In the world of Saturnalia, nothing is as it seems. The Italian village of Gravoi may appear quaint and unassuming at first glance, but it holds many secrets. Similarly, there’s more to the four co-protagonists of Saturnalia than meets the eye. Although each of them are outsiders for different reasons, they all share a common cause: rooting out the darkness that haunts Gravoi, even if it means bringing their own demons into the light.
The first of these is Anita Giannini, geologist extraordinaire and the very picture of the late 80’s businesswoman. Unlike her fellow protagonists, she had no attachment to Gravoi prior to her arrival a year before the game’s events. In fact, her initial purpose in the village was to conduct reconnaissance in the area on behalf of corporate mining interests eager to exploit the surrounding natural resources. A woman of her assurance and confidence isn’t easily deterred, in matters both professional and personal—so perhaps it was inevitable that she’d find herself involved in an illicit affair with none other than Damiano, the married town sacristan. At the outset of Saturnalia, she’s discovered that she’s with child, and despite the controversy sure to arise if her affair was made public, she’s determined to keep the baby.
The conservative values of Gravoi are at odds with Anita’s unflappable character, but there are other, darker forces at work that even she can’t dismiss.
In contrast, Paul Izem is a child of Gravoi, even if he didn’t know it for most of his life. After his birth parents died under mysterious circumstances while he was still an infant, Paul was soon adopted by a family in Iglesias, a city in southern Sardinia. Only after discovering a letter urging his adoptive parents to never let him return to Gravoi does he defy that very request and embark on a personal mission to find out the truth about what happened to his mother and father. To avoid raising the suspicions of a town already distrustful of outsiders, Paul uses his profession as a photojournalist to shield his true motive, claiming he’s working on a feature for a tourist magazine even as he quietly seeks out clues about his past. Little does he know that his camera will be of critical importance in documenting the horror lurking in Gravoi…
Quick to put on a brave face, Paul hides his insecurity just as he hides his real motivation in coming to the village. But the other protagonists of Saturnalia don’t exactly share his self-consciousness.
Sergio Aulas was born and raised in Gravoi, but left for Manchester when he was only sixteen. At the time, his departure seemed like something to be celebrated: a chance to study abroad paid for by the generosity of Bruno Bissani, the lord and owner of the castle in Gravoi. But in truth, this wasn’t an opportunity, but an exile: discovered in bed with Bisssani by the lord’s own wife, Sergio was sent to England as a means of covering up the…