- "The condottiero Rocco Tiepolo collects warriors. Prides himself on acquiring exotic mercenaries and tactics."
- ―Fiora Cavazza.[src]
Serving the Borgia
- "I ask if he is for sale. He tells me Cesare will have to send more coin for that."
- ―Fiora speaking with Rocco about employment.[src]
Around 1497, Fiora Cavazza was sent to meet with Rocco, so as to procure mercenaries for Cesare's use. Once she had arrived, Rocco greeted her generously, and provided her with wine and food. He also ordered two of his men to fight for their entertainment, where much blood was spilled, though both were notably skilled.
The two continued to converse, with Rocco showing her paintings of his past exploits, and saying that he had only lost two battles in his decades of combat, neither of which he had commanded himself.
Later, as Fiora inspected Rocco's men for potential recruits, the mercenary leader proudly assured her that they had all "slain countless rivals," and finally gave her the written contracts of the men once she had paid for her selection. Though Fiora attempted to buy Rocco's service as well, he declined, saying that Cesare would need to offer a higher price for him.
- "Rocco waves a single short sword, challenging a dozen Assassins. He knows he has lost, yet he wears a broad smile. This is the end he has fantasized!"
- ―Fiora observing Rocco's final moments.[src]
In 1503, after Fiora was betrayed by Cesare, and subsequently defected to the Assassins, Rocco was the first of her previous allies that she pursued. Though she did not truly wish for his death, a large number of his mercenaries were loyal to Cesare, and the Assassins could not hope to match his price, therefore she concluded that his death was the only option.
And so, she and a small army of Assassins stormed the stronghold and training grounds where Rocco's men were stationed, killing those outside with both arrows and close combat. After Fiora pointed out the defenses of the building itself, the Assassins went on to face Rocco and his veteran mercenaries.
The battle was close, with both sides losing men in the clash. Rocco soon found himself standing alone and greatly outnumbered, however, he nevertheless charged into battle, and met the honorable death he had fantasized.
- Rocco wore a cape with the coat of arms of the Sforza family, indicating that he was either related to them, or once worked for them.
- Rocco also shared the surname of two Doges of Venice: Jacopo Tiepolo (died 1249) and his son Lorenzo Tiepolo (died 1275). There were also a few 16th century Venetian artists who shared Rocco's surname.