This is a brief introduction to the factions of the Midrealm. Some of these have power outside, to the north, south, west or across the seas, but their most pressing matters can be found in the Midrealm and the great city of Capitoleum. (More info here.) A Knowledge (local) or (nobility) DC5 reveals the following:
Capitoleum is the economical and military power of this area with almost ten times the population of any other town or city within weeks of travel. The percentage of fighting people is significantly lower than any other city, but it’s almost independent in terms of supplies either from trade during a possible land take-over or by the local areas during a naval blockade. Though low percentage of soldiers, it has the highest concentration of militia for hundreds of miles, and is a prominent contributor to the The Stripes divisions patrolling The Coins
Much of the power struggle within the city is between the Governors (the five best placed noble houses), The Court of Houses (all lords in an advisory manner, sometimes referred to as “The House of Lords”), The Chamber of Commerce (guilds and local traders), The Harbour Master’s Office (mainly merchants and foreign traders), The Sickle (mage guild) and The Church of Pelor. The Family Register, The Capitoleum University, The Stripes (city militia) and The Court of Justice (occasionally confused with The Court of Houses when just referred to as “the court”) are also power centres, but not as prolific or as interested in politics.
No Governor noble house really stands out significantly at present and control of the city is only marginally based on owning lands surrounding it. A lot has to do with military placement and power, trade and money as well as political and social might/allies among the houses. All houses want to be part of the Governors because of the superior position for gaining wealth, but it always also comes at a cost.
Naturally, a character may have a lot of information about a particular House. Adopt the roll as needed.
Recognising the name
- All Court of Houses Members (local)/(nobility) DC5.
- Other houses – Knowledge (local) DC15, Knowledge (nobility) DC8
For basic information about the individual house, such as key aims and strengths (in general), sigil, rough population estimates and current (or most recent) leader:
- Governor – Knowledge (local)/(nobility) DC10.
- Court of Houses Member – Knowledge (local) DC15, Knowledge (nobility) DC10.
- Other houses – Knowledge (local) DC20, Knowledge (nobility) DC15
Detailed information such as relationships with other houses and organisations or current rough economic status and exports:
- All Court of Houses Members – Knowledge (local) DC20, Knowledge (nobility) DC15.
- Other houses – Knowledge (local) DC25, Knowledge (nobility) DC20.
Inside information such as total military strength, specific cash flow and individual staff members:
- All Court of Houses Members – Knowledge (local) DC25, Knowledge (nobility) DC20.
- Other houses – Knowledge (local) DC30, Knowledge (nobility) DC25.
Below are listed first the Governor houses in rough estimate order of power/influence and then alphabetical order of the rest of the Midrealm houses that have their own kingdoms.
Sigil: Feather pen and quill
Leader: Richard Haldean the Fourth
Capitol: The Fork
Rough age: Old house
Strengths: Political skills, influence, deep pockets, military power
Weaknesses: Praise, internal struggles, hated by many
Export: Merchant trading, road toll, river toll
Other: Known as a quite strong ally or a vicious enemy
Exact age: 14 generations (~270 years)
Support (competition): Haldean
Peace with: Edmyr, Artipellin (who dislike Menthell)
Indifferent: Selwen (is under Menthell’s thumb and hate Menthell)
Competition (dislike): Wyny
Hostilities: Tally (who hates Menthell)
Sigil: A scroll leaning to the right, over a sword tilting to the left
Leader: Hald Haldean the seventh
Capitol: Scima (Ognit close)
Rough age: Old house
Strengths: Education, influence, deep pockets
Export: Education, road toll, some river toll
Other: Known for interest in education and knowledge. Runs the Capitoleum University and the Scima and Ognit campuses. Proponents of higher learning and supports basic learning for their own vassals. Large and oddly shaped land. Between the Dreadscar and Vasjwoods. Has deep pockets.
Exact age: 13 generations (~250 years)
Support (like): the Sickle, Hwett, Wyny (long time)
Support (competition): Menthell
Competition (dislike) Artipellin
Hostilities: Goldhelm, Oakshield
Sigil: A golden grail crested with rubies
Leader: Nicholla Artipellin the First
Rough age: Old house
Strengths: Arts, popular support, magic, sea trade
Weakness: Less military strength than other Governors
Export: Art, magic, fish
Other: Known for being creative and artful. They own most high level theatres and art galleries in the realms. Have taken to “knighting” great artists, tying them to the house (though generally not expected to fight). These “paint knights” are looked down upon by all “real” knights except for Artipellin knights who simply see them as knights of the creative arts rather than the sword. The Artipellin has a close connection with the Sickle, which brings power but also some disrespect from magiphobic houses. As the other Governor houses, they have decently deep pockets, though a lot of their wealth is tied up in art objects or facilities. Their knights are admired by commoners of the realms as the purest (and most handsome) of knights in the realms.
Houses (Kingdoms – Court of Houses Members)
Sigil: A pulled wolf’s fang
Leader: Eldig Tally (female)
Rough age: Very young house
Strengths: Reputations of old, ferocious leader
Weaknesses: Small lands, small army, no connection with The Coins, enemies
Exports: Farming produce, pelts
Other: Young noble house which was created through heroic acts of Eld Tally, a knight of much reknown. In the last generation and a half the house did not have a male heir and surrounding houses took bites out of their lands as their leader was seen as weak. They still have a female leader, though she’s more fierce and has stalled the advances of other houses. Currently led by Eldig the First (young woman).
Exact age: 4 generations (75 years)
Support (like): Selwen
Peace (like): Farlun
Peace (hate): Eagle-eye (Eagle-eye recently stole the Castle of Tallenera from Tally but has no further hostilities, though Tally would take it back if they could and it’s not safe for Eagle-eye nobles to openly travel the highway through Tally)
Additional: Some surrounding small lords in other kingdoms would be loyal to Tally, if they could be shown that it would be safe to do so.
Sigil: A squirrel facing right, holding a hazel nut
Leader: Panido Wyrd the Sighted
Capital: Grean Weald
Rough age: Ancient house
Strengths: Connection with nature (magic)
Weakness: Weak militia, bad reputation
Exports: Lumber, pelts
Other: Known as “wood crazy” and not very well understood by other houses. Experts at navigating the forest and all invasion attempts by any house in the past have failed when the Wyrd leave their main fortifications and start a cruel guerilla war. No attempts tried in the past 150 years. One of the oldest houses in the Realms, though the family outlook has changed many times over time. Rumours of extensive inbreeding and that they practice beastiality.