Fortezza (pronounced for-TETS-ah[1]) is a di Chimici principality in northwest Talia and is known as the "City of Swords". It is the equivalent of the Italian city of Lucca. Fortezza is the primary setting for the sixth book, City of Swords.


Fortezza crest

Crest of Fortezza's ruling family

Since medieval times, Fortezza has been ruled by a Signore and then by succession of dominant local families, who form the Signoria, the local governing body of the city-state[2]. The current Signoria consists of twelve members[2]. Fortezzan law also allows the legitimate ruler to overturn any previous edicts.[2]

The di Chimici family gained control of the city beginning when Carlo di Chimici, the younger brother of Fabrizio I of Giglia, became the city's signore. Until 1580, Prince Jacopo the Elder has served as the city's current ruler. His heir is his elder daughter, Lucia di Chimici, the widow of the late Carlo di Chimici. Upon inheriting his title, Lucia will be the first woman to rule Fortezza as a sovereign princess.

Following the death of Prince Jacopo in 1580, a succession struggle results when Lucia's claim to the throne is challenged by a rival claiming to be Jacopo's illegitimate son.[2] Because the rival claimant, Ludo Vivoide, is older than Lucia and the city had not previously had a female ruler, he garners considerable local support. The Signoria eventually declares Lucia as the rightful ruler of Fortezza because Ludo is illegitimate and was never recognized by Jacopo himself as his son. As per Fortezzan law, false claimants are exiled from the city for life.[2]

In Fortezza, there is an obscure law that states that "No man may be tried for murder who has taken the life of another in a duel"[2]. It is likely that anti-occult laws were passed in the city-state under the rule of Jacopo the Elder at the recommendation of Grand Duke Fabrizio[3].

History and TopographyEdit

Rocca di chimici

The Rocca di Chimici

Founded by the ancient Tuschians known as the Rassenans, Fortezza is is a strongly fortified city with circular walls[1]. The massive walls were originally commissioned by Carlo di Chimici of Fortezza and designed by Mariano Matrielli, a pioneering engineer[4]. There are twelve baluardi (bulwarks) in Fortezza, one more than the walls of the Italian Lucca[5]. The walls are notably wide enough to fit two 21st century automobiles and the edge of the walls have crenellations running all around it at head height. The many defensive round defensive towers, possessing arrow-slit windows and turrented tops, around the city walls aid to the city's defenses, along with a gun emplacement with new cannons and cannonballs. The city's infrastructure was later heavily damaged by bombardment during the Siege of Fortezza.

The current ruling family resides in the Rocca di Chimici, a massive fortress and castle that was also originally commissioned by Carlo di Chimici[4]. Constructed from huge grey stone blocks and backed onto a section of the massive circular walls of the city, it is an impregnable bastion and capable of withstanding attacks from siege engines. In city proper, Fortezza has wide, often cobbled, streets and noble buildings. Houses with shutters and horses are also a common sight in the city. At the city's centre is a marble cathedral with admirable architectural qualities and twisted columns that can be seen from a number of side roads[2].

Situated in the Tuschia region, the countryside outside of Fortezza consists of many rounded hills with cypress trees and green river valleys, along with small fields of crops.

Industries and SightsEdit

Fortezzan swords

Fortezzan swords

In addition to its famous walls, the city of Fortezza is well-known for making fine weapons, particularly swords. Fortezzan blades are the favoured weapon of choice throughout most of Talia, apart from Merlino daggers in Bellezza[2]. Most of the city's weapon makers are found on the Street of Swordsmiths, whose most frequent clients are the soldiers in Fortezza's army.

Fortezza is known for having a permanent standing army, which is due to the early efforts by Carlo di Chimici to ensure the city would be well-defended against any threat it may see[4]. The city is known for being well-provisioned even at the end of the reign of Jacopo the Elder, ensuring that Fortezza can withstand a long siege should attackers attempt to starve the defenders or cut off the water sources.[2]

The city also has a university, whose chancellor is Prince Jacopo[2].

Notable PeopleEdit

Notes and ReferencesEdit

  • For more on Lucca see here
  1. 1.0 1.1 A Guide to Talia
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 City of Swords
  3. City of Secrets
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Under the Walls
  5. City of Swords, Historical Note
    "Of course I have taken liberties with the fine Tuscan city. Lucca has eleven bulwarks or baluardi, but I have given it an extra one.

Locations in Talia
Independent City-States
Bellezza · Padavia · Classe · Montemurato · Romula · Cittanuova
Di Chimici City-States
Giglia · Remora · Fortezza · Bellona · Volana · Moresco
Other Locations
Burlesca · Torrone · Merlino · Santa Fina · Belle Vigne · Saint-Mary-among-the-Vines

Di Chimici
Grand Duke Fabrizio di Chimici · Grand Duchessa Caterina di Chimici · Pope Lenient VI · Lucia di Chimici, Princess of Fortezza · Alfonso di Chimici, Duke of Volana · Duchessa Bianca di Chimici · Prince Jacopo the Younger · Princess Clarice di Chimici · Prince Ferdinando di Chimici · Princess Francesca di Chimici
Other Living di Chimici
Falco Niccolo Carlo di Chimici · Gaetano di Chimici · Francesca di Chimici · Rinaldo di Chimici · Isabella di Chimici · Filippo di Chimici · Carolina di Chimici, Dowager Princess of Fortezza · Eleanora di Chimici · Beatrice di Chimici · Ferrando di Chimici · Bianca di Chimici
Deceased di Chimici
Falco di Chimici · Niccolo di Chimici · Carlo di Chimici · Caterina di Chimici · Jacopo the Elder · Fabrizio di Chimici · Duke Fabrizio di Chimici · Benedetta di Chimici · Alfonso di Chimici
Disowned di Chimici
Beatrice Nucci
di Chimici City-States
Giglia · Remora · Bellona · Volana · Moresco · Fortezza