Abridged History of the 10th Age
Great Imperial Families
|The Family of Alere||Socio Robart “the Sword”||Major Heraldry: County of Dirkshire, crossed swords on a black field with a bordure or|
The Sociare of Bataille, the Alere have ruled over Dirkshire since the New Avarine capitol moved from Bataille to Lanard’s Watch. The Alere also have the governance of all of Dirkshire under their command.
The Alere family has several branches, but the most powerful one is that of the Socio Robart Alere. Socio Robart lives in and governs the shire from the city of Bataille. While there are a number of other Alere scions, Robart himself has but one young son and is married to one of the daughters of his fidele, Enilia Hamles.
The Alere stand as an important bulwark between the various factions of the empire. They have steadfastly refused to be drawn into royal or imperial politics beyond safeguarding their own independence and the independence of Bataille from central governance at Miles. Alere men and women can be found in many lesser households in Dirkshire as medici, clerks, and other positions, while their numbers are relatively light amongst the fighting-men of the Sociaren.
That being said, the people of Dirkshire are fiercely loyal to their count, and he can summon up a huge number of banners if he calls the comital bann. Additionally, a great number of household troops are maintained by Robart Alere in order to staff the watch stations of Bataille, and it is said that the powerful elf-mage Telendril the Illuminated has a particular fondness for the Alere family; thus, crossing the Count is synonymous with crossing the long-lived wizard.
|The Family of Amarell||Socia Lea Amarell||Major Heraldry: A four-petaled rose on a field verde|
Lea Amarell and her predecessors have been the rulers of the county of Montrose since time immemorial. Their fortress at Amarn is a massive and ancient thing, a veritably unbreachable stronghold that once stood between the ravaging forces of the goblins and the south during the time when the Free Baronies were overrun. Montrose is now most famous for its large Rayan cult, particularly at Amarn where they have been welcomed by the Amarells into the fortress to establish their own temple there.
Lea is a member of the faction composed of the Savonts and Morells, who rule the three counties in the east of the kingdom. She is a strong supporter of the Curia Vigilis and has been known to send knights, supplies, and gold to the Captain of the Lonely Watch, Sieur Amory Lunly. She said to know sorcery and to meet frequently with all manner of strange travelers and adventurers at the fortress of Amarn.
This reputation has earned her the love of her people, but the disdain of the more stead houses of the empire who find adventurers distasteful and magic too cunning and sneaky.
|The Family of Amvor||Dynas Theolus Amvor||Major Heraldry: Duchy of Maretract, a galley on a field azure|
The Dynas of Maretract is one of the most powerful men in the empire. With a private fleet, the authority to private mints, and the largest trade income outside of Noranor, the Amvors have long been opponents of royal and imperial centralization. The Amvors are a large family with hundreds of members, many of them actively involved in the court life of Miles to the extent that they have often been accused of attempting to undermine the emperor.
Theolus himself has been absent from court since the War of the Shield, and there is rumor that this charismatic and strong-willed man may be fomenting rebellion beyond the mountains of Seareach where the imperial bann would never be able to reach him.
The people of Maretract love the Amvors, as do many common folk. Theolus and his father were never stingy in their graces, and many of the great sea-captains of the Marian Fleet were simple men who proved their worth to the ancient family. It is said that the Amvors were once kings in Seareach, before the binding of Thyrnesse, and they certainly rule there as though they were.
Yet, it is also strongly believed in imperial circles that any man bearing the Amvor name is allied with the Duke, and thus imperial loyalists are hesitant to let Amvors into their midst, regardless of their position or laurels.
|The Family of Anarjent||Dynas Darius Anarjent||Major Heraldry: Duchy of Auruxol, three coins or on a field sable|
The Anarjents were once minor magnassir who were raised from their familial territory of Anarjenor to become the Dukes of Goldhook during the regnasy of Tamerin III Galoen before he proclaimed himself emperor. The old line of Auruxol had once been claimants to the throne of Miles, but when the Galoens took the throne a brief and bloody war was executed under King Aras to bring them to heel. During the rules of Aras, Tamerin I, and Velas Galoen the Dynasren of Auruxol was without a Dynas. Early in his rule, in the year X.480, Tamerin created the minting-baron Darius Anarjent the Duke of Auruxol. As such, the members of his family are staunch supporters of the emperor, and many serve in the imperial administration.
Most of the older families of the empire see a great distaste in the rise of the Anarjent, partially because they displaced the ancient and esteemed house of Auruxol and partially because they are so servile to the emperor and are often seen as his cronies.
The Anarjents are granted the sole right of minting coinage within the empire outside of Maretract; the huge gold reservoirs of the Auruxol Range are theirs to exploit, and a large number of iron dwarves dwell within their borders. They have gone, in the span of thirty short years, from relatively unknown clerks in Anarjenor to one of the premier houses of the empire.
|The Family of Coer||Socio Regald Coer||Major Heraldry: County of Coer, a lion rampant gules on a field d’or|
The family of Coer has been overshadowed by the drama played out amongst its leading members Regald, his brother Vulminus, and their half-brother Felix. While Regald and Felix were born in the same year (X.476) they were of two different mothers. Orvus Coer had many illicit affairs with his people, and one of them was a scullery made at the familial manor of Llyrsaxa. The count of Coer made it apparent that he was going to bequeath his lands and titles onto the bastard son of his line, which drove both his legitimate children, Regald and Vulminus, and his wife, Lydella (née Amvor), mad with anger.
It is said that in X.496 Regald and Vulminus attempted a coup that would destroy their father and half-brother. While Orvus was slain in the burning of the hall at Llyrsaxa, Felix escaped into the countryside where he was sheltered by his mother’s family before vanishing altogether. Socio Regald, the current Count of Coer, is a loyal servant of the emperor, but it is said that the emperor finds his past distasteful.
The Coer family stands as one of the important bulwarks of the hearthland, granting support and power to the throne as well as providing a place where many of the emperor’s Knights of Miles may reside (within their Sociaren).
|The Family of Crestly||Socio Loren Crestly||Major Heraldry: County of Crestly, A milean cross d’or on a field azure|
One of the least influential of all the comital families, Crestly County is a small region along the southern shore of Paix that and the large Isle of Mor that lies off that shoreline. Upon Mor lies the seat of Crestly, the great fortress of Malgrémar which stares into the teeth of the sea.
Crestly has always been ravaged by the sea-pirates and the elf reavers of the Trade Sea and the Reaving Isles. It’s people are used to danger, and the Counts of Crestly have likewise been hardy, jaded, seaworthy men. Many Crestlies serve in the imperial galleys at Noranos, and Sieur Ector Crestly is the Riverwarden of Miles.
The current count is Loren Crestly, an old haggard man with a beard that reaches his knees. He has waded in the blood of reavers and pirates both, seen two daughters die of illness, a son taken by the sea, and his wife spitted by insane elves. He is a hard man, with no love of the ocean; he spits into the wind and faces whatever hardships come to Crestly with his axe. He couldn’t care less who sits the great ruby throne of Miles, so long as Crestly is safe.
|The Family of Galoen||Prens Balduen Galoen||Major Heraldry: Principality of Westreth, A tower sable on a field d’or overtopped with a book chief; Principality of Lomere, a field divided per saltire azure and verde; Watchmastery of Galoen (preferred arms), three turreted keep argent on a field azure|
The House of Galoen is one of the most powerful houses in the empire. The so-called House of Elsoín is a major branch of the Galoen house (though they cannot inter-inherit) and was sheared off of the main branch by the Conclave and elevated to overlordship of the realm.
The Galoens were once servants to the King of Westreth (when Westreth was its own kingdom) and have ever been the Watchmasters of the great fortress that bears their name in the city of Tourons. However, after the consolidation of Thyrnesse, the Galoens were elevated to the status of Princeship, overseeing the entirety of the former Westrethen Kingdom, namely the provinces of Westreth and Lomere. They have a huge leeway in administering their estates though they are also under fairly direct scrutiny by a number of imperial servants dispatched by the emperor to ensure the full tax and tariff duties are delivered to Miles.
Prince Balduen Galoen is the current heir to the great Galoen fiefdom; it is said that he loves his great-uncle Tamerin very much, but he is also often in the company of Theolus Amvor. He has been called “the fair”, as unlike the patrimony of his fathers (and the other line of his house now ruling in Miles) his hair is the color of flax and his eyes pale blue, favoring his mother’s side (Elegea the Meirene).
The Princedom is the most complex of the subfiefs of Miles other than the current Archduchy of Byrne with which it shares a long history as an independent kingdom.
|The Family of Morell||Socio Tulius Morell||Major Heraldry: County of Moirons, a field ermines|
The Counts of Moirons were, like the Counts of Serpentin, once the chief military marches of the east, funneling troops and money into the Free Baronies. Of those families, only the Morell still maintain close links of kinship with Seagard and Frelonde. Indeed, Morellian ambition seems to be focused less within the empire and more in the city of Seagard, where several Morells sit upon the House of Trade.
The Morells are nominally a member of the power-group comprised of Amarells and Savonts; however, no Morellian knights have bolstered the Curia Vigilis in decades. Tulius Morell, Count of Moirons, is a wiry older man with a fast wit and a keen mind, but he prefers to stay out of the eyes of the emperor and other powerful figures within the empire. He and the Countess of Montrose have something of a rivalry, as she once refused his grandson, Laecus Morell, in marriage.
It is said that the Count of Moirons is a mercenary man, and indeed he has never been one to turn down an offer that might enrich his family. It is even whispered that Regald Coer purchased the mercenaries he used to torch his father Orvus and half-brother Felix with the assistance of Morellian agents.
|The Family of Paix||Dynaste Elena Paix||Major Heraldry: Duchy of Paix, three rings d’or with stones gules on a field azure, gules, and purpure tierced in pale|
The Paix are one of the oldest ruling families in the empire. Like the Amvors, they trace their descent from a semi-independent kingdom called, fittingly, Paix. However, it is strongly doubted by scholars that the current Paix family is actually descended from those kings; rather, the family inherited the power of that ancient title. The Dynasir of Paix have long been reclusive and shied away from the royal courts, even when it was a sworn fief of New Avaria.
Elena of Paix, the Dynaste, is a well-educated duchess who nonetheless rides with her warriors. She is said to be more man than woman, sleeping in the hall with her knights, going hunting, riding normal-saddle, and fighting against the bandits of the mountains and the reavers of the sea. A great outrage went up in the royal court of Tamerin III when, in X.497, Elena succeeded her father the venerable Erelle of Paix and had his armor refitted for her form.
The Duchess is a sleeping lion in the empire; her powers are formidable and her knights extremely deadly, but she has little ambition outside of the borders of Paix. Her one weakness is that her people think her too mannish, and many bridle under her rule.
|The Family of Savont||Socio Leonus Savont||Major Heraldry: County of Serpentin, a serpent couchant chief field or per fess sable nowy and a gauntlet fess point|
The Savonts have ruled the county of Serpentin for several generations, having been installed as temporary march-lords when the Free Baronies split from Thyrnesse. They were granted wide powers to levy road-tolls and call up the troops of other nearby counties; these powers have been reduced since the stabilization of the northern border. The Savonts, once marcher-counts, have encastellated Serpentin with strong fortresses to hold the eastern approaches to the hearthland.
They currently throw their lot in with the other counties of the east, which form a considerable power block in the imperial court. Along with Moirons and Montrose, the County Serpentin assists in supplying forces to the Curia Vigilis of the Lonely March, which has become the true frontierland. The March was ceded by the Marcher Counties under Tamerin’s father Velas, who extended the Curia’s oversight into the eastern portion of the kingdom.
Leonus Savont, the Socio Serpentin, is a man of traditional military upbringing and, like many of the fighting-nobles of the empire, participates in melees and jousts. In fact, the brown haired and green eyed Savont has been the Royal Champion of the tournies held at Miles since he was but seventeen summers. Now, at the age of thirty nine he continues to present a formidable presence both in court and on the field.
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