'Venice, 1795 A great catastrophe has engulfed the world. While civilisations fall and empires collapse, a single mote of brightness shines from the darkness.
Serenissima, the Floating City, Queen of the Adriatic. In these benighted times the oncepowerful state of Venice returns to its pomp and glory. From across the globe traders, politicians and peasants alike are drawn to the City of Canals to make a fortune, or seek it. Rising from the waves that sunk most of Europe, the Venetians are poised once again to command the destiny of distant nations.
Merchants work their deals by day while riotous masquerades resound from the palaces of the nobility. Visitors astound at the marvels of artisans that ply their wares from the canal sides and piazzas. Fishermen haul in their boats and the citizens go about their business with forced laughs and strained smiles.
For Venice is not as shining a jewel as it may first seem. Not unearned is its other title - the City of Masks.
At night the baleful gleam of the Rent in the Sky defies any sleep. The music of the masqueratas grows loud and close as the celebrations take a sinister and bloody turn. Fleeing this depravity one might seek sanctuary in the quieter quarters. In darkened alleys the pad of a foot and scrape of metal on leather can signal quick demise. A tittering laugh or a fleeting shadow stalks the unwary, and here even the lap of the unquiet canal waters betrays an even deadlier threat.