Lineages of Luisant
The Blood Calls
In Luisant, family and identity are often one and the same. Ties of the heart are valued, but ties of blood are forever, and the bond between family unshakable. Large extended families are common, and a group of three to four family units can often trace their genealogy back to a common ancestor, often a folk hero, which they take great pride in. These ancestries formed over time throughout Lorassaint into six Lineages, often marked as much by common interests and trades as they are by formal relation.
Not all of those within a Lineage share immediate family ties; new family units developing within a Lineage is common, as is marrying into another Lineage.
Those without Lineages, known colloquially as Outcasts, are treated with vague kindness, brutal pragmatism and pity that they do not have a family structure. Some who show promise or interest are adopted into other families; others turn away from the concept entirely, swearing they will forge their own way.
Each character who is a member of a Lineage at the start of play receives Study: [Lineage] for free. The knowledge defined in this study includes knowledge of specific areas, superstitions, family secrets, and local lore. Characters may have no more than one Lineage at a time, although changing Lineages is not unheard of, mostly in the case of Outcasts.
Patron: Saint Harwara of Lemeg
A child’s fingers peel back the rain hardened soil to reveal a worm, coiled and moist. She feels no disgust as she plucks it gently free. It whispers when she holds it to her ear, the voice of the dead carried from deep under her feet. She feels no fear as she recognizes the voice.
Children see the world for its glorious simplicity. Fear is reserved only for the unknown, and abolished with each story your elders share. Rocheaux are taught from the moment they emerge from their dark womb that fear and ignorance are one. They do not seek to destroy nor hide from that which they fear. They seek only to understand the frightening, and to become individuals wise enough to no longer require that fear.
“When you learn to walk under the crushing weight of the earth with confidence in the supports your family have built, you too will learn to walk through the constant pressures of life undaunted.”
Rocheaux feel their ancestors walking with them. They see the many hands that have crafted the tools they dredge the waterways with. Taste the perspiration from their family in the salt upon their table. Hear the reassurance of tradition in the indistinguishable whispers of the darkness.To be Rocheaux is to never be alone.
Even in death those of this steadfast family continue on, heard and respected by the ones they leave behind. For generations their names are spoken, their dedication remembered. In this way even death is nothing to fear.
Others mistake their hallmark honesty for a dull wit or a crude tongue. To do so reveals one’s own foolishness. While other families squabble and judge over niceties and feelings the Rocheaux deal in facts and practical strength. Just as they deny fear they also deny limits, pushing their bodies beyond exhaustion, clearing their minds of the thoughts that defeat others. Most of the strongest warriors and workmen of Luisant have had the esteem of calling themselves a Rocheaux.
Skills: Mining, Heavy Weapons, Blacksmithing, Intimidate, Grit
Scum: One so enamored of the dead as to have become heedless and ignorant of daily life, preferring to tend to the family cemetery or wander the bogs rather than take up their duties.
Peasant: One of Luisant’s well-respected miners.Your work is done almost entirely in the wild reaches of the western bog, a dangerous place that most won’t venture to. Finding the safe paths and avoiding the attention of its more unpredictable inhabitants is a daily part of your life.
Merchant: A skilled blacksmith, as comfortable using a hammer to crack skulls as to beat metal.
Gentry: Gruff and sturdy woman-at-arms, silently preparing to greet the dead who have gone before her without fear before the start of every battle.
Patron: Arbor the Woodsman
The twins reclined on a thick blanket of woven reeds. One’s head rests by the feet of the other, but both their eyes cast up to the same canopy above. Bows swung wildly in a strong midday breeze. One sibling studied the girth and height of the wooden giants surrounding them, and the other loudly sang the song of the trees for the wind to ferry afar.
The Dubois claim the oldest connection to the forest of any of the Luisant lineages. A deep connection that defines them. They take explicit responsibility and pride in the preservation of the forest’s trees. Any individual proven capable within and conscious of the forest’s needs is welcome to claim relation. The process of adoption is known to consist of a simple oath to the leader of the family, although some whisper that a more extensive-and dangerous- testing process goes on behind closed doors.
“I unbind myself from all coercion at the detriment of my pride. I bind myself to your wisdom. I bind myself to Lorassaint’s service.”
While always open to adoption, perhaps more so than other families, the Dubois themselves are a tight-knit and tight-lipped group, taking great pride in the danger of their work and preserving a fierce guard against discussing family secrets with outsiders.
The family is known for producing defiant, strong-willed individuals, and anyone who’s met the Dubois would note a strong tendency toward fiery personalities. The free spirits of its members presents a particular challenge for their authorities. This only adds to the impressive status of the singular leader that manages the complex landscape of what the ever-insular Dubois refer to as ‘family matters’.
The leader takes responsibility for the foresting in the area, making often unpopular calls on how many trees will be felled each season. Controversial as it may be, the proper management of the forest is rewarded handsomely by the noble family, both in favor and resources.
The current leader of the Dubois is Chevreuil Dubois, the town florist.
Other members of the family tend to fall into two equally important rules- counters and cutters.
Counters, traditionally intelligent individuals who assist in accounting for the wood harvested, and manage the affairs of the house.. These members of the Dubois tend to equip themselves with the means of settling such disputes fairly, and the title has developed a reputation for trustworthiness in financial matters within the community.
Cutters are known for their vibrant explorative spirits, often toiling to fell trees and navigating these fallen trees along dangerous waterways. To help navigate, the Cutters use a system of symbols to mark dangers, safe passage, and other qualities of the forest with coloured twine wrapped about the trunk of trees. The community often depends upon this expertise and system for safe travel through the forest when the need arises.
Skills: Hunting, Forestry, Archery, Courage, Survival
Scum: An independent survivalist who eschews the network of the community in favor of a life in the woods.
Peasant: A forestry and logging expert, or perhaps a skilled hunter with intimate knowledge of the forest’s ever changing paths.
Merchant: A keen shopkeeper who works closely with her family contacts to source the freshest meat and most abundant lumber to meet the demands of the community.
Gentry: A game warden and leader of the noble’s hunt, doing his bidding in the depths of the woods.
Patron: Saint Derrall the Reconciler
Come in, sister! Shake off the mud of the day and the Forest’s fearful dreams. Forget your troubles by our fireside. No dark creatures shall haunt our threshold while hearth burns and mead flows.
Misery and pain, those frequent visitors, are unwelcome at the door of Jovienne. A community within themselves- although a very inviting one- they cultivate hospitality and celebration, often taking a leading role in planning and executing community gatherings in honor of holidays and other important occasions. Rumor has it that they have many family superstitions used to ward off evil spirits from their door.
Many forms of art have been practiced and passed down in their family, sculpting and painting being taught from mother to daughter to son as precious heirlooms- for such knowledge is rare in the wild places of Lorassaint, and if lost would be difficult to recover.
Unity is the greatest virtue of the Jovienne. They have perfected the practice of benevolent secrecy, even disinterest- short of murder or other actively harmful behaviors, if one of their own is dabbling in forbidden or sinful practices, it is considered rude at best to pry or seek out the truth. Safety and comfort both for their loved one and for themselves exists in studied ignorance of dangerous truths.
Skills: Finesse, Needlework, Etiquette, Performance, Temptation
Scum: An artist too lost in the beauty of their creation to share it with others.
Peasant: A keeper of community knowledge and shared memories, who stitches memorable moments into tapestries for the holiday gatherings she hosts.
Merchant: A lady of the night whose birdlike voice soothes the souls of the tired.
Gentry: A capable manager with an artistic mind, who plans and executes perfectly designed events for the Noble House.
Patron: Saint Mael Judoc
If sophistication can be said to exist in this freckle of a town, we embody it. We are the sword and the sharp silver tongue of Beauchene. Never forget that that is what it means to be a LeBlanc.
Descended from the original retinue of the first Noble family to rule Luisant, the LeBlanc take fierce pride in their guardianship and service to the ruling faction. The Noble’s skilled men-at-arms, usually trained by the LeBlancs, are frequently called upon to protect all of Luisant from the occasional incursion of wild beasts or wandering bandits.
The LeBlancs teach their children social espionage from a young age, encouraging them to keep their eyes and ears open at all times for useful information, sordid rumors, or budding treason. It is expected that such information will be passed along to other members of the family, and if necessary the Nobles themselves- although they are keenly aware that not all knowledge should be shared.
The slyest among them choose carefully what to whisper into the ear of the Nobles, knowing it could change their fortunes forever.
The common folk of Luisant share a certain innate distrust of these keen individuals- they know well that often enough they are on task from the Noble to gather rumors or special knowledge.
Skills: Firearms, Etiquette, Sincerity, Vigilance, Streetwise
Scum: A disillusioned rebel who identifies more with the ideologies of the bandits in the woods than his servile family.
Peasant: A talented and hardy hunter who tends to get a little too wound up in village politics.
Merchant: A tutor for those wishing to learn, occasionally using their position to glean useful information and carry tales to the Gentry.
Gentry: A keenly perceptive servitor to the Noble, carrying tales back to him unsuspected and planting new ones in their place.
Patron: Saint Gabrielle the Defiant
Watch the sparks rise with the fall of the hammer, blazing defiantly in the gloom of night before their inevitable end. Notice the gleam of fire on polished metal. Man’s glory is made incarnate in his creations, just as the Glory of God is incarnate in our birth.
In a world of darkness, the Mervaille strive to create light. The dreams of their ancestors reached beyond the confines of the dark forest that surrounded them, and those dreams have been passed down for hundreds of years, in tattered diagrams of impossible airships and cathedrals whose pillars soar high enough to touch the blue vault of heaven itself.
We are beset from every side. Darkness and fear corrupt the hearts of Men, turning them to the worship of unworthy spirits and espousement of the vilest acts. Steel yourselves to the task ahead of you, my brothers and sisters; we must shore up our defenses of the spirit, preaching enlightenment and offering hope of a better life.
The Mervaille have embraced the lofty dream of community progress, dedicating themselves to the dream of improving Luisant, whether it be through impassioned leadership and heroic acts or the roar of the forge and the strident glory of shaped metal. Their family philosophy holds that true immortality lies in one’s legacy; in buildings and communities that stand the test of time.
Skills: Zeal, Engineering, Mining, Morale, Mercantilism
Scum: An absent-minded inventor who dreams only of leaving the village, considering time dedicated to such a small and insignificant place wasted.
Peasant: A fiery and zealous acolyte who strives for virtue and justice, to uplift his fellow men out of the darkness of their current condition.
Merchant: A smith whose mind bursts with intricate inventions of brass and steel, imagining how they could make the lives of his fellows easier and bring new knowledge to Luisant.
Gentry: A charismatic and beloved commander of the town guard, who inspires her men both in word and action as she leads them against the ghastly dangers of the forest.
Patron: Saint Eliphaz
She tosses fitfully between her sheets, mind entrenched in thoughts of the mage’s expression of magic. Her body still tingled with the excitement that sparked through the air. Even in the darkness of her room she could see the way the stone burst with just the beckoning of the mage’s will. The need to feel it again was more than her need to sleep, to eat, to breath. She hungered for more.
The Veneux are a sensitive family, and though they are not quick to admit it most feel a visceral draw toward the forbidden. The allure of arcane magic, or even the seductive whispers of the woods, speak strongly to a soul that craves to delve into the strange underbelly of the world.
Their fascination is not limited to the taboo aspects of the world; many of the Veneux have had their imagination entirely captured by the tales of saints and legendary powers of paladins. Some of the most pious observers of the Benalian faith in Luisant originate from this whimsical family. Even with their purity in devotion, these members are handled with care by the church, as their fascination can often become dangerous as they fall deeper into their studies.
Knowledge of herbs is passed down in the family, and the incense in many churches in Lorassaint can be traced back to Veneux’s craft.
In the end, no two people have the same opinion of the Veneux, likely because no two Veneux are the same. They often fall hard into their obsession, sometimes sparking heated disagreement between one another as their world views diverge, to the point that to “act the Veneux” has become synonymous with arguing for the sake of argument.
Skills: Academics, Sincerity, Apothecary, Hunting, Vigilance
Scum: A woman who followed the winding paths of the wood too far and too zealously and was cursed, never again able to lift her bow to feed her family or even say their names.
Peasant: A hunter whose fascination with the strange tales of the forest has become all-encompassing, driving him further and further into the depths, towards the secret knowledge he knows must lie there.
Merchant: A skilled purveyor and crafter of herbs whose mind has been captured with the idea of using Earth magic to enhance the effects of their wares.
Gentry: A dangerously zealous witch hunter in the employ of House Beauchene, who is determined at all costs to root heresy out of Luisant
All Outcasts call upon Melandiel, the Archangel of Wanderers and Change.
He wakes with a scream, the smell of the fire that claimed his parent’s grotto haunting his nostrils. Eyes all around the tavern stare back with disdain for the sudden disruption, fear from the children, and an unwelcome pity from the priest over his porridge. No one understood the outcast’s pain, nor cared. He had no family left, and all the pitying eyes in the world wouldn’t stop him from being the first volunteered to face the next of the forest’s unending horrors.
In a community of close family there’s little love lost over the death of an outcast. Be them an orphan, of an unrecognized family, or disowned from a founding lineage they are always the first offered the most dangerous work. The townsfolk both respect their capability, born of years of having to survive without the assistance of a lineage, and believe without shame that the community could be stronger with one less mouth to feed. Better, at least, for an outcast to die than your own precious family.
“Mistake not the lineages of the Lorassaint for anything but wolves. They will pick over your carcass without remorse if it will feed their own. Your only protection is growing too large and unruly for them to exploit.”
Anyone not of, or no longer of a founding lineage of Luisant is referred to as an Outcast. Most Outcasts in Lorassaint live, and frequently die, as bandits or hermits outside the protection of the church or noble family. Because of this, Outcasts who choose (or are forced) to live close to Luisant are watched with some suspicion, often treated as a potential spy or affiliate with bandits.
Those cast out from a lineage are seen with particular pity, as one who has known the protection of a lineage and now must survive alone. The story of their disowning is usually repeated frequently, dogging them for the rest of their (often short) life.
The options for Outcasts to find community and protection in Luisant are distant and rare. If they show intellect, capability, and a talent for navigating the woods, the DesBois will occasionally adopt them, but otherwise marriage is their only hope of ever truly being seen as a part of a lineage. Honorary membership in any family is never to be trusted by an Outcast, as they understand intrinsically that the bond of lineage runs deeper than any mere sentiment.
Among Outcasts there’s a particular revulsion toward those who do worm their way into a lineage after being Outcast, for their gross betrayal of the small independent community trying to grow in the area.
Attempts to build a cohesive structure is challenged by how very little the Outcasts share in common with one another, aside from the opinions of the lineages toward them. Some are martially capable, other practitioners of medicine, others still possess unique insight into the dangers of the forest, but every Outcast eventually becomes an expert in surviving alone, never being able to depend on the promises of others.
Note: Our intention with the Outcast Lineage is to offer a unique space for players who wish to play a character unassociated with the central lineages. We ask that any character with a close connection to any lineage be a part of that lineage. We ask that the Outcast lineage not be used exclusively for the skills it offers.
A character who was formerly an Outcast and is now part of a lineage uses the lineage’s title and skills during character creation.
Skills: Courage, Stealth, Survival, Grit, Intimidate
Scum: An individual who has given up entirely on being part of or contributing to the larger community, in favor of nurturing and growing the motley group of Outcasts who they see as their true family.
Peasant: A hunter who is sent first to deal with dangerous prey or unknown areas, perhaps taking pride in their ability to take risks for the townsfolk without fear of great loss on their part.
Merchant: One of the few merchants who takes on the duty of travelling between villages to trade, traversing the dark paths of the forest with the knowledge that they are sparing someone with family to mourn them from such danger.
Gentry: A member of the town guard who specializes in difficult, dangerous missions such as leading attacks on encroaching bandits.