The Verazza family is one of the wealthiest houses in Midova, prominent in politics and big business. Paolo, however, wanted a simpler life surrounded by beautiful things. After his father cut him off for wanting to start his own shop, his sympathetic mother offered him money in secret, but he refused out of pride and took out a loan from local Burlene financier Antoni Octomont. Paolo's shop, Peerless Imports, trades in valuable merchandise from all over the Empire, including Antaran saffron, Janulan rugs, and Chailan tea.
Paolo sent the balance of his loan back to Octomont by courier shortly before William Escobar arrived in Midova and placed an order for Chailan tea. Paolo explained that Chailan tea was too expensive to keep on hand, but could be obtained within a week.
Returning a week later, the party found that Paolo's store had been raided by debt collectors who had ruined or confiscated his goods, including the shipment of tea. They realized that they had met Paolo's courier, Leon, who had been ambushed and robbed by nobles. Paolo realized the robbery could have been committed by the Contuso family as part of their feud against the Verazzas, explaining that the two families had been close, often intermarrying, until a tragedy in his great grandfather's time: a Contuso girl abandoned two Verazza infants she was babysitting to go dancing with her suitor, and the infants died in a house fire. Since then, the families have bitterly hated and undermined each other at every opportunity.
He assured William that he had friends and would be safe until the matter was dealt with.
After Paolo's debt was canceled and merchandise returned, he thanked the party effusively for their help and gave them their tea, a full refund, and 4x Talicor Dust, a "powder of reputed magical powers" given to him by a woman who said he "would know when to pass it along."
- William sympathizes with Paolo, seeing them as having common ground in controlling fathers.
- More can be learned about the Contuso-Verazza feud by bringing the Sealed Scroll from a chest near Midova to the Contuso estate in Waterfork.