Reign: 23YE to 34YE
Called: the Peacemaker
Early life and Election
There is not a lot of verifiable detail about the early life of Giovanni of Tassato; like many of the Emperors and Empresses who precede Emperor Nicovar it is hard to find reliable first-hand accounts or biographies. He was born in Tassato, probably Tassato Mestra (although historians disagree), and trained as a jeweller. His mother was a fierce rival of Aldones di Sarvos, and yet Giovanni himself spoke often of being inspired to make the ambitious changes he made to the Empire by the example of Aldones. Indeed, Giovanni almost certainly attended the meeting that resulted in the foundation of the League in the company of his mother who was a supporter of Barell, Merchant-Prince of Tassato.
After the death of the First Empress, Emperor Giovanni of Tassato was chosen by the Imperial Senate to replace her.
He set about ensuring the Empire had the infrastructure required to help it prosper. His first act was to initiate a tradition of meeting once every three months at the site of the first meeting where the Empire was formed. A Senate building was built on the site, and it was declared Imperial Territory - not technically part of Casinea.
Giovanni approached the people of Urizen with an invitation to join the Empire, and this time they accepted. In return they offered their expertise as scholars and mages. Urizen scholarship slowly helped to raise levels of education and literacy across the Empire. Harnessing the power of Urizen divination with the expertise of the civil service helped Giovanni to transform the Imperial Civil Service into its current form.
The Urizen worked with the Empire to create the Imperial Conclave, inspired by experiences during the war with Alderei the Fair in Varushka. The divided magicians of the Empire, each jealously guarding their own secrets, were barely able to neutralise the much smaller force of the Volodny, and the Senate was keen to ensure that this does not happen again.
During his reign he established a single currency based on steel coins issued by the Imperial Mint, based in Tassato under the ultimate control of the Civil Service. Giovanni also laid the foundations of the Imperial Bourse, and worked with the Senate and Synod to codify the body of Imperial Law.
Giovanni died in 34YE but his legacy was at least as durable as that of his predecessor. His relentless commitment to civilisation earned Giovanni the epithet "Peacemaker". Historians largely agree that while the First Empress created the Empire in blood and steel, Giovanni laid the foundations for its future.
He is interred in the Necropolis in a subterranean vault near the resting place of the First Empress. His tomb lies beneath a somewhat overblown statue of the man himself (arms folded and stern-faced), at one end of a modest plaza paved with white granite that has become a regular place for itinerant merchants, thespians, and orators to ply their trades despite some disapproval from the Stewards of the dead.
Giovanni was relentlessly proud, ambitious, and prosperous; he is regularly called wise, and was known for his fierce loyalty to his friends and allies. In some quarters he is held up as an exemplar of each of these virtues.
The man himself, however, made his opinions on the matter very clear. "If you love me," he is said to have said, "do not talk to me of exemplars and paragons. I am neither, I assure you. I am just a man. Like anyone else, like you, like them. Just a human. If you must, then remind my fellow humans that I was not exceptional, not chosen, and not marked. and please do not insult me, once I am dead, by trying to claim there was anything special about me."