Ilbarych Noble Houses

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House Status

A House's rank in Status indicates its place in the feudal hierarchy of the Crowndom.

  • Royal House: Status 8. There is only ever one Royal House in Ilbarych at a time, a position often contested for, though few have ever attained it. The Royal House maintains its ancestral domains, though tradition usually puts those domains into the hands of a Seneschal while the Crown is in residence in Crownhold.
  • Warden Houses: Status 7. Six of the Great Houses hold Wardenship over one of the realms of the Crowndom. These Wardens are mighty within their own territory, and though not all houses within that territory owe them direct fealty, they speak with the authority of the Crown in their governance of that realm. Of course, Warden Houses can and have been replaced before.
  • Great Houses: Status 6. The Great Houses are, in many ways, the true powers of the Crowndom. Any four of them exceed the royal house in terms of wealth and military might – indeed, when previous royal houses have fallen, the next to hold the Crown has always been taken from the Great Houses of the time.
  • Lesser Houses: Status 5 - 4. The Lesser Houses make up the majority of the Crowndom's nobility. They are defined by their fealty to one of the Great Houses, most often the Warden House of their realm.
  • Landed Houses: Status 3. Technically not considered nobility, the Landed knights straddle the line between knighthood and nobility. Their mastery of the land is usually considered hereditary, so long as their heirs are knights sworn into the service of their liege. From such foundations do new Houses rise.

Crownhold

Domain Royal

  • House Ylrath: Royal House • Status 8. Like every other Royal House in Ilbarych's history, House Ylrath hails from a Steelvale domain. They are known for the fine apples and pears of their orchards, and the ciders and perrys made thereby. Unlike their Arret predecessors, the Ylrath Crowns have all favored peaceful resolutions and mediation in dealing with political strife, rather than shows of force.

Steelvale

  • House Sedis: Warden of Steelvale • Status 7. xxx
  • House Caeden: Status 6. A house known as much for its adroitness in intrigue as for its apple brandy, House Caeden's scions have a reputation of being green-thumbed. Blessed with fields of lustre and apiaries that turn that rarity into the finest of honey, and some of the foremost apple orchards in Steelvale, House Caeden's current Head is Lady Octanda, memorable for having wooed a truly remarkable glassblower away from House Arvestal by dint of that artisan falling in love with her, and declaring sworn companionship with the Lady.
  • House Ceolfrey: Status 4. A noble House related to the Ilbarych by blood, House Ceolfrey once reigned as the Royal House, after the ruination of House Ilbarych by wealdfolk assassins. In the aftermath, their scions wore the Crown for most of Ilbarych's history, over two hundred years. Unfortunately, the House's blood began to wear thin, wearied by the years of assassinations, infighting, and political strife it took to hold the Crown for all that time. Their last Crown Domerr fell to madness, leading to the Arret Uprising. In the aftermath, House Ceolfrey was permitted to return to their Steelvale domains to live out the rest of their days in obscurity, and obscurity in which they still dwell.

Steel Mountains

  • House Vyranthal: Warden of the Steel Mountains • Status 7. A house with a spirit deeply entrenched in the Steel Mountains, the Vyranthal line has always defended the great mountain-gates into the Crowndom. They have produced generations of serious-faced, wide-shouldered knights, and the head of their house is always revered for their battle prowess as well as their bloodline. The current Crown's Consort is a son of House Vyranthal, giving them a very close place to the throne, indeed.

Barrow Hills

  • House Fodina: Warden of the Barrowhills • Status 7. xxx

Greensward

  • House Lignum: Warden of the Greensward • Status 7. xxx

Northshore

  • House Klacius: Warden of Northshore • Status 7. xxx

Extinct Houses

  • House Ilbarych: The first Royal House of Ilbarych, only three of this House ever wore the Crown, and none for longer than a decade. The years of the Ilbarych Crowns were full of strife and assassination, ultimately culminating in the murder of the entire House by wealdfolk assassins.
  • House Arret: Warlike and grasping, the Arrets saw their chance to seize the Crown when the madness of Domerr Ceolfrey became known. Insisting that this weakness was endemic in the Ceolfrey bloodline as a whole, House Arret mobilized their allies and their armies and marched on Crownhold. After the resigned surrender of the Crown, the Arrets were forbidden by their allies to end the Ceolfrey line; they insisted that regicide was a sin unforgivable to their ways, and promised to rise up against the Arrets if they slaughtered Domerr or any of his kin after their surrender. The Arrets remained warlike throughout their reign, frequently choosing military action and personal violence when dealing with their foes. There were only six Arret Crowns – the last, Tyrtannus, was overthrown after his cousin seized a bride from one of the Great Houses by force, and Tyrtannus sided with his cousin's brutality. This would not stand for the other Great Houses, who rose up and overthrew them. The House the young woman was stolen from led this uprising and the young woman herself wore the Crown afterwards.
  • House Zarovet: Scheming and power-hungry, the end of Zarovet was brought about by their own ambitions. Planning to rise up and overthrow the Warden of the Three-Rivers, the Zarovets were only stymied in their plots by one of their own household knights, one Sir Rigmund Durwald, who warned the Warden of the treachery. Though Sir Rigmund nearly died in the resulting conflict, the Zarovets were attainted by the Crown in the aftermath, and their lands divided between two new Houses: Durwald, as a reward to Sir Rigmund for his loyalty to Warden and Crown over his direct liege, and Filendus, a House created to give sanctuary to the toddler-age son of House Zarovet who was adjudged innocent of his family's crimes.