Gallery of carnage
The Grand Houses Of Thraton
The Eight Grand Houses
There are a total of 8 Grand Houses, 4 in the Northern Forests and 4 in the Southern Plains, Hills and the Arid Badlands. Grand Houses are comprised of numerous powerful families in the region with one head family, and one head of that family controlling most of the House’s armies and economy. The Houses war occasionally but not enough to really develop rivalries, they value trade much more than conquest. This however does not mean they do not keep their armies strong, indeed many have highly specialized forces that will defend their homelands to the death. They usually have a set of elite forces with unique fighting styles and tactics. The term Grand House relates to the fact that they usually have a primary stronghold that most of their forces are based out of. They all band together in times of strife and war when armies from different lands have tired to conquer their paradise between the mountains and the desert.
The Four of The North
This is the second farthest northern House, they make their homes in the massive trees in the forest which they named their House after. They make much of their wealth through providing protection from bandits for merchants and for the magic items the master druids produce. The primary stronghold and training ground of House Ravenwood is located in the tallest tree in the forest, The Grand White Oak. This massive tree stands over 80 stories tall and 100 men abreast wide which makes it visible to those outside the forest especially due to its red leaves. Most trees in Ravenwood Forest stand 30 stories tall and 10 men abreast. This House’s elite troops are the Throckmorton Knights. They specialize in breaking up the charges of mounted mercenaries with their tower shields (Made from the Great White Oaks bark) and halberds knocking their foes from their horses and imobliizing them with nets then finishing them off.
Capital: White Glade
This is the only Drawven House of the Grand Houses but they make up for it with their massive underground cities. They made their wealth off of their famous armor and weapons. The Drawves themselves are extremely distrustful of Arcane magic users since before the War and during it they have closed their doors to all strangers of late. They however use blessed divine magic forges and metals to create their armors and weapons. Many of the Grand Houses have had their best weapons made by Masters of the GreyForge, an ancient relic forge that uses lava to melt its metal imbues it with the powerful magic of the volcano its located in. A GreyForged weapon or armor commands the highest price on the market. Greyforge is located in the northern most Mountains behind giant stone and metal doors. They let few merchants and strangers into their caverns to trade. Greyforges Elite forces are called the Black Axes, their preferred weapon is throwing axes which they can throw at great distances with precise aim. Black Axes often use surprise to gain the upper hand on their foes by hiding their axes in otherwise normal clothes.
Capital: Forge City
This Grand House is located in the same forest band as Ravenwood, Thorngrove is in a much denser and harder to travel through part of it. The House is primary made up of druids, clerics and rangers who are all committed to preserving the forest and worshiping the gods of the forest. They will aid and heal most people who travel through their lands in good will. However they aren’t entirely peaceful they have some of the best trackers in the Grand Houses, and their finely crafted greatbows are known to reach out and touch foes that think they have escaped their wrath. Those who defile the forest or use its resources unaware of the damage done are hunted down. The actual Thorngrove is a place where none but the high clerics and druids have walked, it is at the center of their lands an untouched paradise of nature. Their elite forces are the SliverBows, who are said to be both rangers and druids who move like or rather as wolves to track their prey. Their name comes from the massive greatbows that come from virgin boughs that they themselves woodshape as to not harm the tree.
Capital: Druids Corpse.
House of Shadows:
As the name suggests this House is primarily made of Rouges and other such classes that keep to the quiet shadows. In this house nothing is forbidden to get to the top and any tactic is permitted. They survive by their army of spies and provide accurate reports on the troop movements and reasources of the other houses. They will provide this information to anyone for the right price and they have amassed quite the treasure trove. They make their stronghold deep in the forest farthest away from Thorngrove and their strictures. They make there homes above the trees and have a vast network of rope bridges, swings and catwalks that are well hidden in the tree canopy. These hidden networks go on throughout most of the forest until they infringe upon the other Houses turf. The elite forces of the House of shadows are their shadow-dancers and assassins to inflict damage at key point in the enemies ranks or to get into the most secure strongholds.
The Four Of the South.
House of the Four Winds:
Gnomes comprise most of this House’s main leadership. They are the most inventive of all the houses and have even made a cart that can move on there own without magic or horse! They use these “machines” to move vast amount of crops from their neighbors rich farmlands. They have a vast trade network that has made them a very rich house. They rely on a defense contract from Ravenwood to keep their highly valuable goods out of thieves hands. Their own wagonmasters use fully automatic crossbows that cock themselves back for the the next bolt. This technology translated into a turret ballista that is mounted to most of their wagons. Four Winds makes their home on top of a bluff overlooking the plains. This gives their high walls an even more distinct advantage over most attacking armies. They also specialize in rare mounts and animals, they have one of the few airiel forces in their flying hippogriff riders named the Wind riders. They were attacked at the same time as bounty but the city was left behind in ruin as the ring moved on to Bounty.
Captial: High Roost
House of the BattleBorn:
The most militarized of all the Southern Houses, Battleborn is comprised of mostly warrior clans and mercenaries guilds that banded together to become one of the most powerful House in the south. Their Tower of Steel stronghold sits on top of one of the largest cheap metal mines in all of the plains and badlands. Most of the building in this city are made out of this metal and the outer walls are made from layer after layer of it. They produce the most weapons and armor of any House but the quality isn’t the finest, Greyforge steel slices right through it. They are also known for making their injuried whole again through attaching iron limbs. It is often a mark of rank for battleborn veterans as it gives them massive strength. Their standing army is just over ten thousand, but every single member of their House must undergo Military training at 16 human years of age. They are also the only house to have an Arena that allows death matches occasionally. Their elite forces are the Crimson Riders who specialize in leading the charge to break an enemies defensive lines, this makes them the natural rivals of the Throckmorton Knights. These Houses often skirmish each other to test their mettle but never as an act of war.
Captial: Victory’s Edge
House of the Shifting Sands:
Located in the arid badlands next to the desert They made their stronghold into a rock outcropping on the outskirts of the dessert. They hollowed out most of the inside and have seals on the outer tunnels to keep the moisture in, which is the most valuable resource in the badlands. They are considered a grand House mostly because of the ferocity of their fighters, they are known to be worth at least 100 of any other soldier put to field. They are a prideful and to some savage House, they like to keep to themselves but must import water to their lands to survive. They pay for this expense mostly through the relics they find in the deep desert that out somehow out of reach of other adventures. There are rumors of sightings of Shifting Sands house members riding giant worms into the deep desert. The Shifting Sands House’s main fighting units are comprised of barbarians and rangers who are extremely agile and are known to be expert ambushers. Their elite forces use twin short swords in combat for maneuverability and are known as the Blades of the Desert. They function as scouts, shock troops and executioners. They work in small groups of 4-8 setting up ambushes by burying themselves in sand or in the ground then springing up and slitting the throat of those who dare walk on their land unannounced.
Captial: Siege Nabal
House Of Bounty:
This primarily Halfling and Human House is the most peaceful of the Grand Houses. Bounty has the smallest standing army of any of the Grand Houses. However no one would dare attack them, they have the most fertile lands in all of Thraton and produce the large amount of food needed to feed the massive population of all the Grand Houses. Bounty uses wild magic to improve the yield rate of their crops. They will feed any stranger who wanders into their towns and their bards are known as the best entertainers throughout the land. Their “stronghold” is nothing but a large city that has Elite Troops from all the different Houses guarding Bounty’s Head of House and House. Bounty’s own Elite Troops are Bastard Bards who are known for being womanizers, marvelous entertainers and last of all great leaders and coordinators. They bolster troops with magics and song allowing them to be much more effective in combat.
This was the Second House to fall in the war. Bounty was caught completely by surprise when fire started raining down upon their city stronghold, the gathered forces of all the houses barely made their escape with half the House still alive. The endless waves of slave warriors and magical beasts that the mages commanded drove back the defenders. The House of Bounty has become refugees in every other House’s holds, they do what they can to up the crop growth rates to a level that can sustain the population. But still the poor have started to starve like never before. They have banded together with their brothers from Four Winds to aid those who are in need of food and supplies along with protection but they can only do so much.
Capital: Hospitality’s Home
The Tower of the Warlocks:
Seemingly unaffected by the madness the Grand Tower and the small village that surrounds it have kept in contact with the major houses after the Maddness struck. The Tower sits on the border of the dessert and the eastern edge of the known lands. They are hardened veterans of numerous border wars with those who dwell outside the houses reach. Trained primarily in delivering their blasts in hand to hand combat, they use incantation to get close. The grand warlock while being chaotic does not see the point in the whole sale slaughter that has happened to house bounty and pledged his best troops to the war. This being said it is rumored that there is discontent in the ranks of the Warlocks. Some of them see the potential in switching sides.
The Warmages were one of the most effected arcane casters groups. 90% of the college went mad including the leaders and professors and headed south across the desert to join with the mad wizards. They were closely involved with the Battleborn house. The college itself is near the western edge of the Grand Houses land. It now stands as hollow castle any survivors had long left to nature. Partly blasted apart by the insanity that swept them into the desert.
Town of Amalmac:
A relatively small village (2000) comprised mostly of orcs and half orcs. They are a extremely religious town with secretive rites and rituals. They aren’t fond of outsiders and mostly keep to themselves besides talking to the druids from thorngrove which they are located near. They follow the Warrior-God Amal who is a protector of the forest they inhabit. They became even more isolated when 18 years ago they were attacked by unknown mercs who raided the village and raped some of the women in it. They burned part of the forest which attracted the attention of Throngrove who cam to their aid with druids in direwolf form and drove out the invaders and helped the wounded. The town is known for their Leopard Scouts, elite hunters and trackers who take out threats before they are an issue to Amalmac.
The Mark Mages of North:
This religious clan lives in the north eastern mountains secluded away from the Houses. They practice a religion and magic entirely their own. Their faith proclaims everything that has been, is and will be is connected by a grand charter that binds them together. Thought of as a cult by most they have proven themselves during the War of Mages. They erected barriers around most of the Houses Capitals that ward against teleportation thus preventing the quick capture and elimination of key targets within the Houses hierarchy. Being divine casters and loathing what they call “Free Magic” (arcane magic, particularly evil ones) they were completely unaffected by the Mages uprising they even predicted it sending some of their elite Mark Mages to preventing part of the damage done to the Houses infrastructures. Mark Mages are rare because it requires a great amount of wisdom and will to pull Marks right out of the Charter. These mages are trained in martial arts as well Mark Magic. Each Mark can be combined with others that give each mage a huge range of utility. (This is a homebrewed class that Players will be able to use if they wish).