While there are numerous noble families that control various elements of government in the Edeldale, Glimring holds the highest number of titled families. Each of these families holds some sort of sway through investment, influence or in some cases, intimidation. The major families are “bannered” and have served in fealty to the Royal cause. Other notable names either were granted title or lands for services rendered to the crown.
The Banner of Hawksblood
“Strike With Certainty”
Hawksblood is one of the oldest families to remain at the forefront of Nobility. In the earliest days of the Herassian reign, Edold Hawksblood proved a capable military leader and was promoted to Commander of the First Armies. While his descendants no longer hold that title, many of them are knights in service to the crown or are financiers of military affairs. The current Lord Hawksblood resides in his secondary estate in Glimring, but the family castle is nestled in the foothills of Low Hollow.
The Banner of Boarheart
“We never back down.”
Another old legacy, the Boarhearts are descended from a bastard son of Gorrin Stronghand. They are considered influential and while they hold lands within Briarwood, they yield dominion to the Elven lord there. All royal hunting edicts are managed through them and they retain a quarter share of all fees associated with hunting across the kingdom (Currently in Hunterswell County, a cousin maintains the foundry for permits). The current Boarhearts still live on the edges of Briarwood, but a pair of younger descendants with that name residing in Glimring.
The Banner of Lightstrung
“Defense against the Darkness”
When Ovandra abdicated in 342 H.E., a group of loyal knights provided her with the security she required. These knights, mostly descended from a single family, were granted title by the Davanic church, thus the Lightstrungs are often found funding pursuits related to that faith. They hold a special manor off Watcher’s Walk, which also serves as the compound for the High Priest of Dava. The family considers itself above political gain, but the connection to the church often brings them in conflict with this desire.
The Banner of Bellsweight
“Balance is our favor”
Once a great house of the Guilds, it’s now considered a failing house with only a handful of the Bellsweights remain in Glimring. The oldest member of the family is rarely seen in the machinations of the court, preferring to spend his time squandering his family’s fortune on the arts (and some say disreputable dancing girls.) A young member of the Bellsweight family pursues his career as a bard, serving as an agent of the Bard’s Guild, which could be a ploy to put them in contact with information to greater, hidden riches.
The Banner of Swansbreath
“All Action, Thoughtful”
Swansbreath is one of the few lines of nobility which draws upon elven heritage. Many of the males in this house take Elven wives and they too are major contributors to the arts. Their prime position though is to provide the crown with diplomats. Graceful and well spoken, Swansbreath House strongly emphasizes its lineage to pursue advanced education. So you may find them in such pursuits as arcana or engineering. The very first aqueducts of the realm were the product of Swansbreath architects and it was their innovation that created Moonhold.
The Banner of Markand
“We see the horizon”
House Markand is a relatively new house, whose family was granted lands after their support of King Valen II’s failed war against Drench. They are a quiet house with a small presence in Glimring, preferring to stay in their native lands by Strongwater Bay. Their current castle, a shell keep known as Grayfinger, is responsible for the security of the Western Coast. The current Lord Daetha Markand is in his early 30s and has only recently assumed power after the untimely death of his father, Bekket Markand.
The Banner of Hammerflung
“The Hammer rings true”
The original smiths of the ancient kingdoms, holding the knowledge of fire and steel gave them great power. Some believe they stole this from their first contact with Dwarves, but Hammerflung will laugh and tell you this is nonsense. An arrogant house, they hold many contracts with the Armorers and Hammerers guilds. So much so, that if they pulled support, they could presumably collapse the local economy. Thus, they retain a great amount of power over the Court. The current Lord Hammerflung has many offspring overseeing the businesses in Glimring and beyond and he resides close to the Moonhold.
The Banner of Bowsprit
“At Any Cost”
There is a great controversy about how the House Bowsprit grew to such power, but the current Lord Longbridge is actually of Bowsprit decent. Many assumed them to be thieves and murderers, living at the edges of society (the original Bowsprit was a Robber Baron who’d terrorized the Tanglewood during the reign of King Taron). Eventually, they were able to secure their place along the western edges of the kingdom with legitimate business and were granted the lands south of the Hills of Howling. They currently are embroiled in the rebellion of Longbridge and have lost many of their troops, the Bowsprit Blades to barbarian rebel forces. Their position in the court is tenuous since they have amassed great debt while overseeing the former Longbridge.
Other noble names which hold no house but are recognized for some great deed or service are as follows:
Gambridge – Considered to be the bravest knights
“A Gambridge to the Front!”
Lowencamp – Owners of many great historical texts
“There is power in knowledge”
Verenfield – Great hunters; first rangers of the GreenHands
“The Old Ways serve us”
Kinstain – Violent, capable fighters of the Black Hold. Split allegiance (Suthicans)
“Defeat is for the dead”
Cloudwell – a Magical family of Highspire; owed a blood debt by the Royal family.
“Our honor remains”
Maresworth – Legendary horsemen who provide the King’s stallions.
“Sturdy as a steed”
Oren – Long serving sages who were original to Herras’s court.
“We are bound by oath”
There are many others among the kingdoms, but these are likely the most encountered in the region.
Note also that Noble families with land or estates may display a banner, use the crest on all equipment and wear badges or colors of their station on their clothing. Nobles without land (“titled”) may still display the blazons on their heater shields and may wear their family colors (along with signet rings) and knights or low nobles (awarded not born into nobility) may display their blazon on round shields until they prove loyal in warfare to the crown; they would then usually be titled and thus, entitled to follow the rules of upper nobility.