The Vinci were a human civilization and country that resided on the world of Aio. They were a newer civilization that was created by a man known as the Great Inventor who made the cornerstone of their society being their steam-based technology. At some point, their empire was split into a number of separate city-states with the two dominant ones being Miana and the other being Venucci. The state of Miana was the home of Vinci technological developments with it being the heart of the Great Advance whilst Venucci was noted for its powerful military. In the past, the civilization had established the Vinci Empire that was centred at Condottieri Castle. At some point, a conflict known as the Condottieri War that devastated certain regions.
A Mianan mining operation discovered a piece of unknown technology in the state of Vernazza. This attracted the attention of the Doge of Venucci who hired the Pirata for transport services to the site that was the extent of their arrange. At the same time, the event led to the Vernazza Expediton that was headed by the Lord of Miana Petruzzo who sought to investigate the mine. He was accompanied by his brilliant younger brother Giacomo who Miana's greatest inventor and also joined by Mianan General Carlini. They headed to Vernazza with a group of soldiers in order to identify and recover the object from the site that was making the miners horribly ill. Giacomo sought to take the object back towards his laboratory in order to study it. Unknown to them, the Doge of Venucci along with his army were already at the site where they had recovered the object. It was an energy weapon that he grafted onto the arm of his steam-powered battlesuit. Upon seeing the Mianan expedition force, the Doge decided to test the weapon and fired it where it struck the rocky outcrop on the mountain causing a landslide. This struck the Mianan forces with the event killing Petruzzo along with several soldiers. In the aftermath, Giacomo swore revenge against the Doge where he commanded the remaining forces to killing the Venucci presence in the area though the Doge had departed by this point. Though gone, Carlini had noted Pirata airships at the scene and advised that they seek out the Pirata to find their role in the event along with their knowledge of the Doge's whereabouts. To do so, they needed to head west across the state of Padonia that lay on their way to the Pirata Aerodrome.
Unknown to them, the Pirata were horrified at the actions of the Doge and severed ties with him. In response, he began to lay siege to the Pirata with him constructing the Sky Crusher to blockade their Aerodrome and starve out the people. Meanwhile, it was later learnt that there were raider attacks in the adjacent city-state of Padonia. A convoy was delivering a new Walker to Miana when it was ambushed. As a result, Giacomo with a large force sought out for the region in order to recover the Walker as it was deemed a useful asset as a show of force to the Pirata if it was required. When this force set forth, they learnt of reports that the attackers were not Vinci as descriptions spoke of creatures made of glass with it believed that these were the work of the Alin. Once there, Giacomo encountered a corrupt Alin by the name of Marwan who was imprisoning the Vinci military forces including Giacomo's personal walker inside Dark Glass prisons. During this time, Giacomo also encountered a disgruntled Pirata commander by the name of Venza who revealed that her people had severed ties with the Doge who absconded with the device at the mine and was now intent on capturing Pirata. Giacomo agrees to lend support to the Pirata and managed to destroy the immense anti-aircraft fortress Sky Crusher thus freeing the people of the Aerodrome from the siege. In this time, he encountered Lenora who headed the Pirata and formed an alliance with her against the Doge with her agreeing to lend her aid. Afterwards, the Mianan forces focused their attention on two powerful puppets that were Rocco who was the Lord of the Wasteland and Sclario the Don of Feligno whose territories supported Venucci. As a result, Giacomo targeted these lands in order to deprive them of the Doge and to add them into growing Miana's forces.
At the Wasteland, he discovered that a rebellion against Lord Rocco was being waged by Distruzio who had used scavengers against the Doge's puppet. Working together, Giacomo managed to defeat Rocco where he lamented on the death of his brother after seeing his broken watch. Carlini and Lenora managed to convince Giacomo of the righteousness of the conflict to stop the tyranny of the Doge. At Tarona, Giacomo's forces sought to bring the state back as a vassal when it was revealed that its Viscount had discovered Coutl technology. He had attempted to make use of it to create a force field generator but was ultimately defeated by the Mianan forces.
However, in the way, they stop to destroy one of the Doge's military prisons, where many of the enemies he wishes to keep alive are kept. Out of these, the most important are some key political figures of Venucci who objected to the Doge's questionable ethics and tactics, and by the way learn the Doge is apparently serving a foreign force, as guards wielding unknown weapons (actually Cuotl technology and guards) are spotted in the prison's inner sanctums.
At Venucci, Giacomo confronts the Doge, and captures the city-levelling Doge Hammer from him, before turning it on Venucci itself. However, upon searching the city, it is soon discovered that the Doge has escaped, and that the Hammer at Venucci was just a decoy, with the real one already been moved eastward, towards Miana. Giacomo speeds back to the city, but finds it devastated, with no known survivors. Giacomo rallies his few remaining forces, and heads after the Doge into the Kalahese desert, towards Azar Harif.
In appearance, the Vinci were a human race that were native to the world of Aio.
As a country, they were not truly one nation but rather a loose confederation into several city-states that shared a common heritage and background. Each was ruled by various captains and nobility that existed to keep a semblance of civil order within their respective nation state that specialised in some form of economics or politics. There was a dream of uniting the various states that was held by many but none had managed to realise this goal. Vinci came to be divided into thirteen city-states, all of whom have traded and warred upon each other at various times in the past. The constant border skirmishes, wars and give-and-take form of politics that were quite common as a result. Each city was divided into a number of districts that included military, merchant, industrial, and the palace.
Locations within Vinci included:
- Miana : It was one of the most prosperous of the Vinci states.
- Venucci : The territory had been transformed by the industry that the Doge had brought into the state. At first, the people welcomed the changes brought by the industrial programs but had then become little more than slaves in the Doge's factories.
- Padonia : a vessel state of Miana who trusted their defence to the Mianan's due to a signed treaty and also paid protection money to the Pirata. As a result, the people of Padonia preferred to focus on internal affairs. Much of the Padaonian economy came from the Walker factories in the southern lowlands.
- Pirata Aerodome : an enclave of the people of the same name who commanded unique technology that allowed them to build airships and offered their services to the highest bidders.
- Vernazza : a land rich in Timonium where the Condottieri received free mining rights but whose inhabitants had grown tired of seeing their lands stripped and the profits shipped to the vaults of the Great Castle.
- Tarona : this province was an ally of Miana with the Viscount of Tarona being a loyal and trusted servant. Upon the death of Petruzzo, the Viscount suddenly withdrew Tarona from Mianan control and had refused to give his reasons.
- Condottiere : site of the former Vinci Empire that was centred at the Condottieri Castle. Its people were slow to embrace technological changes that had swept the lands. In time, they were transformed into loosely-jointed bands of Condottiere mercenaries that whilst powerful their in-fighting kept them occupied and disorganised.
- Dirsi : a site filled with forests that concealed a Condottiere fortress that was rumoured to had been turned into a prison for the enemies of the Doge of Venucci that he desired to be kept alive.
- Ranconi :
- Corbanile : a place with a rugged terrain that was settled by stern folk who took little interest in the affairs of others.
- Silea : this province attempted to remain neutral in the coming conflict set into motion by Venucci with the Doge making his displeasure known to its people.
- Monte Laguna : home to rich Timonium deposits with the province going fat on these resources. The mining operations had recently become automated through the use of imported Mianan technology that further increased profits.
- Wastelands : formerly a place of pristine lands but the military machine of Lord Rocco had turned into a desolate landscape. Despite that, it had vast Timonium reserves that were located below the surface.
- Maldini : a southern state that provided a key route to the rich state of Feligno.
- Feligno : site to an ancient city that was situated on the cliffs with this land being a clean and prosperous place. It was headed by Don Sclario who fortified it with the people willingly giving their support to him.
- Umberto Forest : a contested region situated in the southland that was still recovering from the Condottieri War. New settlements had formed here that consisted of citizens looking to escape the conflicts in the north.
With so many governments over so small an area, raising a standing army had always been a problem for the Vinci states. Many mercenary bands had been created to support the Vinci leaders with the most powerful and successful of these being the Pirata. This group of hardened professional soldiers used refined airship technology and operated as amoral mercenaries. They had set an unsurpassed standard of ruthlessness, dedication, loyalty, and skill. Another group were the Condottieri who were from the state of the same name with them being a neutral faction of Vinci mercenaries. Their people were the slowest to adapt to the ever growing technological progress of their peers and thus lacked the technology in the other states. Instead, they relied on more tactics and weapons such as their trust swords, shields, and horses. Condottieri soldiers and knights made use of melee based weapons such as swords and shields though the dragoons did use guns that made them decent raiders with anti-air capabilities.
In terms of military, the Vinci had a range of forces that included:
- Imperial Musketeers : Musketeers were the basic footsoldier of the Vinci army who were equipped with a muzzle-loading musket that allowed them to deliver devastating firepower across an entire battlefield. They were also drilled for combat strategies including closer, medium and loose formations allowing them to respond to any tactical situation. Certain Musketeers after further training could become elite Grenadiers who were famous for their ability to dig in and provide a formidable barrier of entrenched soldiers against the enemy. A sufficiently large number of Musketeers or Grenadiers can capture a city of any size quite rapidly.
- Condottieri Knights : These soldiers from the Condottieri were armoured cavalry that used swords and were effective as fast moving close quarter melee units.
- Doge Elite Guard :
Vinci combat techniques had been refined over the centuries as new innovations that was the stock of their trade were incorporated.
The Vinci were a highly technological, steampunk civilization, whose army units and buildings rely heavily on the advent of clockwork and gunpowder.
Vinci steam technology had resulted in the creation of a number of machines that included the:
- Clockwork Man : Large bipedal machines that were the beloved brainchild of Giacomo who made them as combat-ready units for the military. They possessed only a rudimentary ability to plan an attack where the used their arc-wielder, spinning drill and tough metal arms as well as legs in the battlefield where they were formidable foes. Each was mass-produced according to a specific schematic allowing them to cannibalise parts from one another while fighting which meant if a Clockwork Man fell than the others could repair their damage.
- Clockwork Miner : The brainchild of the great Vinci inventor Giacomo with these being Clockwork Men that were originally designed to mine Timonium rather than be used for war. Though small, they were tough and ale to work for longer hours as well as endure more difficult conditions than their human counterparts.
- Clockwork Spider : An outgrowth of the Clockwork Man experiment, the Clockwork Spider was faster, tougher and even more dangerous on the battlefield. They possessed greater speed and mass allowing them to sweep aside common foot soldiers and even engage in one-on-one fights with their sharp metal jaws if needed. However, their greatest value was against enemy air forces as each Spider was equipped with a small steam cannon that was mounted on their back. It allowed them to fire bundles of small metal shavings into the sky that dealt severe damage to an aircraft or even flying creature struck by them. They could also be upgraded into the Heavy Clockwork Spider that added a webcaster into their armaments that sent a heavy mesh net arcing over the target that dealt slight electrical shocks to bind their victims in place.
- Zeke : A unique experimental robot rumoured to had been created by the Great Inventor and was far more sophisticated than the Clockwork Men. After the Great Inventors death, Zeke was discovered recently in a rustled abandoned laboratory whereupon industrious researchers managed to activate with it discovered that he had a range of functions that included combat.
- Steam Cannon : Whilst erratic and somewhat fragile, these cannons were able to deliver a shell of immense size across great distances. It operated by using superheated water that created enough pressure to launch such a shell though this does have its dangers. However, no Steam Cannon had exploded in nearly a decade with the technology seemingly being perfected. A variant was the Super Steam Cannon that used additional boilers and an improved Timonium barrel to deliver an added strength to the shots.
- Juggernaut : The slow, heavy and inexorable Juggernaut moved on tracked wheels that could crush foes beneath it and fired explosive shells at its targets. It was well armored and incredibly tough with it being noted for its survivability that once made it the prince of the battlefield with it being second only to the giant Leviathan. After the development of ultralight metal, the Juggernaut's role became diminished with the advent of sky-dominating Air Destroyers.
- Land Leviathan : A gigantic six legged machine that was as big as a city that packed incredible firepower along with destructive potential among its weapons and drills. It also possessed an automated repair cycle and the sturdy construction provided it an unbelievable level of survivability on the battlefield. The first appearance of one overwhelmed its foes with visceral terror a the sight of the Land Leviathan with it considered among the most destructive man-made powers on Aio.
- Scout Flyer : An aircraft that used a unique corkscrew propeller whose design seemingly made it incapable of flight though it was able to do so quite well. They were fast and agile airships that can be used effectively as spotters for the long-range guns of the Vinci artillery. Scout Flyers could also be upgraded with Gun Drone pods that fired small parachute-delivered steam guns that peppered the battlefield with bullets that dealt a great deal of havoc and damage to the enemy.
- Pirata Flyer : The Pirate built on standard Vinci inventions and added several modifications to the basic flyer to vastly improve on their defence, speed and firepower. As a result, they became the mainstay of the aerial arm with enhanced versions capable of even more speed and attack at their command. The most elite of Pirata warriors were known to sometimes leap from their vehicles on tethered lines in order to remove key parts from their enemies machines or cargo that they carried back to their Flyer.
- Support Dirigible : This ungainly craft served as the mainstay of the Vinci fleet that epitomised function over form with its unlovely appearance. Their voluminous cargo space allowed them to carry large amount of supplies for an army on the march along with plenty of room left over to carry parts. This was especially useful over rough terrain or in crossing areas that were normally impassable obstacles. When fully armored, the 'Improved Dirigible was nearly impossible to knock out of the sky.
- Air Destroyer : The Air Destroyer was the most fearsome airborne war vehicle on Aio with this Vinci aircraft able to deliver unbelievable firepower over a small area of space in a short span of time. It used ultra-light Timonium-based metals throughout its construction that was combined with a number of rotors allowing this giant rocket-delivery system to fly. More elaborate Air Cruisers were outfitted with an additional bomb and rocket rackets allowing them to bombard areas to completely devastate large divisions of footsoldiers in order to deliver crippling damage to their enemies.
Across the Vinci states were a many studios staffed by brilliant scientists that laboured to create new and innovative designs for their peoples. These were known by the generic term of being an Inventor's Workshop that produced a range of machines. Vinci Aerodromes were high flying spires that were responsible for making the flying aircraft of their civilization. The pinnacle of standard military factories in the Vinci empire was represented by the Stream Fortress that was a military production facility. The only thing larger than them was the famous Bunker Fort though a single one of those had ever been made whereas there were at least 43 fully functional Steam Fortresses among the various Vinci city-states. Each of these fortresses was made as self-sufficient as possible and contained supplies, armaments, armor, a staff of scouts and garrison soldiers along with the mechanical parts to build machines. They were able to make any number of cannons or Juggernauts and even had enough parts and equipment for the Land Leviathans.
The Vinci national power is Industrial Devastation, which causes giant bores and drills to rise from beneath the surface of the earth, displacing anything in their way. Buildings and units caught in the powerful attack take heavy damage, and smaller units are thrown to the ground and stunned. Further research into the Mining research track increases the power and radius of the attack. Also, structures cannot be built on the affected land for some time.
A key resource used by the Vinci was a bluish mineral called Timonium that was valuable for construction efforts. As they progressed technologically, the Mianans developed the means of automating the mining profits thus increasing profits for those that made use of the process. Such technology was known to be imported to the other Vinci states.
- Great Inventor : a figure that was credited with establishing Vinci civilization through the development of their steam-based technology.
- Petruzzo Giamba : the Lord of Miana who commanded the kingdom until he was killed in the Vernazza Expedition by the Doge of Venucci.
- Giacomo Giamba : the son of a Mianan noble and younger brother to Petruzzo who had become the Lord of Miana. Giacomo had immersed himself in his studies from an early age, glad that his older brother Petruzzo had to take the reins of leadership. After Petruzzo was killed by the Doge, Giacomo was thrust into the role of Mianan lord and sought revenge against Alessadri.
- Carlini : bald headed male General of Miana who served Petruzzo and later Giacomo.
- Alessadri : a male Vinci known as the Doge of Venucci who led a strong militaristic force but was power hungry and ruthless.
- Rocco : Lord of the Wasteland and Piavasso who was a Lord whose military campaign turned the pristine lands into the Wastelands. He was a puppet of the Doge and did his bidding without question.
- Don Sclario : Don of Feligno who was a powerful male Vinci noble who had grand designs of his own. He had found an advantage in allying himself with the province of Venucci.
- Lenora : a female leader of the Pirata who was beloved by her people and feared by her enemies who was regarded as the quintessential fighting woman. She leads the Pirata, a hardy band of professional soldiers, wherever the fortunes of war may take them. Lenora's confidence, daring, and panache make her a figure of legend. This dashing figure has also been rumored to have caught Giacomo's eye in a way the young inventor had never envisioned being caught.
- Marco : Captain of Miana and Captain of the Guards.
- Marco : Merchant of Silea.
- Battaglion : The Siege General.
- Leopoldo : Prince of Pirata.
- Martini : Pirata Warlord.
- Venza : Commander and Lieutenant of Pirata who had been hired by the Doge for transport services but was horrified to learn that Alessadri had killed Petruzzo with Venza severing ties with the Venucci who then decided to lay siege to the Pirata.
- Distruzio : The Wayward Prodigy and Clockwork Captain who was accompanied by the robot Zeke. This inventor was part of the uprising against Lord Rocco in the Wasteland.
- Pulitore : The Chicken Rider and Vinci Alchemist.
- Mauricio : Prison Warden of Dirsi.
- Dante : Rogue Viscount of Tarona.
- Giancarlo : Baron of Umberto.
- Paolo : Praetor of Venucci.
- Isaia : Censor of Venucci.
- Marco : Quaestor of Venucci.
- Giovanni : Tribune of Venucci.
- Poli : Master of Munitions.
- Vinci served as one of the playable factions in Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends.
- Their name was designs were highly influenced by the 16th century Italian Renaissance inventor and artist, Leonardo Da Vinci.
- Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends: