Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Center Cannot Hold: Othebea 2

After a comment suggested I elaborate a bit on some parts of Othebea, I realized I should at least explain the various noble houses of Othebea, their goals and attitudes.  It isn't as handy as explaining all the potential plot hooks that could be out there, but I tried my best to let Othebean factions have split opinions on matters relating to Ith and Ainesia.  Later I might revisit this to try and pour more ideas and plot hooks into, but I think it adds some depth to Othebea that wasn't there before.

House Kenkings
Headquarters: Duchy of Suffrose Island
Family Alignment: CG
House Motto: "We Fear No Storm."
House Sigil: A pair of sharks on a blue field

House Kenkings has long been providing Othebea with its fleets of ships that help keep its empire functioning.  Kenkings held strong feelings about Ith during the Revolution Wars, as their family had members governing over Ithic territory.  Kenkings tend to believe in the strength of self-rule, however.  Admiral Riana Kenkings advised Garcus II to let Ith become independent.  Her house now strongly favors Ith, viewing it as a noble experiment without any cost to Othebea itself.

As such, the Kenkings continue to advocate strong relations with Ith, viewing it as a potential ally against the Ainesian Revolution.  They also see the empires political control over Bor and Rani as risks, preferring the idea of letting others rule themselves while they control the ships that bring trade there.

House Nichthorn
Headquarters: Duchy of Twilight
Family Alignment: LE
House Motto: "There is Light in Blackest Night."
House Sigil: A black Crow on a field of red.

Nichthorn are conservative and quiet.  Its House is well known for providing countless spymasters for the monarchy for centuries.  Rumors abound about its agents and the dark deeds they do for king and country.

House Nichthorn also are the strongest supporters of the Eternal Order of the Eagle and the Crow, advocating often for the Crow side of the Order.  They prefer the idea of the self-sacrificing martyr, and see the Order as necessary to keep harmony and peace.  To the Nichthorn, it is better to kill a man in his sleep than let any sort of ideas come from him that might trigger the downfall of Othebea or its values.  They fear the Revolution in Ainesia, and see its parent in Ith's independence.  House Nichthorn waits, hoping for a moment perfect enough so that they might strangle the threat the Revolution holds to the nation they love.

House Langknight
Headquarters: Duchy of Mucklemine
Family Alignment: LN
House Motto: "Ours is Iron."
House Sigil: A Grey Pike

House Langknight remembers its origin, and remembers it well.  Langknight has long served the royal house of Guidsword, elevated to its current position at its founding by a Guidsword monarch when the Guidswords first established their dynasty.  Langknight controls the heavy metal mines of Northern Othebea, supplying ore and weapons to the rest of Othebea.  Langknight steel is well regarded within the empire, their arms one of the critical standards that others in Ith or Ainesia compare themselves to.

Langknight distrusts the threat of unionizing laborers, but finds the idea of Android workers even more unattractive.  Members of the House also share money and material interests, investing in Ithic Banks in order to help cement more control.  House Langknight also is an advocate of rethinking some colonial ideas of the past, seeing some of the land given over to Ith and Ainesia as mistakes to be fixed.  To them, the Revolution and Ith are temporary, forsaken ideas that lack long-term fortitude.  Without a monarch to represent them, they lack the divine right Langknight knows Othebea has.

House Guidsword
Headquarters: Crownlands, City of Guidthorn
Family Alignment: LG
House Motto: "In The Herald's Name."
House Sigil: A gold Rose and a Sword

The Royal House of Guidsword established their dynasty four centuries ago, after the Sabizi heavy royal House of Whiterose splintered in civil war.  The Guidswords restored the monarchy and established themselves firmly in power, cementing that when they moved the capital from Langrose to Guidthorn.  The Guidswords have orchestrated their own loyal vassals in the Langknights and Nichthorn.  The current King of Othebea, Garcus the III, is a descendant of this line.

Despite this, there are old families who have ties to the old Sabizi royal lines.  These families dislike the conquests of the Guidswords, viewing them with distaste.  House Nichthorn and the Church of the Black Rose have long suppressed such families, preventing civil war from springing up again.  But House Guidsword always maintains a steady fear of the old Sabizi families, seeing them as potential assassins and possibly helping spread the Revolution in Othebea's own backyard.

House Goldrose
Headquarters: County of Langrose
Family Alignment: NG
House Motto: "Good Hearts Give."
House Sigil: A Gold Rose on a field of green.

House Goldrose could be seen as only a very minor house, holding a county and little more than that.  But the history tied to Langrose and the control over the Holy City inside it grants a prestige and political power that only is rivaled by the Royal House of Guidsword.  Goldrose is the last of the great Sabizi houses, their power is a bitter echo of the old royal lines that once ruled Othebea in the Herald's name.

Goldrose is tied to the Church of the Twins, often acting in conjunction with the Church and its  interests within Othebea itself.  Goldrose advocates for peaceable embrace of reforms, especially those advocated by the Revolution.  Despite its religious ties, House Goldrose is among those in the House of Lords that pushed through laws that allowed religious equality.  It believes the best way to improve the world is to allow all voices a chance to speak, something that others, like House Kenkings, agrees with.