Faithless 2: Disbelieve Harder
The Duchy of Astoria encompasses the entirety of the continent of Eutros.
House Astor are the head human ruling family on Eutros. Their seat of power is the city of Forgehome, the capitol of Astoria. Since the Eternal War, House Astor has experienced a period of great upheaval. Where before they were guided and protected by the hands of Morridin, Boldrei and other gods, the Astors must now find their own way in the world. This has led to the alliance between Houses Astor and Eternal, as well as the reintegration of House Bennet as one of the ruling powers in Astoria. The current head of the family, Duchess Simora Astor, has been in charge of the family for the last 50 years. In the time that she has been in charge of House Astor, Simora has become increasingly cautious and paranoid. It seems to her that every friend is plotting her downfall and that there are assassins behind every door. Nonetheless, she puts on a brave face for the people of Forgehome. Every week, she addresses the masses from the temple in the center of town.
Prior to the fall of the Faithless, House Eternal was a Tiefling noble family whose members had all sworn pacts with the angel Malakai, the highest servant of Asmodeous. After Malakai and Damakos Eternal were killed at the hands of Damakos’s son, Xerxeus, Xerxeus assumed control of the house and immediately ended their alliance with house Bennet. This event led directly to the end of the Eternal War and cemented Xerxeus as an ally of the Astors. Some members of the Eternals did not appreciate the man who killed their patron assuming control of their affairs and left the family in search of another who would provide them with power. After Xerxeus was instrumental in the destruction of Godrick and the fall of the Faithless, he worked in earnest to repair the damage that his father had done. He repaired the relationship between house Eternal and house Astor, and eventually married into the Astor family. Currently, Xerxeus’s son Count Gaius is in charge of house Eternal, but he frequently consults his father, an archdruid who still walks the lands of Astoria, on any crucial matters. Their seat in Squall’s End is an imposing sight to first time visitors, but the near constant storms and jagged rocks give way to a more hospitable environment than in centuries past.
Despite their involvement in the Eternal War and the betrayal that led to their original banishment, House Bennet has become a trusted ally to the Astors in recent years. Count Pazan Bennet, the half-elf patriarch of the family, has worked tirelessly to right the wrongs his family line has perpetrated. Pazan came to power when his father and every other elf in house Bennet suddenly and mysteriously died almost 40 years ago. Prior to Pazan’s rise, rumors swirled that Bennet spies and assassins had infiltrated the inner workings of every other house, although no proof was ever obtained. Night’s End, the city in which the Eternal War began, was ceded to house Bennet once the truce was reached. They rule from the city to this day, albeit with much less public torture and murder.
House Sigran has the distinction of being the closest ally of the Astor family since the end of the Eternal War. Viscountess Mirabella Sigran has been the head of House Sigran for close to a century, and for much of her life the halfling was a close personal advisor to the Astor family. However, with Duchess Simora’s increasingly erratic behavior, Mirabella has lost touch with her ally. From her hall in Frostfell on the northern edge of the Sunstrike Mountains, she has slowly become more insular, trusting only those that she has personally chosen as advisers. In the last ten years, she has had no official contact with any of the heads of the other noble houses, and many outside the walls of Frostfell believe that she has passed on.
Although they have been allied with House Astor since the establishment of Forgehome, House Valbar has never been more than an ally of convenience. They provided almost no aid during the Eternal War, and offered only the smallest amount of relief in the years that followed. The reason for this lack of interest in the events on Eutros is that Baron E’Ranion Teleriel prefers to spend his time in the Feywild, more concerned with the Fey Court than the workings of Al’Shara, his seat of power. He has managed to maintain his good standing with the Astors through a combination of favors accumulated throughout his long life and providing resources only when he deems it necessary. His daughter Re’athiel minds the day to day operations of Al’Shara when he is away in the Feywild, although she would prefer if she were to be completely in charge.
While not technically a noble family, House Hale arose shortly after the fall of the Faithless. They were founded around the belief that Godrick Hale was a hero whose quest to rid the world of the influence of the Gods was best for the people of Eutros. They believe that the Gods are a blight upon the plane and work to eradicate every last shred of their involvement on Eutros. While they are not a true family, they attempt to copy the structure of the other noble houses. Their current head is a dwarf by the name of Kimli Hale (formerly Blazingcloak).