Legacy of Heroes
Launhym - The Barons
There were twenty-three original baronial families that founded Launhym. Of those, eighteen still remain. Some have fallen and others have been created. All the families have some things in common. All barons are referred to as “Sir,” “Lady,” or for their vassals “My Liege.” All barons must bear one of the signet rings that were given to the original barons centuries ago. Their oldest child traditionally succeeds them. However, a woman who marries into another noble house is considered to be a member of that house and no longer of her parent’s barony, so barons have a tendency to be male. A baron may break with tradition and appoint another child as the heir but that is uncommon. In the event that a baron’s line expires with no heir, it is up to the king to select a new baron as he sees fit. Note that the king may not decide that a baron’s line is null and void, however this is exactly what Almagaid did when he fought against Murchad’s loyal barons; a subject of no small debate.
Barons have the power to knight a commoner (only the king may knight a member of the nobility) and are permitted to let that knight rule over a portion of his barony. These “landed knights” are considered nobles, but their descendants do not inherit any titles. The children of a landed knight tend to be looked on more favourably than another commoner and will have more opportunities for knighthood and landed knighthood.
The Barons can effectively be divided into two factions—those who were loyal to Almagaid during the banishment (the Old Barons) and the new Calisian nobility (the New Barons).
Lady Gorfayn Allhyn – technically the term “dowager” should refer to the former Queen Talinstantra (i.e. Almagaid’s mother), who retired from public view when the old king died. However, when native Launhymians use the term they mean Lady Gorfayn. She is in her late 80’s and while her body’s strength has long left, her mind (and tongue) is as sharp as ever. She has never married and has no children. It is within her power to appoint an heir. Indeed the rumour was that she would name Princess Sorsha, but the girl left for Remaria and suspicions died. But every now and again that possibility resurfaces as a rumour. Gorfayn has seen much through her life and her opinion, though rarely offered, is given great weight. She does not like to give audiences, preferring to use her sworn knight, Sir Altan, as a proxy.
Igryn Emerin – Technically a “New Baron” as she is of Calisian birth, Igryn is the youngest sibling of Sir Efarme Remaraux, the last of eight children in the family. Strong of will and uncompromising, she soon alienated her Calisian family and, as a result, was married off to the Launhym Baron Emerin—fifteen years her senior, impotent and now dead as a result of orc destruction. Since her husband’s death, she has little on her mind but revenge. Her first, last, and only goal is to see every orc dead. She has no interest in ethical arguments or giving quarter to orc troops that have surrendered. She holds herself to exacting standards and will often refuse command of forces when she feels another could do better. She is more able than she realizes though and has on several occasions led troops to victory. However, in war, all she can see are human losses and her grief saps her confidence.
The razing of Caer Emrin changed Igryn forever. Though she still enjoys her comforts when she can get them, she has grown accustomed to “western life.” She comes off as stiff, but she loves Launhym far more than any other Calisian and perhaps more than some natives. She not a woman who is giving much thought to her families’ future and other barons are wondering if her single minded hatred will prevent her from having children and ending the Emerin line.
Sir Tomen Halyen – Tomen, like his mother before him, is a staunch anti-Remarian. He sees their influence slowly spreading into Launhym and does not want it to continue. He believes only in “honest” magic, such as the druids practice and abhors all else. He feels that Remaria is waiting for Launhym to fall so they can invade, “rescue” the kingdom, and make Launhym into a distant province. Many of his peers consider him to be quite extreme and a fancier of conspiracies, but he holds to his beliefs. He has once said that he would rather see Launhym fall on its own than succeed and become a home to “filthy foreign ways.”
Sir Larhan Haunwan – A man in his late 30’s, Sir Larhan’s mind is unpolluted with original thought. He follows Almagaid not because of any loyalty but because he is docile and unsure of himself. He gives those in his barony a long leash and only rarely hears disputes. Sir Haunwan has sworn a large number of landed knights to do his work for him and spends most of his time hunting with his hawks or “touring” the vineyards in his land.
Sir Coryn Lalhasa – an older man and respected warrior who was a fierce ally on Almagaid’s side during Muchad’s exile. His loyalty has questionable origins though. Coryn intercepted a message from Almagaid to some of the troops a few days before the assault on Murchad. (Coryn had been a secret supporter of Murchad until that point, going so far as to supply the supposed necromancer with weapons and supplies, however when he read the message he knew that Almagaid would win the fight.) He quickly withdrew all evidence of his former allegiance and openly sided with Almagaid, hoping that the king never knew of his treason. Sir Coryn has spent the last couple of decades loudly supporting the king and doing his best to make sure that no one will question his loyalty. Sir Coryn has never found out for certain that the king knew of his assistance to Murchad and has done his best to make sure that question is never asked.
Sir Egant Larin – “Almagaid’s Hound,” Sir Egant was a squire to the old king and without question is the most stalwart and loyal baron. He serves the royal family without question or comment. Almagaid is welcome for such loyalty and responds in kind, giving weight to Egant’s advice, and never testing him.
Egant has sired four children. Two daughters were married to Calisian nobility. One of his sons serves as a landed knight in Baron Larin and the other died in an orc skirmish. Egant, sadly, is a shadow of his former self. His eyesight has long failed him and his wife sees to the legislative duties of their castle. Those wishing to see the Baron are often told that he is “indisposed” or “reviewing the matter” and that she will address any immediate concerns. Sir Egant is also the leader of the Steadfast Knights. This is a pleasant duty for him as it is not very difficult and it allows him to consult with younger and stronger knights. Those who have been newly knighted can expect to be cornered into a very long conversation about their deeds.
Lady Yalin Lyharis – was just old enough to remember Murchad’s exile. Her father had doubts about the decision but was determined to stand by Launhym, right or wrong. Yalin learned from this and hold the same values. She may not like the king, but she supports him in the name of the country.
Sir Horin Lyntala – when asked about the politics in his kingdom, Horin’s brow creases and it will take him awhile to remember that there is a political situation. Horin is an orc-hater and run his barony via proxy. He is an able commander and well respected with the troops. But while he excels at warfare, he is weak at just about everything else. When not in battle he is a poor speaker, he forgets to collect taxes, and his manners in front of foreign dignitaries are abominable. Many hope that he will become mellow with age, as he is only in his mid 20’s, but it is more likely that he should just be left at the orc front to gain victories in battle. Currently his sister and brother-in-law, Lady Halina and Sir Laborin Ylane, rule in his many absences.
Sir Janun Saryen – Janun is fascinated with druidic practices and beliefs. While a reasonable leader, he will publicly back down in the face of a druid with an opposing view. His crops are the best in the kingdom from all the weather and plant magic the druids give in reciprocation. He hates the Church of Light and has dictated that followers of that faith will not be permitted into his barony. Likewise, he has no patience for mages and has no problem believing the alleged evils of men like Murchad.
One would think that this clear and passionate blindness would make Janun easy to manipulate. They would be correct. Janun employs a “spiritual advisor,” a druid by the name of Cloverfoot. Whenever Janun has doubts or questions he immediately turns to Cloverfoot. In turn, Cloverfoot is occasionally seen in the company of the Archdruid, Emirc Tallysen. Some have privately speculated that Barony Saryen is really run by the druids.
Lady Falisa Turyn – a noted druid-lover, Lady Turyn is engrossed in “higher matters.” Unlike Sir Janun, she completely internalises her fondness for druidic ways. She sees the Church of Light as a momentary blemish on the Surrounding Lands that will run its course and fail in the course of a few centuries. The orc problem is simply another expression of Creation’s Will. Who rules what land is of complete unimportance to her. She is possibly insane, however that does not restrict her from being a baroness. Her only landed knight, and younger sister, Lady Verisa Turyn, has the daunting task of running the barony without the powers of a baron.
Sir Olyn Yartin – Sir Olyn is quite reclusive and rarely leaves his castle. He is known for employing a large number of “Baronial Observers”—spies who openly scour the Surrounding Lands gathering information of any kind. Thus, when it concerns matters that are not exclusive to Launhym, Sir Olyn is easily the best-informed man in the kingdom. Unfortunately, Sir Olyn harbours a disturbing secret. His signet ring has been missing for over a dozen years. He has no idea as to its whereabouts. Without the ring, it is doubtful that he will be permitted to reign in his barony and a certainty that his children will not be able to succeed him. Sir Olyn’s spies are actually looking for any clue as to the ring’s location or at least finding a discreet person who can forge a replica that will pass inspection by the Archdruid. To avoid drawing attention to his condition, he is quite conservative and goes along with popular opinion.
Lady Falina Borafor – Lady Falina was raised in Calisia by her mother while her father was a baron in Launhym. It had been decided long ago that she would go to Launhym to learn the local ways “someday.” That day came six months ago when her father passed suddenly from a pain in his chest. She is new to Launhym, doesn’t really want to be there, and has little experience in dealing with the natives. She is currently doing her best just to stay afloat and is going along with whatever Almagaid says. This reticence will probably change once she knights a few worthy and loyal people to her cause and she can spend less time dealing with the minutia in running a barony.
Baron Renaud, Sir Renaud Delray – Renaud was formerly a second son of a small but wealthy barony in Calisia. When he heard of the trouble in Launhym and the opportunity that it presented, he quickly allied with King Almagaid. Along with all the other New Barons, he was given land in Launhym. He served as well as he could, being seen by his new people as a foreign invader and only a slightly lesser evil than the orcs. He learned to speak the Launhym dialect, was as just as he knew how to be, and fell in love with the first Calisian beauty of noble birth living in Launhym that he met … Queen Mirabel.
Mirabel and Renaud first corresponded in the spirit of two displaced Calisians. Through him, she ferried information about Launhym to her father, King Jehan IV. Then they started writing to each other about more personal matters. Renaud married Mora, the daughter of a local merchant; they have three daughters and a son. However, this marriage is simply one to serve for public appearances, much as Mirabel’s marriage is. After the birth of Sorsha they started meeting when they could. Since Renaud has a vaguely similar appearance to Almagaid, and since Lorcan takes after his mother, it is quite possible that Lorcan is actually Renaud’s son. All of this is quietly rumoured in various circles, but there is not a shred of proof to back any it.
Almagaid has neither publicly favoured nor slighted Renaud. If he has heard any of the rumours it does not show on Almagaid’s face or actions. Some may say this points to ignorance on Almagaid’s part or innocence on Renaud’s, but more likely it is because Almagaid, Mirabel, and Renaud all agree that the first fight should be with the orcs.
Sir Altan Remaraux – Sir Remaraux has open contempt for Launhym and its citizens. He was the nephew of the former Baron and was selected by his family to rule in Launhym as a form of punishment. Sir Altan was obnoxious and boorish in Calisia and unsavoury rumours surrounded him. Some spoke of unholy rites, but it is much more likely that he is a simple wealthy drunkard with little concern for anything other than himself. The Remaraux family attempted to avoid scandal by sending him to Launhym. Now, if he does anything that casts shame on their name, they can simply blame it on the influence of Launhym. As far as they are concerned, their plan has been a complete success. Those who suffer under his rule feel quite differently however.
Sir Gaufan Tristaux – Sir Gaufan is an eternal optimist and goes out of his way to bridge the gap between Launhym and Calisia. He ignores issues of faith, politics, land, warfare, money, and past misdeeds on both sides and is the kind of man who believes that every problem could be solved if both parties could just sit in a room and talk things over like rational people. Sir Gaufan adopts a Launhym accent when not in the company of other Calisians and has thought about changing his name to Sir Gaulyn Tristin … as if that would accomplish anything. He has never fought against the orcs, but it is widely suspected that he would try to engage an orc berserker in some kind of “meaningful dialogue.” In fairness, it must be admitted that he has the fewest problems with his subjects than any other New Baron and fewer than many of the Old Barons.
Lady Talana Utaraux – The Utaraux family is one of the larger ones in Calisia. When a large part of them become barons in Launhym did wonders to relieve internal Calisian tensions. She sees Launhym as something of a lost cause though, and that what they should really be doing is to use the country as a giant staging arena for Calisia to fight the orcs before the orcs get to Calisia. After all, why fight on your own land when you can fight on somewhere else? Lady Talana remains in contact with the rest of her family and has a fairly good idea about whatever is happening in Calisia.
Sir Bortis Waldrun – The son of a Calisian merchant who was elevated to a baron in exchange for a large sum of money, Sir Waldrun is pro-Remarian and wants them involved in the defence of Launhym. It is his belief that Launhym will fall with or without Calisian support so any efforts to fight the orcs should be purely defensive in nature until the Remarian Imperial Army arrives in full force. Sir Bortis is quite well travelled and has some valid reasons for thinking that Remarian help is the answer. He is also well aware that he is more travelled than most of Launhym and can be condescending when speaking of his travels. He regards Launhym as being a remote kingdom that is fighting in vain, but he is willing to do his best to be a good baron.
Sir Efaram Yvanet – A warmonger, Sir Efaram sees the defence of Calisia to be paramount and the success or failure of Launhym as a nation is of peripheral interest to him. Sir Efaram can be found fighting the orcs but he can, has, and will burn Launhym farmland than let it ever fall into the hands of the orcs. He has many victories to his name, but native Launhymians in his service have a very high casualty rate. Of particular note, was one battle where two Launhym soldiers were killed for every orc. Sir Efaram surveyed the battlefield and remarked to one captain that he was pleased with the “victory.” He as since moderated his words, but not his zeal.