In the first session of the new game, we decided to set the game in a magic-lite variation of my usual (non-demonic) D&D world. The players then created House Ashe, a minor noble house in the northern part of the Empire of Gallador.
Liege Lord: ???? Ashe
Realm: The Northlands
Motto: We Rise Above
Coat of Arms: Gold and Red Sun on a Black Field dotted with White Stars.
Family Fortune: +1
Defense: 34 (4) – House Ashe’s current fortification is a small castle that overlooks the small fishing and trading town that houses most of the population and is the source of their wealth.
Influence: 23 (3) – Minor House. House Ashe, while relatively old, does not command much respect among the houses of the North or in the Empire generally. Lord Ashe has designated his younger brother Azamir Ashe to be his heir. (Lord Ashe has a Maximum Status of 4, his heir has a maximum of 3.)
Lands: 45 (0) – House Ashe occupies an island in the middle of Lake Elenta. The island itself is an extinct volcano, with a ruined fortification built around the brim of the volcano that dates back to the Time of the Magi. The center of population is a small town with a good natural harbor.
Law: 12 – Pirates and bandits operate freely over much of Lake Elenta and the Rose River. Imperial Law is respected in the town, however. (-5 to House Fortune Rolls)
Population: 24 – House Ashe’s holdings have a rather typical number of people on it. Since virtually all of the population lives in the town, however, the people are living in much closer quarters than a more agricultural holding would expect, giving House Ashe’s people an urban feel, despite the town’s relatively small size. (+1 to House Fortune Rolls)
Power: 23 (1) – House Ashe has three military units. The first is a squadron of Trained Warship/Sailors. This is five warships, each with a contingent of 20 sailors trained in combat who can serve as boarding or landing parties. The second is a 100 man strong Trained Garrison, men who fight very well defending House Ashe’s holding but much less well away from it. Finally, there is a Green Support unit, a hundred retired soldiers and fresh faced youngsters in place to handle non combat duties such as digging, building, feeding, and so on.
Wealth: 10 (0) – House Ashe’s town includes a fully functional Port. At the moment the House has no ready reserve of gold beyond what the individual members of the household have on them. (The Port gives a +5 to Family Fortune Rolls.)
Time of Wolves (Poor Founding) – Founded during the Time of Wolves, House Ashe came into being when the previous lord of the isle and his family were destroyed when the volcano they had built their castle on top of erupted. At that time the old Houses who had served the Magi were being force to bend a knee to their former slaves, the were-folk, or be destroyed. House Ashe took its name from the ruin of the former lord’s House, but the lands they inherited were badly damaged by the eruption, making their early days difficult.
Time of Loss (Madness) – The breaking of magic throughout the world affected people differently. Among the Lords of Ashe, the sudden crash from a magical society to one of brute force and steel came as a rude shock, and the family’s fortunes plummeted as one lord after another descended into madness.
Time of Steel (Treachery) – Some fifty years ago, House Ashe was betrayed by its vassal, House Sidrake. The Sidrakes presented evidence that House Ashe was engaging in piracy and slavery from hidden coves throughout Lake Elenta. Whether the accusations were true or not, they were believed, and as a result House Ashe was stripped of their holdings beyond their home isle…which were given to House Sidrake, who became direct vassals of House Florent, the Protectors of the North.
Lord ? Ashe (Victor) – The lord of House Ashe is 35 years old. He is well known for his skill at Warfare, his iron Will, and his sharp and Cunning mind. Like many of his island-born subjects, however, the Lord is deficient in Animal Handling and wilderness Survival. His honest character comes through in his poor Deception, Stealth, and Thievery, and he has never learned how to handle Healing, leaving that to others.
Azamir Ashe (Morgan) – The heir to House Ashe until his elder brother takes a wife and produces a son, Azamir is three years his brother’s junior. Azamir is renowned for Knowledge, Will, and ability to bring great powers of Persuasion to bear. Like his brother, however, Azamir has little like or knowledge of Animal Handling, Survival, or Healing. He also disdains the use of his body when his mind could be of use, making him poor indeed at Athletics.
Helena (Luke) – House Champion and master duelist, Helena is deadly with a blade, making her one of the greatest purveyors of the Fighting arts in the world. This is matched by her gentle tongue well versed in Persuasion, and the Awareness and Agility that make a great water dancer. Like most in House Ashe, she leaves Healing to others, and disdains the outdoors, making her poor at Survival. Like her lord, Helena is honest to a fault, making her terrible at Deception. Her singular drive to be the best blade in the world has left her with gaps in her Knowledge, and an inability to see beyond her current opponent, rendering her useless at Warfare.
Delvan Eyerbaith (Linda) – The son and heir of House Ashe’s only remaining vassal, House Eyerbaith, Delvan has been sent to the Ashen Court by his despairing father, Sir Touric Eyerbaith, with the hopes that he will be molded into a proper lord for his house. How successful this has been is anyone’s guess, as the well-rounded Delvan is particularly good at telling people what they want to hear with his skill in Deception. Like every other member of House Ashe, Delvan has neglected the Healing arts, and is piss poor at Marksmanship besides.
? (Chris) – A stealthy/rogue type character.
Non-Player Characters of Note
Lady Vysara Sidrake (Nemesis of Lord Ashe) – The regent of House Sidrake until her son Rendall comes of age, Lady Vysara has made it a point to slander and smear House Ashe’s reputation at court. Given the way that her husband died suddenly, and the fact that people who anger the Sidrakes have been dying of sudden illnesses of late, has earned her the nickname “Lady Viper”, though never in Sidrake lands or within hearing of the lady herself. House Sidrake’s cot of arms was once a dragon silhouetted against the sun, but in the last half century has been changed to a dragon against a full moon on a night sky. Their motto also changed, from “Guardians of the Sun” to “The Sun Sets, the Moon Rises.”
Sir Touric Eyerbaith (Father of Delvan) – The last remaining vassal of House Ashe, Sir Touric maintains a small tower on a tiny islet where Lake Elenta empties into the Rose River. He is charged with guarding the entrance to the lake as well as collecting tolls and inspecting merchant boats that travel from the Lakelands to either the Citadel or Gallador down the Rose. In truth, Sir Touric has too few men to inspect more than a handful of the vessels that pass by his holding every day. What’s more, since Sir Touric’s leg injury a few years back, he’s been forced to rely on his men, not all of whom are totally trustworthy. Nevertheless, the Old Knight maintains his lonely post as best he can, and awaits the day that his son returns home to take the position from him. Their coat of arms is a tower against a rising sun, their motto “Ever Watchful.”
Duke Gendor Florent, Protector of the North (Liege of House Ashe) – One of the great lords of the Empire, Duke Florent is a military man like his father before him. Under House Florent’s leadership the northern armies have grown stronger, including reclaiming abandoned fortifications in the northern passes, increasing standing army of the north, and even engaging in full scale (and thus very expensive) war games between his own troops and those of his vassal lords. With little interest in court politics, he leaves the day to day management of his House to his son and heir, Tavis, and the political intrigues and manipulations to his eldest daughter, Rene. Coat of Arms: A Pink Rose, a Red Rose, and a White Rose with stems entwined over a Golden background. Motto: “Beauty, Valor, Honor”