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Linton Houseby Aaron Nowack
"It is better to reap than to sow."
A Brief History of Linton House
Linton House has always been second to Mauntea. It was founded in 715 AC, just a year after Mauntea House. Its achievements were never as great as Mauntea's, its fortunes were always just a few daros poorer. Needless to say, this resulted in a great deal of anger on Linton House's part. This rage was the cause of a series of particularly bloody wars between Malpheggi and Darokin City called the Elstrich Wars for the region in which they were fought.
Linton, with its strong position on Darokin's only coast, was able to easily become the largest sea trader in Darokin. It operated wherever Mauntea did, always with a shade less success. It has clashed with the Minrothad Guilds often, and both groups often hired, and still do hire, privateers to attack each others fleets. At one point, Linton House and the Guilds were actually openly at war with each other over Ierendi trading rights!
After Charles Mauntea's death, Linton House was manipulated by Corun House into threatening withdrawal from the Great Merger, precipitating Lydia Mauntea's takeover. Since then Linton has been an avowed enemy of both Houses. During the takeover, Athenos was the only city to offer armed resistance, doomed though it proved to be. This caused the crackdowns in Athenos to be particularly bloody, including the execution of all the city's leaders. Though the obvious benefits of remaining in the Republic keep it muted, ever since there has been a groundswell of support for secessionist thoughts in Athenos.
The greatest irritant to Linton House is that there has never been a Linton Chancellor. Mauntea, Corun, Hallonica, and even the tiny Toney House have boasted Chancellors, but the second largest merchant family has never had one of its own in charge. It is suspected that Lucius Linton may have been responsible for the premature death of the Toney Chancellor, Corwyn Hoff...
Linton House pretends to be content with the status quo and disinterested in politics, but it is a well-known secret that such are no more than lies. Its internal politics are fragmented, with the expected death of Lucius in the next ten years, or twenty at the most. Employees are starting to take sides between the three possible heirs, and tensions between the factions are steadily rising. If the Linton patriarch were to die now, it would likely spark a conflict that could leave Linton House crippled or permanently divided.
Linton House Assets
Linton House's main asset is its merchant fleet of over 50 ships of varying sizes. In a pinch, it could hire more than twice that number in privateers and pirates, and the Darokinian Navy, small though it is, is near certain to support Linton in any conflict. Linton maintains extensive foreign operations in the Five Shires, Ierendi, Ostland, Sind, Soderfjord , Thyatis, and Vestland. As well, it occasionally sends ships to Slagovich. Linton House does not use the Mauntea Complex for its Thyatis business, instead operating an independent office nearby.
Linton House has several operatives in the Minrothad Guilds' power structure, a favour which is reciprocated.
Linton House Relations
Al-Azrad: Neutral verging on hostile. Despite Al-Azrad's long history in Darokin, Linton still considers them foreigners. This is exacerbated by a mutual personal dislike between Luicius and Eshram Al-Azrad.
Corun House: Hostile. Corun is not only an ally of Mauntea, but has had a Chancellor while Linton has not!
Franich House: Neutral verging on hostile. Linton House dislikes the speed with which Franich has become a Great House, and its friendship with Mauntea doesn't help either.
Hallonica: Neutral verging on Hostile. Not only has Hallonica had a Chancellor, but it is allied with the disgusting Al-Azrad!
Mauntea: Extremely Hostile. Nearly every move Linton House makes is designed to somehow hurt Mauntea House.
Pennydown House: Friendly. Pennydown has informed Linton that it's apparent support of Mauntea is due to blackmail by the larger house.
Linton hopes to use this information to politically weaken Mauntea.
Toney House: Neutral verging on Friendly. Though, Toney has had a Chancellor, since the death of Hoff it has done nothing to irritate Linton.
Umbarth House: Friendly verging on neutral. The two Houses have compatible political goals, though trade issues in Sind and Slagovich are a wedge between the houses. Linton has also noticed returning Umbarth caravans that claim to be from Slagovich that never arrived there and carry goods of a type not available in the city-state...
Linton House Personalities
Lucius Linton (2nd/3rd level Expert/Aristocrat, N) Lucius Linton is a man of average hight (a few inches shorter than Corwyn Mauntea, of course). He seems to constantly strive for every inch of height. He has grey hair and brown eyes, and wears a beard.
Lucius is obsessed with destroying Mauntea House, to the exclusion of all else. However, to those who support him, he is a loyal friend. He loves his family, but is quick to anger against them. He is also somewhat paranoid, and fearful of assassination. Therefore, his public appearances are few, far between, and heavily guarded.
Lucius is aware of his sons' plots against each other, and refuses to interfere in them. In his opinion, if one could defeat the other, it would be proof that the victor was more worthy of being his heir.
Mere adventurers are not likely to ever meet Lucius, unless they are heroes of the highest calibre and trusted allies of Linton House.
Ansa Linton (1st level Aristocrat, LN)
Ansa is Lucius's wife. She is a short woman, with grey hair and blue eyes. She is very frail, and is constantly catching rare diseases which require equally rare and expensive cures. Her personality is bland, and she is quite shy.
Astinius Linton (1st level Aristocrat, NE) Astinius, the eldest child, is a cruel man. He looks like a younger version of his father, and shares his obsession with Mauntea House, but lacks his father's competence in pursuing it. His personality is much like his father's, but without the redeeming features. Lucius recognises the disaster the Astinius would be as head of Linton House, and has specifically disqualified him from taking the post in his will.
Astinius has discovered this, and is obviously displeased. It is possible that in the future he will hire less than reputable adventurers to rectify this situation by replacing the will. If this fails, he might be driven to attempt to dispose of the competition for the post, but he has not reached that level of treachery... yet.
Calen Linton (1st/3rd/2nd level Aristocrat/Fighter/Expert, LN) Calen, the second child, takes after his mother, being short, brown-haired, and blue-eyed. He much calmer than any of his siblings, and is seen by many as the heir apparent. He still shares the hatred of Mauntea House, though not so violently as his elder brother.
Calen is well aware of his elder brother's plots to regain his position as heir, and is quite likely to be looking into discrete adventuring parties to foil them... and if necessary remove Astinius from the picture.
Lyasa Linton (1st/5th level Aristocrat/Fighter, NG) Lyasa, the third child and only daughter, loathed most of her family. She ran away from home and joined the army, for which she was disowned. Her father has since forgiven her, but is too proud to reverse his decision.
However, Lucius has arranged that Lyasa will be given only safe duties, for which she hates her father even more.
Corwyn Linton (4th/10th level Aristocrat/Fighter, N) As a child, Corwyn, the youngest child, idolised his sister, and left home shortly after she did. His father, regretting his mistake with Lyasa, did not punish him, but gave him a position guarding House Linton's caravans. Since then, Corwyn has become an accomplished fighter and merchant, and only his lack of hatred for Mauntea House prevents him from being the most obvious choice as heir.
However, Corwyn does have a large amount of support among the lower ranking members of House Linton, who tire of the diversion of resources to the fruitless struggle against House Mauntea. Though he publicly disavows interest in the succession, he would not be displeased were he to find himself leading the House.
For more information, see Gaz11.