Thursday, April 11, 2019

Thayan Noble Houses: House Ashmeddai

Art by artemismorgan

House Ashmeddai

Trade and Interests: Arcane magic (enchantment) 
Historical status: Ennobled -2000 to -999 DR 
Ally: Hunosel [Arcane magic (illusion)] 
Enemy: Savrian [Arcane magic (divination)] 
Virtue: Patience 
Vice: Vanity 
Reputation: Recognized 
Recent Event: New Suppliers 
Desires: Undecided 
Condition: Poor 
Favored Alignment: NE 
Favored Deity: Shar NE 
Color: Black and blue 
Symbol: Mirror 

House Ashmeddai enchanters were derided for most of their long history in Mulhorand. Their devotion to arcane magic, and enchantment in particular, was seen as foolish. Their services were sought in matchmaking and deal-brokering but kept secret; their use of blackmail bred resentment. They were accused of heresy after meddling in affairs great and small and were on the verge of losing everything when the rebellion gave them a chance for a fresh start. 

The family benefitted from the magocracy that arose - with one zulkir for each school of magic, it would inevitably produce a ruler. Still, rising to prominence proved difficult. Enchantment was not seen as terribly useful in the settling of Thay and the first zulkirs were among the most ruthless, without an Ashmeddai among them. The house turned to Shar for patronage and embraced her tactic of waiting for the right time to strike from the shadows. 

Banding together with House Hunosel proved fruitful and both worked behind the scenes to improve each other’s lot. The enclaves provided a surprising boost of prestige as Thayans looked for ways to woo foreigners and move contraband into other kingdoms. The family has suffered in recent days from poor leadership and a lack of vision; simply put, it doesn’t know what to aim for next. This has left too much time for petty squabbles that have weakened the family as a whole. 

Please Note:
  • Events and Desires are brief inspirations for current roleplay; the finer details are up to you, and the house may have been very different in previous eras.
  • Thayan houses typically have more than one ally and enemy among the other houses; what is noted above are just the primary ties.
  • Virtue, Vice, Reputation, and other aspects cover the house as a whole and what it is known for in modern times, but individuals within the house can vary greatly.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Thayan Noble Houses: House Aporos


House Aporos

Trade and Interests: Architecture (homes)
Historical status: Ennobled -2000 to -999 DR
Ally: Kren [Timber]
Enemy: Malaergost [Poisonmaking]
Virtue: Patience
Vice: Carnality
Reputation: Accepted
Recent Event: New Church Opened
Desires: To Locate the Lost
Condition: Revitalizing
Favored Alignment: NE
Favored Deity: Cyric (select text to see the secret); Waukeen (public)
Color: Gray and blue
Symbol: Geometric pattern

Once upon a time Mulhorand, House Aporos was a small but highly esteemed family dedicated to building private homes for the elite.  This was an important distinction from public structures, which belonged to the temples.  Constant meddling by the theocracy was a deciding factor when the rebellion occurred; over half the house left to seek better fortunes in Thay.

House Aporos was bitterly disappointed when it took decades before grand private homes were commissioned.  The family struggled to stay afloat until the other noble houses thrived.  Then, once business boomed, nobles complained that the designs were outdated and too much like the old country.  Commissions dwindled, and it seemed like another house would take its place.  A schism arose in Aporos as members struggled over how to respond, and those who followed Cyric won out by orchestrating the deaths of the worst offenders.

The house has since gained a reputation for discretion.  What it is best at, however, is planning homes for intrigue and hiding its own hand.  When House Kren arose, Aporos stepped in to support its growth, and the young house couldn’t afford to refuse such an ancient benefactor.  Kren has been shaped by Aporos ever since, without realizing the extent of Aporos’s influence.  The feud with House Malaergost is private and cut-throat since Aporos has continually stolen from the poison-makers.  The family has never attained the esteem it craves, which makes it fertile ground for Cyric’s creed - a dogma of betrayal that always cuts both ways.


Please Note:
  • Thayan houses typically have more than one ally and enemy among the other houses; what is noted above are just the primary ties.
  • Virtue, Vice, Reputation, and other aspects cover the house as a whole and what it is known for in modern times, but individuals within the house can vary greatly.
  • Events and Desires are brief inspirations for current roleplay; the finer details are up to you, and the house may have been very different in previous eras. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Thayan Noble Houses: House Ankara


House Ankara


Trade and Interests: Slave acquisition (piracy)
Historical status: Ennobled -1000 to 921 DR
Ally: Besklen [Armor (light)]
Enemy: Koraz [Magecraft (exotic components)]
Virtue: Confidence
Vice: Corruption
Reputation: Praised
Recent Event: Subjugated
Desires: To Stay
Condition: Poor
Favored Alignment: CN
Favored Deity: Umberlee CE
Color: Black and Gold
Symbol: Anchor

In the early days of Thay, the demand for slave labor was so great that House Ankara was called to begin work immediately - and well before it was ready.  The family had valuable ties to pirates in the Sea of Fallen Stars but had lost its best ships, key members, and a great deal of capital in the war to separate from Mulhorand.  It was tied up for years in rebuilding the family’s operations, which meant spending less time in the halls of Thayan power.

But House Ankara has always been stubborn.  It used its ties to other pirates for all they were worth, even marrying pirate captains from abroad to bolster its numbers.  This led to vicious fallout when Thayans betrayed others in the name of their new land but helped the family advance in the long run.  The house played hardball with other families that petitioned for slaves until more resources were provided.  Despite its services, the house’s reputation suffered for over a hundred years because of these moves.

The Ankara family found a surprisingly staunch ally in House Besklen, which provided the armors its members favored.  It also found an unexpected enemy in House Koraz, which regularly tries to command more room in ships for transporting magical components.  The family took a hit as the enclaves prospered and more slaves were sent back to Thay via portals.  After the Alaor islands were lost and reseized in 1369-1370, House Ankara schemed to wrest more power from the major shipping houses - and failed in its plot.  It has been begrudgingly subjugated since then and looking for ways to regain its footing.

Please Note:

  • Thayan houses typically have more than one ally and enemy among the other houses; what is noted above are just the primary ties.
  • Virtue, Vice, Reputation, and other aspects cover the house as a whole and what it is known for, but individuals within the house can vary greatly.
  • Events and Desires are brief inspirations for roleplay; the finer details are up to you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Thayan Noble Houses: House Agneh

Art by artemismorgan


House Agneh

Trade and Interests: Politics and leadership
Historical status: Ennobled -2000 to -999 DR
Ally: House Thrul [Arcane magic (evocation)]
Enemy: House Flass [Politics and leadership]
Virtue: Charity
Vice: Wrath
Reputation: Praised
Recent Event: Recent Atrocity
Desires: Necessities
Condition: Decaying
Favored Alignment: NE
Favored Deity: Mask NE
Color: Purple
Symbol: Staff of office

House Agneh began as a family bent on political influence in Mulhorand.  When Thay's war for independence began, many members did not join the rebellion so the house started small in the new Thay.  The family recovered by making matches that were not ideal (with local Rashemi) and kidnapping Mulan nobles to marry when necessary.  The whole time, it retained its love of political games.  Its members are placed in various offices across the country and House Agneh remains a popular player on the Thayan stage.

The family is known for being more free with wealth and favors than others, but its charity always comes with hidden strings.  Its members also have a reputation for being absolutely deadly when crossed (though it is notoriously difficult to prove their involvement).  The house took some serious damage to its reputation when its famous daughter, Mari Agneh, became Aznar Thrul's public thrall, but has since courted and gained the friendship of House Thrul as a whole.  This vexed House Flass, which has been solidly behind House Tam and does not want to see any rivals to Szass Tam's power.

House Agneh tends to have a family home and presence in most major cities across Thay, with the largest and grandest chapter being in Bezantur, the city Mari Agneh once ruled - but it has not ventured much into the Alaor or the enclaves.

Please Note:
  • Thayan houses typically have more than one ally and enemy among the other houses; what is noted above are just the primary ties.
  • Virtue, Vice, Reputation, and other aspects cover the house as a whole and what it is known for, but individuals within the house can vary greatly.
  • Events and Desires are brief inspirations for roleplay; the finer details are up to you.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Thayan Town Mix

Running scenes in Thayan towns and cities should feel different than the usual high fantasy fare, or at least that's how I feel.  I've cultivated a collection of music over the years to get the sounds that seem right to me, and have shared some here.  Our group tends to favor instrumental songs rather than those with lyrics, and for this list, I had to mix it up, since 8tracks only lets you use 2 songs by the same artist in a mix.  I think it works out well, since it forces you to go further.  

You can listen to this mix for free but it is presented through the use of ads.  I have had a lot of fun sharing and discovering music on the site, before and after subscribing, but the subscription opens everything up and is worth it.  You can have someone gift you a subscription, and they do have holiday sales.  Consider it, and happy gaming!