De Courci - De Almedia - Velasquez - Cristofori - Minor Families - Foreign Nobility
A note on literary etiquette: the Faculty of Heraldry in the College of the Thousand Arts (whose remit also covers such things as genealogy and noble etiquette) holds that the word "family" should always be capitalised when referring to a Family of noble lineage, and that the "de" or similar in someone's name should be capitalised when referring to a major Family (De Courci, De Almedia, D'Artois) and left lower case when referring to a less distinguished Family (de Velland, de Mamushi, de Beus, du Bois, di Falconi, de Briganza).
Her Eminence Rebecca, Sir Francis (RIP), Lady Lydia (RIP), Stephano, Teresa & Henri, Johanna, Sasha
Her Eminence Rebecca De Courci
Now well into her forties, Rebecca De Courci is a peerless and parlous politician. She has balanced the feuding Families with consummate skill and under her inspired leadership the White City has prospered. As is ever the case with successful and influential people, particularly female ones, rumours abound about the source of her success. They just don't bound too high or too loud.
Rebecca has recently announced that she is pregnant, and that the child is to be her successor.
The shield of the De Courci Family consists of three golden crowns on a red field. This is, in fact, the coat of arms of the Governorship of the White City, but has been adopted by the Family De Courci as a matter of course.
The Late Sir Francis De Courci, RIP
Younger brother to Rebecca De Courci, Francis was thought to be very, very close to his sister (rumours abounded about that as well). It was something of an open secret that Francis De Courci was the Captain of the Low Guard, although Rebecca has always maintained personal authority over that organisation. Assassinated by Light fanatics in the service of Marius during the recent coup.
The Late Lady Lydia De Courci, RIP
Rebecca's tearaway daughter, Lydia De Courci was once seen as something of an embarrassment to the Family. She kept unhealthy company, frequently vanished for days at a time and generally had people tearing their hair out. She did, however, seem capable of looking after herself. Some claim that she was in some way involved with King Eric, which could explain how he has evaded capture for so long. She was reported dead in the spring of 26 RdC, though the Temple of Ashes has been unable to confirm her demise.
Stephano De Courci (PC, played by Julian)
Stephano De Courci was once a noble hero of the White City. Nephew to Rebecca, famed priest and sorcerer, he more than once saved the city from disaster - travelling to the North to bring back a cure for a dreadful plague; using his magic to save the life of the White City's champion as he battled Sirius Panastra in the Naming and Binding War.
Then things changed. Driven by his desire to return his dead sister to life, Stephano allied himself with Selena Curiana, learning necromancy from her, and then journeyed with her to the Burned Realm, where he participated in the murder of the Lord of Gardens, and was cursed to eternal life for it. For a while, Stephano hid his new powers from the authorities, but in the end he was forced to flee the White City, joining up with his secret allies in the Port of Glass and Flame. Stephano claims to be the true heir to the Governorship of the White City, and has sworn he will gain his birthright... and get his revenge.
Stephano's arms were: On a blue shield, three golden crowns each of which has above it a red rose.
Teresa & Henri De Courci (PCs, played by Helen W & Chris N)
Teresa & Henri De Courci were raised in the White City's Embassy to the City of Silk, where their mother served as one of the Ambassadors. Having recently reached their age of majority, they have both travelled to the White City in the hope of making a name for themselves and serving their Family as diplomats and adventurers. Teresa is a priestess of the Verdant Lord and a sorceress, while Henri is a lay worshipper of the Rose Prince of the South.
Johanna De Courci (PC, played by Christi)
Sasha De Courci (PC, played by Vicky)
When Valeri De Courci, shunning his family's advice, married the slightly enigmatic woman he met in the City of Silk more than a few eyebrows were raised. A few years later Sasha was born. First cousin to Henry and Teresa and newly arrived on the adventuring circuit, Sasha is not exactly at home with the propieties of noble tradition. Her father encouraged her to head to the White City in order to try and make a name for herself. Her strange serpentile green eyes and skill as a blood sorceress make little secret of which goddess it is that she worships. Despite this, however, it seems that she has managed to gain at least a little of the family's respect, in particular by leading a sucessful diplomatic mission to trade goods with one of the 13 tribes in the east.
Duke Vitaliano, Duchess Lucilla, Nadia-Caterina, Marcus, Carla, High Captain Matteus, Fal-Kar, Luciano, Jacques, Dante, Anna, Mistor, Ratrina, The Ashen Scholar
Duke Vitaliano & Duchess Lucilla De Almedia
Vitaliano and Lucilla De Almedia are the current Duke and Duchess of the Family and, whilst advanced in years, they have a political and business acumen which makes them a terror to their enemies. The Duke and Duchess De Almedia are considered to be amongst the most honest nobility in the City, precious few scandalous rumours are ever circulated about them.
The shield of the De Almedia Family is a black, green-eyed spider, rearing as if to attack and facing forward, on a red shield.
Nadia-Caterina De Almedia
Fantasy cliché #29, the darkly beautiful spider priestess. Nadia-Caterina, heir to the line following the death of Alessandro, is indeed dark, in hair and eye at least, and is quite pretty in a consumptive sort of a way. She is also an Ordained Priestess of the Cult of the Spider Queens. She's a reasonably competent Blood sorcerer, but a little given to melodrama.
Marcus & Carla De Almedia
Carla is the younger sister of Duke Vitaliano, wife to Marcus and mother to Matteus, Fal-Kar and Luciano.
High Captain Matteus De Almedia, Champion of the White City (PC, played by Xan)
One of the four High Captains of the High Guard and a Priest of the Rose Princes, Matteus stands as the Champion of the White City since the Army of the Red Gryphon attacked and he stepped forward to face and defeat their champion, Sirius Panastra, in single combat. He is a brash and arrogant man in his late twenties who likes nothing more than a good duel and pays particular honour to the Rose Prince of the South. Known to be more interested in upholding the law within the White City and maintaining the status quo than in any abstract notions of "justice", he finds it hard to believe that anyone might knowingly disrespect his authority and is always ready to teach a sharp lesson to those who do, his temper occasionally getting the better of him. Nephew to Duke Vitaliano and older brother to Fal-Kar and Luciano - he has recently become Fal-Kar's apprentice in order to learn the ways of Wind sorcery. His right arm is made of living gold, apparently an unsought "blessing" of the Light gained on an expedition to the Breathing Isles.
Captain Matteus' shield is the City Shield of the De Almedias: A red shield divided in two by a gold band, now surmounted by a horizontal white sword to signify his status as the city's champion. On the band, a crowned black halberd. On the left side, three gold crowns. On the right side, a black, green-eyed spider, rearing as if to attack and facing forward.
Fal-Kar De Almedia (PC, played by Rich)
Formerly a complete flake, Fal-Kar has been bullied by his Family and circumstance into taking a more active role in the Family's trading concerns. He seems to constantly be at the wrong place at the wrong time and thus get himself further into trouble over almost any issue. Sometimes it seems to him that all his knowledge has been taught the hard way. A Wind sorcerer of some renown, he is known to respect and revere all the Princes of Breath. It is said he was instrumental in the rescuing of one Kit Fisable from the Port of Glass, even throwing a duel against Emmanuel D'Artois so as to keep up to speed with the plan (says he if challenged over the matter). He has most recently been seen in the De Almedia library looking up duelling customs cross referenced to the Port of Glass and swearing a lot.
Fal-Kar is nephew to Duke Vitaliano, younger brother to Matteus, older brother to Luciano.
Luciano De Almedia
An eight year old boy who is widely viewed as a spoilt brat. Son of Marcus and Carla, younger brother to Matteus and Fal-Kar, nephew to Duke Vitaliano.
Jacques De Almedia (PC, played by Chris N, now missing in action)
Jac De Almedia (alias Jack Hall when indulging in secrecy) was, through an accident of chronology, brought up a bandit by Sir Thomas Wollesley's men. He was brought into the Family fold by the De Almedias at around the age of twenty-five, with the main job description of being professionally expendable. He adventured for the White City, made something of a reputation for himself and then went missing in the Port of Glass while attempting to rescue Kit Fisable. Jacques was the only survivor of a cadet branch of the Family, his father being a second cousin to Duke Vitaliano.
Ratrina De Almedia (PC, played by Andrea)
Ratrina's arms are a black spider on a red and green shield. By choice, the spider is drawn stylised rather than realistically.
Editor's Note: Ratrina is married to Sebastian de Fideli; both nobles have chosen to keep their Family name.
Dante De Almedia (PC, played by Chris V)
Anna De Almedia (PC, played by Natalie)
Mistor De Almedia (PC, played by Tristram)
The Ashen Scholar (PC, played by Jen)
Duke Nerino, Piera, Nazzereno, Maria, Alfonzo, Chiara, Vincenzi, Toquell, Abelard, Federico, Jenevieve
Duke Nerino Velasquez
Now the Duke of the Velasqeuz family, Nerino is a noted scholar and an accomplished Chain sorcerer. Uncle to the late Duchess Chiara he is rumoured to have attempted to assassinate her on no less than twelve previous occasions before her death. His final success in eliminating his rival was rather public however and has earned him the emnity of the Cristofori's and the displeasure of the White City authorities.
Son of Nerino, Piera is a hotheaded young man who takes grave offence at any slurs against the good name of his Family (of which there are many, the Velasquez are not liked). He is somewhat lacking in political ambition, to the despair of his father.
A callow, sickly youth, brother to Piera, there appears to be the traditional "brawn/brain" deal going on with the two of them. Nazzereno is an accomplished Dream sorcerer and is rumoured to spend eighteen hours of every day asleep.
Maria & Alfonzo Velasquez
Maria is the cousin of Chrecenzo and Nerino, wife to Alfonzo and mother to Toquell, Vincenzi and Abelard.
Duchess Chiara Velasquez
Former Duchess Velasquez, daughter of Chrecenzo and Andreah Velasquez (both also deceased). Rumours of poisoning, necromancy, Vitriarch worship and a thousand other things are laid at her door. Her murder at Nerino's hands is an open secret amongst the White City nobility.
The shield of the Velasquez Family is an upright silver serpent, poised to strike, on a black oval.
Vincenzi Velasquez (PC, played by Xan, now retired)
The second child of Maria Velasquez and her husband Alfonzo, younger brother to Toquell, older brother to Abelard, Vincenzi was a second-cousin to Chiara and had little apparent interest in politics or Family matters. Most of his teenage years were spent in the dedicated pursuit of wine, women and song, with an occasional pause for duelling and debauchery. Then came the night of his eighteenth birthday, when he was dared by a member of the Cristofori Family to spend five days alone in the depths of the Great Forest. On his return he bore the ruddy brand of a kiss upon his brow, having become a Priest of the Lady of Blood and Wine and learnt the rudiments of Blood sorcery.
Not much else about Vincenzi actually changed - he still spent most of his time in the passionate pursuit of wine, women (and occasionally men or beasts) and song, but now did so in the name of religion. Adventuring began as merely his latest hobby and diversion, a pastime to broaden his horizons, develop his skills and enlarge his purse, but as the years passed he spent more of his time wandering the Great Forest in various forms than he did drinking and partying in the White City. When he was in the city he was often to be found throwing debauched parties at his mansion or drinking and whoring at the Black Griffin tavern.
He became famed for having helped save the Great River from the Necromancer of the Palace of Three Rivers, for which he earnt the thanks of Rebecca De Courci herself. He was also rumoured to have travelled to the Burned Realm and been permitted entrance to the Tower of Heroes. An Initiate of the Old Powers Faculty in the College of the Thousand Arts, he was known as a talented exorcist, a skilled alchemist and a learned scholar, and rumoured to have connections with the Temple of Ashes and the Cloistered Brethren of Chains. He gained some kind of mystical bond with wolves, none of whom would attack him. He began a vicious simmering feud with his older brother, Toquell, and became the mentor and the instructor in Blood sorcery of the Child of the Vine known as Thalia. "After becoming increasingly estranged from what he began referring to as "the self-righteous human rabble", with dark rumours accusing him of cannibalism and similar practices, he vanished into the Great Forest shortly after returning from a trip to unite the Eastern tribes. Rumours since then claim that he has somehow become part of the Forest itself, a spirit of the land able to manifest physical forms.
Vincenzi's coat of arms is an oval shield divided by an upright blood-red chevron; the upper field black and bearing the Velasquez serpent in silver, the lower half silver and bearing a blood-red kiss between two blood-red teardrops.
Toquell Velasquez (PC, played by Joe W, now retired)
One of the White City's most infamous denizens, Toquell Velasquez's deeds are told of in countless rumours both foul and fair. A few more recent events are known to be true: Towards the end of the Naming & Binding War he led a small group of associates (known to some as The Merry Band) to the North, and subsequently returned to destroy half the Army of the Red Gryphon with a colossal avalanche. In the wake of this triumph he offered to lend his strength to the Cloistered Brethren of Chains, who were in no position to refuse his assistance. Thus in the final battle of the War, Toquell and his Band were at the forefront of the City's strike force and it is said that it must have been his magics that imprisoned the Unbound God before the City's wall.
Despite these achievements, Toquell's reputation amongst the City's nobility leaves much to be desired; few even amongst the Velasquez are comfortable around him and he takes little interest in playing the game of politics. Despite this he is known to have an overwhelming arrogance coupled with a prickly pride, and is not slow to challenge those of his peers that offend him. Jacques De Almedia was brought low following a quarrel on the Breathing Isle, and Stephano De Courci is soon due to meet him in a duel to the death. Of late Toquell has been engaged in a number of personal projects and was last seen leaving the shattered ruins of the recently destroyed High Temple of the Light.
Toquell was the eldest child of Maria Velasquez and her husband Alfonzo, older brother to Abelard and Vincenzi.
Toquell's coat of arms is the Velasquez serpent in purple, presented on a black shield.
Editor's Note: Toquell disappeared in the Western Forest, and his Family has been informed of his death.
Abelard Velasquez (PC, played by Rich)
Thoroughly overshadowed by his more famous brothers Toquell and Vincenzi, Abelard is the sort of decent, upstanding young man that the Velasquez like to pretend they aren't related to. His Family secured him an early commission in the High Guard, where he served with quiet competence until he was struck by a taste for adventure. In recent months he has occupied himself with several daring endeavours, including exploratory journeys to the far North and South and a mysterious Eastern mission with his cousin Carlos de Mamushi.
Editor's Note: Abelard is currently known to be serving in the military of the traitor Belor de Velland. It is generally assumed that the more respectable parts of the family have disowned him.
Federico Velasquez (PC, played by Joff)
Not one of those Velasquez... well actually he is, but he tries very hard to dissociate himself from the memory of his warring cousins, especially the one he idolised as a child... A chain mage and adventurer, this young man has seen many of his childhood friends cut down and his outlook is darkening as a result, but he has never abandoned his kind hearted nature or his quiet campaign for social change in the White City. He does seem to be rather fonder of gemstones than he used to be, though. And he can sometimes be heard muttering under his breath about sloppily painted walls.
Jenevieve Velasquez (PC, played by Jenni)
Incorrigible. Wayward. Arrogant. Reckless. Never gives in, never backs down and will never, ever neglect a friend in need.
Brought up in the luxurious Velasquez household, Jenevieve was tutored in the Machiavellian ways of her family and idolised her mysterious older cousin, Vincenzi. She was an adventurous child who could run faster than her younger brother (and partner-in-crime), Federico, so her schemes used to land him in trouble with their parents, their family and sometimes even the city authorities. Then again, it was always Jenevieve who got him out of trouble again. At the age of sixteen her parents sent her to the College of a Thousand Arts, with a sizable sum in Hexa to pay for her tuition. She kept on walking until she reached the Whistful City, where she spent all the money on wine, men, women, and song! Now she's back, having strolled into The White City and back into Federico's life unrepentant as the devil, with nary an explanation of where she's been or what she's been doing for three years. There are rumours she spent the time with Vine-children, though these could just have been started by people who have seen her put away her wine!
Never having grasped the finer subtleties of politics, Jenevieve channels that Velasquez way with words into con-artistry and charming her way around everyone she meets. She is deadly with a sword, but will usually try to talk her way out before rushing into a fight. She is even deadlier at poker. Generally a follower of the school of thought that states that believing in gods will only encourage the bastards, Jenevieve has, recently, been feeling the lure towards sorcery and power that seems to affect all the Velasquez. Too roguish for Light magic, not (quite) insane enough for Glass magic, she has to admit a certain grudging admiration for the trickster god, the Rattle-Prince.
Phillippe de Navarro Velasquez (PC, played by Gobion)
Duke Ario, Svetlana, Oliviero, Luti, Olivia, Giovanni, Shenya, Agelmar, Enrico
Duke Ario Cristofori
The current - and indeed first - Merchant-Duke of the Cristoforis, Ario is "new money". But since he's probably the wealthiest man in the White City, and since all of the Families have some mercantile interests, they don't like to throw stones too hard. He is a widower, his wife having died giving birth to their second son. She herself was something of an oddity, hailing originally from the City of Crossroads and, according to some, being a disinherited heiress of the Kingdoms of the East.
The shield of the Cristofori Family consists of a golden wheel on a blue field, between two black-and-gold striped bees.
Heir to the Family and currently unmarried. An accomplished diplomat, a skilled sword and an excellent trader, Oliviero is by some accounts the archetype of all a young nobleman should be.
The name was apparently chosen by her mother. She is young, seemingly canny, but with a vaguely unearthly quality that some find unsettling. Still, she is by all accounts a pleasant enough girl, and of course as rich as all hell.
Never really got on with this father and never knew his mother. Luti Cristofori wandered off East some three years ago and has not been seen since.
Duke Ario's younger sister. She is not overly close to her brother, although her financial acumen and cold, realistic attitude have provided her with a good reputation within the Family. It is rumoured that her marriage to Giovanni had very little to do with affection and a great deal more to do with the man's trading contacts and Family financial history. Even now, after almost thirty years of marriage, she is rarely more than adequately civil to her husband in public and it is rumoured that their private relationship is only maintained in order to continue to provide the Family Cristofori with heirs. Occasional murmurings of adultery have never been altogether debunked. She has a good relationship with her surviving male children, who have enthusiastically followed her into the Family business, and does her best to ignore her only daughter.
The shield of the line of Olivia and Giovanni Cristofori is as the Family arms, but with silver coins replacing the bees.
Husband of Olivia and brother-in-law to Duke Ario, Giovanni married into the Family shortly before Ario was raised to the nobility. He is from an old and wealthy Crossroads Family who are distantly related to the Ivanescus, and has always been possessed of a cheerful, good-natured attitude somewhat at odds with his parental Family's reputation for ruthless business dealings. He had something of a name as a formidable duellist and adventurer before his marriage to Olivia, and has always seemed vaguely disappointed that none of his sons seem to have any interest in pursuits martial.
Shenya Cristofori (PC, played by Helen W, now missing in action)
Niece of Duke Ario, daughter of Olivia and Giovanni, Shenya was not the most typical example of young Cristofori nobility. She was the seventh child, though only three of her elder siblings (all male) survived till adulthood. She always seemed a great deal more interested in matters of honour, adventure and combat than in following her brothers' example and aiding the Family's mercantile interests. She stood to inherit very little, but did have a small share in the Family's holdings outside the city - this was a coming-of-age gift from her mother, apparently in the hope she would take some sort of interest in financial affairs. She rarely visited it, and left its running to a long-suffering Family steward. Her father quietly doted on her, when his wife wasn't watching, and her mother disliked her enough to pretend she didn't exist at most social functions. Her dreams of making a name for herself as an adventurer were thwarted early when she disappeared during the critical battle of the Naming & Binding War. Her body has not been recovered.
Shenya's shield is as the Family arms, but lacking the bees and with the addition of a red rose centering the wheel.
Agelmar Cristofori (PC, played by Steve J)
Agelmar's shield consists of three gold coins with crowns on a blue field, with a red border. There are those who speculate that the red border and three crowns appearing on this line's arms are a veiled reference to the claims of Lucrezia Cristofori, Agelmar's grandmother and the matriarch of the branch, to be an illegitimate descendant of some exiled White City Governor. These claims have never been disproven, but it's generally considered gauche to mention them in front of the De Courcis.
Enrico Cristofori (PC, played by Fed)
Brave, honourable, honest and bluff Enrico (cowardly, back-stabbing, conniving and womanising bastard) and famed (accidental) adventurer.
Born to minor noble of the Cristofori family, Enrico's early life was spent in an attempt to get an education and join the family's business which disastrously failed when he became entangled with another merchant's daughter in the White City. Marriage was deemed to be the only solution (it was that or face a duel with the girl's uncle) and Enrico spent some time enjoying the comforts of the city while his wife's father payed for it.
A brief spell in the High Guard ended when rumour reached Matteus De Almedia's ears that Enrico had enjoyed too close a company with one of his female relations (all true). Fleeing was the best possible choice and Enrico moved speedily to the East where he spent four long years in the City of Crossroads and thereabouts. News has returned that he had assisted Gerran Bellart in several ventures and even prevented an assassination of the Governor (all true, though none of those were Enrico's intentions, he was busy saving his own skin and did it accidentally).
Returning to the White City (quite desperately by now, since undeserved glory had earned him enemies) as a slightly more hardened warrior, Enrico has tried to keep a low profile, which didn't stop Matteus catching up with him and forcing a degree of payment out of him for past indiscretion.
A lily-livered coward by nature who has had the misfortune to appear brave to all around him, Enrico constantly finds himself in dangerous situations and does his best not to get killed (while making off with the gold and the women if he can).
Enrico's shield is a lozenge Azure, a bordure Or, four Wheels Or.
Sir Robert Cristofori of the Shining Order (PC, played by Paul)
Lord Protector Belor de Velland, Erica de Velland (RIP), Sir Carlos de Mamushi, Marco di Falconi, Arbella & Belric Luxfrey, Sebastian de Fideli
Some White City nobles from other Families have managed to make a name for themselves and have advanced to a sufficiently high social status to be worthy of mention. Then there are those Families which were once great, but have fallen into decline...
Lord Protector Belor de Velland (PC, played by Peter)
For two centuries, the name of de Velland was unheard in the White City, following the brutal murder of, seemingly, the entire family. For two hundred years the name languished in books alone. Then, some two summers ago, Belor de Velland appeared in the White City speaking of the younger daughter of a younger daughter of the family who escaped West, of a family's struggle with a great and Nameless Evil beyond the Western Forest and of the family's need for help in facing it. Slowly at first, but with increasing speed, the de Velland name again was spoken in the city following Belor's meteoric rise through the ranks of the nobility, though this was certainly helped by his association with the sorcerous and controversial Toquell Velasquez. Given this and his guarded and private manner and his Aurorean eyes rumours abound as to the source of his success. Such rumours were only reinforced following his being named one of the four High Captains of the High Guard after his activities in the Marius Insurrection.
Finally, some months ago, following the revolution in the Port of Glass, Belor de Velland made an extended trip East, returning with Selena Curiana at the head of the largest army of undead the world has ever seen and overran the weakend Port. As waves of Black Flame swept across the city, consuming buildings and people alike, Belor declared himself Lord Protector of the Port of Glass and Flame.
The Late Erica de Velland, RIP (PC, played by Vicky)
Cousin to Belor and one of the clan's seers, Erica grew up in the far West defending the front from the onslaught of a nameless terror. Upon reaching adulthood Erica was sent eastward by her mother to gather aid for their cause, going first to the Port of Glass and then on to the White City to support her cousin. She appeared a mild mannered and soft spoken woman and seemed to have a high sense of honour and duty.
Erica died tragically in the far north, shortly before she was to be married to Federico Velasquez. Although details of her death remain obscure it seems it was extremely traumatic.
Erica's coat of arms was a golden tower with a silver snake wrapped around it, on a cartouche coloured blood-red on the right-hand side, black on the left.
Sir Carlos de Mamushi (PC, played by Joe W)
The former Captain of the Low Guard and one of Rebecca De Courci's most trusted advisors, Carlos disappeared into the North following the defeat of the Necromancer at Three Rivers. Some speculation has it that the loss of his half-brother Bairoth on the mission may have been more than the young noble could bear. More cynical gossips hold that his close relations with the High Priestess of the Light, Carmina Curiana, had earned him the displeasure of the Governer.
On his final journey Carlos reportedly sustained a severe injury that appeared to resist the restorative powers of Ash. His current whereabouts are now unknown but some alchemists in the Whistful City claim to have encountered a man seeking help for a weeping wound in his side. Given the addled state of most of the Whistful City's inhabitants these rumours are not seen as particularly conclusive.
Carlos' coat of arms consists of two Velasquez silver serpents entwined around one another on a black diamond field.
Marco di Falconi (PC, played by Joff)
The di Falconi Family were once an unremarkable De Almedia offshoot with mid-range holdings and fairly good standing. Less than three months after the battle of Grey Ford, however, Earl Gilberto di Falconi 'received a revelation' and 'realised what his destiny was'. He had been born to conquer the Port of Glass in the name of all that was Good and Holy.
He raised an army and marched to the gates of the Port of Glass, where he might have started another devastating war, or at least caused a major diplomatic incident, if his troops had numbered more than eight bemused but extremely excited peasant children who could not even lift the log they had cut for a battering ram.
As it was the whole affair was terribly embarrassing and the Governor at the time decided it would be simplest to strip the Family of its title and holdings and try to forget that they ever existed. The Earl's children were too young to argue the point, his wife had died some time before and he was obviously not competent to bring any legal appeal himself, and had already fled to the Whistful City to begin some kind of asparagus based cult.
The remainder of the Family settled into honest trades, and two generations later no di Falconis foster any ambition to restore the Family name by dredging the whole awful business up again. Honest guv. No intentions whatsoever. Nope.
The Honorable Arbella Luxfrey (PC, played by James F)
For most of her life, Arbella was a typical minor-De-Courci-cousin White City socialite. However following the death of her father in the recent Red Gryphon war, Arbella got a bit bored with the social scene and decided to take up adventuring. Her stories from adventures spread like wildfire amongst the nobility (despite being perhaps not entirely true), involving her battling numerous enemies, meeting at least five Powers, hanging out with all manner of salubrious characters, burning lots of stuff in the name of the Black Flame, and looking damn good in a steelsilk corset.
On a recent trip to the Northern Mountains Arbella spoke with the Dream Power Innocence about the Bound Ones, who said they were once 'hers' and good. Arbella violently rejected this, and joined the Cloistered Brethren mainly to get the power to combat those who followed Innocence's claims (particularly Rupert Locke, Clare Shelton and Adi). This caused problems the next time she adventured with Adi- Arbella ended up attacking her, leaving her bleeding to death, before disappearing off into the Northern Mountains alone. It is believed she is currently studying the nature of Dream, trying to concoct a plan to kill Innocence.
Arbella's coat of arms is a black diamond field bearing a rayed white crown. Arbella's design has the same colours as her late father's arms (the same as Belric's) but features a crown to show that through her mother she is a minor member of the De Courci bloodline. It's on a lozenge because Luxfrey women normally don't fight.
Lord Belric Luxfrey (PC, played by James F)
Lord Belric is the head of the Luxfrey family, one of the oldest noble families in the city, and through his mother he is a cousin of the De Courcis. However he's not very good at being a noble - unlike his sister and mother he regards politics and the petty squabbles between noble families with contempt. This is because he is a Knight of the Shining Order, and much prefers to deal in the light-and-dark certainties of Purging Evil Things (and especially Purging Evil Heretical Things).
As is traditional for Luxfreys he follows a form of panentheistic Light-worship originating in the North. As such he is one of the Church of the Light Indivisible's strong supporters and is fundamentally opposed to the True Servants of Marius, regarding their avataristic and materialistic beliefs as heretical. He recently started being trained in Light Magic by Sir Gustav Oberon.
Belric's arms are those traditionally carried by the Head of the Family and his direct heirs, a black shield with a rayed white star. These arms are based on those of The Shining Order, showing the Family's long connection with the Order, but with a star instead of the sun.
There is a history of the Luxfrey Family available in the Fiction section.
Lord Sebastian de Fideli (PC, played by Joff)
The De Fideli family are the newest addition to the nobility of the White City, Lord Sebastian having been ennobled for services to the City.
The coat of arms is as follows: A black dog rampant and a black raven in flight, facing in towards a golden sword, all on a blue shield.
Other cities also have their ranks of the great and not-so-good. Names from the Port of Glass in particular are familiar to White City ears; some of the more notable examples are listed here, as are the few more publicly known members of the royal line of the City of Silk, the house of Mor.
Lemuel (RIP), Caroline, Duke Karl, Commandante Iarendo, Serafine, Bartholomew, Constantine
Although officially no longer a member of the Family, having abdicated the Dukedom and disappeared into the East, no account of the D'Artois Family would be complete without a record of their progenitor, Lemuel. A combination of superstition and poor record-keeping means that nobody is quite certain exactly how long Lemuel ruled the Port - and whether he and the pirate calling himself the Lord of Shards who took over the City of Clear Water some three hundred years ago were one and the same - but there are none still alive in the Port who can remember any other ruler. Known somewhat facetiously as the "Sire of a Thousand Bastards", he had both a liking for the fairer sex and an unpleasant habit of murdering or imprisoning his wives. Courteous, cruel and quite insane, Lemuel allowed his subjects extraordinary freedoms but also exacted a heavy penalty; regular sacrifices of citizens chosen by lot were made at the Shard-Pits in the Bazaar, in the name of the King in Fragments. He was a powerful Glass sorcerer, and scholars of such matters suggest that he may have gone further than any other man in the study of the magic of the Vitriarchs. Duke Lemuel disappeared to the East in the spring of 26 RdC, taking with him his pregnant wife Caroline; and it is said that he died sometime later, although nobody seems to know where or how. There are reports that he abdicated the Duchy and renounced the Vitriarchs before he left the Western lands for good; similarly, there are rumours that he will one day return with an army, or that his child will retake his father's Dukedom, or that he has not disappeared at all but has instead become part of the King in Fragments. There are already a few small shrines and cults to the Old Duke springing up around the Port.
Lady Caroline, Lemuel's last Duchess, was unusual in two ways: first, she was by all accounts a genuine innocent - a very rare thing in the Port of Glass; and second, she survived long past her wedding to the Duke apparently uncorrupted by insanity or Glass Sorcery in any way. She made a great many people terribly nervous by displaying no agendas or secret plans whatsoever, and disappeared in the East at the same time as her husband, while pregnant with his child.
Duke Karl D'Artois
Karl is a Glass Sorcerer of respectable power and a cunning politician. His youth was marked mainly by bitter feuding with his twin brother Niske, and Karl achieved little of note until the two finally ceased bickering - in large part due to the influence of their sister Serafine - and began plotting revolution against their father Lemuel. Their reign was short-lived, and Duke Karl now sits as the head of the Government-in-exile on the Isle of the Broken Moon. He is less well-liked by the general populace than his brother Niske was, but deals well with the sorcerers, academics, merchants, ambassadors and nobles of the exiled citizenry. He's somewhat of an ascetic, and generally dresses only in black.
Commandante Iarendo D'Artois
The commander of navy of the Isle of the Broken Moon, a sturdy and bluff young man who has a practical attitude to Family loyalty. The aid of his Broken Guard marines helped Karl and Niske overthrow the Port. Dislikes pirates, the Bodach and foreigners.
Serafine D'Artois (PC, played by Laura)
Daughter of Lemuel D'Artois and half-sister to Bartholemew. A gaunt, haunted young woman, with wild hair and thick smoked-glass spectacles covering her eyes. She rarely ventures out of her lodgings, a small set of rooms over a bookbinder's with windows completely covered in black velvet, and tends to shy away from reflective surfaces. Serafine is driven by her hatred of her father and the powers he serves, and has devoted herself to frustrating and defeating the Vitriarchs and their minions at every turn.
Editor's Note: Since her father's disappearance, Serafine has made a certain number of changes to her lifestyle; the velvet drapes are taken from her windows, and those who see her will note that she has taken to wearing jewels, satins and colours other than black occasionally. It may also be deduced, from her rather better grooming, that she is no longer quite so afraid of mirrors.
Bartholomew D'Artois (PC, played by Ben)
Bartholemew is an important noble of the Port of Glass, loyal to his father Lemuel D'Artois and a devout worshipper of the Vitriarchs. However, for several years he has been a member of the Embassy from the Port of Glass to the White City. He is a recognised figure in the City, known to have worked for several of the noble Families and even to have performed vital services for Rebecca De Courci herself. As such, despite his affiliations he is regularly seen at social events and in several of the more respectable inns and taverns. He believes that the Vitriarchs are widely misunderstood, and if people would only take the time to try and learn about them then they would realise that they do not need to be demonised and hated. He is also always willing to show the interested his collection of eyeballs, which he believes to be without peer. The nervous are assured that every one was either given willingly or taken from the bodies of those who attacked him first; he is a peaceful man, who would not dream of taking a life without provocation.
Constantine D'Artois (PC, played by Nathan)
Thaddeus de Verlay
The head of the Family, in as much as the de Verlays have one. Thaddeus lived up to the de Verlays' traditional role of providing tutors and advisors to the D'Artois Family by taking Emmanuel D'Artois under his wing, until the lad was tragically killed in the Breathing Isles. An accomplished Glass sorcerer and head of the recently-founded Academy.
Arturo de Verlay
The High Priest of the King in Fragments, Arturo was a powerful and ambitious young man until he was struck down by a wasting disease in the summer of 25 RdC. He hated Rose D'Artois with an abiding passion, and led a small cadre of energetic warrior-priests whose aim was to reunite the King in Fragments. He disappeared during the revolution before fully recovering, and it is generally assumed that he died during the fire which destroyed the House of the King.
Queen Marianna Mor
The ruler of the City of Silk, an elderly Sorcerer-Priestess of the Old Powers who uses her political skills to oversee both the diplomatic alliance between the weavers and humans and the mercantile arrangement between the D'Almedias and the City of Silk. Currently rumoured to be annoyed the D'Almedias haven't done anything about the Black Flame lodged in the Heart of the Great Forest.
Prince Roderigo Mor
The darkly handsome nephew of Queen Marianna, who led the City of Silk diplomatic team to meet the Ambassadors of the East. Keen on socialising and womanising, but also talented at the diplomatic arts. Rumours that he is undermining the D'Almedia Family as a means of seducing Jenevieve Velasquez are utter fabrications. He is a low-ranking priest of the Spider-Queens.
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This page last updated: 26th Sept 2007
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