Author Topic: The Houses of the Peerage  (Read 2322 times)

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on: January 30, 2019, 06:28:02 AM
The Five Houses of the Peerage

"The Peerage? You can laugh at their moat of sewage...chuckle at their wobbly castles and titles to non-existent lands.... just watch yourself if you get too close, runner, for they can be a dangerous folk. Watch out for prickly lords with guardsmen as fanatic as they come. And above all else, just see you never get between them and some chipped royal tea saucer ... because that's when they'll really start to fight dirty." -- Codwick the Scribbler

According to legend, the Peerage was once the undisputed governing authority of all of Ring 99. The self-proclaimed nobles families of the Peerage claimed the right of rule on account of purity of blood, deeds of rebellion against the Lizardfolk Master of many ages past, and above all else the blessing of the King.

Time have changed, and the Peerage is now in much decline. The Guilds of the Ring have established their own Ward-Authority in Ticker Square and the Peers do not really control anything past their bridge.

The Peerage itself has become a viper's nest of shifting allegiances, petty rivalries, constant one-upsmanship, and intrigue between and among the different houses. The only thing that truly unites them is a shared language of tradition, superiority, and obsession with the royal markers of prestige.

While the Peerage technically has a Lord's Council that governs affairs, it has not formally met for a long time and ward's only genuinely unifying figure would be the supposed "Royal" Archivist, that staid and grim figure who seems to be only interested in keeping an accounting of which house stands where in the local hierarchy.

It is clear that the Peerage itself exists in a state of flux where strong, proactive retainers have an opportunity to leave an indelible mark upon both the success of their House as well as the future of the entire Ring itself.

In order to join a House, it is necessary to:
1) Be a human
2) Secure the approval of the existing members of the House
3) Pay an admission fee to cover the cost of your equipment (typically around 1k GP)
4) Swear to serve faithfully. Note: If you wish to portray either a treacherous member of the House or someone who will not be primarily focused on the House, it is necessary to consult with a DM before hand.
5) No application or DM approval is required.

There are five principle Houses that characters are able to join. While we recommend actually visiting the different estates in-game to get a sense of their differences, here is some basic information:

House Orza:
Rumored to be little more than an upjumped gang of streets bandits, House Orza came to prominence after the once greatly respected House Moonspear left the Prestige, supposedly to go meet with the King. Lord Orza swiftly moved into the abandoned Moonspear Castle, claiming it for his own, and has rapidly solidified his position as one of the most powerful Houses - largely through force of arms.

The Orza represent a new way of thinking in the Peerage Ward, the idea that might and discipline triumph over ancient titles.

It retainers tend to be aggressive, competent, violent, and ambitious.

House Nephezar:

It is said that the blood of angels runs through the bloodline of ancient House Nephezar, and it is certainly true that the scions of Nephezar seem able to manifest all manner of extraordinary talents and abilities. The House cleaves close to old notions of the purity of bloodlines and its retainers believe that the blood of Nephezar is the purest of all.

Its retainers tend to be proud, familiar with the arcane, and aggressive in promoting the interests of the House which they believe must claim its place as the pre-eminent house of the Peerage.

House Sunpurse:

One of the oldest Houses of the Peerage, House Sunpurse is much diminished from what it was once. Many whisper of the curse that runs through the bloodline of its Lords that inevitably lead them to a premature end. The latest lord, an eight year old boy named Phelan, has been missing for a long time. Lady Oreana, Phelan's mother and the widow of the late Lord Desmond, is said to be a tragically grief-stricken figure that refuses to meet with any of the suitors that crowd her door.

Its retainers tend to be austere, formal, traditionalist, scholarly and devoted to the Sunpurse family.

House Velstra:

House Velstra, led by the ageing and obese patriarch Norbert Velstra, is the most decadent and scandal-ridden House in the Peerage Ward. Members of the house have a distinctive pale parchment-hued skin and copper-red hair.

House Velstra is mocked and reviled outside of the Peerage. Persistent rumours about Norbert’s sexual profligacy (a revolving door of official matriarchs, having a very large number of children, siring bastards, keeping concubines and catamites, and wilder rumours) and the House’s many excesses (such as holding an “endless feast” over many years, investing its wealth in vanity projects, and acting as the patron of socialites, oddball artists, and eccentric scholars) have given House Velstra a reputation of permanent scandal in Ring 99. Despite its reputation, House Velstra remains one of the more powerful houses in the Peerage.

Its retainers (many of whom are the illegitimate children of Lord Norbert, styling the surname "Winespill" as a mark of this heritage) tend to be socially adept, sybaritic, and cunning. Note: DM Permission is required to play a "Winespill."

House Glitt:

No House has fallen quite so far and so fast as poor House Glitt. While once House Glitt was a paragon of the best of the conservative traditions of the Peerage, the House has been led to ruin by its current drunken Lord, the ignominious Bernard Glitt. Lord Glitt has thrown open the doors to the Hall and named a number of old drinking buddies and local tramps as his men-at-arms.

While some of the House's retainers wish to restore honor and virtue to the old House, most appear to be the true dregs of society. Nonetheless, there does seem to be a certain spirit about the place and the House's buffoonish retainers (drunk as they may seem) do seem to usually come to demonstrate an intense affection and loyalty for the Glitt name.