Thursday, October 11, 2012
Back to D&D: Noble Houses of Impiltur
With the D&D game firing back up this weekend I thought I would share something I emailed to my players a few months back in an attempt to hook them into the world a little bit more- after all, it's hard to reclaim a legacy if you don't know what that legacy is! Please note that all of this is (to use some good English phrasing) Dreadfully Non-Canon when it comes to the published Realms material...
Some of you have asked for some background on the situation or the noble houses in Impiltur to tie your characters into the setting a little more tightly. I had a rough sketch worked out but it was pretty bare bones and was a little too warhammer/game of thrones than I would like, so I've gone with another inspiration this time and I'm just going to pretend that earlier version didn't happen. If you're interested, take a look below and see what you like and we can retcon any decisions made previously. There aren't any numbers here and no hard rules - I just want each one to have its own flavor. Every house has some fighters and paladins and clerics and wizards, but the stuff below is what they are known for.
Noble Houses of Impiltur
House Orlanth: Leaders & Adventurers – In D&D terms, most sons of Orlanth are Fighters, Paladins, or Warlords with a fair number of Bards. Favored gods are Torm and the Red Knight with occasional bows to Akadi the air god. The best at warfare, strategy, and tactics and have the most men under arms of any house of the realm. Big on questing, with small bands of knights and retainers heading off on new quests every season, many of them to reclaim or restore the lost areas within Impiltur itself with a goal of strengthening the realm. They have interests all over the realm and tend to be most aware of the realm as a whole. Willing to work with every house but Lhankor is very different to them and the house they understand the least. Also known for the best tournaments in the land.
Favors Martial and Divine.
Signature Skills: Athletics, Diplomacy
House Humakt: Guardians of the Realm – Most are Slayers, Knights, or Avengers with a fair number of Warpriests. Favored gods are Kelemvor and Tempus. Most knowledgeable about Orcus and the undead and have been very active in the past in stopping those forces all over the Bloodstone Lands. Makeup is similar to Orlanth but grimmer and with less celebrating. Very suspicious of House Zoran, but not as antagonistic as might be expected. Many outposts set up as watchtowers over places of evil and their quests tend to be recovering and storing evil artifacts to keep them out of enemy hands. Tend to be most aware of rising threats to the realm. Often work with Yelmalio to team up against a threat.
Favors Martial and Divine. If you want a unit to hold a pass to the last man, a unit of House Humakt is your best bet.
Signature Skills: Intimidate, Dungeoneering
House Issaries: Explorers & Traders – Typical leaders of the house are Rogues, Bards, or Sorcerers. Favored gods are, Waukeen and Tymora with a nod to Istishia the water god. Mainly concentrated in the cities of the realm (especially New Sarshel) with connections in all of the ports of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Quests for this house tend to be trading expeditions and attempts to discover something new or rediscover something lost. Tend to be most aware of what's going on in other lands. Often work with Lhankor to research old legends, prophecies, or maps. They also have fought many pirates and creatures from beneath the sea and are quite knowledgeable about the undersea races. Dragons are also a familiar foe to them, on both land and sea. Also, they throw the best parties.
Favors Martial and Arcane.
Signature Skills: Bluff, Streetwise
House Lhankor: Sages & Mages – House leaders tend to be Wizards, Warlocks, Invokers, Swordmages, or Bladesingers. Favored gods are Oghma and Gond. This is a smaller house but one that is respected by all others for their knowledge and their magical might. Tend to be most aware of planar activities, prophecies, and legends. Quests are often undertaken to recover lost knowledge or to locate a rare magical item or artifact.
Favors Arcane and Divine with some Psionic.
Signature Skills: Arcana, History
House Yelmalio: Justice, Honor, and the Light - House leaders tend to be Clerics, Paladins, and Invokers. Favored gods are Amaunator and Bahamut. A widespread house that takes a very active role in the everyday running of the realm, sometimes to the annoyance of the other houses. Members are staunch foes of the undead, dragons, demons, and humanoids that threaten the realm – they will fight any evil. Very distrustful of House Zoran. Quests are typically to track down a wanted criminal or renegade, or to wipe out a den of evil. They have also been sending expeditions into Vaasa, the land of the old witch-king, to explore for new threats and to spread the worship of their gods. If you need someone to lead a glorious charge into battle against long odds then a unit from House Yelmalio is an excellent choice - and odds are that they would have volunteered anyway,
Signature Skills: Insight, Religion
House Chalanna: The Forest House – Sons of Chauntea tend to be Rangers and Druids. Favored gods include Chauntea and Mielikki. This is a more rural house that tends to view natural cycles and traditions as best. The authority on the forested areas of the realm and the creatures that live in them and the hunting of all types of creatures. They also have extensive knowledge of healing, both natural and magical. Tend to be most aware of the state of nature in the realm and the balance or anything that has disturbed it. Much like Orlanth their quests and their focus tend to be inside the realm, restoring damaged places and helping the natural recovery of things.
Favors Martial and Primal.
Signature Skills: Heal, Nature
House Zoran: House of Shadows – Fighters, Rogues, Rangers. this house is not afraid to use methods other than open conflict to preserve the realm. While somewhat disliked by the other houses, they have always done their duty when called upon. Their quests tend to be to eliminate hidden threats, capture and interrogate enemies, and to stop evil before it can take root. Most knowledgeable about the Underdark and the Shadowfell. Also tend to be aware of criminal activity and underground threats. Mainly concentrated in the coastal cities (mainly Lyrabar) but are rumored to have agents everywhere.
Favors Martial, Arcane, and Shadow.
Signature Skills: Stealth, Thievery
Clan Stormbull (Dwarves): Berserkers against evil – this clan claims Clanggeddin Silverbeard as their patron and takes a special interest in the fight against evil chaos on the surface of the world. They tend to be closely associated with House Orlanth and have fought beside them many times. Dwelling in the Earthspur mountains they know that their fates are tied to that of Impiltur and see it as an obligation to help their neighbors whenever possible. With their natural skill, the aid of their war god, and the power of the spirits of the land they succeed more often than not.
Favors Martial, Divine, Primal
Signature Skills: Endurance, Intimidate