Overview

There are many important noble houses, knightly orders, and weaver cabals in Dawn. Despite the number, only a comparative handful are involved in the affairs of the Empire (that is, attend the seasonal summits at Anvil). Their influence can wax and wane, and involvement in Imperial affairs is not always a reflection of their prominence within the nation itself. This page presents in-character information about the groups that attend, or have attended, Anvil — the kind of thing that someone who asked about them might uncover from talking to their peers. In each case, the information is provided by the players and edited before being put on the wiki.

The majority of groups listed here are made up of player-characters. You should not create a character who is part of a group, or has personal history with one, without first clearing it with the appropriate players. You should also check before including other players' groups in your background. The background team are unlikely to approve a background that significantly impacts or involves another player character group without their permission. There are also a handful of prominent NPC groups included for completeness, but they are not intended for use by player characters.

Noble Houses

The noble houses of Dawn represent the best - and occasionally the worst - of what the nation has to offer.

Houses of Astolat

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House Asterion

House Asterion

  • Location: Winterbourne, east of Boar's Hollow
  • Heraldry: A magpie reaching out to pluck a star from the sky on a field of blue and white
  • Colours: Black, royal blue and white - with gold accents
  • Earl: Vacant

“From Dust, Become Stars.” A young house, Asterion was founded in 383YE by Enchanter Kyriel Asterion - after having left their previous house Montrose behind following the disastrous actions of their father Earl Tomme Montrose. It was to be a house capable of recognising any individual capable of glorious deeds, no matter their story, and to allow those who had been abandoned elsewhere to follow their ambition and belong to a true family. It takes in those who are alone, cast off, abandoned or lost, and gives them a chance to rise above the hand that has been dealt to them.

The house has drawn many who practise magic; its heart known as Brambling Keep built upon mountain foothills deep in the woods near Boar’s Hollow, where mana crystals are abundantly found in natural hot spring caverns in the mountainside. It was founded to be a place of refuge, where the snow dusted pines soften the noise of the world and a soul might find reflection and tranquillity if they so desire it. Whole of heart and soul, one might chase virtue and glory with even greater dedication.

Since the death of Enchanter Kyriel in 384YE, the house is without any present nobles, so is maintained by its yeofolk and knights-errant.

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House Brightstone

House Brightstone

  • Location: Withy, on the River of Sighs
  • Heraldry: A mermaid holding aloft a white gemstone, on a field of golden yellow and teal blue
  • Colours: predominantly golden yellow and teal blue, accented with a small amount of orange and emerald green
  • Earl: Enchanter Ozilius Brightstone

House Brightstone was founded in 85YE when an impoverished knight-errant was tasked by a gloating earl to produce a gemstone more splendid than any in his esteemed collection. The seemingly insurmountable Test of Mettle was passed, however, when the determined knight carried a washtub from the Semmerholm village of Auvanne to a river in the north. Using his washtub as a crude boat, he voyaged hundreds of miles east along the river, all the way to the Semmerlak where, according to legend, he met a mysterious mermaid who swam to the bottom of the lake and retrieved for him the Brightstone - a glittering gemstone of beauty beyond description. Not content to serve an ill-mannered Earl, the newly-titled Lord instead travelled west to Astolat and there he restored the venerable, ruined castle of Respireau- an ancient stronghold built onto the River of Sighs on the southwestern border, and thus became the first Earl of House Brightstone. The Brightstone remains a cherished heirloom to this day and is brought to Anvil for all to admire.

Castle Respireau is famous for its underwater library and luxurious bathhouse, and the nobles of house Brightstone pride themselves on their hospitality. They eat and drink exceptionally well, due to an abundance of fish from the River of Sighs, as well as League river-trading barges that frequently stop by the castle. They enjoy a reasonably amicable relationship with their Navarri neighbours in Miaren and occasionally take leisure boats up and down the River of Sighs.

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House Caerleon

House Caerleon

  • Location: Winterbourne, southwest of Weaving
  • Heraldry: Two white dragons eating each other's tails creating a circle on a navy blue background with a gold chevron.
  • Colours: Navy blue and white, accented with gold
  • Earl: Lady Guinevere Caerleon

House Caerleon is a recent addition to Dawn's history, being founded in 307YE when the knight-errant Arthur Caerleon split from his adopted family after passing his Test of Mettle fighting and protecting a town from "draconic" beasts with other knights-errant, taking one of the beast's heads as a reward. Lord Caerleon travelled for miles trying to find the perfect location to settle, before finally coming across a hill with beautiful views, flanked by babbling brooks and overlooking the Hamlet of Strathmoor. It is here where he buried the beast's head on top of the hill and restored and expanded an old manor house close to the Hamlet and began to call it home.

Over the years the Caerleon grounds have grown to include Strathmoor, and it has developed into a thriving farming town well known for its apple orchards, and because of these, desserts such apple pie have become a town and house specialty. The hill, named Dragon’s Garden, that overlooks the manor and town has also become well known, for it grows a variety of colourful flowers and berries upon it almost all year round. Atop, it has grown a single large apple tree with bark that looks like scales, producing the sweetest apples around, apples are normally reserved only for the Earl or their honoured guests.

House Caerleon prides itself on being a found family and uses the virtues of loyalty, wisdom, and courage to resist hardships and assist members in pursuing goals in whatever path they walk.

House de Coeurdefer

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House Coeurdefer
  • Location: Winterbourne, just south of Weaving
  • Heraldry: Black, a gauntlet silver grasping a crescent moon, two crescent moons silver
  • Colours: Black and silver
  • Earl: Zadkiel de Coeurdefer

House de Coeurdefer predates the Empire; memory of its forming has fallen into a legend. It is claimed that a knightly band gathered to destroy a nest of Winter-touched drakes, with their leader giving her heart's blood and her life to seal a twisted regio. Troubadours sometimes say Castle Ironheart, their principal seat, was created magically out of dragon bones and her steel cestus to stand guard against the threat returning. Since the founding of the House, the Earls have traditionally been of Winter lineage, with a strong line of naga from the weaver cabal that lives and works with them, the Coven of Ouroboros Twining.

The House is known for Loyalty, Ambition, and Pride. Over the centuries, the House declined - numbers fell, as the dour draughir stayed at home with their packs of wolfhounds. They have a strong tie to their neighbours and cousins in House de Rondell, and the Earl de Rondell's call for support at Anvil following the death of Empress Britta brought them out of their towers. Most of the nobles who attend Anvil on behalf of their House are from the naga weaver cabal rather than the draughir House, and Earl Zadkiel is of their blood. If and when others ask him for a Test, he's likely to offer a simple-seeming puzzle or challenge to enact at Anvil or in battle. They are usually more complex in practice, and focus on clever planning or the recruitment and leading of allies in a challenging situation.

House Cordraco

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House Cordraco
  • Location: Withy, north of Oldheart
  • Heraldry: Twinned Dragons on a field of purple and gold
  • Colours: Purple and gold
  • Earl: Logan Olivier De Havilland Cordraco

House Cordraco was founded in 378 by a conglomeration of the ancient and venerable houses Arwood, Boscombe, Loriel and Martel. To do this they were set the test of slaying a dragon. They managed to fell a mighty drake but not before the beast feasted upon their first Earl; Johann Rookwood Martel Cordraco.

House Cordraco have been a great supporter of the arts and hospitality since its founding. The house most closely associates with the virtues of Ambition, Pride and Prosperity. The motto, "Not for us the straight and narrow" is taken from the house oath, read by nobles once they have been judged to have completed their tests of mettle. It epitomises the beliefs of the house; that there is no one path to Glory. House Cordraco aspires to great acts of Prosperity and Pride within Dawn and the Empire. After a tumultuous reorganisation following the deaths of multiple earls, House Cordraco looks to step back into the world of Anvil politics intent on having its name echo through the ages. The house is known to encourage civility, respect and cooperation between its members.

House de Gauvain

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House de Gauvain
  • Location: Caer Faucon
  • Heraldry: Golden phoenix on flames; nobles often have their own personal heraldry
  • Colours: Orange and black with red trim
  • Earl: Enchantress Rosalynne de Gauvain

Ser Edric de Gauvain is perhaps one of the most famous names in Dawn, thanks to a recent curse which befell the territory of Weirwater; but what of his House? Nestled in the bucolic Astolat countryside, the de Gauvains (pronounced gor-van) reside in the pleasant market town of Caer Faucon. It is far from the front lines of the Empire at war. Few monsters stalk their lands. Their keep looks out over sheep scudded hills, drooping orchards, and peace. Wealth breeds prosperity, and hospitality. Noble and yeofolk rub shoulders, and do so gladly; bloody experiences during the Marcher revolt taught them the error of their older, haughtier ways. The de Gauvains’ door is always open for travellers and wanderers, but one should never mistake warmth and generosity for placidity or cowardice. They have glorious deeds to match.

The house is best known for its weavers. Rich supplies of textiles, and a deep-seated love of glory, have led to a great interest in the Summer realm. This power in magic and realm-wisdom is matched on the battlefield; the House’s knights and war-witches march as part of the famous Winged Lion lance.

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House Goldvein

House Goldvein

  • Location: Stryxstone Keep, north of Weaving
  • Heraldry: A golden mandowla on an emerald field
  • Colours: Emerald and gold
  • Earl: Enchantress Pellinore Goldvein

Originally founded by a former guide of Navarr who found true love and her place in the great dance beside a knight-errant, House Goldvein has a long-held tradition of recording and sharing tales of love and glory. After the tragedy that ended the reign of Nicovar, this mission broadened to include the foundation of the Stryxstone Library as a repository of knowledge to protect against a similar loss of information. After more than 150 years of bad luck, sabotage and unexplained misfortune, the House finally found itself succeeding in this quest, but becoming more insular and cutting itself off from the wider Empire. Now with a new Earl in their ascendance, House Goldvein makes it return to Anvil, and the centres of learning and research across the Empire.

House Goldvein prides itself on the diversity of talent and knowledge it recruits and fosters, with artisans, warriors, troubadours, witches and physicks all held in equal prominence within the ranks of the House's nobles and yeofolk, and all who can share a tale or unrecorded knowledge will find a warm welcome to the estates surrounding the Stryxstone Keep.

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House Larmallevés

House Larmallevés

  • Location: Brightway, west of the De Warrenne Way
  • Heraldry: Crowned Phoenix in Gold on Field of Purple
  • Colours: Gold and Purple
  • Earl: Enchantress Areloe Larmallevés

The House Larmallevés traces its history back to before the rise of the Empire, founded by King Bréanainn who won the grand tourney with armour and arms of his own design. Ever since that early day the House has always sought to elevate to its ranks anyone who claims great skill, on the battlefield or as a creator; as such they have a tradition of setting Tests of Mettle aimed at the abilities the knight-errant claim to be best with. The current Enchantress is a cambion and as such their tests reward and encourage clever thinking in their completion.

Over the generations the house has seen repeating cycles of growth and prominence followed by an inevitable fall and in these days has receded to little more beyond the ancestral hall known as the "Chateau of the Second Dawn", named for its great ceremonial fire pit. The house now looks to be beginning a new rise to prominence under the leadership of the new Enchantress who is once more looking to recruit warriors, skilled artisans, mages, and healers into the house. The house has a focus on the Autumn realm with ritualists encouraged to join the Chain-Sworn Scales weaver cabal.

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House Lucentia

House Lucentia

  • Location: The plains below Boars Hollow
  • Heraldry: An outstretched hand, gently holding a star with a background of navy blue and purple
  • Colours: Blue, Purple and Silver
  • Earl: Enchanter Vesper Lucentia

A young house created by Enchanter Vesper upon passing their test of mettle in Summer 385YE. The house is known for its distinct approach to the Virtue of Wisdom. The house has a focus on welcoming all comers, including many who have joined Dawn later in their lives from other nations. It is also a house of travellers and wanderers; those who seek new horizons and greater understanding. It has gained something of a reputation as a house of "chain breakers", as many of its members have fought hard to save people under the yoke of oppressors.

"Virtute et valare luceo non uro"
House Meliora

House Meliora

  • Location: The Chase, south of Laroc
  • Heraldry: A golden unicorn facing left on a quartered cream and purple field
  • Colours: Purple, Cream and Gold
  • Earl: Earl Torag Meliora

House Meliora is a relatively young house, formed in the mist of 383YE, when a number of both nobles and yeofolk alike chose to break away from their previous house in the pursuit of a more virtuous and glorious life.

They built a house dedicated to achieving glory on and off the battlefield, their members split equally between both martial and magical pursuits. The house has since grown in size, welcoming members from other nations and magicians representing five of the six realms. The Earl of Meliora is committed to forming a place for his house to thrive wherever they choose to find themselves upon the quest for glory.

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House de Rondell

House de Rondell

  • Location: Laroc
  • Colours: Blue and silver
  • Heraldry: Three crescent moons around a gryphon
  • Earl: Bohemond de Rondell

An ancient house existing from before the founding of the Empire, its fortunes have risen and fallen many times over the centuries. Proximity to the Castle of Thorns in Astolat has always kept them near to the political heart of Dawn. There is evidence that the castle was designed by a de Rondell in the earliest days of the Dawnish presence on the Bay of Catazar.

This house has returned senators, generals and cardinals again and again over the centuries. As such the household places an ongoing emphasis on questing in other parts of the Empire and gaining the regard of others in this way, long after many houses expect their members to focus in other areas.

The House uses virtues as inspiration, immortalised in the three silver crescent moons in the house heraldry. They represent Pride in one's own worth and that which the House has won; Ambition to constantly reach out and grasp every opportunity, and Courage to always step forwards into the fray or into the unknown.

“We have been there from the beginning of the Empire, we will be there at the ascension. Until that day we shall steer it towards greatness and Glory” Bohemond de Rondell

House de Rondell's martial tests of mettle are quite difficult and can easily result in the death of the unwary; the other theme that runs through their tests is an emphasis on political acumen and the ability to influence others to act for the good of the Empire.

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House de Rosier

House de Rosier

  • Location: Winterbourne
  • Colours: Red, gold and white
  • Heraldry: A snake coiled inside a rose, surrounded by a radiant golden halo.
  • Earl: Cerys de Rosier

Long before the founding of the Empire, House De Rosier was forged amidst a cataclysmic event. Their home in the lowlands of the mountains in northern Astolat was threatened by a devastating landslide. House de Rosier rallied their kin and fled up the mountain, desperately seeking refuge from the relentless fury of the storm. They traversed the treacherous mountain until they arrived at a plateau, apparently guided by a mysterious snake that appeared amidst the chaos. There, the snake halted, its gaze fixed upon a radiant rose blooming amidst the mountain peaks. To the amazement of House de Rosier, the snake curled around the rose, protecting it from the surrounding chaos. Sensing the serenity emanating from this extraordinary flower, they realised it was a sign. The survivors had found their new home—a sanctuary upon the mountaintop that became the foundation of House de Rosier. Their ancestral crest, a majestic rose entwined with a serpent, is a symbol of their resilience and the eternal bond between their house and the land that sheltered them.

House de Rosier offers any citizen who wishes to join their ranks a test that has remained unchanged since its foundation. Knights are called to venture to a place hitherto unexplored. They are instructed to return with three significant elements—an extraordinary tale, a tangible souvenir, and a scar etched upon their body. It is a test that unites the house, binding generations together through shared experiences and a deep reverence for the unknown.

The land continues to be fertile and the house is famed for its beautiful gardens, overgrowing with strange blooms often brought back by questing knights. These rare flowers are distilled into perfumes which keep the estate, and its inhabitants, fragrant.

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House Sepulchre

House Sepulchre

  • Location: Winterbourne
  • Colours: Red, gold and black
  • Heraldry: Black hound
  • Earl: Loria Sepulchre

House Sepulchre traces its roots to Mira (later Rolande), a warden of Varushka who came to Dawn to bury her family and, eventually, the magician who killed them. Her bloodthirsty quest won her glory and land where she could mourn and remember in quiet contemplation. Over the years the graves and gardens spread further and further as House Sepulchre sought to collect tales and songs of the glorious dead as well as providing them with a fitting resting place (sometimes as statues stationed around the gardens and grounds). It suffered something of a decline when it was revealed that a heretical cult of Hope had spread throughout the ranks of the nobility. It was only thanks to the swift action of a newly ennobled knight that Sepulchre endured.

The house is known for having a string of draughir earls, but is now under the custody of Earl Loria Sepulchre, who seeks to rebuild Sepulchre’s ranks, and teach all of the house’s noble and yeofolk the value and importance of magic. Sepulchre accepts knights-errant from every walk of life, and its Tests of Mettle are often designed to encourage imaginative thinking, to test resolve, and to crush any lingering shreds of optimism in the aspiring noble. Particularly of note is the Sepulchre graveyard, upon which when a knight-errant passes their Test of Mettle, they dig their own grave, a symbolic burying of their old life to start anew.

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House Videre

House Videre

  • Location: The Chase, southeast of Laroc, near Rosered Woods
  • Heraldry: A golden gryphon passant, on a parted field of red and green
  • Colours: Green, Red and Gold
  • Earl: Vacant

House Videre traces its lineage back to royal retainers of ancient times, who served with distinction before the Empire's founding. Over the centuries, the name Videre has weathered trials and triumphs, enduring near destruction in 276YE during a failed campaign to capture the Barrens. Again in 330YE, the house faced internal strife with the split of House de Carsenere, casting doubt on its future. Despite these challenges, House Videre persists, determined to reclaim its legacy and honour the noble traditions it upholds.

Known for their strong affinity for magic, the Videres have always been led by powerful Enchanters, each dedicated to their principles of Love and Loyalty above all else. Their Tests of Mettle are renowned for challenging candidates' loyalties to their limits, earning both respect and wariness from their peers. Despite their dedication to the Way, relations with the Imperial Synod have often been strained, owing to their unique tradition of challenging both parties during Tests of Ardour, even when one of their own nobles departs for another household.

The seat of House Videre is a small hillside fortress located on the border between the Chase and Elvette. Once a strategic outpost during the Semmerholm conquest, it now guards the Hall of Blooms, a grand floral maze rumoured to house samples of flowers from across the Empire. However, the Hall of Blooms suffered significant damage in Spring 385YE as a consequence of the uncontrolled growth caused by the Imperial enchantment known as the Hallow of the Green World.

Following the disappearance of Lord Colborn Videre, the last Earl of House Videre, the leadership of the house remains in transition. Since Spring 386YE, Ludwig Barbadoro has been nominated as Castellan, assuming the role of seneschal and acting head of House Videre. Under his stewardship, the Hall of Blooms has been meticulously restored, symbolizing renewal and resilience within the house. The Videres eagerly await the day when a knight-errant successfully completes the Test of Mettle, ensuring the continuation of their noble line and the legacy of House Videre.

Houses of Semmerholm

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House D'Abeille

House d’Abeille

  • Location: Estmure
  • Heraldry: A Flower Crowned Bee on a Blue and Yellow field, parted with Black.
  • Colours: Black, Yellow and Blue
  • Earl: Earl Tarsus

A seemingly new House, only recently rising to prominence. House d’Abeille (pronounced da-bay) prides itself on Prosperity, Ambition and Loyalty to one another. Taking the heraldry of a bee, the house has a close, tight knit community, with each working for the good of the hive. Its members are easily recognised by the flower crowns which are staples of their outfits.

Situated in Semmerholm, to the north of the Adamant Gate, House d’Abeille focuses its efforts on reclaiming the Barrens. Since its founding, its members are always the first to take the fight to the Druj therein.

On the field, the House specialises in fighting on the front lines and battlefield support, cutting down Druj and ensuring everyone makes it home to tell the glorious story. The motto and battlecry on the lips of its members is “Si sapis, sis apis” - If you are wise, be a bee.

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House d'Acier

House d’Acier

  • Location: Estmure
  • Heraldry: Black Tower before a Golden Sun on a Green field
  • Colours: Green and Gold
  • Earl: Enchantress Vivienne d’Acier

An older, weathered House in the process of rebuilding itself, greater than ever. Following a recent period of unstable leadership that saw the House verging on collapse, a new Enchantress was chosen through the trials of the Iron Duke, bringing renewed Glory and purpose. Deeply Pride-aligned, House d’Acier draws from the life and lessons of Paragon Richilde to guide its way. Its members eschew direct martial might, instead leveraging their magical, medical, and diplomatic talents to steer the course of Dawnish politics.

D’Acier nobles and yeofolk are found on the fringes of great tourneys, elections, and other gatherings of note. They foster connections between Houses, provide healing and magical assistance, and help elevate those they believe will bring the most Glory to Dawn. Theirs is a Pride that speaks softly but looms large. Located near the Adamant Gate, House d’Acier’s once mighty stronghold was ravaged by recent Druj incursions and, much like the House itself, is currently being rebuilt. The House’s history is intimately tied to Dawn’s claim to the Barrens, and they work tirelessly so that one day, the Dawnish banner may fly over those lands. They are also heavily involved in the politics of the Summer Realm, helping to foster positive relations between Dawn and the eternals of Summer, particularly the Iron Duke. In recent years, the House has garnered a reputation as one of the historian Houses of Dawn and are currently the custodians of a great relic of Richilde.

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House De Bois Gilbert

House de Bois Gilbert

  • Location: Lacuve
  • Heraldry: A black Sea Dragon surrounded by 3 silver suns (top left, top right, bottom middle) on a per pile red, gold and green (golden V on halved red and green)
  • Colours: Gold, red and green
  • Earl: Enchanter Morgan De Bois Gilbert

House de Bois Gilbert was formed in 52YE during the conquest of Semmerholm by a Knight Errant of House De Rondell as a reward for their glorious deeds.

In the early days of the house, its reputation became one of staunch protectors and defenders of the people from marauding beasts and barbarians, and of those who have heard of the house today, that reputation still stands, and the words of the house are "We are the shield." However the downsides of their zeal were clear - casualties were high and the house never grew much beyond a few dozen nobles, slowly declining in strength and influence over time. During the Druj invasion of 381YE the remaining nobles of the house were slain.

In 384YE, a knight-errant whose Loyalty to his house was unsurpassed succeeded at his quest to reinstate the nobility of the house and select a new Earl who now brings some selected retainers to Anvil to rebuild the glories of old.

House Cadwalon

  • Location: Axmure
  • Heraldry: A rampant golden unicorn with a green mane and tail, under a starry moonlit sky tinted gold against a violet field.
  • Colours: Violet, gold, and green
  • Earl: Lady Aneira 'Mawr' Harper Cadwalon

House Cadwalon is an ancient house, tasked with the protection of a parcel of land on the edge of the forest of Axmure. The house makes extensive use of heraldic magic in its girding, particularly invoking the unicorn in the house heraldry which lends its nobles a reputation for fierce passion for life and a strong protective streak resulting in the house motto "Passionate Hearts, Fearless Souls.". Fittingly enough, Cadwalon's tests of mettle often evoke one or both of those themes.

House Cadwalon is rather (in)famous for the close relationship its nobles share with the yeofolk under their care, often eschewing formality unless it is of the utmost importance. This bond was born in the house's earliest days, with knights often ordered to accompany yeo forresters into the woods to protect them from the barbarians, beasts, and bandits that stalk the glades of Axmure.

In the house's heyday, it was not uncommon to see their knights helping with manual labour - particularly where yeofolk had struggled mightily or even hurt themselves. More recently, the house has fallen on hard times, when the Druj invaded Semmerholm in 381YE, the knights and knights-errant of House Cadwalon fought a desperate rearguard action to buy precious time for their non-combatants and wounded to escape.

Bloodied, but unbowed, and with a small cadre of Ambitious young nobles at its core Cadwalon's Glory will burn bright, and its lands will know Prosperity once more.

House de Cendres

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House de Cendres
  • Location: Axmure
  • Heraldry: Solid gold chevron on black behind a dragon resplendent on a tower
  • Colours: Black and Gold
  • Earl: Earl Feroce Lupo de Cendres

House de Cendres was formed when the Ashen Tower, a military company from the League city of Holberg emigrated to Dawn, in 381YE. They claimed lands in Axmure in the wake of the Druj invasion and retreat from that province in the same year. Under the dynamic leadership of their changeling Earl Lupo, they have attracted new yeofolk and knights to their banner and rebuilt their lands. Their estates are a wide valley on the Drycastle road, with several villages and fortified manors, sometimes called the Hearthhold. Their primary concern is prosecuting the war with the Druj, and as such they are a martial and aggressive House. Most recently, their knights and companies have marched deep into Druj territory with the Dawnish armies invading Ossium and the Forest of Ulnak.

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House de Courtenay

House de Courtenay

  • Location: Semmer's Rose
  • Heraldry: Rampant Fox with a bee on its nose, Azure and Gold per chevron
  • Colours: Blue, Dark Teal and Gold
  • Earl: Earl Aodhán de Courtenay

The House de Courtenay was almost wiped out when the Hounds of Glory fell, with Earl Jules being on their last breaths as they issued a test of mettle to the now Earl Aodhán. The house now prides itself on helping the lost find their place in the Empire - with all the current members of the House having been displaced or unsure where they were before becoming Dawnish. The House live by the words "Nobody Left Alone" - to be a guiding light for those who have no clear way forward, and to support those who otherwise might find themselves alone.

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House du Maurisol

House du Maurisol

  • Location: Forests of Elvette
  • Heraldry: Three entwined bright blue calla lilies within a golden sun
  • Colours: Cream, gold, and bright blue
  • Earl: Galeas du Maurisol

Dedicated to Loyalty, the nobles of House du Maurisol are frequently priests and occasionally mages, but always warriors beneath it. They see it as their task to safeguard the Virtuous from dangers that might threaten to damage or shake their Loyalties, be this by the clever wordplay needed to encourage and guide, or a certain judicious application of a challenge to those involved. Most of the House's nobles fell with Britta, but it has recently been revived and hopes to stand in glory once again.

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House Medwood

House Medwood

  • Location: Axmure, Medwood Hall
  • Heraldry: A white tree on red and a black and white checked field
  • Colours: Red, black and white
  • Earl: Earl Harlow

House Medwood are a new house which wasn’t established until 381YE when the Druj swept through Axmure. Taking in the devastation of Medwood's lands the nobles of the House realised a need to visit Anvil to truly establish themselves. The house values itself on its Loyalty and gaining their friendship is gaining a steadfast ally.

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House de Rhya

House de Rhys

  • Location: Ferrond
  • Heraldry: A firebird on green and blue.
  • Colours: Green, blue, black, and white
  • Earl: Earl-Enchanter Ciagan de Rhys

An elder house refounded in Autumn 385YE after a powerful Empire-wide Day enchantment returned it to attention, House de Rhys was originally known for its powerful Night witches, before a sudden stop in Anvil attendance. Rumour has said the challenge of becoming Earl is often literally finding Castle de Rhys using riddles and puzzles left by the last Earl, with each making it more testing than the last. The difficulty in locating the castle may actually be based on its small size, but it is certainly home to many secrets that can be found in unexpected places.

House de Rhys is best known for its focus on glorious pursuits across every part of Anvil, encouraging the Loyalty to one's own heart and Ambitions. Whether this is to rise to a life in battles or the Synod, in an art studio or apothecary, or do something entirely new, House de Rhys is always prepared to offer support and guidance for the yeofolk and nobles that are part of it, and 'Rise', as their motto highlights, like a firebird from the ash.

House de Rhys is also now well known for its championing of Love. Many of the most popular songs performed by the troubadours of the house are focused on the topic. The castle is visited by people of all nations who wish to read the fantastic collection of love stories and poems, and often guests will sit in the hall until morning speaking of love. The castle's grounds are used for weddings and celebrations so the house is able to have a first-hand view of love in all its forms.

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House Summerstrong

House Summerstrong

  • Location: The Summerhold, Southern Elvette
  • Heraldry: A blue tree on a field of red, wrapped in a wreath of blackthorns
  • Colours: Red and Blue, often with black accenting
  • Earl: Lord Percival Summerstrong

House Summerstrong is an old house of Semmerholm, one that has regularly occupied the strange position of being one of the wealthiest of the least important houses of the territory. In recent history, the house has grown due to the marriage of the ex-earl Lord Gawain Summerstrong and his ex-Navarri wife Lady Penelope Summerstrong. With their marriage bringing many members of Penelope's striding to Dawn, House Summerstrong became known as a house with deep roots in both Dawn and Navarr. Their home, The Summerhold, is a physical representation of their ties to Navarr, resting along the trod that cuts through Elvette and serving as a stop-off point for those venturing south into Brocéliande. The Summerhold is instantly recognisable for its red stone walls, covered in an array of wild moss and flowers that give the illusion that the hamlet itself is a part of the woods around it. From their position in The Summerhold, House Summerstrong have pursued their ambition to fuel the mission against the Vallorn that occupy the areas so close to their home – with their tests of mettle often featuring a glorious hunt into Broceliande or a face-off with a dryad or marsh walker. The Vallorn is, in the eyes of House Summerstrong, the most dangerous threat to the empire and its members are driven by the tragedies that surround their house to remove it. It is a house built upon surviving tragedy, but their roots are deep and they stand strong against the storm - as captured in their motto, "Our Roots are Deep and Glorious".

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House Tamerlaine

House Tamerlaine

  • Location: Near the town of Semmer's Rose, on the edge of the Semmerlak
  • Heraldry: A Silver Unicorn rearing on a Green and Black saltire field
  • Colours: Viridian Green, Silver and Sable Black
  • Earl: Earl Ailsa Tamerlaine

An older, weathered House in the process of rebuilding itself, greater than ever. Following a recent period of unstable leadership that saw the House verging on collapse, a new Enchantress was chosen through the trials of the Iron Duke, bringing renewed Glory and purpose. Deeply Pride-aligned, House d’Acier draws from the life and lessons of Paragon Richilde to guide its way. Its members eschew direct martial might, instead leveraging their magical, medical, and diplomatic talents to steer the course of Dawnish politics.

With their main estate lying near a sleepy hamlet to the south of Semmer's Rose, House Tamerlaine is an old and small Dawnish house once thought faded, that is slowly and steadily blooming once more. Castle Tamerlaine and its accompanying grounds are a sprawling affair, with wild floral gardens, deep ponds, hot houses, and a large barn that has been turned into a studio for the inhabitants of the House. There is much pastoral and wild beauty to be found here.

The House is mainly concerned with arts of pen and plectrum as well as weaponry and the art of war. When not ensconced in their compound, developing their crafts, noble members are often questing across the Empire, researching their arts. While not bound under one singular Virtue, the House troubadours are often troubadours of the Way. There is a heavy emphasis to seek out new information, new stories, but bring this back to share with all of the House, and with their fellow Dawnish. Travellers are always welcome in these halls, especially if they bring with them news.

With the upheaval of the last decade, Tamerlaine have re-thought their isolated ways and begun to reach out at Anvil. This having been said, it would be foolish to assume that a focus on the arts would mean ignorance of defense and fighting. The House motto defines the steely determination of its members: "If the bird does not sing, we shall make it sing."

House Vexille

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House Vexille
  • Location: Semmerholm, previously Barrens
  • Heraldry: Dagger crossing a key
  • Colours: Green, Gold & Black
  • Earl: Guissart Vexille

A centuries old house, previously based in the Barrens until the Druj forced them to flee in defeat, House Vexille have a reputation for their hard-line attitudes, extensive use of Night magic and a penchant for luxury and excess. Their methods in achieving Glory have often been questioned, especially actions which saw them declared as sorcerers for a time for their suggested abuse of magics…a measure which was only recently overturned.

House Vexille proudly declares that they "Hold the key to Glory" - considered metaphorical by many, they believe that their extensive pushing of boundaries is the key to true Glory. The Tests of Mettle set by the Vexille earls are notoriously difficult; the current earl, Guissart Vexille, takes great pride in the fact that dozens of those wishing to join his house have failed to meet the exacting demands he places upon them. To this end, the house supports a larger than average number of yeofolk who spend years testing themselves personally before attempting to bring their requests to the earl to join the household. Those nobles who have passed their test are usually arrogant as a result; inevitably embittered, grizzled individuals who display extreme character traits, their outlook on life influenced by the necessity of life on the Barrens' borders.

Most recently, several knights of the house have formed a band of questing knights, dedicated to the destruction of vallorn as a great and glorious quest, under interpretation of the Synod’s statements on these creatures - urging knights from other houses to join them.

House Verdantié

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House Verdantié
  • Location: Ferrond
  • Heraldry: A white crystal decanter embraced by a grape vine, rested on a blue and purple base
  • Colours: Navy blue, royal purple, and white
  • Earl: Earl Lannus Verdantié

With a focus on the virtue of Wisdom, the nobles of House Verdantié consist primarily of physicks and magical healers alongside the support of front-line knights. Members of the house believe that every life saved results in another opportunity to fight for glory; whether this is by offering services within the hospital, taking the field and healing those in need, or taking the frontline and lending extra hands to those alongside them. House Verdantié is a noble house formed by Lannus Meadowkeep after they grew within House De Sarroi which sparked their desire to lead and assist.

Houses of Weirwater

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House Berinore

House Berinore

  • Location: Weirmoor
  • Heraldry: Two perytons, rampant before a gold chevron on a red field
  • Colours: Red and gold, with black.
  • Earl: Lady Tegwen Berinore

Those who dwell within Castle Gristimere's walls claim it to be one of the oldest castles in the Weirmoor, raised not long after the Dawnish first arrived in these lands, laying claim to the dangerous forests and mastering them. Despite their ancient claim, the House held no one of note until recently. House Berinore attended Anvil for the first time at the end of 383YE to pull itself from obscurity with the thought of true glory at the forefront, but since then, the House has been beset by tragedy after tragedy. From their very first attendance at Anvil, long beloved friends have fallen to barbarian blades, time and again.

This culminated in Spring 385YE, with all nobles of the House deceased, fallen in battle to reclaim either Zenith or the Barrens. A pair of knights-errant remained; one was able to pass her tests, calling a fallen Earl back through the Black Gate to confirm this. The newly minted Earl has sworn to learn from this and never leave the House in such a situation again, and the House has since focused on healing, on repair and unity. Alongside their allies in the Amber Lance, Berinore fights on the battlefield to ensure as many glorious heroes make the return to Anvil as possible, and works within Anvil with a focus on the same unity. True glory for those of House Berinore acknowledges the contributions of nobles and yeofolk alike, each bringing glory in their way.

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House Castellan

House Castellan

  • Location: Highwater Keep, Western Weirwater Vale
  • Heraldry: A white Hippocampus on a field of blue, with red accents.
  • Colours: Blue with red and white trim, and a red chevron, in various configurations.
  • Earl: Enchanter Baldwin Castellan

House Castellan was founded in the dim and distant past, at the foundation of Dawn as a nation in the pre-Imperial age. The first Earl, Lord Kaldwin Castellan, sought to bring law and safety to the wild frontier of Weirwater, and so established the Castellan Hunt, an order of questing knights, knights-errant, and yeofolk intended to travel and patrol the territory to keep honest people safe from monsters, bandits, orcs, and the trials of life in a wild land.

From the seat of Highwater Keep the house and the Hunt have kept to this duty diligently, striving to embody the very concept of knighthood and nobility in their deeds, but never previously taking an interest in Anvil, slowly sliding into forgotten obscurity as a result. Now, that isolation has ended. House Castellan looks from the deeds of the past toward the glories promised by the future, and its people step from the mists of Weirwater into the light of Anvil. The house is noteworthy for its extremely large numbers of knights-errant, resulting from a combination of challenging Tests of Mettle and strong dedication to the Hunt’s duties as wandering protectors of all that is virtuous and right. House Castellan’s nobles, knights-errant, and yeofolk are expected to bring virtue, determination, and skill to all they do, and match their deeds with honesty, kindness, and respect.

"Mercy, Goodness, Glory"
House de Clément

House de Clément

  • Location: Weirmoor
  • Heraldry: A golden Jackalope on a green field
  • Colours: Green and gold
  • Earl: Earl Percival de Clément

House de Clément is a pre-Imperial house founded by Ser Gwendolyn the Good. In recent years the house has withdrawn from the goings on of the nation and the Empire at large. Following the appointment of a new earl, however, the house has returned to Anvil in an attempt to re-join the fold. They pride themselves on producing fine healers, and on providing warm hospitality to any and all that cross their threshold.

The Clément estate is centred around Castle Brighthearth on the Weirmoor and is notable for the large glasshouse in its central court that allows them to grow a diverse range of exotic plant life.

"Stand Fast, Stand Ready"
House duLac

House duLac

  • Location: Culwich
  • Heraldry: A golden fox on a blue and green field
  • Colours: Blue and green
  • Earl: Lady Laudine duLac

House duLac is one dedicated to watching the borders of Dawn, a bulwark that stands as the first line of defence of this Glorious nation, ever watchful particularly against the threat of Druj incursions across the Semmerlak and Varushkan monsters from across the northern border

The people of this house are often more subdued in their appearance compared to other Dawnish, in part due to their long distance from the rest of their people, and also due to their focus on military preparation. You will never see a member of House duLac unarmed, lest they be unprepared. They hold the Virtue of Vigilance close to their core, aiding them on their watch, and they greatly utilise they magic of Spring in their work, the trappings of which can be found all over their ancestral seat, The Hightower. Their motto, "Stand Fast, Stand Ready", expressed one of a house dedicated to watching the borders of Dawn, a bulwark that stands as the first line of defence of this Glorious nation, ever watchful particularly against the threat of Druj incursions across the Semmerlak and Varushkan monsters from across the northern border.

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House Gladewarden

House Gladewarden

  • Location: Weirmoor
  • Heraldry: A golden crest on a green field. The crest contains three swords pointed upwards, becoming trees whose boughs interweave.
  • Colours: Emerald and gold.
  • Earl: Earl Fintan Blackrock

Steadfast in their ideals of Loyalty, Courage, and Pride, members of House Gladewarden devote themselves to the study of the sword. Taking the words of their motto "Many trees, one forest", to heart, they are willing to face any threat or challenge for the good of their allies. House Gladewarden trains to master their specific sword forms, developed by the first earl Liam Gladewarden. In recent years knights-errant have been offered one of three paths when requesting a test of mettle from the current earl.

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House Mortére

House Mortére

  • Location: Weirmoor
  • Heraldry: A black rose inside a golden hourglass on a split field of red & black.
  • Colours: Black (Primary), Red and Gold.
  • Earl: Enchantress Morrigan Mortére

Founded by Vaela Mortére in the reign of Empress Varkula during the Druj invasion of Weirwater, House Mortére has been reclusive and quiet for many years since. House Mortére is an unusual noble house, but those who do meet and interact with them often claim them to be friendly and hospitable, if a little unsettling. Their estate is often called The Black Garden as many poisonous and dangerous plants and herbs are grown there, along with numerous natural black roses. House Mortére seems especially concerned with the concept of death. The house seems to yield many weavers talented in Winter magic, and many of the nobles and yeofolk of the house seem to be very comfortable around the dead or dying. Often the house members appear to help with funerals, the terminally ill, or sick, but also to help the living with matters of great joy and sorrow.

House Novarion

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House Novarion
  • Location: Applefell, Garthmoor
  • Heraldry: A phoenix in flames
  • Colours: Red and gold
  • Earl: Earl D'Eon Novarion

Formed in 52YE by a young warrior named Novaria, she gathered like-minded warriors to her banner during battles around Semmerholm. In recognition of this feat she was granted land and many of her warriors remained by her side and pledged to form a new house. Using the wealth and slaves rescued from the orcs they built a fortress on one of the highest hills in Applefell and were charged with its defence. House Novarion were popular with the troubadours of the time and several of their deeds are remembered in traditional folk songs such as Sir Isobel and The Novarion Phoenix which are still sung today.

Years later, a large portion of the house died in a great fire following a strange magical event caused by their insular nature and only a handful escaped. The house's wealth and reputation were in ruins. The earl began the slow process of rebuilding the house, swearing to never again let those of his household grow to be weak closeted individuals.

From then on, tests of mettle were always written so that extensive foreign travel was required. Insulation and clannishness was dangerous and should be avoided at all costs by prompting its members to seek glory from distant lands. Any person seeking entry into the house is often set difficult tasks that require extensive travel and perseverance to complete, thus encouraging them to grow into headstrong individuals with allies in unusual places.

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House Olor

House Olor

  • Location: North Sandling
  • Heraldry: A glorious swan adorned by 2 roses upon a blue and red background with a red chevron.
  • Colours: Blue, white and red
  • Earl: Earl Adrahil Olor

House Olor was rekindled by Earl Adrahil Olor and his 2 brothers. Nobles of Olor pride themselves on being furious to their enemies and bringing Glory to the House, Dawn, and the Empire and they adorn the sigil of the swan for this reason. The tales of House Olor often have mention of a swan offering assistance, often in a similar manner to the aspect_magic#Beast Magic in the Varuhskan sense.

Housed in woods north of Sandling and nestled alongside a river flowing into the Semmerlak. Many swans call this place home and any person keen on taking a feather home for the house would find many in abundance here.

Keen to remain true to their motto, the House is keen on front line combat, holding a glorious shield and a weapon of fury.

"Prove It!"
House Orzel

House Orzel

  • Location: Belletain Vale (Sandling)
  • Heraldry: The white eagle of Gnijezdo and Primroses of Zoria
  • Colours: Red and Black
  • Earl: Valentin Ivarovich Severyan Orzel

House Orzel is a union of two migrations from Varushka, blending bloodlines and customs but embracing martial culture with the great traditions of the Empress Richilde’s most noble people. Favouring tests and trials involving quest and strange adventure, House Orzel finds a natural home in Dawn and has welcomed an increasing number of native Dawnish knights-errant into its nobility through great deeds of mettle and achievement. The Orzel have always measured and tested themselves against competence and skill, giving respect to Pride earned and laughing at pomposity, false claims, and weak authority in equal measure.

Generous with praise and friendship for the accomplished, the Orzel care more for talent and achievement than they do for name or family history alone. In youth children are encouraged to demand their elders "prove" their claims of skill or knowledge rather than taking anything on faith alone. Orzel children are wild and reckless with tales of the youngest laughing at the snarls of invading wolves and hurling stones and chanting "Prove It!" to call the bluffs of ancient evil and bestial threat alike.

Though wilful boldness and challenge mark daytime traditions, the Orzel consider guest-right sacred when the sun goes down. Music, song, and storytelling are great pleasures of hearth and home, and all should be welcomed, and none mistreated, when it is accepted. Darkness is a time for kindness and tales, Wisdom and preparing for the hard battles to come. Though sardonic humour runs strong through the Orzel, none should be denied hospitality or chased out into the night.

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House Remys

House Remys

  • Location: Weirmoor
  • Heraldry: A snake coiled around a silver goblet, poison dripping from its fangs
  • Colours: Red and Silver
  • Earl: Enchantress Claudia Varkulova Remys

Chateau Remys stands on a windswept hillside on the edge of the Weirmoor forest. Once the land was fertile and produced fine wines but several generations ago the land was devastated by a sickness that wiped out many of the nobles and decimated the yeofolk. The house was founded by a Varushkan boyar who left Volodmartz during the reign of Emperor Barabbas. Strongly touched by the realm of Winter, she began the tradition of tasking all aspirants to take on the draughir lineage as part of their Test of Mettle - to this day no noble of the house has borne any other lineage.

The house is headed by the Enchantress Claudia Varkulova Remys who took over from her mother in YE382. The new Enchantress Remys has sworn to continue in her quest to restore House Remys to its former glory and show the Empire the power of the Winter Realm.

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House Rion

House Rion

  • Location: Wickmoor (Near the Weirwater Vales)
  • Heraldry: Gilded White Stag Rampant, emblazoned upon a blue field
  • Colours: Main colour royal blue, secondary colours silver and white, tertiary colour black
  • Earl: Andred Rion

House Rion is a moderately young house in comparison to the more established houses of Dawn. Founded during the reign of Empress Brannan by the first Lord Rion, a questing knight who had found his true love. Settling in Wickmoor, not far from the Weirwood Vales, Castle Rion was built, and the house grew around its foundations. Since then, most of House Rion’s Earls have been enchanters (including the “Mad Earl Rion”) specialising in Summer magic. The proximity of Castle Rion to the haunted Weirwood trees is to blame for many of the strange occurrences and events which seem to be commonplace on the House’ land.

During the re-taking of the Barrens, almost all of the houses’ Nobles and a sizeable force of the yeofolk under their command were slain by the Druj in a surprise attack, in which the previous Earl died. House Rion are most notable for having a higher-than-average number of war witches and enchanters in their house. Almost all their nobles are Summer mages, and more than half are battle mages. On campaign and in battles, House Rion are usually deployed as skirmish lances to support houses with heavier lances.

In recent years, the House has begun the brewing of ales and the distillation of fine wines and spirits.

House Tallstag

  • Location: The Aldergate, Wickmoor
  • Heraldry: A silver stag set in a field of green
  • Colours: Green and silver
  • Earl: Logan Tallstag

“Prepare for all, Yield to none” - The motto of House Tallstag sings to the Ambition and Pride that all Tallstags aspire to. Founded in 380YE, House Tallstag was originally founded as a knightly order by Lord Logan, with the simple aim of becoming the most reputable monster hunters in Anvil. This desire was quickly outgrown as their ambitions of hunting greater monsters rose to tackling the greatest challenges they could find.

House Tallstag prides itself on a reputation as one of the fiercest lances Dawn has. They reside in a once forgotten stronghold known as The Aldergate and they have tasked themselves with the complete destruction of the vallorn in its entirety, and work closely with Navarr stridings and steadings to achieve this great feat.

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House Tower de Risbanke

House Tower de Risbanke

  • Location: Hawksmoor (northwest of Hawthorn)
  • Heraldry: Argent Wolf on Azure field with Golden sun blazing in third quarter
  • Colours: Blue and yellow
  • Earl: Vacant

The Tower De Risbanke stands at the peak of a bleak & wild hillside near the border of Varushka within the Weirmoor forests. Surrounded by wolves, falcons and wild game this small household is a sanctuary for those needing food, drink, and a place to rest with a warm welcome. The house was founded with hospitality at its core, often believed to be due to its proximity of Varushka. The division between yeofolk & nobles can sometimes be quite blurred in this small household where both warriors and weavers seek out new alliances and friendships. Boisterous songs can often be heard in the Weavers Rest tea house with the motto In Vino Veritas - In wine is truth. Tests of mettle are as often be artistic or culinary banquets in the field. Tests of ardour also often focus on the expression in the food of love.

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House of the Twisted Rose

House of the Twisted Rose

  • Location: Weirmoor
  • Heraldry: A white rose/roses with twisted stems, The runes Rhyv and Lann flanking it.
  • Colours: Purple
  • Earl: Enchantress Mirella of the Twisted Rose

The House of the Twisted Rose was founded during 383YE. The Keep of the House, itself named Keepsake, was built out in the ruins of a fallen House, its name forgotten to time, its foundations nestled atop the peak of one the mountains near Delev. Though around the estate still sit statues of various nobles and in various states of disrepair, those within the House have a habit of asking these still forms for advice though they do not speak back.

Members of the House have a reputation of self-sacrifice and knowledge of costs to be paid, owing to The Twisted Rose’ ties to both the Autumn and Winter realm, of contracts and oaths. As well as raw passion. This led to the House’s motto being “Ma Vie; Par Amour” (My Life; For Love in Asavean). Much of the House’s Tests have been based around the ideals of Love and Loyalty, often seeking to teach as much as test the one undergoing it; to bring them deeper in line with the House’s beliefs.

House de Vere

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House de Vere
  • Location: North Hawksmoor
  • Heraldry: A silver owl displayed on a split field of wine red and gold.
  • Colours: Primarily wine red and gold, with silver secondary.
  • Earl: Vacant

House de Vere was founded in pre-Imperial times by a noble of a now forgotten house who completed a seemingly impossible Test of Mettle using a boon from the Lord of the Crossroads. House de Vere’s heraldry is a silver owl in honour of Barien and the story of the founder, and the house motto “In Blood Anointed” draws its origins from the story of the House’s founding. The house's estate sits at the border of Karov and Weirwater; where the forest meets the hills.

In 375YE the castle was left in ruins and the house was believed to have been wiped out following an attack from some unknown foe. In 385YE a knightly order made up of members of House de Vere that left the Empire shortly before the attack returned from questing in Asavea to find their house destroyed. The surviving members have since begun rebuilding the house and now look to reestablish the House and find a new purpose for the House to dedicate itself to.

Houses of the Barrens

House du Froste

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House du Froste
  • Location: Estmure, by lake Semmerlak
  • Heraldry: Golden jackalope on a field of black and red
  • Colours: Red, Gold & Black
  • Earl: Earl Gaston Wayfinder

The history of House du Froste stretches back to before the conquest and settling of Dawnguard.When Dawnguard fell the Earl Panthos Du Froste rushed to the aid of the civilians fleeing to Semmerholm. Ever since then waifs and strays looking to reclaim their homeland have flocked to their banner and their estate in the foothills of Estmure.

In Anvil they are known for their standard bearing the jackalope that often serves as a rallying point through the Sentinel Gate, and the round table that the nobles of Dawn occasionally gather around for Earls Council.

Our words have weight" is the house motto; being a house who believe wholeheartedly that actions are worth more than any number of words. Once a member has said something, they believe it should be binding to the core of their being.

House Primevère

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House Primevère
  • Location: Dawnguard
  • Heraldry: A mandowla surrounded by golden flames on a field of emerald green with a dusty light pink chevron.
  • Colours: Emerald Green, Dusty Light Pink, Gold
  • Earl: Enchantress Amelie Primevère

After the glorious death of her husband, the enchantress took her retainer and military unit to find her late husband’s ancestral home in the Barrens, to lay his body to rest. While there, she decided to complete his ambition by rebuilding the castle to its former glory and founding the new house in his honour.

The founders of House Primevère are powerful spring mages and briars, therefore they encourage their fellow house members to be prideful but vigilant in all that they do. House Primevère requires its members to be well educated in politics and the arts, as they know well that the gentle power of words and culture can bring just as much glory as martial might.

House De Tournesol

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House De Tournesol
  • Location: Dawnguard
  • Heraldry: A shield of dark pink with a large sunflower emblazoned in the bottom right corner, a small square of yellow emblazoned with a pink yale sits in the top left corner of the shield
  • Colours: Pink and Yellow
  • Earl: Brahmms De Tournesol

Founded after the 385YE Summer Solstice from the ruins of a keep on the edges of Dawnguard, the high walls of the De Tournesol estate defend its residents from the wilds of the Barrens whilst also offering a place of respite for the injured and the weary. Enclosed within is a rich garden of cultivated medicinal herbs littered with the house sunflower which grows determined in every corner of the keep. Its small but safe keep act as a basis for the house’s operations whilst also accommodating a space of respite for any traveller or wayward soul of the Empire.

House De Tournesol consists mainly of those who can aid or heal, be it through surgery or magic, however will happily welcome all those who share in their ambitions to see Dawn and the Empire prosper through providing protection and rejuvenation to all those who may need it. Although their tests of mettle are tailored to those who partake in them, they contain two key themes in their task, which are to stand out gloriously and to make a stand in the face of danger.

House Torawyr

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House Torawyr
  • Location: Ruins of House Torawyr, Dawnguard
  • Heraldry: Blue and White quartering with a red gauntleted fist with cynogriffon wings in the centre.
  • Colours: Blue and White.
  • Earl: Enchanter Edmund Torawyr

House Torawyr was originally founded in southern Dawnguard near Murderdale. The house was primarily made up of apothecaries and fighters who tended and harvested their gardens to help Dawn fight the Druj and defend Dawnguard. When the Druj invaded in Summer 381YE, breaking the treaty, the fighters of House Torawyr were loyal until the last drop, laying down their lives to hold back the orcs as long as they could to allow as many people to flee as possible. In doing so all nobles of House Torawyr died or were taken as slaves.

The house reformed at the end of 382YE, as a group of loyal yeofolk ventured back into the Barrens on a Test of Mettle to retrieve the banner of their house. The group saw their beautiful gardens wrecked with a blight, their herbs picked clean to supply the Druj with poisons. With caution they were successful in retrieving their banner, reforming the house under a new Earl, Enchanter Edmund Torawyr.

After considerable effort, In 385YE House Torawyr returned to the Barrens with newfound loyal allies, resources, and magical might. The house with allies from the Amber Lance attacked the Spires of Dusk with the Hounds of Glory. Bringing with them over a hundred grim legionnaires of the eternal Kaela. Now the house has returned to its ruined land it must rebuild the gardens it once held with pride, and return the help given by those who helped take back Dawnguard.

House Veridaine

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House Veridaine
  • Location: Dawnguard
  • Heraldry: A black dagger, pointing downwards, with a black snake on either side, facing outward, all on a field of red.
  • Colours: Black and Red
  • Earl: Toriith

House Veridaine is a relatively new house, founded when the young Lord Toriith left House Orzel and journeyed to the Barrens in search of glory and renown. Priding itself on the loyalty and martial prowess of its nobles and yeofolk alike, House Veridaine focuses its efforts on the military and political Dawnish front. This focus on martial might is reflected heavily throughout the house and is seen in its test of mettle. "Glory Unbound", the House's words, are testament to its proclivity for frontline volunteer work.

The Veridaine estate, locally referred to as 'The Snake Pit', for its serpentine imagery, sits in the newly reconquered Dawnguard territory, just outside of Drycastle. The house has recently seen growth as young Dawnish knight-errants seek to pass its difficult trials.

Orders and Cabals

Knightly Orders

The knightly orders dedicate themselves to the pursuit of glory over all other considerations.

Order of the Amber Lance

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Order of the Amber Lance
  • Location: Welkin’s Weald, Weirmoor, Weirwater
  • Heraldry: a field, tawny, charged with a teardrop, amber, upon which is emblazoned the Blood rune, Rhyv, in sable.
  • Knight-Captain: Ser Guy Wooder

This proud young order was founded in the Autumn of 383YE by the briar Czernobog Stanislaus when he became a knight errant of House Castellan. A healer and steward of a herb garden, this first Captain's Ambition was to set Dawn on a par with other Imperial nations by founding a dedicated corps of combat physicks. In so doing, the Lance quickly managed to gain the Loyalty of several Weirwater houses, as well as questing knights and refugees from the Barrens.

The knights maintain a permanent presence in the waterlogged hamlet of Welkin’s Weald, at the heart of a carefully coppiced forest of willow. It is from the ambergelt cultivated here that they draw their heraldry – a substance that hardens and strengthens but also promotes healing and mending, running like blood when first drawn, tough and crystalline when set. This duality is echoed in their motto: to take blood from stone (to do the impossible) is a common aphorism amongst these knights.

In the first years of the Lance's existence, these Knights of Amber have committed themselves wholly to the Empire's war against the wretched Druj. They have sustained heavy losses in liberating Zenith and the Barrens, but remain steadfast in their commitment to preserve Imperial lives and bring succour and healing to all who need it. Bloodied though they may be, they proudly bear the rune of sacrifice upon their banners as they fight for a better world.

Order of the Blazing Dawn

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Order of the Blazing Dawn
  • Location: The Rose and Thorn tavern, Culwich, Weirwater
  • Heraldry: a blue field a yellow sun and orange rays beneath a winged sword supported
  • Motto: As Dawn Rises, the Sun Shall Set
  • Knight-Commander: Ser Tristan Ackerman

Founded in the wake of the armies of the Cold Sun invading the Empire in 385 YE, the Order of the Blazing Dawn is an order of knights-errant and exists to drive the scions of the eternal back to the day realm. Driven by a love for all things that make the empire the centre for love and beauty that it is, the order strives to protect all nations its nations from this threat. The order is primarily made up martial knights and war witches to engage the cold sun as a physical threat.

Knights of the Golden Mane

  • Location: South of Culwich, Sandling, Weirwater
  • Heraldry: A shield of azure with a white chief triangular. In the azure portion, a gold lion head facing forward within a gold wild rose. In the White portion the Jotra rune in azure.
  • Lord Commander: Leohnar Gildaryn

The Knights of the Golden Mane are dedicated to upholding Virtuous acts and aim to record and share stories of Virtue from around the Empire. The quests they undertake, individually or together, all lend towards telling the tale of the knightly order and how they pursue Glory through virtuous acts. The grand quest of the order is to aid and preserve stories of Virtue. The order hall sits within the Lionskeep, the seat of power of House Gildaryn in Lionsholme, a town in Weirwater south of Culwich.

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Knights of the Golden Mane

The order structure is very loose, with two commanding individuals. The Lord Commander oversees the order, while a Knight-Captain serves to advise and act as the leader of its lance through the Sentinel Gate. Under this structure, knights often are bestowed a title by the Lord Commander befitting of their skills, such as Knight-Magus. These are not enforced as roles of leadership, but a way for the Lord Commander to classify where they believe the skills of a knight could be best applied. Strangely yeofolk and knights-errant are welcomed as equals rather than apprentices, and have equivalent say and reach in the order’s quest.

The main tradition the Knights of the Golden Mane hold is of the Night of Hallows. Each Winter Solstice, the knights come together to receive hallowings of Virtue which best tell their stories, and to have the provided aura aid them in their next year. The knights share stories of their achievements throughout the year in Anvil and beyond, and pledge their quest for the following year to the Lord Commander.

The Order of the Lance Restored

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Order of the Lance Restored
  • Location: Roaming, though with a chapel near Kethry's Grove in Astolat
  • Heraldry: argent, a lion sable sejant upon which rests a lance gules
  • Knight-Marshal: Ser Dindrane de Cantharos

The Order of the Lance Restored are - after a fashion - the remnants of an ancient order known as the Knights of the Feathered Spear, who are said to have guarded Kethry's Grove in the distant past. The original order fell into disgrace in 209YE when they aided Emperor Nicovar in destroying the libraries of the Empire, for reasons now forgotten to history. Following Nicovar's death, the Knights of the Feathered Spear disbanded, supposedly because during the chaos they lost a relic that they were sworn to protect - a spear believed to have been that of Makin the Red, a prominent figure in the story of the paragon Kethry. Two of their number were sentenced to death by penal military service; they fought in numerous battles thereafter, surviving and triumphing against all odds, and eventually attracted a cadre of questing knights who sought to redeem themselves of past dishonour. These knights eventually banded together under the banner of the Order of the Lance Restored.

Since then, the order has become something of a refuge for the disgraced, the outcast, and those who simply do not fit in with their Houses. Sworn to roam the Empire until the Feathered Spear is recovered - though most doubt that it ever will be - the knights of the order seek to overcome their past failings by taking on difficult, open-ended, and sometimes nigh-impossible quests.

Weaver Cabals

The weaver cabals master magic, maintaining a studied neutrality in the politics of the nation.

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Chain-Sworn Scales

Chain-Sworn Scales

The Chain-Sworn Scales are an Autumn focused weaver cabal with members from across the noble houses of Dawn. It was originally founded by a small group of yeofolk in Astolat who had an interest in enhancing the trade and business opportunities along the Blood Red Roads. At the end of 383YE they began to attend Anvil, eagerly recruiting new members and becoming one of the largest covens in Dawn. The cabal is named for the binding nature for the Autumn Realm along with all exchanges being of fair value and the heraldry represents the bonds, oaths, and trade that is inherit from exchanges with the Autumn realm.

Though originally founded with a focus on enchantments for businesses, fleets, and farms the focus has shifted with the growth of the cabal's influence and power, and now they also support the military units and armies of Dawn. They have an ambitious goal to study the arcane and make new rituals through arcane projections. A number of members work alongside the Imperial Military Council and the coven has performed the ritual Bound by Common Cause to support the armies of Dawn. Most of its weavers are members of the Golden Pyramid and work closely with those in the Conclave interested in the Autumn realm.

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Golden Leaf

Golden Leaf

Founded in 384YE, the Golden Leaf Cabal find their specialism in the realm of Autumn. Whilst their roots lie with yeofolk from across Dawn, many nobles have since flocked to join their ranks. Formed of a union of Noble Houses, they cast their sights towards the bigger picture, the cabal is operated by a council, where every bonded member has an equal vote in its work and goals.

The Golden Leaf does not operate in the shadows - their aims are clear and open, aiming to bolster the Prosperity of Dawn by enchanting both its people and territories. In turn, they try to further what they believe to be the Empire’s ambitions through engaging the complex relationships between Imperial bodies and the Autumn eternals operating under amity.

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Moon and Stars Cabal

Moon and Stars

The Moons and Stars cabal was formed in 377 as an ambitious attempt to create a cross-House Dawnish Night coven. The cabal aims to bring together Night mages from across the nation of Dawn to both aid the Empire and bring Glory to the individual weavers within the cabal. The cabal is named after the heraldic devices used by the Houses who were present at the founding of the endeavour. The cabal was originally formed, primarily, by mages belonging to House De Rondell and a house that has since fallen.

The members of the Moons and Stars cabal are active participants in the business of the Imperial Conclave. Weavers from the cabal have held many important positions in the Conclave. The Moons and Stars cabal are celebrated for using their arcane powers to gather information, provide protection, break curses, and deliver curses. They are also widely known to regularly employ a range of novel and innovative rituals to achieve unusual and original results. They often use heraldic magic in their rituals although individual styles are encouraged.

Other Groups

Other Player Groups

The Iris Covenant

  • Location: The Chase, Astolat
  • Heraldry: A golden iris flower encircled by a ring of interlocking silver leaves
  • Colours: Gold and silver, with accents of purple and blue

The Iris Covenant is a coalition of noble houses in Dawn, founded in Spring 386YE. It aims to foster collaboration and strength among its members, ensuring each house thrives both individually and collectively. The Covenant's "prosperity pact" centres around economic growth, mutual aid, and the cultivation of shared prosperity both within and outside of Anvil.

The Hall of Bloom, House Videre's most prized possession, was chosen as the central meeting place for its symbolic golden iris, reflecting the Covenant's commitment to renewal and beauty. This hall now serves as a vibrant centre for meetings and celebrations.

The Iris Covenant leverages its combined resources and talents to navigate political and economic challenges, remaining steadfast in its focus on the prosperity of its members without endorsing any external political agendas.

The Order of the Gryphon’s Quill

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The Order of the Gryphon's Quill
  • Location: The Chase, Astolat
  • Heraldry: Golden Gryphon rampant clutching a Quill on a Red and Blue split field with crenulated black border at top displaying a gilded Quill
  • Colours: Gold, Red, Blue

The Order of the Gryphons Quill is a school and residence for troubadours and those wishing to further Dawnish arts and culture, led by Lady Kaywenn du Launcet and Lord Romande Remys. Located between the famous tourney ground of Laroc and the Kethry’s Grove it seeks to promote pride in Dawnish culture amongst its citizens and ensure that the most glorious tales are formed. Those of the order that attend anvil tend to be pride troubadours, performers or mages who specialise in magic to nudge stories in glorious directions. Order members whether noble or yeofolk seek to support each other in their endeavours to ensure Dawn weaves a glorious history. Those who wish to join the order can be from any house or any lineage as long as they are willing to ensure great legends last forever.

NPC Groups

These groups are made up of non-player characters; their members are portrayed by Profound Decisions NPC crew.

House de Casillon

  • Location: Castle Spiral, on Weirmoor, in Weirwater
  • Heraldry: A hand with fingers spread marked with a spiral
  • Colours: Azure, Gold, and Violet

The de Casillon are an old house who hail from Spiral Castle, a pre-Imperial keep that stands at the heart of a powerful Summer regio. Their estates lie in Weirmoor in the territory of Weirwater, and until very recently they lived in voluntary internal exile protected from the outside world by a wall of swirling magical mists.

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House de Casillon

Many of the nobles of the de Casillon family claim descent from Empress Richilde, and are said to cultivate their bloodline in the way a vintner might cultivate a strain of fine grapes. They are usually possessed of a strong changeling lineage - it is very rare for anyone who is not a changeling to seek the Test of Mettle from the house and even rarer for them to succeed. Much of their business in the outside world is handled through the Castellan of Spiral Castle, an Imperial title re-established in Spring 380YE.

Almost all the de Casillon nobles are witches, and their earls have always been potent enchanters. Their yeofolk are likewise trained in magical arts, although many of them choose to embrace the path of the artisan. Even before their seclusion behind their wall of mist, they were known for hedonism and self-indulgence and it seems that several decades isolated in a Summer regio have merely heightened these tendencies - left to their own devices they would while away their lives in tourneys, in hunting, in feasting, and in other diverse amusements. There may be some weight to the concerns of some troubadours who worry that the de Casillon have become more like the inhabitants of the Summer realm than citizens of Dawn.

House De Ledure

  • Location: Weirwater
  • Heraldry: A gold star on an argent field
  • Colours: Silver and Gold
  • Earl: Enchanter Geoffrey de Ledure

A relatively new house that was once part of House de Rousillon, they split from that house in in 358YE, ten years after Hugh de Rousillon took the Throne. Several knights of House de Rousillon and other knights who were after more action rather than tournaments joined the house. The house’s estates are based in Weirwater, and under Earl Hugh’s reign, the house was successful in having a senator twice - whilst they were at the peak of their power. Today the house is led by the Enchanter Geoffrey de Ledure, who is from a line of powerful summer witches. It is believed that the house has won some powerful boons from the eternal Hayaak, and they generally refuse to deal with other eternals.

In 378YE a marriage between House de Ledure and the rival House Blyrale was disrupted when the youths involved ran off to join the Navarr. This act ultimately cemented a union between the two houses and House Blyrale joined House de Ledure. According to gossip, the two houses are partially united by their anger at the Dawnish nobles who encouraged their scions to abandon their duty and flee the nation.

House Lionsgate

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House Lionsgate
  • Location: The Chase, Astolat
  • Heraldry: Two red lions facing each other before a black gate
  • Colours: White, Red, and Black

House Lionsgate was founded in 283YE by descendants of the disgraced House Lyongate, who disbanded shortly after the disastrous loss of the original Gryphon's Pride army in a failed attempt to capture the Barrens. The founders attracted a number of knights-errant and questing knights, and slowly rebuilt their house - although they never again enjoyed the prominence they had lost along with the army.

The Lionsgate estates in Astolat are small but well maintained, and lie in The Chase. In recent years, the House has reclaimed some of its prominence as it has forged closer ties with a number of smaller noble houses - especially the cunning de Coyne of Dawnguard and the proud de Helios of Astolat. In 379E, then earl Lady Cassandra contacted several Dawnish nobles active in Imperial politics and offered aid in the re-establishment of the Gryphon's Pride. The loose coalition of smaller houses managed to secure a number of wains of mithril to help with the mustering of the fourth Dawnish army, seeing in this endeavour an opportunity to reclaim some of the pride they had lost over a century before. it remains to be seen if, now the army has been completed, they will continue to involve themselves in Dawnish politics or retreat to their estates.

Contributing

Any player character group in Dawn can submit an entry for this page. The entry should come from the out-of-character group leader and be emailed to plot@profounddecisions.co.uk.

It should contain the following information:

  • Group archetype (noble house, weaver cabal, knightly order). If your group doesn't have one of these archetypes, it will be listed in the "other" section.
  • Territory and region where the groups lands are physically located. Noble houses have estates, but both knightly orders and weaver cabals will be tied to a physical location that serves as their base of operations. If you are a group in exile that has fled the Barrens you can mention that
  • A description of your groups heraldry, with an image if desired. All noble houses have heraldry, as do most knightly orders and weaver cabals.
  • If your group has specific colours, you can mention them here.
  • If your knightly order has a publicly known oath you can include it in this section, bearing in mind that the best oaths of this nature are short and pithy
  • The name of your earl if you are a noble house. If there is someone in your knightly order or weaver cabal that serves as the in-character leader of the group, you can mention them and their title here

You should also include up to 250 words of description, detailing the kind of things that other characters might know about your group. Have a look at the description for a noble house, or at the archetype pages for weaver cabals and questing knights for ideas on the kind of information that is useful. You must also include a few sentences of history, especially around the circumstances of the house's formation or origin.

Some other questions to consider include:

  • If you are a noble house, do you have a particular Test of Mettle for which they are known, or a noteworthy method of choosing their earl?
  • Are there one or more particular archetypes the group is particularly associated with, either noble of yeofolk? Obviously knightly orders will contain questing knights, and weaver cabals are expected to have weavers among their number, but is there a noteworthy archetype that might be unexpected or has a special role?
  • Does your group have a particular ambition which helps unify your members?
  • Is there anything notable about the lands you claim, or about the physical buildings that serve as your home?

Things to avoid include:

  • Too much worldbuilding detail — this represents information other characters may know about your house. It's not a place to define elements of the game world
  • Lists of character names — this isn't a place for getting your name on the wiki
  • Too much emphasis on the past — while it's useful to have a few lines of history, what matters in Empire is what your house does on the field at events

It's possible to update the information on this page over time (for example if your earl changes) with an e-mail to plot@profounddecisions.co.uk.