Kotor, Albania Véneta, September 16, 1538. The holidays of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows are finally over. Memories of the previous days’ long, solemn processions through Kotor’s twisting lanes evaporate in the hazy morning sunlight. Sea fog dissipates along the cliffs of Mt St John. The imposing thick stone fortifications quietly radiate the security they represent. A lone gull calls from across narrow, peaceful Kotor Bay.
Other than the bastions along Kotor’s walls, the most dominant building in the area is beautiful Drago Palace, abode of local governor Count Fortinbras. The usually-subdued palace grounds are in a hubbub this morning as pages, porters, and valets in full livery scurry to and fro. A large, sturdy carriage, pulled by four well-muscled stallions, approaches the palace from the direction of the sea gate docks.
A feast is planned to welcome the Ambassadors in the evening at Drago Palace. Attendees will be arriving all day, and include: