Thursday, March 30, 2006

House Greyglade

(For a map of the lands, countries, and cultures referenced here, refer to the Map of the Lands of Greyglade and Trewas.)

House Greyglade, the great old house in the south, was once its own kingdom, with the minor houses of Agrix, Neajalo, and Eshedhal all swearing fealty to it. Then, almost a century ago, the empire of Trewas to the north enacted a southern campaign and incorporated Greyglade and her territories into their lands, allowing Greyglade to keep its old power structure, only as a noble house with the king acting as the lord. The seat of the house of Greyglade is Castle Rourke, the Gate of the Sand, so called because of its location at the very edge of the Nevermeadow Desert. Most of Greyglade’s lands, however, are located farther east, in a huge valley glade between two rivers (from which the house gets its name) in the middle of a vast, calm forest near an inland lake called The Insea. Greyglade is a lush place, abounding with game in the forest and fish in the deep, cool loch, as well as natural resources and tactical security because of the thick forest. In war, Greyglade’s skill at training knights is unsurpassed, and thus their fighting force is fairly small, but elite.

The gentles of Greyglade,

Lord Keelan of Greyglade, his wife, Lady Meila, and their five trueborn children,
-Deekas, their eldest son, aged 25; next in line to be the Lord of Greyglade
-Tefan, their second son, aged 21, aspires to be a knight
-Raese, their third child, aged 19, a young lady of the court betrothed to be married to a handsome young hedge knight named Flochrein who pledged his sword to her father after he happened upon her and saved her from a band of outlaws in the forest
-Granin, the second to youngest, aged 18, a quiet, shy youth with a crippled left leg from a riding accident in his youth, who is nonetheless wise beyond his years
-Kneefers, their youngest trueborn child, aged 15

Ser Keelas of Greyglade, his younger brother, Captain of the Guard, and Lady Kyppa of Neajalo, his wife, and their children,
-Leezi, their eldest daughter, aged 7
-Palta, their second daughter, aged 5
-Meel, their youngest daughter, aged 3
Azeeous of Greyglade, his uncle, a very old man, and his daughter,
-Lady Olsanna, his cousin, a frail widow of advancing years

and their court and advisors,

Ser Anys of Agix, Ser Lirryhd of Eshedhal, and Ser Siern of Neajalo, guardsmen, each an ambassador to Greyglade from their respective territories, as is custom
Ser Flochrein, a former Hedge Knight and the Master of Arms, betrothed to Raese of Greyglade
Lylee, the Quartermaster, and Perfan, a slowminded stablehand, her older brother, whom she cares for
Eelani, a healer
Gylk of Agrix, the Blacksmith
Awm of Xilic, the Master of Coin, a former pirate

and the minor houses under their rule, being either conquered or swearing fealty to the Lord of Greyglade voluntarily,

Eshedhal, the desert nomad house centered in the Rredhen Oasis in the south of the Nevermeadow Desert. Eshedhal has long been the closest and truest of Greyglade’s fealty houses. Centuries ago, Eshedhal and Greyglade had a contentious relationship until Rredhen Oasis was invaded by hordes of Feralmen, the brutal, animalistic, barbarians that inhabit the darkest corners of the desert. King Prahhen of Eshedhal sent a frantic message to Greyglade pleading for aid, and King Keelas the Second came immediately to their assistance. The Feralmen were pushed back, but the kingdom of Eshedhal had already been ransacked, with much of their infrastructure destroyed by the ravages of the Feralmen. Thus, King Prahhen asked of Greyglade money, supplies, and protection from the vengeful barbarian tribes as they attempted to rebuild. In return, Prahhen offered his fealty to Greyglade, which Keelas accepted. Because of this, the vein of kinship and goodwill still runs deep between the two nations. Before they adopted a feudal system to match Greyglade’s, Eshedhal trained warriors called the Emat, who acted as highly trained spies and ferocious nomad warriors, and Eshedhal’s defenders, though knights in name, still ascribe to many of the principles and skills of their Emat predecessors.

Agrix, a small island to the south of Greyglade, which owes much of its economy and welfare to its booming fishing industry. Agrix was subsumed into Greyglade only decades ago, when the economy and culture of the larger country to the north came to dominate the small island to such an extent that any differences left were merely superficial. Therefore, Agrix, too, came quietly into Greyglade’s protection. Unfortunately, due to the lawlessness and the loose form of government, combined with the myriad of waterways which snake through the thick jungle in the northwest part of the island and the treacherous bogs in the southeast part, make it a virtual haven for outlaws, and enormous pirates networks are known to operate from this island and even hold sway over every level of the local government in the capital port city of Xilic. Squadrons of privateers and knights loyal to Greyglade police the waters and ports of Agrix heavily, but it is not nearly enough to stem the tide of piracy and organized crime that runs rampant in the small country. In war, Agrix is best at sea. The sailor soldiers of Xilic also make excellent spies and privateers, due to the fact that many of them had contact with pirates, or even were pirates themselves at some point in the past.

Neajalo, a house on the far side of the insea, is a calm, quiet sylvan culture of hunters and tree dwellers. Formed by refugees from the devastation of the Trewan war on Plellehara sometime in the distant past, one of the first kings of Greyglade offered them refuge and a home in the sparsely inhabited deep forest and quiet swamp that covered the southeast part of the southern continent. In this environment they grew and flourished, and their descendants created a huge tree city called Ledallin by the bank of The Insea, deep in the swamp. Perhaps because of their afflicted heritage and their isolated home, Neajalo tends to be a very private culture, and a very learned one. It is said to be similar to the old Kingdom of Plellehara before the Trewan assimilation of their lands. Occasionally, an enterprising soul will find his way in and the Neajalins permit him or her to be taught some of the ancient knowledge that they are said to harbor in the few ancient books salvaged from before the Plelleharan Massacre. Also, Neajalo has not forgotten its debt to Greyglade, and continues to send ambassadors and the occasional trader in peacetime, and in war, though they are peace-loving generally, they can summon a small, but highly skilled regiment of archers.

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