This is a short bonus episode, to wish you a happy April Fool’s Day. There’s a brief part of Edgcumb Staley’s work, which I’m using as the current main text for the Venetian material, which suits our purposes on this day. Here’s the quote:
“It was in the days of Doge Vitale Michielo II. that three brothers came to Venice from Morea,
and settled themselves and their goods in a small casa on the Fondaco de’ Mastelli. Rioba, Sando, and Africo were their names, but because of their origin they were popularly called Mori…They soon acquired wealth and set about rebuilding their humble residence. At the corner of the new palace, on the Campo de’Mori, they stuck up three sculptured figures of themselves under the guise of Saints Mark, Theodore, and John Baptist. They were very highly coloured and soon became laughing-stocks to passers-by. Two of the figures disappeared mysteriously, and the Baptist alone remained, but his name was changed to ”Sior Antonio Rioba Pantaleone.”
It became a custom for jocular Venetians to send unsophisticated youths and over-trustful strangers with messages to the “Sior,” much as we were wont to treat our friends on ”April- Fool Day !” At a later date Sior Rioba’s mouth became the receptacle for denunciations of enemies—so fitful are the customs of people.”
Stories which are believed feed faeries, so this Sior Pantalone will eventually generate a faerie. Presumably this one is different from the Commedia del Arte figure of Panatlone, which I’ll cover in more depth in an episode of its own. He’s also a separate character from St Pantaleon, the patron of physicians, apothecaries, midwives, and lottery winners, although he’s also of use to us in this land with a cult of female alchemists.