Monday, September 24, 2012

The Five Families of the Free Valleys

Being a brief description of the Five Families of the Free Valleys, nobles who rule fractiously over the city of Last Rest and the surrounding Free Valleys.

The Five Families
  • Locklight
    • The leading family of the Free Valleys, the Locklights are known for being canny and cautious, carefully maintaining the uneasy balance among the five families that always gives them an upper hand.
    • Notable Family Members:
      • Duke Lennart Locklight - Sixty four year old patriarch of the Locklight family, Lennart is said to still be a vigorous man who watches over his sprawling family and the many minor families indebted to him.
      • Duchess Karin Locklight - Now in her late thirties, Karin is Lennart's second wife, the first Amelia Tewkesbury died during a plague spring. Karin is a Bosworth by birth, and her marriage to the duke cemented a political alliance between the Bosworth and Locklight families, who had previously been rivals.
      • Earl Oswald Locklight - the Duke's eldest son by his first marriage, Earl Oswald is a man in his early forties who works tirelessly as the commander of the Locklight family army.  Oswald dotes on his teenage son, Osgar, and is said to be collecting relics of the Hero.
  • Fullspring
    • The Fullspring family has been the family that has most often challenged the Locklight family for prominence.   They're known for their control of vast tracks of the most fertile farmland in the Free Valleys. 
    • Notable Family Members

      • Duke Esmond Fullspring IV - Since the untimely death of his eldest son, Esmond V, a year ago and with the disappearance of his second son, Henry, ten years ago, the Duke has pinned all his hopes on an advantageous marriage of his third child, the 20 year old Countess Octavia.
      • Duchess Meredith Fullspring - Since the disappearance and passing of her two sons, the Countess has largely remained in seclusion, tended by her daughter Octavia.
      • Countess Octavia Fullspring - Long neglected by the Duke, Octavia has suddenly found herself courted by many suitors after the death of her oldest brother, Esmond V and her father's decision to pin all the hopes of his dynasty on her.
      • Sir Henry Fullspring - Sir Henry was the second son of Duke Fullspring and was spoiled by his mother.  He spent a great deal of his time at the Locklight court as a teenager and then disappeared ten years ago amidst scandalous rumors.
      • Fullspring Crest
  • de La Pole
    • The de La Pole family is best know for its ties to the Ashen Kingdom, where they spread before the end of the Liberation.  There is still of a branch of the family that remains nobles in the Ashen Kingdom city of Tribute, which causes some in the Free Valleys to call the de La Pole family traitors, but they retain enough political clout to largely fight off those accusations.
    • Notable Family Members
      • Duke Brennan de La Pole - a brilliant and outgoing man in his late twenties, duke Brennan became the leader of his family after the untimely death of his father, Bernard, in a stag hunt.  Despite his personal charm, rumors still swirl that Brennan arranged his father's death.  Brennan is the only patriarch of the Five Families who is unmarried.
      • Countess Odile de La Pole - Brennan's older sister, a woman in her mid-thirties, Odile manages much of the de La Poles trading, often journeying north to do trades with the caravans that travel the Great Waste.
  • Tewkesbury
    • The Tewkesbury family is closely tied to the Locklight family through Duke Lennart's first marriage, despite the death of his first wife.  The family controls much of the land along the border with the Ashen Kingdom.
    • Notable Family Members
      • Duke Wilfred Tewkesbury - The septuagenarian and addled patriarch of the Tewkesbury family, the Duke largely gave up control of the family after the death of his beloved Amelia, first wife of Lennart Locklight. 
      • Earl Godric Tewkesbury - The oldest surviving son of Duke Wilfred, Godric is a man in his late thirties who is very close to his cousin, Oswald Locklight.  Godric largely manages the Tewkesbury family.
      • Sir Eadgar Tewkesbury - The youngest son of Duke Wilfred, Eadgar is a man in his mid-twenties who chafes under his brother's rule.  Known as an unrepentant drunkard and philanderer. 
  • Bosworth
    • The Bosworth family has the most political power in the city of Restport, though very few Bosworths reside there and their rule is challenged by the Nevilles, a minor noble family native to the port.
    • Notable Family Members
      • Duchess Wilhemina Bosworth - The matriarch of the Bosworth clan, a woman in her mid-fifties, Wilhemina managed to maintain control of the family after the death of her late husband, a man who was twenty years her senior.  A ruthless woman, Wilhemina is grooming her grandson, Torben, to be her successor.
      • Earl Roland Bosworth - the Duchess' eldest son and her most vigorous supporter, Roland is a man in his mid-thirties who spends much of his time in Restport, dealing with the fractious political situation there.  A deeply unpopular and childless man, the Earl fully support's his mother's decision to groom his ten year old nephew, Torben, as the heir to the Bosworth family.
Other Notable Families:
  • Neville
    • The Neville family are a clan of merchant-seamen in Restport who claim to be the native nobility of Restport.  They constantly foment rebellion against the Bosworth family, though struggle because they want any rebellion to end with them in power as opposed to the common sailors or other merchant families.
  • Bladebright
    • A minor noble family that is allied with and often serves the Tewkesbury family.  Known for their spendthrift tendencies, the Bladebrights are often in debt.
  • Stangbern
    • The strongest clan of the mountain folk, one of their own, Tryggvi Stangbern, is the current Jarl of the mountain folk, nominal leader of the disparate clans.
  • Cigany
    • Not a family, but a series of families, the Cigany clans came into the Free Valleys during the time of the Empire.  With their mobile lifestyle and sometimes strange customs, most residents of the Free Valleys regard them with suspicion at best and hostility at worst.  Making their way as peddlers and tinkers, they are rumored to be nothing better than thieves and con-men.

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