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Audience with Vuk Kotromanic is over

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Mencetici

Mencetici sat down and relaxed in his chair and chuckled with amusement. If it was possible that Novi to be closed down and the trade agreements expanding to furtherest extent, Ragusa will be very rich. He had looked down on the letters of spies from Bosnia and rubbed his head wearily. Mabe it is time to look at affairs in Bosnia, when times come, Ragusa will invite Vojvode Vlatko Vukovic. Leader of Rimski, an Pro-Ragusan faction...
 

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Bertuccio had sailed along with the unsatisfactory treaty to Venice and as he expected it did not go over well with his father, or the Council of Ten. It was not sad or downtrodden though that Veniero returned eventually to Ragusa. After much debate, and a great standoff in the halls of the Senate between those most loyal to the Doge and those that backed the aggressive Foscari, that finally Bertuccio was again sent to Ragusa this time to agree to a less ambitious, and more conciliatory aggreement. It was with such a mission and a light heart that finally the Doge's son came to the court of Ragusa again and sought and found his old counterpart Mencetici.

"Honouorable Lord!" The Venetian spoke happily after being admitted to an audience, "It has been to long and I regret that we last parted tired the both of us from wearisome negotiation and pointless argument."

He waited a moment before continuing, "As I predicted my Lords in Venice rejected the treaty that we had previously arrived at, but in wisdom and good faith the wiser council of the Doge prevailed and I have been sent to conclude a much less extensive agreement on behalf of La Serenissima with the good Republic of Ragusa, and it is too that end which I wish to entreat with you at your leisure."
 

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There was alot of excitement at the court of Ragusa when it became known than an envoy, by the name of Abelardo d'Altavilla, had arrived, from none other than King John of Naples, and that he requested an audience with Duke Andrija Sorkocevici.
 

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Audience with Abelardo d'Altavilla

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Mencetici

Abelardo d'Altavilla hastily followed the secretary, who led them up some stairs and after more turnings, they came to a pair of double doors craved with sign of Ragusa. The secretary bowed Abelardo d'Altavilla inside.

It was a formal receiving chamber, set up for conference, not ceremony. A broad table, roomy enough to spread out maps and documents, occupied one end. The long far wall was pierced with a row of doors with a square windowpanes set top to bottom, giving onto a balcony that in turn overlooked the sea that were one of the pillars of Ragusa's wealth.

Abelardo d'Altavilla's eye had no trouble picking out Mencetici. He relaxed in his cushioned chair and looked at Abelardo d'Altavilla and smiled.

Mencetici I am sorry that His Grace is out for few weeks so I am at the moment overlooking the matters, so what can I do for you?
 

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Abelardo cleared his throat. "I am here as the envoy of King John of Naples. He seeks to rectify the many great evils of his predecessor, and do right where Charles did wrong. He would like to open up trade between our two nations, considering how the Venetians have proved themselves untrustworthy. Would you be interested in trade with Naples?"
 

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Audience with Abelardo d'Altavilla

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Mencetici

Mencetic's face smiled in delight, Ragusan trading interests were still more closely dependent on unimpeded contacts with ports and terrtories of the Kingdom of Naples. Naples emerged as the most important ambassadorial seat partly for political and partly for geographical reasons. it is a center for Ponent sphere of influence. The ambassadorial service was notable for its practical flexibility. its basic purpose was to serve as an extension of the central government. Thus its members acted as judges in minor matters: notaries in the registration and issue of documents: substitute tax collectors by allowing the government to know what it was owned in maritime dues; and spies through the despatch of information on political events. With their provision of protection and hospitality, not to mention cemeteries and chapels, they also offered a home-from-home for homesick. He then spoke

Mencetic We will be delighted to tell you that a formal trade agreements will be possible, merchants of Ponent will be enchanted by this. Let me outline the trade agreement that can exist between us. Our realms guarantee that trade between the two realms will be open for each other. Our realms agree to guarantee rights of passage to each other’s merchants to smooth the progress of the trade. Our realms ensure one another that there will be no embargoes between both realms. Also, our realms shall not banish merchants from each other realm, unless they are proven to be criminals by the laws of the realm that they are staying in. My people has the right to construct and maintain merchant houses, warehouses as well as accommodations for its own merchants in the cities of Naples. Our realms promises to protect each others’ shipping and all other means of trade. As well as swearing to neither support nor fund acts of piracy or raiding against each other. Since our ships also carry spices and other goods from far off East. It is possible that we can provide these goods at 8% cheaper than other nations if Naples is willing to grant our merchants monopoly over spice and silks. Is this possible? All these can be worked out in the end naturally.

He looked at the envoy curiously.
 
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Messenger from Serbia

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Goran Konstatin entered the court of Regusa. Though a dashing man of a usually imposing nature, he arrived sheepishly. Not because of the high audience for his message , far from it, merely the message itself. He couldn't help but wonder why he had been given this stupid assignment, still he had to. He approached Mencetici and gave a cordial bow.

"I have message from his majesty, Lord of the Serbs and the Danube, Stefan Prince Lazar, autocrat of all the Serbs. I have memeorised it, as it is believed that the written document in the hands of the Prince's detractors would be most... unwanted" He gave a sigh
"As you no doubt know, your lord Duke Andrija visited the Royal Court in January and signed a Treaty with the Prince regarding trade. Most of the negoiating was done by the two men in person.
You will also know of growing tensions between Bosnia and your Republic. The Prince has only recently recovered from a most terrible bout of exotic fever and it seems in his struggles to keep his life, upon returning to his duties, has little knowledge of previous relations. The Treaty of course remains intact but as his highness, King Stepjan Tvrtko has asked of the Prince to become involved in this situation as a possible mediator, he would like information regarding the situation so he may fully understand and so he can also get the point of view of the most noble Republic of Dubrovnik on the matter".


Doran could actually see the smirk on his face. The great Autocrat had just forgotten a matter of possibly regional importance and was asking other nations what had just happened. Yet keeping the facade up he bowed, and waited a reply. A giggle or just a 'HA!' would have seemed appropriate.
 

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Abelardo d'Altavilla nodded sagely. "Of course, our merchants will also be allowed to build and maitain their own merchant houses and factories here in Ragusa. If you will add that in, the proposed treaty will be one completely pleasing to Naples, and I would be most willing to sign it."
 

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Audience with Abelardo d'Altavilla

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Mencetici

Mencetici nodded gracefully and presented the treaty

Mencetici Very well, this treaty is ready to be signed. If you desire so, we can discuss more issues over dinner, I am alway interesting in affairs of your great kingdom.

He smiled slightly at that.

Neapolitan-Ragusan Trade Accord of 1385

Objective:
In the spirit of establishing trade relations between the Kingdom of Naples and the Republic of Ragusa, this treaty was created with the effort and negotiations of Most Honourable Mencetici, the Senator of Ragusa and His Excellency Abelardo d'Altavilla, the Ambassador of Naples to the Republic of Ragusa.

Article I:
The Republic of Ragusa recognize His Royal Majesty John I as the legitimate ruler and King of Naples, and the Kingdom of Naples recognize the Republic of Ragusa as a legitimate realm and the Ragusan Great Council, Senators and the elected Duke, the rulers of the City.

Article II:
Both realms guarantee that trade between the two realms will be open for each other.

Article III
Both realms agree to guarantee rights of passage to each other’s merchants to smooth the progress of the trade.

Article III:
Both realms ensure one another that there will be no embargoes between both realms. Also, both realms shall not banish merchants from each other realm, unless they are proven to be criminals by the laws of the realm that they are staying in.

Article IV:
The Republic of Ragusa has the right to construct and maintain merchant houses, warehouses as well as accommodations for its own merchants in the cities of the Kingdom of Naples. Same shall exist for the Kingdom of Naples in the Republic of Ragusa.

Article V:
Both Realms promises to protect each others’ shipping and all other means of trade. As well as swearing to neither support nor fund acts of piracy or raiding against each other.

Article VI:
The King of Naples shall grant the sole right to export spice and silks into the Kingdom of Naples to the Republic of Ragusa. In return, the Ragusan merchants will sell spices and silks 8% cheaper than normal price.

Article VII:
In the view of great trading relationship between the Kingdom of Naples and the Republic of Ragusa, the merchants of both realms will only have to pay 10% tolls. No other taxes or tolls can be levied on these merchants.

Article XIII:
Any changes to this Accord will have to be done in accordance with both realms. This Accord also guarantees the possibility of further negotiations between the both realms and the improvement of the commercial links, if the realms find it adequate.

Article XIV:
This Accord lasts for 25 years to be reconfirmed every 25 years. The Accord cannot be changed unless it is agreed by both parties during the time between signing and the process to be reconfirming start.

[X] Most Honourable Mencetici, the Senator of Ragusa in the name of Duke Andrija Sorkocevici of Ragusa.
[ ] His Excellency Abelardo d'Altavilla, the Ambassador of Naples to the Republic of Ragusa in the name of King John the First of Naples
 

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"The treaty is acceptable to us. I will sign it." Abelardo signed the treaty, and smiled at Mencetici. "Your duke, is he married? The King has four daughters. Perhaps one of them would make your duke a suitable wife?"
 

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Audience with Goran Konstatin

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Mencetici

Mencetic's eyes blinked in surprise...

Mencetici Yes, we have seen informations about this excellent treaty between Ragusa and Serbia and we also know about this terrible tensions between us and these people in Bosnia, this sadden us a lot you know, we just want to live peacefully. I do hope that your Prince will be healthy long and well. We will welcome your Prince to be a mediator, the relationship between Serbia and Ragusa is peaceful as alway. For centuries, our people have trade peacefully within the lands of Bosnia, and yet for some reasons unknown to us, there are tensions rising from Bosnia, as the result, we are confused so we send our ruler to Bosnia. We have not yet heard from any results from the meeting but all we desire is status quo. That all the republic desire.

He nodded at that word.
 

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Audience with Abelardo d'Altavilla

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Mencetici

Mencetici looked pleased at the signing and suddenly considerately at the mention of marriage.

Mencetici Our ruler is indeed married but alas to the dead. He still grieved over the death of his wife and have no desire to take another since he already have fine son and beautiful daughter. However, his son, Right Honourable Viseslav of House Sorkocevici have no wife but his ability in governing are such that he is surely to be Duke once our Duke will eventually die. He is about 18 years old with few years of military service and ruling on his belt, may I enquire about the ages of your King's unmarried daughters?

He glanced at Abelardo curiously.
 

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Abelardo smiled. "The King's available daugther is twelve years of age. Is such an age suitable by Ragusan customs, for marriage?"
 

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Audience with Abelardo d'Altavilla

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Mencetici

Mencetici's eyebrows rose with surprise.

Mencetici Excellent, the age is indeed just right. Also, by our customs, all of our noble marriages have dowry which are most often land.

He looked considerately.

Mencetici As the people know, Naples are beset by all enemies and her far flung lands are not easily defended such as Corfu and Durazzo, especially, Durazzo which is bordered by evil heretics hell bent on conquering the world. it seems to me that Durazzo and Corfu will be better under power that are closer. However, I do know that Kingdom of Naples would be hard to persuade. And we have not yet discuss bride wealth for her which could be in terms of economic supports or defensive alliance. Anyway, what is her names?
 
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Silk/Spices Trade: Part 1

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Alexandria, Egypt

Mikac Ljudevit’s eyes opened to the brightness of the white sun, the very air is hot, he kneed in front of the alter full of gleaming gold which make light from Sun reflected around the church making it into hall of rainbow. The church has three altars: the main one is dedicated to Sveti Vlaho – patron against throat sickness; on both sides of Sveti Vlaho are the images of Santa Luzia – patron against eye illnesses; and that of Santa Apolonia, patron against teeth ailment. The staff in the hand of Sao Bras is of pure silver. The side altars are dedicated to Our Lady of Health and Our Lady of Victory along with that of St Joseph.

This hall of rainbow is the Church of Sveti Vlaho, a church paid by Ragusan merchants who travelled all the way from Ragusa to gain the richness of far Eastern goods such as silks and spices and other great goods.

Mikac Ljudevit was just finished his prayer when his group of guards came in, as devote Catholics, they bowed to the Cross and the gleaming figure of Sveti Vlaho which stood in small opening in the front wall. Suddenly, a guard suddenly went into bout of coughing, it is well known that guard was suffering from large amount of dust and hot air and his body did not simply agreed with it. Smiling, he stood up and walked away from the alter and after few metres, he walked out of the hall of rainbow into hot air of Egypt and her vast city of Alexandria.

Gathering his small band of guards and other merchants who decided it is safer to move about in group rather than alone, a wise decision considering there are many raiders who would not dare attack just a large group. They arrived at the great marketplace with all the goods from far flung East are such as spices, cottons, indigo, black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, wax, ginger, Chinese furniture, cloves and much more.

Merchants bought from Ragusa woollen and linen cloth as well pure silvers mined in Balkan. They began trading with other merchants, and after long hard day. They managed to sell all their goods and bought up luxuries from Far East and India such as spices, and silks and other goods. These goods will fetch for high prices in cold Europe.

Then once they finished, they started for the journey home on their ships…
 
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castilla_y_leon_flag-t.gif

*A letter arrived via Cornish merchant cog*


Unto Ljutomisl Mencetici,

In the absence of both King Juan and Lady de Coria, I am authroized to peruse contracts of trade and agreements on tariffs. I will disclaim up front, that Castilla y Leon has no interest in goods from the Orient, Africa, or Anatolia proper as we have granted a state monopoly to the Emir of Granada, humble servant of the King of Castilla y Leon.

Should Ragusa, however, have some interest in importing goods from the hinterlands to your north, and can show the proper religious foundations and trading priorities, agreements on trade would be pursued.

~Gomez Cardoza,
Royal Secretary of the First Order
 

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"The girl's name is Eleanor. Her dowry...am I to assume you intend asking for Corfu or Durazzo? There is no way we shall part with Durazzo. We may consider Corfu, though."
 

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Mencetici

Mencetici's eyebrows nodded gracefully.

Mencetici Ah, what a very nice name she got. Corfu I meant, that island off the coast of Thessaly. Now as for the bride wealth, what do your King want? We do not submit to King of Naples as overlord since evil Charles of Durazzo desire so, what more, we are free city and peaceful one. But we will be happy to loan you economical support if you find yourself attacked by other enemies, especially of Sicily and the rest of the Western Kingdom who are loyal to the devil's son himself. Is this agreeable?
 

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Silk/Spices Trade: Part 2

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Crete

Mikac Ljudevit’s eyes looked around the sea and spotted land in sight, it is great island kingdom of Cyprus. They had been sailing north from Alexandria for several days. Few hours later, they went into harbour. After stocking their supplies quickly, gathering news about the world around them from Venetian merchants who disliked them but still happy to talk. They mentioned that Venice for some strange reason is quiet but the news about Venetian colony in England made Mikac rather mad considering it will bring advantages over them. However, times grew short and so they set sailed next day onto Achaea.

Achaea

After riding out few storms, they finally arrived at Neapolitan port in Achaea, what the crews did noticed that there were general anxiety in the port, not surprising since Romans and Sicilians have always desire the port of Achaea and the rumours reaching them that there is now a new king called John and the Charles have died in strange manner but all will be fine since John is fine by Pope’s eyes. Mikac however treated it rather happily; maybe his people can actually make good trade agreement. Along the way back to his ship, he and his group came across bands of builders under command of an Ragusan envoy who want to build a small offices for him and large buildings for merchants so they can sleep safely. He however known to Mikac since he and Mikac been fast friend in one of the inns back at Ragusa. Anyway, envoy told him that since the treaty of Neapolitan-Ragusan Trade Accord of 1385, Ragusans was able to get the rights to construct and maintain merchant houses, warehouses as well as accommodations for its own merchants in the cities of the Kingdom of Naples, even more vital, King of Naples granted the sole right to export spice and silks into the Kingdom of Naples to the Republic of Ragusa. Although they have to sell spices and silks cheaper than normal prices. Sadly, time flies, Mikac however was gloating about Venetian merchants screams that bouncing off the Moon. They then set sailed onto Corfu.

Corfu

Arriving at Corfu have some surprise, there are large construction sites around the harbours, especially with large numbers of Ragusan ships moored as well. After stocking up supplies and waters, the rumours mentioned about Duke wanting Corfu to be a centre for Ragusan trade from Ragusa out to Mediterranean Sea, only times will tell. From Corfu, stopping by Durazzo for short moment, Mikac gained little news about new warehouses and brand new office standing on the wharf flying little flag of Ragusa. Finally, the last port of call, the great city of light, Ragusa!

Ragusa

After two hours of smooth sailing, the three ships had docked into the port of Ragusa. Mikac got off the first and ordered his merchants to unload great goods of silks and spices. He then went on to locate officials to pay tolls and paid it with annoyance. The goods were then bought to great market of Ragusa where silks and spices then bought by Ragusans whom going to Kingdom of Hungary, Naples, Sicily, Bosnia and Serbia. There, they bought massive profits. Ragusa gained from these great prize and the tax revenues it bought in. Oh what a good time is to be an Ragusan!
 
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