Black Pistol Inn Seeks Tavern Keep

Announced by criers and posted in locations around Stragosa is a simple sign that reads.

Black Pistol Inn seeks Tavern Keep. Interested parties should enjoy music, theatre and a celebratory atmosphere. The Black Pistol Inn is located at 27 Nemesis Way, just passed the Butcher Shop.

If you are outgoing, charming and regularly witty, the Black Pistol needs you!

Inquire in person at the Pistol.

~Bastione Montcorbier, Proprietor

The Operating of the Metalli

The Metalli
Hello, and thank you for reading my missive. My name is Guildmaster Borso, of the Metalli of Stragosa. I write to you today to let you know of opportunities for apprentices, journeymen, and masters in the miraculous City of Stragosa.

In particular, I am in need of enterprising Officers, as you will see in our descriptions. Here is some information about how the Metalli guild works, I hope you will find that it is an arrangement that creates equitable wealth for all members.
Membership and structure

We of the Metalli have three founding members, Myself (Master Miner Borso), Master Mechanist Bakara, and Master Blacksmith Thorn. Our first guild charters were blacksmithing and engineering, acquiring Carpentry when the Forestry Guild leadership departed Stragosa. We have maintained these three charters to the present day.

Metalli members pay no dues at all, and enjoy access to an internal guild bank and supply-house called The Trapeza**, which contains raw materials such as soft iron and heavy leather, or components such as hilts and straps. This same guild bank is the primary source of ready goods at the markets of Stragosa. It is the duty of our the Officer of the Trapeza to determine these prices and quantities.

Apprentices likewise pay no dues or fees, and are offered instruction at no further cost. We feel that the opportunity to work together for everyone’s benefit is enticement enough.
Guildmaster, Officers, and Organization

Members may of course make their own sales if they like, so long as they do not undercut prices for those goods that the Metalli choose to publish. These published prices are typically for the most common sales: locks, chests, swords, lanterns and the like.

Members who wish to have the freedom at market to pursue other goals may choose to sell their goods into the Trapeza, our guild bank, for the full value of the good, as guild credit (called Metallions). For example, if swords sell for four silver, members are able to sell their swords to the Trapeza for four Metallions. Likewise, components buy and sell at the same rates: if a carpenter sells a hilt to the Trapeza for one Metallion, a blacksmith may buy it for one Metallion.

Members at the start of Forum also indicate whether they would like the Officer of the Trapeza to find work for them, or are working on their own. This knowledge allows the Officer of the Trapeza to accept Contracts at the market for large orders or masterwork equipment.

At the end of Market, the Officer of the Trapeza passes these contracts to the guild members whose skills can complete them. At any time, but especially at the end of market, those members who wish to purchase items from the Trapeza with their Metallions may do so. At least some silver is available as a result of market sales, and may be “purchased” with Metallions in this way.
Members: No Dues, No Duties.
No particular service or duty is required of the members, apart from allowing the Metalli name to be on whatever contracts are completed. I believe that it is the purpose of the guild to make you money, not take you money.

I have openings immediately for Officers of the Trapeza, the Market, and of Furnishings. If the right candidates were to arrive, I also am interested in Officers of Training, Parcel Improvements, and finally (if such a special person exists), and Officer of Dangerous Ventures.

Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to seeing you in Stragosa.

Guildmaster Borso, de Metalli

The Surewind Company

Of the various guilds that sprung up in Vißvind, none have been more successful than the Surewind Company. It was one of the few guilds that managed to escape the scandals of the clan’s collusion with the Rime Clans. The guildmaster of the time was also a proud, outspoken follower of Benalus. The Surewind Company owes much of its success to this foundation of good reputation. The guild has survived for generations and has gone on to establish trade with every country of the Throne. It’s influence has grown great enough that its operation plays a significant role in the local politics of the area.

Notable Members:

Guildmaster: Jørgen the Magnate
Jørgen was groomed from birth to succeed his father as master of the Surewind Company. Even as a child, Jørgen demonstrated an abundance of ambition to succeed in life. Before he’d even begun to shave, he was already working closely with his father within the guild. Jørgen is known to be a stern, frank, and serious man, as well as a master of business. The guild, and through it, the city, have prospered so much under his direction that he has come to be branded, “The Magnate”.

Officer: Linnéa the Prodigy
Linnéa is the wife of Guildmaster Jørgen. She comes from a well-off merchant family in Vißvind. Linnéa herself rose to being the guildmistress of the local textiles guild at a young age, showing an aptitude for the merchant lifestyle impressive even to the elite. This earned her the brand of “Prodigy”. After marring into the Surewind family, she stepped down from the textiles guild, and went on to work closely with her husband in running the Company.

Officer: Viggo Jørgenson
Viggo is the eldest son of Guildmaster Jørgen. He is reputed to be both a frivolous debauchee and an effective businessman. Viggo is expected to supersede his father as Master of the guild. He is not yet Branded.

Officer: Mille
Mille was born a peasant, but married into the merchant class. Despite her low upbringing, she has been effective and driven in her work for the guild. She became an officer after many years of loyal service. She is known to be sharp, articulate, and reliable. She is not yet Branded.

Officer: Nils
Nils is a cousin of Guildmaster Jørgen. He was raised to be a sailor, but demonstrated an strong aptitude for business as well. He apprenticed under Linnéa, and eventually came to be a respected officer in his own right. He is known to be friendly and fair, but steadfast. He is not yet Branded.

House Scordato of Hestrali

Current Head of House: Count Lorenzo Scordato (recently deceased)
Current Heir Apparent: Facio Scordato
Coat of Arms: An open book with a spyglass and short blade crossed over it.
Maxim: Harvesting the past, we flourish.
Keep: The Gilded Observatory
City of Influence: Segrati
Kingdom: Hestrali
Region: Le Sorelle
Island Name: The Isle of Forgotten Tomes

Centuries ago, Luca Scordato was an adventurous merchant that used his wealth to indulge a passion of adventuring. It was on such an endeavor that Luca Scordato discovered what he named the Isle of Forgotten Tomes off the coast of Hestralia. Within the island’s jungle, his party discovered signs of a small encampment. Using his keen mind, Luca Scordato realized it was not humans but Elves that resided within, he lead his company of soldiers deeper into the jungle away from the Elves. It was deep in the center of the island at the base of the mountain that he discovered what must have once been a massive library that held vast amounts of ancient tomes.

Having finally made his glorious discovery, Luca Scordato made the decision that he would purge the island of the Elves and take it as his own. Over the course of many weeks, he observed the daily routine of the villagers and devised a plan that would allow his company of soldiers to overwhelm the Elves, known for their superior fighting. On the night after they observed the planning of some heathen holiday, Luca Scordato and his men descended upon the inebriated village, finally cleansing the island of Elves. With the victory and wishing to fully excavate the largely buried library; Luca Scordato settled the region with the founding of the harbor city of Segrati.

With the isle resting within the region known as The Sisters of Hestrali, the family has often chafed against fully following the laws of others. Historically this has translated into the house building short lived ties with nobles from the Hestrali mainland, Capacionne, and occasionally the odd Sha’ra Shahzada. These ties are often short lived, around one or two generations. As of 602, the family has strong ties with Houses Trakt and a highborn house in the Castellonia region of Capacionne.

As a rite of passage, each member of the house is sent out equipped with a small party not unlike the one that Luca Scordato originally traveled with. A Scordato is considered a child until they return with their own discovery or equally bardic worthy tale. This tradition has led to some very famous competitions between siblings as; a first-born child could be killed on such an endeavor or disowned for failure if their younger sibling succeeds their own trial first.

City of Segrati:
The Gilded Observatory towers over the rest of the city and is home to House Scordato. An entire wing of the building houses what contents of the ruined library that have been recovered over the years. The view from the top of the observatory allows for a clear view of the entire island and the outlying vineyards and villages.
The primary exports of Segrati are the specialized wine grown in the volcanic soil and the sale of antique relics recovered by the Seekers.
While not one of the greatest centers of learning, Segrati hosts a gathering of eccentric academics and magicians interested in paying for the privilege to research the ancient tomes and relics unearthed by House Scordato. (see Università di Segrati)

The Seekers (Military House Guard Organization):
Valor: Vigilence
Grand Master: Agostino Rizzo (brother to Lorenzo Scordato)

The knights sworn to House Scordato are known to the world only as The Seekers however, the knights themselves have broken into two sub-groups with vastly different responsibilities. The two groups are the Seekers of History and Seekers of the Blood. Allies of the house are allowed to pay for the services of the Seekers as scouts and pursuers for their armies or as elite scholars of specific eccentric academics.

The Seekers of History perform their duties by accompanying expeditions funded by the house and fancy themselves treasure hunters. Their excessive traveling to all regions of The Throne and beyond has led to them being the public face of the group. The Seekers of the Blood spend the majority of their time acting as personal bodyguards and are the martial elite.

In warfare, the Seekers are specialists that use their skills to bravely harass behind the enemy’s main battle line. Many major battles have been won because these specialist knights completely decimated supply and communication lines. During the war to bring Hestralia under control of the Throne, the Seekers were so successful in disrupting supplies in their regions of operation that House Engel had to pull entire units of front-line troops to escort their supplies, lest they starve.

On Sin

On Sin

The Pancreator made Humanity with Meaning. Our Meaning has certain qualities one of which is Libertas. Our LIberty is part of us and defends itself. Each of us rebels from the Despair of the World, from the things which would Oppress and Shackle us. Our Meaning demands Liberty.

When we are oppressed by the Sorrows, we assert our Selves beyond any other obligations. Our Assertions remind us of the Pride of being Human, the Ache of Wanting, the Rise of the Blood. These things dispel the Sorrows and Bring Joy.

However, do not be brought low by Vainglorious thinking. The Libertas can become overpowering. It can become a heady wine. When all of us are Drunk at the same time, the world cannot contain it. Let your Libertas flow in small rivers until the day of Completion draws near. The World must grow to join us and until then, the Secret must be kept.
You are the Rose, you are the Dawn, the beauty and light of the world.

For the Conquest of Joy,

Praemonstrator Lumin

Le Sorelle Pirati

A sturdy stonework hut somewhere in La Montanara, Hestralia:

“Why do we live here now papa?”, asked the child, scribbling absentmindedly in the dirt using a stick.
“So, I can work and so we can eat”, replied the man as he dumped a bowl of chopped meat and vegetables into an iron pot that hung from a chain above the hearth.
“There was no work on the island, papa?”
“Not for me, paisano.”, the man muttered as he tossed some dried herbs into the pot for flavor. “There’s nothing good in those islands for us now.”
“The islands have bad-guys, papa?”
The man pushed the pot to a different position over the fire so its contents would boil more gently. “Of course! You know about Le Sorelle Pirati, no?”
“No papa, tell me about The Pirate Sisters!”
“The Sisters Pirates.”
“Cosa?”
The man laughed. “The Sisters are the name of all the islands. The islands, they have pirates, si.”
“The pirates are not sisters?”
“They are all kinds, but yes they have a lot of girl pirates, girl captains, and a girl ammiraglia. I think they have a lot of girl pirates for the same reason you were confused by the name. It is an amusing coincidenza, no?”
“Co-in. Coinzi”, the boy struggled with the word while using the stick as a cutlass and dueling the empty wall while his father smiled.
“Can I be a pirate, papa?”, the boy asked innocently while the man checked on the pot. His smile half faded, and he lied in the easy way that only a parent can, “Of course you can, Sergio.”

———————————————–
Organization: THE SISTERS PIRATES
Type: Outlaw
Ties: Many formal and informal throughout Hestralia (and likely beyond).
Tier: 4 (estimated)

History:
There are those (especially that live in the islands in question) that believe the recovery of humankind started from the aftermath of the Age of Witchkings in the islands called The Sisters. These are remote enough to not be easily reached by unskilled navigators, and small enough that they could be reclaimed one by one. This allowed the fledgling new civilization of human refugees from the ancient disaster to raid and conquer their way into the continent and establish the nations we know now. Interestingly, the same remoteness and beliefs about the history of The Sisters is assumed to be why they were the last to join the Unified Hestralia, and even to this day often ignore the rule of Aquila. It is also known that the reason the Sisters Pirates are often held in a degree of reverence is the belief that they are continuing the lifestyle of the original warriors and raiders that launched the recovery of humankind so long ago. (This savage time before the Age of Heroes is poorly understood, and nearly undocumented.)

The Sisters Pirates have been involved in almost every major conflict accessible by sea in the eastern part of the world. They have been known to appear and turn the tide of a battle, but also to betray a side they were hired to fight for. The motivations of these pirates would seem to be strictly profit motivated, but there is some evidence they work, in a roundabout way, to maintain the freedom of Le Sorelle.

The Sisters Pirates are organized loosely after the model of a naval fleet. There is an admiral that rules over the whole organization, four commodores with logistical and political duties but no fleets of their own, and a lot of captains that command everything from whole battlegroups to individual ships.

Order of the Stars

Order of the Stars

Patron Angel: Cyaniel
Patron Saint: St. William the Penitent

“Fear of the Unknown drives Man to sin far more frequently than the fear Man encounters face to face.”

The Order of the Stars is a mendicant order dedicated to bringing knowledge of Fate to the world. The friars of the Order travel all over Rogalia and beyond, dispensing the wisdom of the Cards to people of all life’s stations. The Cards are illustrated scenes from the Testimonium with symbols that make them compatible with Cyanihim rituals.

“We do not ‘tell the future.’ We reveal the foe.”

The Order will not tell you that something is going to come to pass. Rather a friar will tell you what is holding you back. A reading of the Cards is necessary before any atonement is assigned and confession is an important part of every reading.

“Until you can surpass the mystery of the pagan, you will never replace him.”

The Order of the Stars has a secret mission – to supplant the utility of pagan and magely ritual with the miracles of the Church. Wherever there are people who find it difficult to give up ancient ways, the Order of the Stars will be there to replace old ritual with new. Who will need to consult with the Green Father when this star chart will tell you the best time to plant?

“If everyone can have a taste of magic, how important can mages be?”

The Order of the Stars is in opposition to the Mage Guilds, seeking to reduce their influence whenever possible. To that end, the Order provides refuge and occupation for failed apprentices, gathering esoteric knowledge and experience bit by bit over time. The Order is careful to never directly threaten the Guilds, knowing that Time and Fate are on their side.

Guild Vermogen

This guild is known for their ability to find and distribute goods in both bulk and private quantities. They are also particularly well known for their subtlety in maneuvering markets to their advantage. Getting the best they can out of what they are able to compile. Anyone know that if you seek to work through the Vermogen that you will be accorded a fair market price, but that they will also benefit from your transaction. They are a middle man merchant guild buying and selling various goods of differing quantities from one party to another. They will often take a contract to locate goods of a certain type and quality knowing that their knowledge of markets and economics as well as research into current market trends will garner a much better price than if a client tried to do so themself.They are also known for procuring ludicrously good deals on goods for themselves, and then in turn selling at a fair market value, thus making large sums of capitol. They are in turn the essence of the middle man, and they are very very good at it.

Guild Master:

Reiner Einhart – Johannes is an older man, and has been in the merchant/economics game for quite some time. He has helped to make cities prosper with his trade wisdom and has used his knowledge to be the ruin of many a business and even a lord or two. He has a reputation of being just shy of ruthless. Efficient and often sterile in his business exchanges and endeavors Reiner prefers to keep things professional rather than personal. For all that proceeds him Reiner is not cruel. He has been known to take care of his own with a loyalty that is commendable, and has even been known to donate to charities from time to time. Reiner cares for his community and his guild members and seeks to better them both.

Guild Officers:

Johannes Adlar – Johannes is the officer that is in charge of gathering intel on other businesses and what the market current needs are. He is a competent business man, and enjoys the finer things in life. He is an only child and has a bit of a chip on his shoulder. He also had a fling with Adelle that sometimes rears its head and causes problems.

Adelle Muller – Adelle is the officer in charge of following current market trends in the area and setting pricing brackets for the guild. Adelle wishes she had never given Johannes the time of day, but alas such is life. She is still professional with him in regards to guild duties, but avoids him otherwise. She is a dutiful woman and takes her role in the guild very seriously. She is the one most likely to take over the guild after Reiner steps down, but Gerda is a close second.

Gerda Schafer – Gerda is the officer in charge of internal logistics for the guild. In terms of Gothics Gerda wears her emotions on her sleeve. She will sometimes openly show how she is feeling and forgetting herself, but soon composes herself. Gerda sometimes get jealous of Adelle and her success and favoritism in the guild. She does not let this show and keeps it inside, but her jealousy sometimes guides her actions.

Masters in the Guild:

Franze Koch – Franze has recently become a master in the guild and is the newest member to this rank. Others find him enjoyable and seek out his company. He works well with others, and makes the best of situations. Is a hard worker. Gets along with most everyone in the guild. He even tries to find the best in Erwin. He thinks Adelle would make a fine leader, and that Gerda brings her own strengths to the guild. Secretly he think Johannes is stuck up.

Erwin Schmidt – Where as Franze is enjoyable and a hard worker Erwin avoids work and is kind of a pain to be around. He has been a master for sometime and finds it a personal affront that he hasn’t been made an officer. He would most likely would have been kicked out by now, if he wasn’t so damned good at his job, and he is a damned good merchant. He secretly longs for Ina.

Hartwin Fischer – Before he joined the guild Hartwin was a farmer. He was personally recruited by Reiner due to his business acumen in selling his produce. Hartwin is prone to drinking in excess but is a kind hearted man who doesn’t hold a grudge, though he doesn’t particularly care for that Erwin fellow, and think the Heidi is sometimes kind of a jerk. Thinks Johannes is stuck up, but appreciates his business Acumen.

Heidi Mayer – Heidi has always loved talking to people, especially when that involved talking people into things. Whether it was a bet, prank, deal, or scheme Heidi has always been adept at convincing people to do what she thinks is good idea. Though she is rarely cruel with her abilities she does enjoy causing antics to ensue and has been chastised in the guild for it at least twice. Her favorite targets of this are Franze and Erwin.

Ina Wagner – Ina is a reserved woman, even by Gothic standards. She rarely shows any emotion in public. Her and Heidi are often at odds because Heidi tries convincing her of things and Ina just stares at her. Ina thinks that Erwin singles her out for his misery, and picks on her more than others because he is threatened by her aptitude, and she is quite skilled in the realms of commerce. Even from a young age she has understood the flow a sale and the trends of a market. Wishes she could be a little more like Gerda.

Isaak Becker – Isaak is a man that tries to do his job as well as he can and go home at the end of the day. He doesn’t really care about fame or glory, he just wants to do his job the best he can and go home to his wife at the end of the day. While he gets along with most people in the guild farely well he has a loathing for Hartwin because Hartwin made untoward advances toward his wife one night in a tavern. Isaak took great a offense to this and has not let go of it. He does not actively undermine Hartwin, but he certainly doesn’t do him any favors. He avoids Heidi when he can, but enjoys Ina well enough.

Journeymen –

Jakob – Jakob is an even keeled man who keeps to himself. His best friend is Isaak Becker, but he holds no grudge for his friends advancement in the guild. In fact he admires him, and wishes him the best. Jakob once worked with Joseph on a job that took them to Hestralia, and has refused to work with the man since. No one knows what happened between them.

Joseph – Joseph is stoic man of his word. Dutiful and loyal, but slightly gruff in demeanor he gets the job done right the first time. Since the trip the Hestralia with Jakob, Joseph has a tendency to keep to himself despite wanting to spend more time with Karla, who he has been pining over for about a year now.

Karla – Karla always has her loved ones back. She will stick up for them when needed and would fight for them when necessary. She is a tenacious worker and hopes to be an Officer of the guild someday. Joseph likes to think he keeps his feelings well hidden but Karla sees them for what they are, if only he were younger she would probably marry him. Karla once challenged another Journeyman named Kaspar to a drinking contest and drank him under the table. She has since gained a mild reputation as a lush.

Kaspar- Kaspar is pious man, and is sure to attend church every Saturday, and many days between. He does however enjoy a good stiff drink from now and then, and can often be seen going to atonement for such small acts of gluttony. He is still embarrassed about the incident with Karla even though it happened over 2 years ago. For all his Piety though Kaspar cannot seem to find it in him to forgive Lars for his offense toward him.

Lars – In his younger years Lars was a bit of spit-fire. He gambled and participated in some rather unsavory hobbies before turning back to the straight and narrow. Not the least of which was having a romantic affair with the fiance of another man. That man was Kaspar. Now guild mates Lars tries to make it up to him but Kaspar will have none of it. Luckily Lars has found a true friend who looks past his previous indiscretions. That friends is Laura.

Laura – Laura is a cunning sales woman, and has been able to close many deals. She strives to be a good and pious woman, but understands that she is only human. As such she is not one to judge others, and appreciates when people are trying to be better than they were, which is why she became such fast friends with Lars, and why she has such a hard time getting along with that judgemental woman Magda.

Magda – Magda strives for perfection in everything she does. This has earned her a reputation as being stuck up and a control freak. Many people find her abrasive, especially Laura, but Magda shrugs it off as them squandering their gifts through laziness. The only exception is her dear Markus. Markus always tries his best, though it is rarely good enough. The two fell in love quickly after meeting and were married shortly after.

Markus – Markus is a man who seeks to be better than he is, and appreciates that his wife Magda pushes him hard to be so. Though sometimes he worries that she finds his attempts futile, which is why Markus sometimes suffers from depression; wallowing in the knowledge that his wife will never think he is good enough. If it wasn’t for his friend Benjamin Markus would be in dire straights indeed. Benjamin brings back Markus’s youth and reminds him to live life a little bit sometimes, which is why Magda disapproves of him.

Apprentices:

Benjamin – Benjamin enjoys life as much as he can while still being dutiful in getting his work done. He is prone to drink and having a good time, which is why his good friend Markus’s wife Magda hates him. But he could care less, he doesn’t have time for people who don’t have time for him. He hopes someday to find true love and live happily ever after. He hopes that person is Michael, at least for this month.

Michael – Michael is man who everything he is into everything he does. Gothics are not known for their passions, and Michael is as stoic as the next, but passion burns bringt and hot under the cold exterior. Michael loves the thrill closing a sale or making a trade contract. He appreciates the finer things in life, but doesn’t snub the rougher things either. He gets along well with his friends Niclaus and Benjamin

Niclaus – Niclaus tries to show his friends the path of the straight and narrow by leading by example and by being close enough to steer them straight when they need it. Niclaus works hard and helps his friends Michael and Benjamin when needed. He longs for Nina, who doesn’t know it.

Nina – Nina enjoys small talk and keeps things reserved and professional while at work. When she is not on a job for the guild though she likes to loosen up a bit. Sometimes this gets her in trouble and can lead to atonements from time to time. She has eyes for several men in the guild including Niclaus and Oskar.

Oskar – Oskar is a hopeless romantics and would love nothing more than sweeping a fair maiden off her feet and winning her hand in marriage. Often subject of his affection is Nina, which causes tension for him and Niclaus, but he also keeps an eye out for other potential suiting options, such as Rachel. He writes poetry and comprises ballads in honor of women’s beauty in his spare time

Rachel – Rachel is a staunch woman who cares for her craft and the church. She is a regular at many church services, but does enjoy to let loose every once in awhile. She makes sure to atone for any transgressions as soon as possible and does her best to help her friend Sibylle.

Sibylle – Sibylle’s tale is one of sorrow. Sibylle was married at a young age to a knight errant, and thought that her life would turn over a new leaf only to have her new husband slain in battle and have the family accuse her of being a jump start money grubbing strumpet. Her name was tarnished but she found work where she could until she ran into Gerda, who took pity on her and has offered her an apprenticeship in the guild. She quickly made friends with Rachel who has helped Sibylle get back on her feet, for which Sibylle is unendingly grateful.

Lineage: Bergenthaler

Lineage Name: Bergenthaler
Common Names: (male) Jurgen, Junghans, Joachim, Jakobus, Johannis, (female) Emmelina, Ernesta, Eugenia, Eulanie, Else, Elbarathia
Social Class: Peasants (almost entirely)
Intermarriage with outsiders (from non-Sauber lands): Uncommon
Intermarriage with second cousins: Common
Typical number of children: 4-7
Home Town: Laatzen and its environs, chiefly in villages dotting the lower hills, and on the northern plains villages close to the hills.

Geographic Distribution:
Almost entirely in Sauber lands until the last generation. Now starting to look for settlements near Engel and Rosenberg lands, usually in hilly territories with sandy/rocky soil, good drainage, and plenty of exposure to south-easterly sunlight. Within Sauber lands, the Bergenthaler family can be found in around a dozen villages, with maybe six additional large specific farmsteads that are the homes of very large multi-family housholds (in the dozens of Bergenthalers, plus farmhands).

Recorded History:
Little to none. The first written records of the Bergenthaler lineage go back approximately 150 years ago, when Jorgenmund von und zu Bergenthal is recorded as having purchased a plot of land in the hills surrounding Laatzen from a town magistrate. This record is kept in the town archives of Laatzen. Over the subsequent decades, little to no history exists outside of recorded land plot purchases, and debts owed and settled to the nobility or to Laatzen itself. At this time, curiously, Laatzen appears to be in contract with the patriarch of the family to purchase fifty barrels of wine at the start of every year — for the next decade.
Outsider History: “Busy little bees, all of them. Now, they appear pious, and they talk all humble, but it sure isn’t right now much coin they’ve made since Jaap Bergenthaler made a name for himself at Graff Sauber’s castle. He had an uncanny hand for growing grapes, Jaap – you can even tell now, even as he’s almost sixty. But he was barely twenty in those days, and he had a touch… well, I wouldn’t say it was witchcraft, never, but the things he did with them vines, and the effect the wine had on the highborn.. let’s just say I’ve never seen the likes of it. I don’t know how the old Graf heard of his simple peasant and his wine, but one day this boy finds himself pouring wine for knights, for ladies .. why, I think he was even invited to bring wine to the banquets. Now most men, they would’ve been content collecting the coin, and bowing on the way out, and telling the story to his grandchildren about how he was at the Graf’s court one year, and lived to tell the tale. But not Jaap. The sheer courage that little upstart had.. Why, it takes my breath away. As we all know, trade and merchants are not held in high regard at the court, but the Graf’s knights were always patrolling the borders and going to other towns for escorts. Jaap somehow gets some of his barrels brought into neighbouring towns, and gives some of the squires and men at arms a cut of the coin. Now they’re the richest peasants in the hills, all on the backs of that initial good bit of fortune, I tell you.”

Current Events:
The current patriarch of the Bergenthaler lineage is Joachim Bergenthaler, who is known to be in ill health. His younger brother – one of five siblings – Jaap Bergenthaler, parlayed an initial stroke of luck into expanding the family’s small production of wine and apple farming into a thriving business that is reaching regional fame for its sweet, quaffable products. A relatively pious family, at least one brother from each branch will seek to become a monk, or, if enjoying education by the church, enter the priesthood. However, this only extends so far – it is usually left to the eldest son to determine if the family can spare a full set of hands to the church, or if all are needed to help. Their relative wealth has allowed them to hire more farmhands and fieldhands, and the more ambitious young members of the family are known to have given longing looks to the city of Laatzen and the promises of a life without back-breaking toil.

Professions, Occupation & Family Life:
Almost all Bergenthaler men are farmers of one type of another, either supervisory laborers who specialize in their branch (such as viticulture or fruit farming), or specialists in animal husbandry who manage the livestock needed to operate farms. A few have sought out specialized education in irrigation and apothecary skills, believing it will improve their farming output, but the vast majority of agricultural production is determinedly traditionalist in method and approach. A large number of Bergenthaler women inter-marry with well-to-do farmers in neighbouring villages. An uncharitable observer might note that the relative wealth and promise of free-flowing supplies of fruit and grapes (and related items) have been remarkably successful in convincing some farmers to marry Bergenthaler women whom they would have normally considered below their station. A charitable observer will note that inter-marriage with the Bergenthaler lineage often leads to more inter-marriage, with mutually beneficial results from sharing farming expertise, crop rotation methodologies, and mutual labour cooperation. More than one new entrant into the Bergenthaler family has praised Benalus for the large number of new family members showing up during harvest time to help out, or to erect a barn. In terms of family life, the stout traditionalism of the Bergenthaler lineage helps them stay close and safe. Households are very large, with many siblings encouraged to stay with their families until they have enough children to strike out on their own. It is not uncommon for farmsteads to number in the dozens of Bergenthalers, with a dozen or more fully-grown men in good health ready to work the fields and defend the home.

Outliers:
Considered an unfortunate and rarely-discussed exception, Joachim Bergenthaler’s eldest son, Jurgen, was meant to lead the family after his father’s death. What happened to Jurgen is perhaps the best cautionary tale for commoners not to aspire above their station. Forty years ago, Jurgen – in his late teens then – set out to Laatzen with a group of brothers and friends. News of his uncle’s success at court has just reached his father’s farmstead, and Jurgen was determined not to be left behind. With his uncle’s help, he convinced the church to grant him additional schooling, and eventually a knight down on his luck agreed to take him on as a cup bearer first, with promises of becoming a squire down the line. The story gets unclear at this time, but shame and misfortune befell Jurgen Bergenthaler, and although it’s rumored that he must have perished, his father and uncle both insist that he is still alive. A very different fate befell another outlier, Ernestina Bergenthaler. Now in her twenties, Ernestina caught the eye of the local priests at a young age for her ability to decipher texts quickly that she should not have been able to reach. After much examination, the church finally concluded that Ernestina was not cursed, but in fact highly intelligent. She rapidly rose to become a scribe aiding the various monastic orders around Laatzen, displaying an uncommon skill at memorizing long passages from religious scrolls (and other writings), and replicating them in beautiful illuminated script. Some of her works have become favoured by the ladies at the Graff’s court, and it is surely only a matter of time until one of them brings Ernestina into her retinue.

Bergenthaler Family Line (highly incomplete)

Joachim Bergenthaler m. Hildrun Engel
Children
Jurgen,
Ernestine, m. Robert Landorf, 3 children (1 son, two daughters)
Egeline, m. Ungemar Weimers, 7 children (five daughters, two sons)
Jens, m. Lorelai Beilhand (5 children, all sons)
Janos, m. Heidrun Erdentopf (2 children, all daughters)
Siblings
Jaap, m. Sibelia Walgrun
Children
3 sons, 5 daughters
Elsa, deceased
2 sons, 1 daughter
Egrun, deceased
4 sons
Jagrun, married Mine Hollseng
1 son, 1 daugher

Aunts, Uncles, Cousins
4 uncles, all deceased. 3 had children, all of whom have existing families, mostly settled near Hugeldorf
2 aunts, all deceased. 1 (Elbera) had a child. Records are spotty on her husband’s name.
Elise Bergenthal, m. Waldemar Hartstadt, settled near Knollenheim
Children
Seven sons, two squired to House Sauber, one in service to the Chamberlain at House Sauber’s Court

Guardians of Truth

Guardians of Truth
Valor: Streetwise
Home: Laatzen
Keep: The Eternal Fortress

The Guardians of Truth, the sworn knights of House Sauber, are charged with the simple and straightforward duty of defending the Eternal Keep, the ancient fortress of House Sauber since before the Throne. While this mission is straightforward, the duties of these knights are anything but.

Laatzen comes under attack more than any other city in Gotha. The attempts to take the city come from various sources. This year, a rebellious peasant army. That year, accused of treason by Fafnir in a misunderstanding worked out afterward. Another year, orc rampaging from a mountain range no cavalry caught in time. It is always something, so the Guardians of Truth are as eternally vigilant as the fortress that they guard. It has never been taken.

In order to fulfill their duty and protect the city, the Guardians of Truth maintain an information network that is vast and well-maintained. Informants are paid well for their services, and spies operate everywhere in the region so that the knights can be in position to handle threats from any direction. Knights errant are sent to far off places if the Order believes that a conspiratorial threat can be found there.

Every potential knight is vetted carefully before they are allowed entry to the order, and even for a nobleman of great lineage, it is considered an honor.

Grand Master: Simon Sauber a distant cousin to the Graf.

Simon is driven to perfection, and executes his duties to House Sauber flawlessly. Nothing of significance happens in these lands without his foreknowledge. His ability to read a person’s character comes from years of digging through reams of information in reports Hidden in the Order’s storehouse, known as the hole.
However, Simon is also a petty man. Any perceived slight is met with outward apathy, but inward he seethes. He will dig deep into the his newfound enemies life, cracking open their every secret and weakness.

Then he waits. When the moment comes, and it always comes, he shines his light of justice upon them.
He prefers to be present when the person’s life is ruined, but his ire will also be sated when they are put in their place. Many people have been ruined years after have made a jest, or a barely perceptible eyeroll. They stand accused of misdeeds, or are compelled to act against their own interests, never knowing why. But Simon knows, and that is all he needs.

Master: Denis Redler
To the world he is Sir Denis Redler, who lives in the shadow of Grandmaster Simon. Within the Order’s upper echelons he is highly respected for his amazing talents.

Denis is a good man. A patriot. In another life he might have been one of the greatest actors of his time. As it stands he is one of the greatest information gatherers in the Throne.

Denis is fluent in numerous languages and dialects. He can transform himself instantly, almost as if by magic. So convincing is he, that many who know him best wonder if he is really the Sir Denis they know, or if that is nothing more than another of his personas.

Commander: Justin Engel, Eldest Nephew of Herzog Gerrhard Engel.
Sir Justin Engel is the Hammer of the order. He is an extremely capable tactician. Every major operation, the Order sets in motion, is vetted through him. He has proven himself again and again in the field of battle. He has led several rescue operations to deliver support or extract high value targets and information.

Oddly, and seemingly in contrast, he is an extremely devout man with a gentle smile and a word of encouragement for all. He has prayed for fallen foe and comrade alike. He feeds the poor from his own personal wealth and he lives a life of extreme moderation.

Seneschal: Heribert Sauber, A ruthless man who is rumored to be very much in the Graff’s favor.
The opposite of Ser Justin Engel’s smile is the dark scowl that rests permanently on Sir Heribert Saubers face. He is rough and brutish. The only mercy given to those around him is that he is also extremely laconic.

Nothing is ever good enough for him. He often says, “good enough is the bane of greatness!” He is Loyal to the Graf and to the order. This may be the reason he stands so much in his favor, often having dinner alone with the Graf.

The man runs a tight ship, and there is much to be learned about efficiency by anyone who can tolerate him for more than a few weeks.

Marshal: Felix Hardt
Sir Felix Hardt can best be summed up as meticulous. He’s a good man with a good heart but he can’t wrap his head around politics. This makes him an awful noble. However, it is not surprising for an upjumped Knight.

He proved himself on the field of battle, he’s a fair blacksmith and he knows horseflesh like no other. So he here sits, the Marshal. A great Marshal but unlikely to ever rise any higher.

When asked about this he simply says, “this be more’n i e’er had or imagined. I am plenty happy here.”

Under-Marshal: Ulrich Stricker
Sir Ulrich Stricker is an upjumped knight with visions of greatness. He has risen quickly to the position of under marshal and has performed admirably. He wants to rise, and those above him are acutely aware of such. However, unbeknownst to him the one thing that stands in him in their favor is that he has thus far refused to compromise his integrity to do so.

Grandmaster Simon Sauber has tested him 3 times and each time the man has simply reported his findings to his direct superior as expected. He has not gone out of his way to attract the attention of his superiors, despite the fact taht he possess the obvious political acumen to know that it would likely speed his promotion.

He will soon receive a call to be the Grandmaster’s personal assistant.

Standard Bearer: Norbert Wagner
Sir Norbert Wagner is newly Knighted. His family is minor nobility in good standing with House Sauber.
He seems oddly fond of the Seneschal, Sir Heribert Sauber, and will often make excuses, for him, when any of the others grumble about his abrasive disposition. He was Ser Heribert’s squire until he was knighted.

He’s got a good head on his shoulders, and share’s his former knights attention to detail. However it is contained in a much more palatable disposition.

Treasurer: Alfons Blum
Sir Alfons handles all the financial affairs for the order. All of the records and hand written in triplicate and everything is in its place.

When the Graff sends his annual auditor’s down Alfons smiles. He patiently waits for them tea in hand. He greets them and then escorts them to his personal sanctuary, the records room.
He has been the treasurer for 10 years. in those 10 years he has never had a single question raised on his bookkeeping, and the order has made a modest profit.

The Guardians of Truth are among the best provisioned knights in the Throne, and that is due in no small part to Ser Alfons Blum’s acumen.

Draper: Leo Otto
Sir Leo Otto believes that the uniform makes the man. He holds weekly inspections, and does random spot inspections. By direct order from Sir Leo Otto, ALL Knights, and squires, about to go on Duty must first pass uniform spot checks from their superiors.

Sir Leo Otto, also does random uniform inspections on those standing watch and on those walking patrol. If he is not satisfied he will summon their superior to assume the subordinates watch until they don new clothing.

He is quite possibly the least liked man in the order. However, there is no denying that the Order looks quite formidable to any who official that tours and sees what appears as countless identical helmeted figures throughout the city.

Lay Servants:

Head Cook: Willem Wichterle
Willem has been a cook for the Order for 40 years. He has seen them come and he has seen them go.
He’s quick with a joke, and has an infectious laugh. Many of the young Knights, and some of the older ones call him Pappy.

Pappy, takes care of his boys. His food is impressive by military standards. It is perhaps not fit for High noble tables, but then again that’s not who he’s cooking for.

What some don’t know is that Pappy was once a squire for the Order. His hip was shattered in battle. As soon as he could walk he went to the kitchen and started helping. This he did rather than take a stipend for valorous service as he had taken the wound saving the former Graf.