Oathlands

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Oathlands Holdings

Valardin

Vassal of the Crown

Words: "Steel bends, honor holds."

Sigil: White dragon on a blue field.

Nickname: White dragons.

Sigil for House Valardin

Widely considered to be the creators of chivalric ideals and the font of the Faith of the Pantheon, House Valardin has long been seen as paragons of knightly virtue. While the proud and honorable western house eschews the political machinations favored by their rivals in the Lyceum, they nonetheless are a constant force in the Assembly of Peers and through Arx. While not every member of House Valardin meets the high bar set by their ideals, most of the house and all of its vassals strive to be remembered in honor.

  • Sanctum (Capital City)

Description: Perhaps the oldest of the home cities of the five great houses, Sanctum is the seat of House Valardin and the key port controlling the rest of the Oathlands. The White City, as it is also called, is a glistening pearl credited with the birthplace of the Faith and (if House Valardin is to believed) chivalry as well. One of the mightiest fortresses in the Realm, it supposedly has never been taken by storm and was a bastion that held against the far more numerous clans of the north in the violent times before the coming of House Redrain's stabilizing influence.

Landmarks: A new shrine to Mangata has been constructed on Valor's Point, the hill overlooking the Redrun River emptying into the Eventide Vast by Sanctum. A remarkably lovely shrine combining the open air and worship of the sky along with a remarkable vista of the crystal clear waters below, talented disciples of Jayus worked tirelessly to build the astonishingly beautiful shrine near the oldest home of the Faith of the Pantheon.

Trends: Oathlands Orthodox are still extremely uncomfortable with the recent changes to the Faith, as conservatives are wont to be, but most have a 'wait and see' approach rather than active resistance.

Founding member of the Empyrean Trade Route.


Farshaw

Vassal of Valardin

Words: "The horizon is ours."

Sigil: A white sail on a vast blue sea.

Nicknames: Seafarers, Spices.

Sigil for House Farshaw

Westrock Reach is the furthest flung duchy in Arvum settled on an island in the Eventide Reach. The Farshaw family has ruled for approximately only four generations, making them very young as noble houses go. At the end of the Crownbreaker Wars, High Lord Antfortas Valardin came into conflict with the then Duke of Westrock. It's unclear if the conflict was related to the end of the Crownbreaker Wars and Westrock having been taken by House Tyde during that time, or some other conflict. The Duke of Westrock, his name long forgotten, killed High Lord Antfortas, causing Princess Gloriessa Valardin to become the Princess of Sanctum, and avenge her father.

That Duke's line was wiped out in the Storming of Westrock that followed. And House Farshaw, a cadet branch of Westrock, was elevated to the holding. They have been ruling ever since. In the present for the Westrock Reach duchy, they are primarily a merchant and trade family. Providing access to many fruits and spices that are difficult to grow on the mainlands-- pommegranates, sugar, pineapples, coffee bean. In fact, recently, they have started an initiative to bring Westrock Coffee to all of Arvum. They claim that it goes excellently with Laurant honey when used to sweeten the rich, bitter brew.

Despite the fact that they are an island duchy they do not have a particularly large navy. In fact, though they do have enough forces to protect themselves, their army is relatively small compared to the other duchies. And their "navy" is entirely composed of merchantships-- and it's a small fleet at that. Rumor has it they've been placed underneath an Oath, sworn to Limerance, not to build a militant navy by House Valardin. As they have no navy of their own they have an agreement in place with Telmar that the Telmarch Navy will come to their aid when they need a naval force.

Instead, as a duchy, they serve as a vast network of trade and merchant patronage.

  • West Rock Reach

Description: Lightsend Keep, the last Lighthouse on the Westrock Reach. The keep is settled on the furthest settled island west of Arvum. It's stood until the end of the Crownbreaker Wars, when it was stormed by Valardin forces and half demolished. From the ruins the new Lightsend Keep has been build. Vast farms and plantations are found upon Westrock Reach, producing spices, fruits, and other goods that are difficult to grow on the mainland.

Founding member of the Empyrean Trade Route.

HartHall

Vassal of Farshaw

Words: "Rich in loyalty"

Sigil/Heraldry: Orange stag with three gold coins above on a black field.

Nickname: Harts

Sigil for House HartHall

On one of the larger islands in the duchy of Farshaw, the Harthall house governs from its seat in Fair Harbour. A march that spans across not only the larger island, but several smaller ones that string around it. They epitomize a loyal and productive fealty in that they know how to put their island's resources to the best use and excel in trade negotiations. Predominantly a merchant house, they have several trading ships along with a very small contingent of armed guards in respect to the Duchy's requirements.

For their own exports, the islands contain mining of silver laced with trace amounts of rubciund, and along the beaches, they gather Harthall pearls, an off white pearl with a slight golden shimmer. The March also produces various sweet, hard skinned fruits for the Duchy and to trade among the Compact. With an introduction of deer to the island, they have been able to support a seasonal hunt for a stag. This cultural hunt is a symbol that represents the time when they earned the loyalty of the Farshaws and were awarded the island march to oversee.

Harthall is a relatively young house as the original Orvell Harthall was elevated to his position after the war with the Lyceum state several hundred years ago. They were mainlanders, Orvell a knight of renown that bested many enemy soldiers before falling prone to his many wounds. The wounds should have killed him but instead he survived sans an arm. He was given his rank for his loyal services to the Farshaw house. The once mainlanders move into their new seat of power and decades after the first Marquis Fair Harbour was finally finished and quickly gaining in economic wealth.

  • Fair Harbour

Description: On one of the larger islands in the duchy of Farshaw, the Harthall house governs from its seat in Fair Harbour. A march that spans across not only the larger island, but several smaller ones that string around it. They epitomize a loyal and productive fealty in that they know how to put their island's resources to the best use and excel in trade negotiations. Predominantly a merchant house, they have several trading ships along with a very small contingent of armed guards in respect to the Duchy's requirements.

For their own exports, the islands contain mining of silver laced with trace amounts of rubciund, and along the beaches, they gather Harthall pearls, an off white pearl with a slight golden shimmer. The March also produces various sweet, hard skinned fruits for the Duchy and to trade among the Compact. With an introduction of deer to the island, they have been able to support a seasonal hunt for a stag. This cultural hunt is a symbol that represents the time when they earned the loyalty of the Farshaws and were awarded the island march to oversee.

Founding member of the Empyrean Trade Route.

Laurent

Vassal of Valardin

Words: "Loyal to the Queen."

Sigil: A gold and black honey-bee in flight on a dark blue background.

Nickname: Bees, Stings

Sigil for House Laurent

Centuries ago, Laurent was the son of a beekeeping farmer who owned a small meadery in the Oathlands. He was knighted young and then ennobled by Queen Alarice the Great in exchange for great acts of courage and bravery whose specifics are lost to time, but it is sure that he was granted the Duchy of Artshall after he and two others were the last men standing in a gruelling battle of the Red Fields. It's obscure what family held the duchy prior to the ennoblement of Laurent, but it seems that many of them were lost in that same war.

For the hundreds of years since, the Laurents have prized loyalty and humility as the highest of their chivalric duties. Their men and women have been among the backbone of the Valardin fealty. Workhorses whose pride is married to their sense of duty rather than to their personal honor, there is a deeply communitarian streak about their family tradition. While highly adherent to rigid social structures, there is nonetheless the sense that every piece in the puzzle -- every worker in the hive -- is important to the whole, and each role and duty worthy of its own honor, that most Laurents have historically held close to their hearts.

  • Artshall

Description: Nestled in the hills of the border between the Oathlands and the Lyceum, near the headwaters of the westernmost branch of the Lyceum split, the seat of Artshall is a stronghold of slate and granite, extruding from the hulls. It overlooks forest lands, and a small but rich vale of fields and farmland. The largest meadery of the holding is within steps of the great black stone hall. Although the holding is not especially mineral rich, there are some sources of iron for forging to the north of the hall. The river trade southward to Tor is a hallmark of the income of Artshall, but the primary wealth is in the vale, the meaderies, and in the forestry of the woods to the south. Knights and soldiers keep a stern and stolid vigil in a wide perimeter on both sides of the river.

Clement

Vassal of Laurent

Words: "Always Faithful."

Sigil: "A forest green dog against a yellow beehive pattern"

Nicknames: Ducks

Sigil for House Clement

The area making up the Barony of Duskshire has long been abandoned. While there's more history there for the finding, for now it remains a place that the now-Baron has reclaimed and, with the support of the Laurent family, has brought under Laurent rule in the Barony known as Duskshire. A burgeoning Barony with solid leadership with close ties to their Duchy, the area is nonetheless very much a work in progress still.

  • Duskshire

Description: Duskshire Keep is located on the leftern branch of the Lycene Split along the river between Artshall and Acorn Hall. This run down, derelict fortress is small and built out of the granite itself. The lands straddle the river and southernmost edges of a swath of forest. The area is rich in hardwoods as well as animals to be hunted. There is land to the west that could be cultivated for farming, but it is massively overgrown and would require a large undertaking to clean up. There's a crumbling, useless jetty lays in the river like a moldering skeleton. It could be useful, if it wasn't so totally useless.

With the lands straddling the river and southernmost edges of a swath of forest, the area is rich in hard woods and animals to be trapped and sold for furs. The location over the river would give someone actually using the region a useful port, if they were to build it. Currently there's just a useless crumbling jetty.

Keaton

Vassal of Laurent

Words: "Where you go, we shall follow."

Colors: Verdant Green and Black

Sigil: Black pawprint/track on green field

Nickname: Huntsmen

Sigil for House Keaton

History: It is known that the Keaton family stemmed forth from humble origins, a pair of brothers that lived within the wilds of Oakhaven. Oakhaven had grown to be a dire place, home of murderers and thieves alike that banded together to test the might of the nobility by attempting to ransom the High Lord's heir. The Keatons sought them out, using skill and hound, and retrieved the child without hide nor hair harmed. For their bravery they were granted noble title and the fief of Oakhaven. The land developed from the outskirts of the wilds, a small village became a township and then Keaton Keep was founded, a place where men and beast are trained, honing their instincts and partnerships, creating some of the best and honorable trackers in all of Arvum. Over the last few hundred years, Oakhaven flourished under the Keaton rule. Rumors are told that in every generation there is a chosen Huntsman, tasked with tracking down the worst of the villains, brigands and bandits that prowl the Oakheart wilds. It's said that when the Huntsman comes, the outcome is set. It doesn't matter the quarry, It matters only that a crime has been committed.

Present Day: The Keatons serve their Lyonesse and Laurent Lords honorably. A great deal of them serve in a military capacity, trained as chief officers and knights at Keaton Keep, and known to be as loyal to their men as their hounds are to them. Other Keatons prefer to tend the wilds.

The chief export of Oakhaven is a leather that has been specially prepared by a regional secret. There is also the matter of the hounds produced, which many say are the most intelligent hunting companions that could be asked for, especially when they are personally trained for them. There is, after all, something thrilling about the hunt.

  • Oakhaven

Description: The seat of House Keaton and ruling from Keaton Keep, the county of Oakhaven holds sway over the Oakheart Wood and the surrounding domain.

Recent efforts by Count Kael and his family have seen remarkable growth, with the establishment of the village of Elmhurst and a budding port named Whisper's Landing. The flow of people and increase in infrastructure is starting to be comparable to a march.

Founding member of the Empyrean Trade Route.

Moore

Vassal of Keaton

Words: "We Grow Greater."

Sigil: a crowned acorn in gold, above crossed gold lances on a scarlet field.

Sigil for House Moore

A rather unremarkable agrarian family, the Moores are a humble part of the Oathlands breadbasket, producing great quantities of rye, barley, flax, oats, and wheat, but no luxury goods and only a few minor knights. They have a traditional reputation for being more farmers than fighters, slow to act, and more complacent than most, the recent inheritance of former Merdedin lands has given rise to a cadet branch in Acorn Hill.

  • Acorn Hill

Description: A mix of fields and forests, it is not a rich fief, producing grains, orchard fruits, timber, and common furs. Only lightly fortified with a small tower amid oak trees on its namesake hill.

Lyonese

Vassal of Laurent

Words: "Prevail Through Calamity"

Sigil: Deep purple lion's head on black background.

Nickname(s): Lyons, Jinxed

Sigil for House Lyonese

Dating back to six decades before the time of Alarice the Great, House Lyonesse sprang up due to their military service and deeds performed in service to the Great House of Valardin. What began as a household with a rich future, eventually began to decline within recent history. The last few generations of the Lyonesse family have suffered from a bout of misfortune and ill luck. They maintain their pride and commitment to their oaths, despite being a family on the edge of twilight. The next few generations could decide whether the name fades from existence or overcomes their streak of bad luck and flourish. As a result of House Valardin's reaching down and lifting their name up from that of a simple outpost commander to oversee a March, the family possesses a strong loyalty and bond to the Valardin, through the duchy of Laurent.

  • Lyon's Redoubt

Description: Protecting the southeastern approach to Sanctum, Lyon's Redoubt began as nothing more than a simple observational and defensive outpost for the Oathland's center of power. Settled at the tip of the central prong of the Lycene Split, Lyon's Redoubt began as a strictly military endeavor though eventually morphed into a budding military waystation and trading post. The access to the river which flows into the sea, passing between Tor and Southport both affords the location considerable paths of trade between the two kingdoms. The initial wealth that the newly elevated Lyonesse family found as a result allowed for them to prosper and nearly four and a half centuries ago the founding of the 'Lyonesse Academy for the Advancement of Chivalric Endeavors and Knightly Pursuits for the Progession of Military Efforts Within Lyon's Redoubt and the Oathlands'; a military academy created for the training of knights in knightly pursuits. In recent history Lyon's Redoubt has lost some of it's grandeur and has been on a slow decline for a long period of time now. To this day the Redoubt and the corresponding March maintains the original purpose of the Redoubt: martial purposes. While it has become a trade point with time, the purpose of the roots have not been forgotten and the Redoubt remains steadfast in the martial purpose that it carries out on behalf of the Oathlands.

Founding member of the Empyrean Trade Route.

Telmar

  • Telmarch
Blackram
  • Cloudspine
Greenmarch
  • Greenhaven

Rivenshari

  • Riva
Wyrmguard
  • Blancbier

Blanchard

  • Chevalle

Stellhart

  • Highhill

Oathlands National Anthem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjxAAezqJZQ

Military

Lyonesse Academy for the Advancement of Chivalric Endeavors and Knightly Pursuits for the Progression of Military Efforts Within Lyon's Redoubt and the Oathlands
OINK: Oathlands Interior Nautical Knights (AKA, the coastguard)
SINK: Safecove Initiative for Naval Knowledge