• Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

TheButterflyComposer

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We shall see and we shall hope. I need to check my save file actually to see whether its still playable. The entire story is already played out but it would be interesting to see how such a world would look by 1399 etc.
 

coz1

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As others have said, great to see you hoping to resume your work here and in Albion. Sorry to hear about your troubles but it does sound as if you are for the better coming out of it.
 

JabberJock14

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UPDATES! (Or : Guess who?)

It has been some time for me but RL beckoned rather forcefully with both kidneys. And then some broken fingers. And a few other things. Anyway...the story has been re-written somewhat in most chapters to contain an in-universe narrative of an older Cosma talking to his second son Filippo about his childhood. This should serve as a good device to get us through that part of Cosma's life up to the time when the pair are talking, which in actuality was only a few years into the game playthrough so there shall be plenty to follow after that!

A sixth chapter is currently in the works and should be coming today or tomorrow depending on editing time. I have to say, re-reading this AAR has been quite special for me since I consider it my best work on the forum and was delighted to remember the little writer workshop/discussion group that sprang up around it. Hopefully, this story can begin again and continue into the future.

EDIT: Yes, this means Albion is coming back too. One thing at a time.
Oof. That sounds rough. It would seem as though you are through the worst of it though, hopefully! Best of luck on your continuing road to recovery! And looking forward to the continuation here!
 

El Pip

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Something else to catch up on! Will you lot never cease writing stuff, I'm still chasing Bullfilters Turkish monstrosity and Coz's Heavy Crown. Now I've got to find time to re-read this.

However in comparison to your health misadventures that seems a minor complaint so I shouldn't complain. As mentioned elsewhere don't tempt fate when you recover this time and don't feel the need to rush back into this. Easing yourself back in will give us (me) a chance to properly savour the re-written chapters.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Something else to catch up on! Will you lot never cease writing stuff, I'm still chasing Bullfilters Turkish monstrosity and Coz's Heavy Crown. Now I've got to find time to re-read this.

However in comparison to your health misadventures that seems a minor complaint so I shouldn't complain. As mentioned elsewhere don't tempt fate when you recover this time and don't feel the need to rush back into this. Easing yourself back in will give us (me) a chance to properly savour the re-written chapters.
Will do.
If it makes you feel any better, or worse(?), I think I need to do something to cheer myself up first.

Like writing up my first HOI game ever as I go (probably as a gameplay AAR) whilst under the influence of many many things. And since the tutorial camaign is apparently Italy...I still might do better than what they managed.

Little Dux will be updated soon though. I do love it so.
 
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Bullfilter

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Something else to catch up on! Will you lot never cease writing stuff, I'm still chasing Bullfilters Turkish monstrosity and Coz's Heavy Crown.
Then I’d better finish off that latest chapter I’m almost done with! :) A stern chase is always the longest, old chap!
Will do.
If it makes you feel any better, or worse(?), I think I need to do something to cheer myslef up first.

Like writing up my first HOI game ever as I go (probably as a gameplay AAR) whilst under the influence of many many things. And since the tutorial camaign is apparently Italy...I still might do better than what they managed.
Sounds like a lark! Those prescribed things may even slightly even it up for the poor AI! Get well again soon, my friend.
Little Dux will be updated soon though. I do love it so.
So do we! :)
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Sounds like a lark! Those prescribed things may even slightly even it up for the poor AI! Get well again soon, my friend.
I've been recording the Italian campaign diligently and it is...interesting. 1936 starts means I'm already at war with Ethiopia and WWII is definitely going to happen, its just a matter of when and how. It will probably be almost pure ganeplay with off the wall hunour and 'cheating' attached (vexause I don't know what I'm doing and I've always wanged to study the period, I'm just going to research the shit out of my neighbouring coubtried to fogure out what they probably have in game etc...)

Little Dux has a chapter cooking though as said before. This time we're going riding and (possibly) dueling.
 
Chapter 6: In which Cosma and Filippo learn some limits

TheButterflyComposer

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Chapter 6: In which Cosma and Filippo learn some limits

Filippo scowled. The whole palace reeked in the mid-summer heat. Venice boiled. It was a terrible day for mathematics and the heavenly spheres. He lay on the grass, the great fountain frothing up enough spray to begin to cool his heavy head.

Life was very hard right now. His father had been away on some mission or errand, and his mama had been ill again. Sickness clung to her like flies to sweetcakes. He was scared. And angry.

“Filippo?” It was his father’s voice!

“Papa!” he shouted, propriety and sun forgotten as he rushed towards the man. He squealed with happiness. If the Dux was home then all would be well again. He even felt cooler.

“I just spoke with your mother…and your tutors,” Cosma said. His son’s smile faltered and he took on the appearance of a penitent friar. “Now, now,” Cosma chuckled, patting the boy’s head. It was getting harder each year but he still managed it. “We all had lessons we didn’t like. Your mother knows that more than most. As do I.”

Filippo looked up at his father, surprised that he did not have to stretch too far. “Will you tell me? Another story about you and Leone and the Master and-”

“Enough,” Cosma said lightly, raising a hand. “Later, my child. For now, you should wash. A clean boy is a joy to his nurse. Have you seen your brother?”

The boy smirked a little and said nothing. The eldest child of the Dux was currently in the cellars, breaking into the wine lockers again. With his father so recently returned from campaign, he would surely dish out a swift punishment this time.

Cosma sighed at that look. “It is a pity he acts out, and pity more that you find pleasure in it,” he murmured, sweeping away to whatever mischief his firstborn was up to. Still, he was young once, and far more of a handful.

21st December 760AD

Cosma stared at the frozen night sky. The Master had been taking him out every night for months to observe and study the stars, now the night was black and long. And cold. Cosma did not like the cold. The stillness and chill of the hill at night was deeply frightening to him. Leone found it even more terrifying, for different reasons. The Master was showing them the heavens, the entirety of creation surrounding the Earth. He had watched Jupitar lazily flash across the sky in a blaze of light, Mars glow red with passion and fury. Cosma did not understand why he was being taught this. What good was it to him to know the shifting of planets?

The Master scowled at his ignorance. “See there, my students, see the moon shift and change in the night sky. Every night, since the Beginning. And see also, the planets, the wanderers, that move in time with the universal motions. See also, though you cannot right now perceive, the sun, moving as it does every day like the steady tap of rain upon the leaf. All are in movement. As is the earth, which turns and turns upon its axis. Everything, the water, the air, even the steady mountains and sky, all is motion. All set-in motion by God. Life is merely the greatest movement of all.”

He went on and on, day and night, showing the children the working of plants. They drew water from without to turn into flowers. He showed them flame, Man’s greatest power, and how the air and the fuel and the light were needed for it to survive. “The fire, for all wants and purposes to us, is alive. It feels, it moves, it absorbs fuel and air to survive and requires a spark of creation to come into being. As we make the fire, so God makes us.”

The Master made them run, jump and exercise greatly in the courtyard, to the amusement of the kitchen boys till they were beaten by the cook. As they stood to attention, panting and sweating in the cold air, he continued his never-ending lecture. “So, you see? The fire is within you. You move, you heat up. You take in air and food to live, to keep the inner fire working. And, tell me, what do you hear?”

Leone and Cosma stood, one now far taller than the other, yet near bent over panting, till they could only hear the beating within their ears. “Drums, sir?” Leone, bless him, answered.

“Indeed, the sound of blood rushing through you. Another secret to keeping the animals and peoples alive. If you lose your blood, you cease to function, as a fire slowly dies without fuel. And what else? Come on, my students! What do you feel?”

Cosma answered this time, for he had felt his heart beat thunderously many times before. “My heart. My…body, the blood flows through in time with the beat?” And suddenly he understood what the Master was saying and cried out in surprise.

For once, the Master smiled, and just as it did last time, it looked pained. “Excellent. You see, eventually, that the heart and body are attuned to the movement of the world, and thus the heavens, and thus to God as well. We are all connected and interconnected, more so than even the fools in the pulpit would have you believe. The universe is all around you. The universe is within you. Remember this, children, and remember when the priests speak of the children of God, they speak, though they do not know it, of everything. For we are all made of the same dust, move by His Grace, and return to dust once again. Just as a stagnant pool ferments poison, so too does a still mind and body kill a man. So too does a society stuck in its ways fester and whither away. It is not God’s way, and it is not our way to be motionless.”

Cosma nodded. He understood now, better than before. And this was the way of things, as he stood on the frozen earth looking up at the sky. The Master frustrated, he dished out cruelty like a frothing stream…and then came wisdom. Understanding. In the same way that the priest ‘spoke’ to Leone, the Master spoke to Cosma.

“We are such limited beasts, you know,” the Master said in his seat. He said it very quietly, and Cosma was not sure he was supposed to hear. But he answered anyway.

“But you know so much, sir.”

The Master looked at Cosma, his grey eyes catching the fire of the distant kitchens. “I do, boy. I know a great deal about how much I do not know, and how much the world does not know. It is like the man who walks in a desert, picks up a grain of sand and says, ‘Now I know of everything.’ Saying it does not make it so.”

Cosma frowned, and turned back to the stars. “So why do you teach me?”

“I was asked.”

A pause, a deep breath of air and then, “Why do you really teach me?”

The Master was silent. Cosma was afraid he had asked too much and would receive a smack. Yet this did not occur. The Master just continued to sit there, occasionally glancing up at the moon and back into the dark forest below them. He seemed, for want of a better word, lost. And the Master could not be lost, Cosma thought, for the Master knew everything, no matter what even he said.

“I think, boy, you can figure that out for yourself one day. No more questions, loath as I am to say it. No more.”

…​

“I don’t understand,” Filippo said, rising from his pillows. His father’s story that night had been excellent as always, and now understood far more his own lessons, but the Master’s speech confused him.

Cosma laughed gently, “Neither did I. We did not speak of the matter again for some time, and by then…well, things had changed. But I tell you it for the same reason I speak of my own father. We are all human, my child. We all have our failings and limits, even as we strive to meet them. Do not judge others so harshly for you do not know the life that they have lived. In all my life, mercy and compassion have never led me too far astray. Anger…anger is far more dangerous.”

Filippo nodded, the priests and Leone said much the same thing. And Mama, though he didn’t think she hated anybody. Suddenly he was curious about her story again. And about Leone and…well, there was so much else besides. He wanted to know it all.

Cosma enjoyed the look on his child’s face, for he knew the passion for knowledge well. “You cannot grasp the whole world in your hand any more than know the world from one grain of sand, remember. You will know as much as I can tell you in time. Now, for another story…”

...
AN: Short and quick. But I'm back with it.
 
Last edited:

Bullfilter

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Huzzah - it’s back! I’m just about to drive off on a short road trip for the weekend, so will read and comment in more detail later. Just wanted to issue a ‘glad you’re back Cosma’ statement. :)
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Huzzah - it’s back! I’m just about to drive off on a short road trip for the weekend, so will read and comment in more detail later. Just wanted to issue a ‘glad you’re back Cosma’ statement. :)
Many thanks, though you will find this chapter shorter by half compared to the others. I cut down some Master lessons to ones strictly relevent because he has a lot to say, so it seems.

There is much to comment on in this chapter but let's refrain till it's read.
 

Specialist290

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Glad to have you back and writing, @TheButterflyComposer :)

The Master looked at Cosma, his grey eyes catching the fire of the distant kitchens. “I do, boy. I know a great deal about how much I do not know, and how much the world does not know. It is like the man who walks in a desert, picks up a grain of sand and says, ‘Now I know of everything.’ Saying it does not make it so.”

Cosma frowned, and turned back to the stars. “So why do you teach me?”

“I was asked.”

A pause, a deep breath of air and then, “Why do you really teach me?”

The Master was silent. Cosma was afraid he had asked too much and would receive a smack. Yet this did not occur. The Master just continued to sit there, occasionally glancing up at the moon and back into the dark forest below them. He seemed, for want of a better word, lost. And the Master could not be lost, Cosma thought, for the Master knew everything, no matter what even he said.

“I think, boy, you can figure that out for yourself one day. No more questions, loath as I am to say it. No more.”
There is something incredibly profound in this exchange, I think.

It isn't just about the futility of attempting to comprehend all the knowledge of the universe in one lifetime, though there certainly is that; our tutor's task (without the benefit of the foresight available to the reader, who knows what Cosma will become) would seem to be an uphill struggle on every front. The odds are against young Cosma reaching any real position of power and influence, and even if he does, there's no guarantee that he'll be able to make use of his knowledge wisely, or even prevent his achievements from being reversed and lost in the uncaring mists of obscurity. It is a daunting task, being held responsible for someone's well-being when you aren't even sure that they'll come out the other end in one piece (or at all).

Still -- and this is merely my own private interpretation -- I think that the main thing motivating him, at the fundamental level, is Hope with a capital H. To give up on Cosma would implicitly be to give up on the idea that our actions can have any meaning or make any difference in the world around us. Choosing to train Cosma makes a statement that this poor, unloved dwarf of a boy's life matters, that he deserves a chance to make his own mark on the world, that Cosma's choices -- and, by extension, the Master's own -- are meaningful in the universal scale even if their impact isn't immediately apparent. And if it is eventually apparent to others, whether to his own generation or to future generations not yet born, so much the better.

And, of course, the Master isn't the only one to make this choice -- after all, as he himself points out, he was asked.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Glad to have you back and writing, @TheButterflyComposer :)



There is something incredibly profound in this exchange, I think.

It isn't just about the futility of attempting to comprehend all the knowledge of the universe in one lifetime, though there certainly is that; our tutor's task (without the benefit of the foresight available to the reader, who knows what Cosma will become) would seem to be an uphill struggle on every front. The odds are against young Cosma reaching any real position of power and influence, and even if he does, there's no guarantee that he'll be able to make use of his knowledge wisely, or even prevent his achievements from being reversed and lost in the uncaring mists of obscurity. It is a daunting task, being held responsible for someone's well-being when you aren't even sure that they'll come out the other end in one piece (or at all).

Still -- and this is merely my own private interpretation -- I think that the main thing motivating him, at the fundamental level, is Hope with a capital H. To give up on Cosma would implicitly be to give up on the idea that our actions can have any meaning or make any difference in the world around us. Choosing to train Cosma makes a statement that this poor, unloved dwarf of a boy's life matters, that he deserves a chance to make his own mark on the world, that Cosma's choices -- and, by extension, the Master's own -- are meaningful in the universal scale even if their impact isn't immediately apparent. And if it is eventually apparent to others, whether to his own generation or to future generations not yet born, so much the better.

And, of course, the Master isn't the only one to make this choice -- after all, as he himself points out, he was asked.
It's good to be back. And highest marks for analysis, this is what I was personally going for. Death of the Author kicks in and everyone is free to view it differently, but for me, the relationship between the Master and student is very important. The Master, very mucy beaten down by the world has to teach Cosma as a young aristocrat should...but that's not what he's really teaching him or why, as you say.

It is unclear what his Uncle Dodge wished for him at this point but going back over everything we've seen of the Master, that man at least is clearly aiming higher than an bookeeper for Cosma. He see's potential in him, and at last a part of himself.

Lord Byron once said of the impossible search for wisdom that 'the tree of knowledge is not that of life.' It cannot sustain you nor is in many ways healthly to seek. Yet at the same time we know it does much good as well. And, in regards to Cosma, we know already from the future that he does at least partially suceed and become a good ruler in his own right.
 

coz1

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Jumping ahead a bit, I see. I like it. The scene with the master was very well written. I especially like the suggestion that it likely gives to Cosma - look past his "infirmity" and move.

Great to finally see another update, sir! Don't make it so long until the next one! ;)
 

TheButterflyComposer

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Jumping ahead a bit, I see. I like it. The scene with the master was very well written. I especially like the suggestion that it likely gives to Cosma - look past his "infirmity" and move.

Great to finally see another update, sir! Don't make it so long until the next one! ;)
I looked at the timeline and realised I could write a chapter on every week in his life...and it would have been good but long. And to keep it all relevant and on topic is beyond me.

So we'll be steaming towards the begining of game time now. I want to get to the awesome stuff Cosma did as an adult. We still have some building blocks to do for Cosma's personality but we should make it to his 18th year fairly soon. Working on the next chapter now. More on Leone, horse riding and a character I've been trying to introduce for a while.
 

stnylan

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A riddle like that can be a mighty spur to thought :D
 

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This is a very in depth exploration of the development of a small man with great ambitions it seems - at least as he approaches adulthood. The inter-generational exchange of knowledge and personal development is also done warmly and in a compassionate way.

The Master, despite his irascibility idiosyncrasies, is building a major work in the person of the young one-day Dux and has clearly had a pprofound impact on his charge. It will be interesting to see how that plays out (literally) in the game period.
 

TheButterflyComposer

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TheButterflyComposer

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This is a very in depth exploration of the development
Heh. 10 mins of work and only 1200 words doesn't seem in depth to me but of course I'm the author and thus dead.

This was written, as every other Dux chapter, in hospital, so take the philosophical musings with a grain of salt. I had a whale of a time trying to mesh what a clever unorthodox medieval italian scholar would know without making him seem a complete moron to modern audiences. I stuck with astronomy and basic observable biology because a) they were pretty good at that and b) nost people don't know much more than these guys on these subiecte (off the top of their heads).

small man with great ambitions
Oh yes...putting more ambition in next chapter i think, with a scene thats been rattling in my mind since last summer. Should set the idea of General and personal ambition for Cosma quite well...hopefully.

The inter-generational exchange of knowledge and personal development is also done warmly and in a compassionate way.
But of course. After a point, I genuinely couldn't write the master being so very mean to the children because...well for one I had written out his backstory and for another it really is quite hard to write about two nice kids being beaten up and verbally abused by their teachers. Weird right?:eek:

The Master, despite his irascibility idiosyncrasies, is building a major work in the person of the young one-day Dux and has clearly had a profound impact on his charge. It will be interesting to see how that plays out (literally) in the game period.
Basically I wasn't expecting Cosma to last very long (as you'll see in the first chapter with game content) so I decided to play him as much of a modern enlightened paternal benevolent despot as possible. Thus 60 hours later when the game is still going and there's genuinely a very heartwarming story to be made here, I had to go out of my way to justify why the tortured dwarf child with a stutter and other issues yurned out so well.

...we'll see if it works. :confused:

Blown away by all the nice comments on this chapter guys. Personally didn't think very much of it until you all started defending it. Which is nice. If anyone's interested, I have three pages of cut 'lessons' about observation and science (as they know it. More like relgious philosophic for us) if anyone thinks there should either be more or an outtake file of them.
 
Chapter 7: In which Cosma rides and sees further than before

TheButterflyComposer

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Chapter 7: In which Cosma rides and sees further than before

“I had been afraid of horses for some time. No, that’s not quite true-I was afraid of riding them. They were too big, and too fast. Leone took to the old mare Mario kept in the village very quickly. I made do with a donkey for some time…longer perhaps than I should have. I could tell that not only was the Master frustrated but so was my Uncle. And so, eventually, I had to ride myself. It would not be so bad, I thought. At least I could see the girls anytime I wished…”

13th February 761AD

“Oh God, not again,” Cosma muttered under his breath.

“Again?” Leone said, looking up from his bible. “You’d have thought the Master would have worked his magic on you by now. I thought there was nothing he could not teach you.”

Cosma rolled his eyes. “Please, he can’t teach you to read another book.” Leone scowled at him before he closed the bible. Cosma sighed, and apologised. It wasn’t fair to take out his anxiety on the other boy, and is Latin had improved greatly since Leone had taken to memorising scripture.

“Mario said he was going to adjust the harness again,” Leone offered, “maybe that will help?”

“He did?” Cosma frowned. Where did his friend get all his information?

“He told us last time we were at the forge. Or were you distracted again?”

Cosma flushed. “I don’t know what you’re…forgive me for having multiple friends!”

This time Leone let the taunt roll over him, and he snorted. “Mm. Well don’t let the padre catch you. Or Mario. Or the Master for that-”

“Yes, yes, men do not consort with women,” Cosma waved his hand. “And yet, we are all children just the same. And Clotilde struggles so, and yet is so bright. And her sister-”

“Oh yes, I know you find her impressive.”

Cosma sniffed. Leone spent too much time reading about sin. He was beginning to see it everywhere, even those that he did not understand. And Cosma knew Leone didn’t understand, for neither did he. And-

“Boy! On that horse, now.”

Oh, yes, the Master. The horse. Riding. Hmm…Cosma was fairly impressed that Leone had managed to distract him so well. Not that either of them would acknowledge it beyond a small smile at each other. It was not done.

“I suppose I’ll be going now,” Cosma said.

“Don’t get lost. Or break a leg,” Leone grimaced, “I could have done without that lesson in Anatomy.”

Cosma winced. “So could I. Still, it was fascinating, in a disgusting kind of way.”

“You and your philosophies.”

“You and your scripture.”

“See you later?”

“Of course. Fare well in Christ.”

“God be with you,” Leone smirked, “The good Lord knows you will need it today.”

Cosma’s smile faded as he turned away. Time to be brave…again.

…​

Riding was difficult enough but the Master did not seem to understand that, as he carried on his lessons from the day before as if they were both sitting in the study rather than halfway along a mountain ledge. Cosma really hated that man sometimes,

“Focus,” the Master said sharply. “No one of our station merely rides. They hunt, they talk, they scout and fight.”

Such things seemed impossible to Cosma at this time. The reigns were uncomfortable in his hands. His back and legs ached from the harness. It was a good thing his Uncle had found the saint of all horses for him to learn with, for otherwise he was sure he would have been thrown off by now. As it was, Nox was a beautiful creature. She really didn’t live up to her name at all really, being the calmest and collected of all beasts. She was very tall however, and Cosma remained frustratingly small in spite of Leone growing more and more each day.

He felt a little cursed. And then he felt it even more as the horse shifted over the path and his legs flared in pain again. Stupid horse. Stupid road. He hated himself and everything else in the whole world.

“Halt,” the Master called from behind. Cosma managed it, to his surprise. The pair sat atop their mounts and gazed down at the valley; the sunlight turning the leaves golden, the grass rich and green. It was beautiful, Cosma thought, and he felt fortunate to live in such a place. His world was very quiet and peaceful, and whilst Leone and the kitchen boys chafed against that every so often, Cosma himself understood the purity and preciousness of such an existence.

“Venice was never so fine,” the words slipped out in a whisper.

The Master turned and looked at him, eyebrow raised. “Oh? And why is that? Would you not want to see the epitome of human achievement? The greatest buildings and constructions the world has ever seen? You must go to a city for that.”

Cosma nodded absently, “But there is something so…pure about this. The valley is so wonderful and safe.”

“Perhaps, but only because war does not trouble these lands as of now,” the Master shrugged. “Remember the lesson, my student, that Italia was constantly at war not less than a dozen years ago. And there are mere few men who stand in the way of it erupting again.”

Cosma nodded again, as this was true. “It is a shame.”

The Master hit him with his stick. “Shame? How pathetic. So, you are content to merely pray and wish that what you value endures and do nothing yourself? Let the world be run by other men, other fools? Look upon this valley boy! What do you see? What do you feel? Is it not yours? Do you not wish to protect it? To love it as a father? To rule it and own it and see it grow? What of the lands beyond these hills? Have you no desire to see them? To be thought of as great and good by the people beyond our village?”

“My Uncle-”

“The Doge intends for you to sit in an accounting house and count for the rest of your life. Is that what you wish? To be imprisoned in that city again, this time of your own free will? How disgraceful! What a fool I teach!”

Cosma fumed. A prickle of wetness appeared in his eyes before he blinked it away. He glared into the horizon, away from the Master and his vitriolic hatred of him. He took in the familiar hills and sky, and beyond that…the world.

It was so big. So vast and rich.

He felt it, slowly but surely within his breast. That trickle of ambition, a small light his teacher was trying desperately to stoke into flame. It suddenly came on him in a hot flush. The idea, the dream that all of this, all of that road and forest and hill, all up towards the sky itself…could be his. For his own. Under God of course, the Almighty. But what a thought! Was this how emperors always saw, he asked himself? Cosma had always believed that Men of Legend saw their conquests as challenges overcame, a test and testament to their abilities, their greatness.

Perhaps they did.

Now though, though he knew that many of them must have simply felt the urge, the burning sensation of dominance he now felt. Leone may well ask why he felt Cosma could claim everything under the sun.

Cosma was beginning to wonder, why not?
…​
A/N: What's this, two posts in one week? And more philosophy class for everyone? What fun!o_O Now with added threadmarks!!!
 
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stnylan

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I do think The Master knows how to goad his pupil most aptly.