NOBLE FAMILIES OF PELTARCH
The Ashald Family
What is the history of House Ashald? One might as well read a history of Peltarch itself, some would say. The Ashald family claims they were the founders of Peltarch, as a trading outpost of the Damaran city of Hoarsgate. When the Fisher King Tidus legendarily defeated the Giants of Ignismons and then the soldiers of Hoarsgate to win Peltarch her independence, the Family claims none of these feats could possibly have been accomplished without their support.
Whether this version is the truth is a matter of debate, but their interest and acumen for trade has certainly been a matter of record throughout Peltarch's history, ever since their founding of the Seafarers Guild on the day the Fisher King died (or so their detractors bitterly attest). This keen trader instinct has ensured the Family's rise to prominence since time immemorial. There is no citizen of Peltarch who can remember a time when there was not at least one member of the Ashald family serving on the Senate.
For decades upon decades their monopoly on trade in Peltarch through the Seafarers Guild constantly piled riches into their coffers, the Seafarers Vault is said to be a treasure trove worthy of a dragon.
Crest: Three stacks of gold coins of varying sizes on a black field.
Head: Elder Senator Rath Ashald (in Peltarch), Vaster Ashald (Damara and other holdings).
Love them or hate them, everyone knows the Ashalds. Vaster Ashald was the richest and arguably the most powerful man in Peltarch for nigh on a century – rumours abound as to the reasons for his longevity, with many suggesting magical influence – but the N’Jast War took its toll on the old man. The loss of two friendly Senators with his nephew Aarron’s retirement and business partner Torin Bravickus’s death left Vaster and the Seafarers exposed to reprisals both from rival factions and erstwhile allies alike.
Chadwick Whyte’s failed election bid was the nail in the coffin for the Seafarer monopoly on Senate seats. With murder and conspiracy convictions hanging over him, Vaster accepted banishment from Peltarch as punishment for his crimes. He is rumoured to be in Hoarsgate now.
His son, Senator Rath Ashald, has publicly taken on the mantle of head of the family in Peltarch, while Chadwick Whyte now heads the Seafarers, though few doubt it is still largely Vaster’s gold that supports both men. Despite their recent setbacks and the decline in their age old monopoly in Peltarch commerce, the Ashalds are still the wealthiest family in Peltarch.
Notable members: Vaster Ashald (banished), Elder Senator Rath Ashald, Lady Ciara Ashald
The Snydders Family
Crest: A grey tower on a crimson field.
Assets: Own a 14% interest in the Seafarers’ Guild.
Head: Enenan Snydders.
Background: Rich, arrogant, aloof, ill-tempered. They may not be well-liked, but the Snydders are still one of the oldest and richest families in Peltarch. Their estate – a small castle, really – towers over most of the other buildings in the city’s Residential District. The home was built by Ruith 'Red Blood' Snydders, the first Guildmaster of the Seafarers, and is represented on the Snydders family crest as a grey tower on a red field.
One of the original founders of the Seafarers’ Guild, the Snydders have been involved with the guild and its other leading families for many years. The current head of the family, Enenan Snydders, is rumoured to be a wizard of immense power, but he largely keeps to himself and shows little interest in the daily life of the city or its politics. His father Senator Tarrich Snydders was executed by Peltarch for slave trading many years ago. His grand-niece, Nanette Snydders, is now a Lieutenant in the Peltarch Defenders, one of the officers commanding the elite Ignismon's Veteran division. She is the only Snydders to have chosen to pursue a career in the Peltarch Defenders in well over a hundred years, and is thought a little deranged by her conservative relatives for her decision.
Notable members: Enenan Snydders and his oafish, short-tempered nephew, Beldor, his 'radical' grand-niece Nanette.
The Daedelus Family of Peltarch
The Daedelus family history grows in conjunction with and inseperable from the very growth of the city of Peltarch. In the early years of the city, somewhere near 840 DR, a humble stonemason arrived with his entire family to build the very first walls of the city. Many of which can still be seen crumbling in the nars or in the foothills of the Giantspire mountains.The humble stonemason, Mariado Daedelus, became famous for the strength, durability, and beautiful simplicity of his designs and work.
As the city grew, the jobs and coin provided to Mariado did as well. His family grew as did his prominence within the city, and soon, he was not only a master stonemason, but also a property developer and construction magnate. His influence grew as he was responsible for the construction of the City Hall and the terraced gardens associated with it. After a brief stint on the senate, Mariado retired to his home viewed as a fair but stern and fiscally conservative supporter of the city and trade.
The Daedelus family crest is a hammer and chisle crossed representing the profession of the stonemason on a shield of vert representing peace and loyalty per sinister with argent representing sincerity, the vert field contains the martlet noting Mariado Daedelus as the fourth son of the Daedelus family and the argent field contains the bee denoting efficient industry. The continental shield upon which the crest rests is crowned with a simple circlet denoting attained nobility with wealth.
The family motto lies beneath the seal and reads:
Astra inclinant, non necessitant - The stars incline; they do not determine
The present Daedelus family is a quiet noble family. They employ the majority of the stonemasons that work on civic projects. Many of the city buildings bear the crest of the Daedelus family upon their cornerstone.
No less than a hundred persons within the city can demonstrate direct ties by blood to the Daedelus family though the most notable of the family are described below:
Jesomar, the current patriarch of the family, is a robust man standing nearly as tall as any door frame. His large arms and broad chest are a testament to his commitment to the trade of the Daedelus family. He is still seen helping his men and directing projects from the site and not from the offices upon the Daedelus estate. He has slowed somewhat and his blonde hair is now streaked with the lightest shade of silver. He is known for a hearty laugh and for a generous spirit. Rumor holds that he was an adventurer of sorts in his younger days though he refuses to talk about it when pressed. His daughter Wyeomar, with her father's blessing, has pursued a career in the Peltarch Defenders, pledging on her honour to defend the walls and city her family has worked long and hard to maintain and improve over their long history. She was recently promoted to Field Commander, and is now responsible for manning Peltarch's seige weaponry, placing her directly in the midst of the city's walls and defenses, a position she has long sought for herself.
Family Crest: An open hand with a golden key in its palm, in a field of red.
“Mind-benders”. “Vipers”. “Thayvian scum”. The Common folk know House Borodin under many names, reflecting the silent distrust many of the citizens of Peltarch hold towards the unassuming, quiet members of this small noble line. House Borodin is often confused for a merchant family or a coven of magic-users due to its small size and structure; however, these rich gem merchants of Damaran origin are of ancient noble blood.
The family has earned a reputation for ruthless pragmatism and cut-throat inner struggles for power due to a number of rumours and speculations that have arisen about them. The fact that many of them shave their heads and dress in red robes have made many commoners whisper that they have ties to the Thayvians. Others rumour that the Borodin family is a coven of necromancers, serving an undead master and the dreaded Velsharoon. The fact that they are open about their manipulative nature, especially due to the magical training they concentrate in, has also led many to believe that a Borodin is an untrustworthy liar. A few of their number have died in strange circumstances, further fuelling dark rumours and superstitious talk about them.
Despite all this, the merchant-sorcerers of House Borodin have prospered throughout the years maintaining an image of solicitous service to the powers that be. Occasionally, the long-lived Igor Borodin organises a ball or some other event to raise more funding for the expeditions he finances to Damara, and House Borodin becomes the centre of attention again for a month or two. In the meantime, the Borodin family runs their merchant coster with great care and discretion.
Today the quiet folk of House Borodin can be found either at the head of trading ventures or participating actively in the Senate as advisors. Some of the most traditional of them shave their heads and don the solemn red robes of the family as many have done before them, but as the younger generations succeed each other the tradition is slowly being lost. After all, the younger merchants of the House are primordially interested in making coin, not keeping traditions. Recently the family scored a victory in increasing their influence, their daughter and sister Vlana ascending to the Magistracy was a moment of triumph and pride for many Borodins.
As to notable members of the family, perhaps the following have been the most noteworthy:
Igor Borodin, The gaunt, aging Patriarch of the family. Grigor Borodin, eldest and only surviving son of Igor, Grigor runs the Borodin merchant relations and their businesses. Grigor is married to Anya Borodin with son Vladimir. The family retains counsel and investigator Aiden DeGrave on their payroll.
Vlana Borodin, The newest Magistrate of Peltarch is Grigor’s younger sister, a beautiful woman in her late twenties. Her cold demeanor and cruel beauty has made her a very visible member of the noble house, known to most as a reputed manipulator and skilled sorceress. . Amongst Peltarch criminals, she is often the Magistrate dreaded the most, as unlike her fellows, her punishments are oft as creative as they are severe.
Crest: A silver hawk in flight on a dark golden backdrop.
Head: Analisea Bravickus
Once one of the Major families of Peltarch, both rivals and allies of the Ashalds, the alleged actions of their last patriarch has tarnished the Bravickus family, perhaps beyond redemption. Word of Senator Torin Bravickus' association with the Cult of Cyric that murdered popular Elder Senator Delvin Gelon, as well as Guard General Vick Dunderstone, has forced this family into seclusion. The fact that the Senator died in custody did little to aid the family's fortunes, indeed a trial finding him guilty may have been beneficial as the rest of the family could have publically distanced themselves from him, but no such luck for the remaining Bravickus.
Most of them rarely leave their homes. Those who do are often met with open contempt by noble and commoner alike. Probably the only things keeping mobs of angry citizens from razing the Bravickus home to the ground are its large number of private guards and whispered rumours that the family still maintains some old ‘connections’ in the city.
Notable members: Analisea Bravickus, Torin Bravickus (former Senator, deceased).
Crest: Three horizontal red bars on a gold field.
Head: Michael Brynmor.
One of the original founders of the Wavebreakers, the Brynmor family was in deep decline for many years. But patriarch Michael Brynmor managed to keep the family alive through the worst of it – having his Paladin brother Roland on the Senate for close to 50 years probably helped, despite their often rocky relationship and diverging philosophies on business, life, and politics. Now the Brynmors are reaping the rewards of the Wavebreakers’ rising fortunes and growing popularity. What they plan to do with their increased stature in the city is unclear, but they have been known to meddle in city politics more than a little in the past.
Notable members: Michael Brynmor, Jason Brynmor (son of Michael), and Sir Roland Brynmor (retired Senator and holy knight, traveling the realms.).
Crest: An ivory coloured quill on a purple field.
Head: Senator Ryan Fisher
Background: A family of career politicians and civil servants, there is usually more than one Fisher working in nearly every branch of Peltarch’s civil government. The Fishers may not be especially wealthy, but most people wishing to live and conduct business legally in Peltarch know of a Fisher who approves their trading permits or collects their taxes. The ever present motto of the Family is "Results, Results, Results", something keenly appreciated by many of the people who deal with them, and an adage in the Family's recent and successful election campaign.
Patriarch Ryan Fisher, a genial elderly gentleman, was recently elected to the Senate. He is generally regarded as having the city’s best interests at heart, but is easily swayed by public opinion. His nephew, the ambitious Damian Fisher, became the city’s Herald following the destruction of the City Hall during the N’Jast War. Some joke when he is out of earshot that he only became Herald because he happened to be one of the few civil servants who was not actually inside the old City Hall when it was destroyed, though despite these jests Damian is generally regarded with a great deal more affection than his predecessor, the often snide and self-important Herald Thril.
Notable members: Senator Ryan Fisher, Peltarch Herald Damian Fisher.
Crest: The bow of a violin crossed with a sword in gold, on a green backdrop.
Head: Merric Makere
Background: A small and less influential family, their allegiance to the Wavebreakers in the past led to a decline in their wealth and power – until recently. Still, despite their recent financial successes, they remain aloof of guild and city politics, preferring to focus on their own business endeavours and building up their coffers.
Senator Myrie Makere, assassinated many years ago by devil-worshiping agents, was noted for her patronage of the arts, and members of her family continue the tradition of supporting local artists in order to keep her memory alive and to further their business interests.
Notable members: Merric Makere, who has not been a prominent figure in noble circles, preferring to spend most of his time ensuring his Family's financial decline is securely turned by the recent good fortunes of the Wavebreakers Guild.
Crest: A silhouetted elven figure, with grey buildings rising on either side.
Head: Tessa Je’laan.
Background: The most prominent elven family in the city, and the first family in Peltarch’s history to see a Senator with elven blood elected, they are for the most part members or sympathizers of the Wavebreakers’ Guild.
Since the murder of Senator Shana Je’laan many years ago by devil-worshiping agents, the older members of the family have mostly kept to themselves, some having left Peltarch altogether in recent years. The most visible member of the family at present is Lady Tessa Je’laan, Shana’s younger sister.
Notable members: Lady Tessa Je’laan.
Crest: A rather plain knight – wearing helm and plume – with crossed arms holding an upright sword in each hand. One sword is silver, the other gold.
Head: Armand D’Arneau
Background: A quiet family made up largely of devout followers of Torm. A combination of strong business acumen and dutiful management have made D’Arneau one of the wealthier families in Peltarch, but the choice to stay out of the political forefront keeps it detached from the other families. Still, D’Arneau is a quiet force for justice in the city, with no fewer than five of its members having served as judges in Peltarch’s legal system since its inception. Magistrate Shannon D’Arneau, noted priest of Torm and member of the Divine Shield, is probably the most well-known member of this family due to his knightly exploits and many years in the city’s service.
Notable members: Armand D’Arneau, brother Adrian, sister Annabelle, wife Celeste, sons Vincent and Shannon, daughter Andrea.
Crest: A kite shield crossed with two short swords, the shield bearing the Seafarer's Red Anchor emblem.
Head: Harry Filtan.
Background: Despite being a halfling family, the wealth of the Filtan clan is impressive and their proficiency for business ensures their continuing membership in the Seafarers’ Guild, through their leadership of the satellite Harvest Union. The family maintains fairly strong connections with Peltarch’s southern neighbours, which boast reasonable halfling populations and are important sources of grain and other foodstuffs. Lately, legal and public backlash against patriarch Harry Filtan’s profiteering during the N’Jast War has left the Harvest Union’s warehouse in ruins, their patriarch in jail and the family’s future in doubt.
Notable members: Harry Filtan.
Crest: A Crimson Stag on a black backdrop.
Head: Jonathan Von Ulgath
Background: Mikhail Von Ulgath came to Peltarch roughly 25 years ago to retire from adventuring, supposedly bringing great wealth with him from his adventures in the Rashemi wilds and the Hordelands. He became something of a recluse following the death of his wife Elizia,recently.
His son Jonathan recently inherited what remained of his fortune, using some of it to found the Crimson Stag and to make a failed Senate bid. Jonathan recently cut a deal with the Consortium to sell some of its beer in some untapped foreign markets (pun intended).
Notable members: Jonathan Von Ulgath.
(Updated Borodin and Brynmor to reflect my latest plot activity.)
((Taking volunteers to update this thread. It is vastly out of date. XP will be awarded. Please contact me via PM IF you know the status of these NPCs.))