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Hallonica Houseby Aaron Nowack
"Justice can only be bought by blood."
A Brief History of Hallonica House
Hallonica is the only merchant family to be a direct descendant of a noble family of the Kingdom of Darokin. In fact, the family's history goes even further back than that. The Hallonica family was a powerful aristocratic family in the old Kingdom of Selenica. During the Traladaran Wars (412-417 AC), Selenica allied with the Traladarans, causing enmity between it and Darokin.
This also caused unrest among many of the prominent families of Selenica, who were related by blood and common interest to the nobility of Darokin. This led to the ill-fated Selenican Civil War (413-414 AC) which pitted the pro-Darokin nobility and city-dwellers against the King and the rural population, which supported him. The reprisals after the royal armies retook the city sent most of the nobility, including the Hallonica's, fleeing to seek refuge in Darokin. They only returned after the Peace of Marlinev (417 AC), where the nominally victorious Darokinians demanded their reinstatement as a condition of peace.
This, of course, did not lead to a restoration of friendly relations between Darokin and Selenica, or the nobility and the crown. This enmity was strengthened in 493 AC, when Darokin, taking advantage of the collapse of the Traladaran coalition, annexed the Cruth region, which was declared neutral by the Peace of Marlinev. However, fear of a second revolt kept the King from launching a reprisal, even as the Elfwar drained Darokin's resources. However, border raids became a matter of course for the next 80 years.
It was Hallonica mercenaries who ended the conflict by taking the city of Selenica in 574 AC, slaying the King and declaring the city part of the Kingdom of Darokin. This time, exhausted by the decades of border raids, the peasantry did not rise, and the coup was fairly bloodless. In return for this service, Raros Hallonica was appointed Duke of Selenica. He quickly eliminating all surviving opposition, and Selenica has since been practically owned by the Hallonica family.
Selenica managed to avoid the bloody civil wars following the break-up of the Kingdom, though local tensions forced the Hallonica's to change over to a democratic form of government, with a six person City Council and a Mayor. However, all these positions were most often filled by Hallonica's, preserving the family's power. Selenica remains unique in that it is the only city in which all citizens, regardless of wealth, are allowed to participate in the local elections.
Over the years, the Hallonica family invested in business and trade, eventually becoming primarily a merchant family, rather than land-owning aristocracy. The greatest threat to Hallonica's existence was the arrival of Al-Azrad House in 853 AC, but Hallonica managed to turn this enemy into a friend, catapulting it to its high position among the Houses.
After the death of Corwyn Hoff, Rypien Hallonica was elected Chancellor, with the most support in the Inner Council of any Chancellor in Darokinian history.
Hallonica House Assets
Hallonica maintains extensive operations in Selenica and Karameikos, as well as minor operations in Ylaruam. The Hallonica House offices in Specularum are among the most prominent buildings in that city. Hallonica is the only Great House to not maintain at least an office in Darokin City, instead merely owning a handful of villas for the comfort of Hallonica representatives visiting there.
Hallonica House Relations
Al-Azrad: Friendly. The two Houses cooperate in running Selenica, and Hallonica purchases over half of Al-Azrad's imports from Ylaruam.
Corun: Neutral. These two Houses are related neither politically nor economically.
Franich: Neutral. Neither House has much to do with the other.
Linton: Neutral verging on hostile. Linton House has a feud with Hallonica, though the later would like nothing better than to end the wasteful conflict.
Mauntea: Neutral. Hallonica is disinterested in becoming entangled in any political struggles.
Pennydown: Friendly. Hallonica often sells the goods it buys from Al-Azrad to Pennydown for domestic distribution.
Toney: Neutral. Hallonica has few relations with the smallest Great House.
Umbarth: Neutral. Like with most Houses, Hallonica has little to do with Umbarth House.
Hallonica House Personalities
Bertram Hallonica (3rd/2nd level Aristocrat/Expert, LN) Bertram is the head of Hallonica House and sits on the City Council of Selenica. He has two sons, though his wife has been dead for some time.
He desires nothing more than to be able to ignore Darokinian politics, though Hallonica's high position makes this impossible.
Though Bertram is a more than competent leader, he feels that he fails to match up to his father, who is fondly remembered as the greatest head of the family since the nigh-legendary Raros.
Bertram is of a slightly shorter than average height, and his blonde hair has begun to whiten with age.
Sarah Hallonica (3rd/2nd level Wizard/Aristocrat, NG) Bertram's younger sister, Sarah is the Mayor of Selenica. Since taking that post, she has retired as a merchant. She is unmarried, though it is well known that she has had several lovers over the years. As Mayor, she is known as being stern but fair, and has every reason to expect to gain re-election as many times as she cares to run for the post.
Sarah was considered a beauty in her younger years, and she still has a striking appearance. Like her brother, she has blonde hair and green eyes.
Anders Hallonica (2nd/3rd level Aristocrat/Expert, NG) Bertram's older son, Anders is the heir apparent and is in charge of the Karameikan operations. He has a good sense of humour, and is fond of practical jokes. He is not likely to be an exceptional leader, but nor is he likely to be a poor one.
He takes after his mother, being short with brown hair and grey-green eyes.
Dafford Hallonica (2nd level Expert, CG) Dafford is Bertram's younger son, but shows no interest in business. He is very scholarly, but has no aptitude for magic. He is Head Custodian of the Selenica Library. Dafford appears similar to his father in the prime of his youth.
Garon Hallonica (4th/2nd level Fighter/Aristocrat, LN) A relative of Bertram's and a close friend of Rypien, Garon sits on the Selenica city council. He also harbours a slight grudge against Bertram, as he feels he would have been a more worthy successor to Rypien. He is good friends with Huron Ironhammer, the dwarven member of the city council.
William Hallonica (12th level Cleric of Asterius, CG) William, another of Bertram's relatives, is the High Priest of Selenica's Church of Darokin, and sits on the city council. He is good friends with Eshram Al-Azrad, and never ceases in his light-hearted attempts to convert Eshram from the Eternal Truth.
William makes a point of regularly going among the population of Selenica, freely healing wounds and curing disease. Many of his priesthood have followed him, and because of this he is well loved by the people, and disliked by the Church's treasurers.