon starting a series which, unquestionably, will take me a lifetime to complete.  Notwithstanding, it would be an interesting lifetime, however pale a comparison it would have with Plutarch.  The idea is to present some NPC's, specifically NPC's who would be alive and active in my world in the year 1650, when my world takes place.  And since my world is the earth itself, the gentle reader might recognize some of the names.

I have a long alphabetical list to work from, and so I will produce the series alphabetically.  This means I must start off with a whimper:

Future Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Ahmed is just a little boy living at the Topkapi Palace.  There is, therefore, very little to say about him ... but if the party should ever chance to go there, the boy's presence should be noted.  The stats for little Ahmed are based upon the children's stats generation system I posted about here.  The NPC Status can be read about here.  Calculation for experience in this article can be read about here.  That should clear up the necessary links if you want background into how I determined some of the stats.

More interestingly:

A Mayflower pilgrim, born in England, and said to be the first of that company to set foot upon America.  Before sailing he apprenticed as a cooper in Southhampton, and was hired to work upon the Mayflower before sailing.  He seized the opportunity to sail, with an eye for adventuring in the New World.  It was also true that he was in love with Priscilla Mullens, who would become Alden's wife in 1623 following a love triangle that included Myles Standish.  Upon arriving in America and encountering the native Elves who dwelt there, Alden succeeded in carving out a life in the wilderness, becoming a steady and respected colonist in Massachusetts.  In 1627 he became one of eight bondsmen for the colony, and in 1631 helped found the town of Duxbury, where he continues to dwell.  He remains a neighbor of Myles Standish, and together they have fought and arbitrated disputed lands with the native elves.  Alden became assistant to the Massachusetts colony governor in 1633, and continues to serve in that capacity.

Another boy who is of little note, the future king of Portugal, young Alfonso at the age of three suffered an illness that has left him paralyzed on the left side of his body, as well as leaving him mentally unstable.  Despite this, he has been named the 10th Duke of Braganza.

This alone suggests an interesting adventure.  But there is really little else to say about poor young Alfonso, so we shall move on.

Born at Bologna, Algardi studied with Lodovico Caracci and Giulio Conventi.  In 1622 he worked at the court of Mantua, and at Rome in 1625 he served Cardinal Ludovisi, for whom he restored several important sculptures, including Hercules Killing the Hydra and Torchbearer.  In 1630 Algardi executed stucco sculptures, La Maddalena and The Baptist, for San Silvestro at Quirinale, Rome.  In 1641 he produced the group Beheading of St. Paul for the Church of St. Paul, Bologna.  During the pontificate of Pope Innocent X after 1644, Algardi's activity was much intensified.  In 1650 he has finished the tomb of Pope Leo XI and the great marble relief, The Expulsion of Attila, behind the altar of St. Leo, both in St. Peter's, Rome.  He is at present working on a bronze statue of Pope Innocent X which is to stand in the Palazzo dei Conservatorei, Rome.

How one accounts for a fellow like Algardi in terms of D&D is difficult.  Certainly there is more to his life than is described in his works and his successes.  One can surmise that like any other individual, he was involved in bar fights, he went hunting, he observed battles and travelled, being attacked and assaulted by monsters just like any player who travels, and so on.  Much of his wealth could have been accumulated through prizes won in competitions, and that too could be ascribed as experience that would push him to eighth level.


Known as the great Teacher of the Stradivari, Nicolo was the greatest of the violin making Amati family.  During his life he has produced many fine instruments of the highest quality imaginable, instruments that are extremely graceful in tone and in their superb workmanship.  Nicolo Amati has taken many apprentices into his workshop, including Andrea Guarneri, at present a 24 year old genius working alongside Francesco Ruggieri and Antonio Stradivari in the same shop (the latter a mere boy of 6 years).  Nicolo Amati was late blessed with one son of his own, Girolamo, who is but 12 months old.

And there you have it.  I've tried to have the various stats reflect the class and character of the NPC's.  They are all human, and that is likely to be the pattern, though I can see some room for certain persons being from areas that have elven, dwarven or orcish backgrounds in my world.  None so far, though.

My decision to give Nicolo Amati only a 15 dexterity was meant to reflect his comparative importance to the later Stradivari - the gentle reader should fairly admit most have not heard of the man.  Algardi's high charisma reflects his being continually employed by popes who were notably difficult to live with, and John Alden's low strength due to little references to his fighting anyone in his lifetime.  Obviously, the reader may not concur with my choices.  I only hope that the reader can appreciate the idea of these persons living alongside the players, and being met or adventured with, as food for fantasy.

1 comment:

ckutalik said...

It make indeed take you a lifetime, a very rich period to pick out characters from.

If there is voting from the peanut gallery involved, I'd love to see that cossack heavy Bohdan Khmelnytsky get a profile.