The Repairer of Reputations
Those information are gleaned from the judicious use of Investigative Skills – Local Knowledge, History, Geography up to a maximum of 1 point spent. This is assuming that you do your homework (which is assumed your character did, since they have taken such an interest in the politics of Crescentium!)
Head: Darend de Valentos
Current Candidate: Toldric Greyflanks
Clan members of House Valentos can trace their ancestry to proud Selentine legions; they are civic minded, duty minded, and hold many civic posts back in Algandy. This is too the case in the Principalities. They are a proud, honest people, believing in serving the people and have a reasonable good head for politics, but they are stretched thin, though they have influence everywhere.
House Valentos’ involvement in crusades followed the numerous tales of slaughter and lawlessness within the Principalities. Many of Valentos’ allies include houses and merchants in Ephidor, Analika and Molasria, kingdoms bordering the Principalities, and the Crusaders sometimes wilful ‘mistaken’ holdings of those kingdoms as Ta’ashim (despite those kingdoms being of the True Faith too). Many of House Valentos were pious, and believed that the slaughter of the Crusades doesn’t exemplify the True Faith, and hence stepped in as part of the post-war government.
Darend de Valentos is one of the few ‘blameless’ politicians there are, one of the few old guards who believe in the feudal principles – that the Lord who takes care of his people will reap the most benefits. He’s known to be stalwart in his principles, altruistic when practical and preferring peace if possible. He has also been described as “unimaginative”.
Toldric of Kurland, scion of House Greyflanks, is a veteran commander of the Northwatch, a bastion that guards the border between Kurland and south of Krarth. Son of a minor feudal lord, Toldric raised to prominence due to deeds of valour on the battlefield. He understands enough of politics to stay out of its way, but deploy enough cunning to protect his allies and himself.
Friend of Darend de Valentos when both countries rallied together a while against the Mercania Threat; they both met during the campaign and decided that they share a kindred spirit. Toldric is Valentos’ choice partly because Toldric has proved to be level-headed and discerning and also because like Darend and most of House Valentos, he comes to the Principalities of the Crusades so that the crusaders may have some wisdom and lots of restraint.
Standing among Crescentium and the Principalities
Valentos and Toldric have strong support among houses from Ephidor, Analika and Molasaria, and any merchant houses with close ties to the Ta’ashim. While those factions have popular support, their power is dwarfed by those of the other houses. Many northern kingdoms are eyeing the fast piece of mutton that the Principalities are, and many prefer war to peace.
However, Toldric has poor claim to the throne – traditionally. Since Crescentium is not a traditional holding, traditions may not work but there are still many who clung to the old ways. By experience and rank, Toldric is the most qualified.
Military Might: d4
Political : d6
Popular Support: d10
Morale : d6
Covert : d4
- Intelligence : d8
Arcane Might: d6
- Warding: d8
Head: Aleon de Sinfrinti
Current Candidate: Thergvor Alsoni
Shrewd politicians to the core, House Sinfrinit are not warriors or governors, but powermonger and information trader. They love political power; more likely, they covet power and the perks that come with it. They will stoop to any tricks to obtain power but are cunning and ruthless efficient about it. The current governor of Crescentium is of House Sinfrinti – Janthor Alsoni, and his son, Thergvor Alsoni, is the current candidate.
Aleon de Sinfrinti is the third son of the current head of the Sinfrinti; he is headstrong, rash, and hungry for power. Third in line to inherit the position of the head of the family, Aleon has been known to plot openly against his brothers (and various other half brothers), and his venture into the Principalities is known to be engineered by his father to either get him out of the way or to get him honourably killed. Aleon is known to be disciplined, focused, out to etch his name in the annals of history. Scheming and direct, Aleon de Sinfrinti has a reputation for ruthlessness.
His candidate, Thergvor Alsoni, has been known to a bloodthristy warlord, brilliant in battle but total unschooled in the way of politics. Honour in battle, glory in victory and the splendour of captured gold are all that he knows, but he knows them very well.
Position and Standing
Aleon de Sinfrinti wins political control over Crescentium not by force of might or display of prowess – rather it is by cunning and guile. On the third month of the siege of Cresenctium, Aleon de Sinfrinti arrived, to find a city besieged on all sides. Janathor Alsoni, a mercenary warlord from Asmulia, held one side, on the command and payroll of another family, the Helgmar. Aleon de Sinfrinti crafted a scheme – his family has connections with various merchant houses whom have ties with the rich and mighty of Crescentium. He negotiated a surrender (which the hot-blooded knights of the Crusaders won’t tolerate – especially if it is to negotiate with the ‘heathens’) and promised Janathor the position of governor, if he would slacken his guard of his side of the wall. Janathor agreed, and many of the Ta’ashim rich and wealthy escaped (and why will they not?) including the Emir. With most of the guards of the city leaving with those Ta’ashim nobles, the city fell quickly to Janathor.
(Of course, those left guarding the other walls are Ta’ashim with no dealings with the Sinfrinti or her allies. Win-win. Of course, as Janathor was the first to enter the city, he held the most number of Ta’ashim hostages. Those who supported the Sinfrinti may lose some power and holdings, but they live, and now they support the Sinfrinti. For without the Sinfrinti, the crusaders may likely turn against them).
Sinfrinti’s presence is tolerated, even supported, by her Ta’ashim noble and allies friends, which accounts for her rise to power. Having the governor as their puppet helped too. Aleon was smart enough, however, to cede enough influence and control to the other dominant houses – Valentos due to weight of tradition and Helgmar, because of her military presence. But if the Sinfrinti one day is to leave Crescentium, the fragile peace between the North and South will be suddenly broken.
However, Sinfrinti is unpopular with native factions, and with those more aggressive and clamouring for war. Political power comes from stable population which you can readily exploit. War threatens that well oiled machine; but at the same time the Sinfrinti knows that without the patriotic and religious craze for the crusade, less would come to guard their walls and tilt the land. Hence they play both ends against the middle.
Position of the Governor
While the position of the Governor is more than just a figurehead, it is especially important when it comes to breaking votes; the office of the Governor is also in charge of tariffs (indirectly, of course). The Governor is also the official leader of the Council, as recognised by the Pontiff of the True Faith.
As such the Governor is in charge of the city of Crescentium only; her surrounding area are being craved out into smaller parcels (or provinces). He is able to set the taxes, declare new laws, impose martial laws and so on. Of course, his actions may anger the Council if they are too unpopular. Hence it is vital for Sinfrinti to control political power by any means. They do so with lots of haggling and moving their own people into the right place.
The Big Deal about the King
‘Electing’ a King of Crescentium is something unheard of. Usually, a throne goes to those with the strongest claim to it – by inheritance; if not, then by heritage; if not then, by force of arms.
Crescentium fell to a combined army of the Northern True Faith kingdoms. The Pontiff is disallowed from holding political office (technically, anyway), so a king has to be chosen. Sinfrinti has no legal claim to the throne – that claim comes from Janathor, who has passed it on to his son, Thergvor. As the son of the one who conquered Crescentium, his claim is strongest, traditionally.
The purpose of electing a King was so that Crescentium could deal with the other kingdoms as equal – it’s something that many nobles in the Northern Kingdoms balked at, for it means losing the Principalities as their colonies. However, having a King means a centralized government, and that will aid the Crusades.
Of course, the nobles in Crescentium are not going to cede their powers to a king without gaining anything; most likely they will bargain and haggle with every house for some rights and positions. The Sinfrinti are expert at this bargaining. For example, the Galentos have fell behind the Sinfrinti. They have withdrawn their candidate in favor of lower tariffs against their trade, and appointing one of theirs as the Master of Coins.
The Sinfrinti has lots of allies. There are two most talked about.
The first is the Spider; While the new assassin guild in town is enigmatic to most, as the time to crown king draws close, someone let loose that the Sinfrinti is working closely with the Spider. Of course, it is not unheard of to for political families to have ties with assassination guilds. It is that the Spider is notorious for many reasons which is why it is noteworthy.
The second is the Repairer of Reputation. That’s only on hindsight though.
A lot of the Sinfrinti’s power come from her allies.
Military Might: d6
Political : d12+1
Resources: d10 (thanks to Galentos)
Popular Support: d6
Morale : d8
Covert : d8
- An Agent in every House: d10
Arcane Might: d6
- Warding: d8
Head: Theoric Helgmar
Candidate: Argentar Helgmar
This house hails from Kurland, a militant house that once vies with King Gulliare II for the supremacy of Kurland. They lost the war, but surrendered timely, and will allow to keep most of their lands and power (think House Lannister of A Song of Ice and Fire). They still plot to begin their own Dynasty in Kurland.
Helgmar is a house of warriors, tacticians and those who take to religion, zealots. Many Templars have their origin in Helgmar. They headed south into the crusade for 2 reasons – misplaced religious fervour and to get the riches they need to expand their position back home.
Toldric Greyflanks is known to House Helgmar; they hate him terribly with a passion. Sinfrinti to them is no more than a knave, but they are unable to gain a foothold in the political positions the Sinfrinti has entrenched themselves in.
However, Helgmar has the most troop presence in Crescentium, holding several key positions. Many of the City Guards and Militia are of Helgmar, and they patrol the roads and outposts, keeping them safe for merchants from bandits and Ta’ashim zealots. Blunt and direct they may be, everyone wants the Helgmar around.
General Argentar Helgmar, a young officer of about 35ish, is the candidate of the House. He’s charismatic and headstrong, a leader in combat and for once for someone from Helgmar, somewhat political-savvy. His claim to throne, as Argentar insisted, come from driving back a Ta’ashim offensive a couple of years ago, and his success in expanding the borders closer to Ibrahim.
Argentar is known to have a brazen disregard for tradition, and very much power-hungry and glory-seeking. Those doesn’t really endear him to the elders in the House, but the soldiers of Crescentium – they adore him.
Helgmar is not very popular with 2/3 of the factions in Crescentium; they appreciate the House for guarding the walls and borders but they care little for the fiery rhetoric of the House. Those who side with Helgmar are those who wished the war to go on, but even Argentar himself know that is not possible. Despite his wishes, he knows that Helgmar has been stretched thin guarding the walls and roads and borders. They may have the most military might in the area, but they are everywhere.
Most of Helgmar’s supporters are militant houses who follow her doctrine of the fire of war. A few merchant houses have cast their lot in exchange for monopoly on certain trades. Those houses of course has little to none dealings with the Ta’ashim.
Military Might: d8 (readily muster) or d12+2 (if all are mobilized)
Political : d6
Resources: d6 (mostly drained by upkeep to military units)
Popular Support: d6
Morale : d10
Covert : d6
- Military Situation : d8
Arcane Might: d6
- Battle Magic: d8
Head: King Hadric
Canditate: Valtar “Ironfist”
House Albion has sent numerous armies on crusade against the Principalities – the last who did so was Brenor of Albion, the youngest brother among the princes of Albion. Valtar is the second eldest in line to the throne of Albion.
While Hadric is a weak king, and was only crowned by tradition, Valtar is recognized as a more able leader – more charming, savvy and commanding. He held his own in numerous revolts in Albion, and came fresh to Crescentium with 10,000 troops (historical trivia: When Richard the Lionheart marched south to the Crusades, he had 8,000 men and 100 ships).
The culture and lore of Albion can be found in the main rulebook. Needless to say, Valtar is here to augment support for his older brother, and to divert attention from the political mess back home. Because of the support for the Crusade, loyal lords have been stripped of their land and position, some forced to go south with Valtar, while those who can afford it have been taxed in terms of goods, wealth and serfs – indeed, along with 10,000 troops come a supply train which required at least twice that number to maintain.
He is known to be an able leader, scheming strategist and adept at manoeuvring the tricky waters of politics. He is newly come to Crescentium, and is still somewhat of an enigma, but his epithet, to many, is well-earned. He has crushed rebellions back home, sack a free city for defying the King’s order in a surprise attack that concluded the siege in just a week and has even rallied powerful sorcerers under his banner. Many wonder why Valtar didn’t vie for Hadric (a poor king by all accounts) for the throne -it could be that not being king gives Valtar the freedom to do as he wishes, and after all, he may be the real king behind the throne.
Valtar has been to Crescentium before, scouting the land for his brother Brenor who died during the siege. Brenor and Valtar displayed considerable valour, and had the support of the militant houses. As Valtar himself is of noble blood, he has some legitimate claim, though many of the Northern Kingdoms still view Albion as an uncouth and uncivilized place.
Valtar is a favourite among those who wished for an immediate war, and those who are sick of Valentos, Sinfrinti and Helgmar. He’s stealing support from Helgmar, and from Sinfrinti, because like Aleon, Valtar knows how to play the political games. Besides promising trade routes to the Principalities if he is king, he is even promising positions in cities he has yet to conquer, and favourable tariffs to Albion. He roughly commands 1/2 of the city’s support.
Among the Ta’ashim, Valtar takes pain to be fair and even-handed; he welcomes them as long as they submit to his rule. This alienates the most militant factions, but that’s not much loss. After all, as long as those houses can march to war, they have met one of their objectives.
Military Might: d12+1
Political : d8
Popular Support: d8
Morale : d12
Covert : d6
- Intelligence: d8
Arcane Might: d10
- Warding: d12
- Battle Magic: d12