Ratibor of Temeschwar.png
Ratibor by Alexander, allegeldy a portrait of the exemplar, currently hanging in the foyer of the Bloody Great Threatre in Temeschwar


Ratibor was proposed as an exemplar of Ambition by Regina Alcee Caeli Salvatici von Temeschwar in the spring of 379YE. He was then recognised as such by the Synod in the 379YE Summer Solstice Synod judgements. While he is sometimes referred to as Ratibor von Temeschwar, of Temeschwar is probably more appropriate given he lived some time before Temeschwar became part of the League.


In the years before the creation of the Empire, the city of Temeschwar was plagued by gangs of thieves and assassins who operated with open impunity despite the best efforts of the boyar, Ratibor. Thousands of inhabitants were linked with the different gangs who used tattoos to mark membership and enforce loyalty. These groups are believed to have been the vyig - either the forerunners of the modern criminal organisation or their inspirations.

In the end Ratibor hired a force of Varushkan mercenaries and brought them in secret into the city during the depths of winter. In the notorious night of a thousand torches (named for the torches the soldiers carried to light their way) every inhabitant of the city was turned out of their beds, stripped and searched for marks. Anyone with a tattoo on their body was given a few minutes to collect their belongings before being forced from the city into the frozen snows beyond the walls. A few managed to bribe their way past the search but most were given over to the winter and were never seen again. The act was one of monstrous brutality, but it established the power of Ratibor as boyar and broke the power of the criminal gangs forever.

Ratibor's reign over the city was characterised by bold decisions such as this, and many historians believe it was his example that helped set the city on the path to where it is today.

His example was cited several times during the purge that saw the resurgent vyig criminal organisation driven out of first Sarvos and then the rest of the League later that same year. During the purge of Temeschwar, a powerful aura of Vigilance was laid over the statue of Ratibor that stands near the centre of the city, for example.



Ratibor Today

Since his recognition there has been comparatively little movement on the matter of Ratibor, which rankles some of the prouder bishops of Temeschwar. This dissatisfaction has been slowly growing, exacerbated by the presence of the Tomb of Empress Giselle in the city. It does not sit right with some of them that an Empress many see as fundamentally foreign - for all that she was a citizen of the League she never made any secret of the fact that Temeschwar was a distant second to Sarvos in her heart - receives higher honour than a man now recognised as an example for the virtuous. It is not as if his resting place is unknown - as per his will his bones were interred in a stone mausoleum beneath Ratibor's Gate - the old prison that now serves as offices for the civil service in the city.

In 383YE, the attack on Sarvos, and the destruction of Holmauer Park was seen as a clear sign that the cities of the League could not afford to be complacent. There are signs that the vyig - or a similar organisation - are on the rise again. Angry citizens riled up by the Imperial Synod wrecked both Lorenzo's Great Game and the Legacy of Vigilance. The forests of Metri remain accurséd. Indeed, there are plenty of reasons to be looking to the example of Ratibor.


Not everyone accepts that Ratibor is an exemplar of Ambition. For many citizens of Temeschwar Ratibor is better known for his Vigilance than his Ambition - but having someone many Temeschwari consider the founder of the modern city recognised in this fashion is an honour nonetheless.

Ratibor in Play

The Question of Virtue

  • Historical research, or the efforts of the Heirs of Lepidus, could uncover facts that might help the League Bishops determine Ratibor's virtue.

A course of action proposed not by a Bishop but by a (relatively) humble priest from the village of Tornvale in Vargat. Yermolay Lopakin von Temeschwar is a dedicate of Wisdom who, despite his humble origins, is nonetheless respected as a theological scholar and historian. He has suggested that rather than exacerbating the debate between those who view Ratibor as Ambitious and those who see him as more Vigilant in nature, a wise person might take the opportunity to uncover out more of the facts before continuing. Ratibor after all is a pre-Imperial figure; while he is known for one or two significant acts his role as an inspirational figure can presumably only be enhanced by learning more about him.

The obvious way to secure more information about Ratibor would be to engage the Department of Historical Research. Yermolay suggests that the Minister of Historical Research, Advisor on the Vallorn, or Imperial Advisor for the Feni could arrange this on behalf of the people of Temeschwar.

There is another alternative however. The Heirs of Lepidus have already undertaken a preliminary study of Ratibor. While they had barely begun their investigation before moving on to other project, they could perhaps be encouraged to continue their work. While they are a Highborn chapter, their commitment to scholarship and the histories of the exemplars and paragons is beyond reproach. A suitably worded statement of principle in any assembly - provided it received a greater majority - would be sufficient to encourage them to complete their notes and present their findings to a suitable individual. The obvious choices to review their findings would be the Cardinal of Ambition, Vigilance, or the Way; the Minister of Historical Research; or the Senator for Temeschwar - as determined by the statement of principle.

With concrete information about the life of Ratibor, the priests of the League could then make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Inspirational Memorial

For many years Ratibor did not have a memorial. Following a suggestion by Beagan Locular di Temeschwar, the obvious candidate - Ratibor's Gate - was consecrated with True Liao after the Autumn Equinox 384YE. The place had already been converted into a place of pilgrimage that Summer. The former prison where Ratibor's bones lay was, at the time, being used as offices by the civil service. There was some disruption, and new premises needed to be found, but that was shortlived. Now the Watcher of Ratibor's Torch stands as custodian over the shrine there.

Further Reading