Wail of a Thousand Voices
The Swordlords are a fractious group who in general want a return to how things were before Choral destroyed their forces and made them bend the knee. The council is still rather fractured, and while they are not opposing each other, they each have separate agendas. Though if one of their kind was harmed the council could become united and extremely dangerous. The Swordlords have quietly been building their military and financial resources in preparation for “The Opening that Begins the New Order”. Many of their current disputes are led by the more hot headed members who claim each and every political hiccup is this much awaited event. They are usually hired vs Issians, Rogarvian noble houses, and take great pleasure in fighting against Mivonese sellswords, who they consider as false swordlords and cowards who fled in dishonor from the fight vs Choral.
Bandits from the River Kingdoms and Issia nearly spelled the end of the Taldan colony of Rostland in its early years. Sirian First’s reputation as a duelist drew the attention of a bandit chieftain, who offered the baron a wager: half his fortune against the bandit leader’s head, if he could best him in a duel. Baron First accepted, and lost. He paid his due and disappeared, too ashamed to show his face any longer, most assumed. Yet Sirian returned years later as Baron Aldori and, in a highly-publicized “rematch,” defeated his foe in seconds and re-established his rule in Rostland. Baron Aldori then issued his own wager: 100,000 gold pieces to anyone able to best him in a duel of blades. Thousands flocked to Rostland to answer this challenge, and the “Sword Baron” defeated them all. He founded the Aldori school of sword fighting, and established the influence of the Aldori swordlords over Rostland for centuries.
With the change in regime, many swordlords fled Brevoy to other realms, such as the River Kingdom of Mivon. A few became sell-swords, prostituting the arts of the Aldori School for the coin needed to buy them food and shelter. The rest primarily settled in or near the free city of Restov.
Relations With the Houses
Scale: Hostile – Poor – Moderate – Good – Excellent
Ardden Good: They are willing to let us have our own country.
Garess Fair: They are supporters of Brevoy as a whole and will not let us be free.
Lebeda Moderate: They trade with us, but will not let us form our own country.
Slane Fair: Honorless pirates that have no understanding of our way of life.
Surtova Poor: They Represent everything that prevents us from being free.
Rogarvia Fair: Many of their lesser houses went out of their way to causes abuses of our people and our land when they had power. We have not forgotten
Vessia Moderate: They stand against the Surtovans, but only for their own gain. They could be a useful ally though.
Council of Swordlords
- Sir Richard Iannuchi (Lord Commander of the Council): Regal bearing, older man in his 50s, still quite capable in battle, a seasoned leader and veteran of many battles and duels. As much as Sir Richard tries to maintain a peaceful state among the Swordlords, the weight of the armies of Santorini, Torregrossa, and Vasseri counts strongly in council voting, and he must allow some release of pent up energy occasionally in order to maintain his place on the council.
- Lord Mario Derro (Council Banker and factor, reserved and quiet): Younger lord in his prime with a very large family. Ruggedly handsome, of average combat ability, he is the record-keeper, banker, and factor for the swordlords. Has a very quick mind, but usually hides it behind a poker face. He is a very wealthy lord with many farms and orchards in Southern Brevoy, and has influence with many mercantile factions in the North due to his financial involvements.
- Lady Ariana Santorini (ruthless, strong, mercenary, trusts no one): Very blunt and passionate woman in her late 30s, with raven hair cropped short. Her standard attire is full battle armor and weapons, often looking as if she walked in off the battlefield (which perhaps isn’t far from the truth). She often hires out as mercenary support for nearby conflicts to keep her troops seasoned and prepared for war, as well as to provide gold for her house. Her manors are all well fortified and well supplied, and in times of dire necessity, the swordlords would likely withdraw to her estate to plan their tactics. She has many specialized battle troops, including sappers, hippogriff riders, and fortification specialists.She is also rumored to have extensive druidic resources and employ druids in various support roles, like anti-fortification, reconnaissance, and healing. Most of her lands are wilderness in return for their support, which includes raising her famed hippogriff mounts.
- Lord Stefan Mandor (Cavalier of Quality): Cavalier of high regard, he competes often in tournaments and almost without exception wins handedly at everything he competes in. A paragon of lancework, riding, and archery, he prefers a greatsword to the regular aldori sword for battle, donning the traditional blade only for honor duels. He will always act with the utmost courtesy, honor, and etiquette, but he also treats those less honorable as they deserve, and has little regard for those of less noble birth or combat capability. An extremely large and powerful man, matched with exceedingly quick reflexes, he is resolute in determination and is loathe to retreat, often succeeding due to bullheadedness where others would give up. His heavy cavalry are the strong right arm of the Swordlords military might.
- Lord Gerrol “Torregrossa” Manolo (Consummate battlefield warrior): Raised as priest of Gorum, this enormous man is the epitome of the War God in battle. Torregrossa, or Big Tower, as he is usually referred to, is an enormous man who stands over 7’ tall and weights so much he must ride a huge stallion into battle. It is said his stallion was granted him by Gorum himself, which is believable, since the black stallion’s shoulder is equal to most horses heads. Anything that will result in battle, the longer the better, and preferably one sided, appeals to Lord Manolo, and he has focused his house’s resources to provide support for his war efforts. His farms produce food that is immediately prepared for use in field support, and his other industries are wood and wagon crafting (siege engines and logistical caravans) and weapon and armor smithing. He is the single most needed Swordlord by the council, as he is often used as an intimidating hammer against their adversaries.
- Lord Domenic Ghirlandaio (Renaissance man and “rockstar” of the Swordlords, last name means wreath of flowers or garland): Lord Antonio Ghirlandaio, or the Lord of Flowers, is the consummate Swordlord, and is an expert swordsman, poet, artist, and romancer of ladies of refinement everywhere. Extremely handsome of confident to the point of being arrogant, his sword skills are unmatched in Brevoy. He stands as the champion of the council in any honor duels, so needless to say, the Swordlords are rarely bothered with challengers these days. He has little interest in war or battle, but will eagerly engage in a duel to test the mettle of another swordsman.
- Lord Ivan Vasseri (angry old warhorse): Lord Vasseri is the eldest of the Swordlords (late 60s) and the only one who can remember the battles that took place over 40 years ago with strong emotion. He was a young swordlord at the time of the last uprising, and harbors a great hate for Issians, despising them with an unreasoning passion. He resents the Issian presence in Rostland and has been unhappy since the Blessed Union, constantly pressing for open conflict with the current Lord. Usually dismissed as an angry old man, his words have found fertile ground of late.
- Lord Victor Vasseri (stand-in for Lord Vasseri, Sr., youngest among the Council): Youngest of the Swordlords and heir to the Vasseri House, he has only been attending the council for a little over two years, being approved as a stand-in for his father, who rarely attends meetings unless an important vote is up for discussion. He is ruggedly handsome, well-mannered and well-spoken, and often travels the South with Lord Ghirlandaio. He serves the council as a diplomat and ambassador to other factions in Brevoy.
- Martin Cross
- Tomas Thane
- Brenton Wand