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Houses of Darokin: Toney Houseby Aaron Nowack
A Brief History of Toney House
Though Toney House is currently the smallest of the Great Houses, this was not always the case. Founded in 833 AC, Toney House achieved its maximum prominence in 988 AC, when it was the sixth largest merchant house. Even before then, Toney House was the origin of the most popular Chancellor in Darokin's history, Corwyn Hoff, who won by such a large landslide in the general election that he was the only candidate with sufficient votes to be put for consideration before the Inner Council.
His was also the shortest lived Chancellorship, lasting a mere four year.
Toney House is unique in the origin of its name. The name comes from an inn in Akorros, where the family was founded. Toney House was created by a merger of several of the largest Minor Houses of Darokin. The final deal was signed in Toney's Inn, and because none of the founding houses was any more important than any other, they named the fledgling alliance The Toney's Inn Consortium, which is still the official name of Toney House, though it is by the later title that it is called normally.
(Toney's Inn was later bought by Toney House, which has established branches of the Inn in every major city in Darokin.)
However, despite the retention of the name, Toney House became a typical one family merchant dynasty after the suspicious death of Chancellor Hoff. Mendel Callister was elected Chairman of the Consortium, and he quickly bought out the other member's shares in between 975 and 977 AC, often using shady tactics. He was later forced to defend these tactics in a series of court battles in 978 AC.
Toney House is also unique in that it has had a history of buying failing Houses, then either selling their assets off for a profit or using Toney House's greater resources to make the failure into a success. Even former Great Houses have been consumed by this strategy: Ithel and Raken Houses are both now nothing more than part of Toney House.
The most recent important event in Toney's history is Mendel Callister's attempted crackdown on the Thieves' Guild of Akorros. This move backfired, and related incidents have driven Toney House down to it's current position as the smallest Great House, a situation Mendel Callister seeks to repair as soon as possible.
Toney House Assets
Toney House maintains a massive presence in the domestic maritime industry, and is a minor competitor in the Glantri trade (competing with Corun and Umbarth Houses). Thanks to Franich House's recent withdrawal from that market, Toney House controls a virtual monopoly on the Atruaghin market.
As mentioned above, Toney House runs the Toney's Inn chain in all major Darokin cities, and is looking to construct a Toney's Inn in Glantri City in the near future.
Toney House Relations
Al-Azrad House: Neutral. There are no significant relations between these two houses.
Corun House: Neutral. Corun House tolerates Toney House's minor role in the Glantrian market.
Franich House: Hostile. Toney House is currently blackmailing Franich House.
Hallonica House: Neutral. Neither house has much to do with the other.
Linton House: Neutral verging on Hostile. Though Toney has not openly defied Linton since the death of Corwyn Hoff, it has nursed a grudge against Linton ever since.
Mauntea House: Neutral. Darokin's smallest Great House has little to do with its largest.
Pennydown House: Friendly. Mendel Callister is examining the option of marrying one of his sons to Elissa Pennydown, in hopes of an eventual merger between their houses.
Umbarth House: Neutral. No significant relations exist between Toney and Umbarth.
Toney House Personalities
Mendel Callister (8th level magic-user/12th level merchant, NE)
Mendel Callister was born 62 years ago, the same year as Corwyn Hoff. The two were close as brothers, and even went adventuring together. However, the relationship soured after Corwyn used his fame from some of their adventuring exploits to become Chancellor. Jealous of his former friend, Mendel may have been involved somehow in his death.
In any case, after ascending to the Chairmanship of Toney House, he was ruthless in his tactics to gain total control of the House, studying the works of Charles Mauntea often. He married Corwyn Hoff's widow, and has had three children with her.
Mendel has greying hair and pale blue eyes.
Rachael Callister (0 level normal woman, LN)
Rachael married Mendel after the death of her first husband, Corwyn Hoff. She is a quiet woman now, though in her youth she was vibrant and outspoken. She is rarely seen in Darokin society, not even attending the Darokin City Masked Ball.
She has white hair and brown eyes.
Vardon Hoff (12th level fighter, NG)
The only child of Corwyn Hoff, Vardon was born just before his father's death, and he is not a member of Toney House. Though he grew up disliked by his stepfather and neglected by his mother, Vardon became a caring soul. He went adventuring, eventually becoming even more famous than his father. He is currently on sabbatical from active adventuring and keeps himself busy running an orphanage in Corunglain, with funding from Corun House.
Politically, like his father before him, he is a champion of democratic reforms. He has contemplated running for Chancellor should Corwyn Mauntea die or resign, but believes that any such effort is doomed to failure without the support of a Great House.
Quint Callister (5th level fighter/7th level merchant, LN)
Mendel Callister's eldest son and heir apparent, Quint Callister aids his father in running Toney House. He is the character most likely to deal with hired adventurers. His father seeks a wedding between him and Ellisa Pennydown, though Quint has privately expressed his ambivalence about that plan to his closest friends.
In person, Quint is blunt and arrogant, but he is anything but foolish. He is a ruthless but honourable man, and will no doubt lead Toney House to ever greater heights when he takes over.
Roger Callister (3rd level fighter/4th level merchant, N)
Roger is the second child of Mendel Callister. He takes after his mother, with brown hair and eyes. He is relatively unknown on the social and political scenes, as he spends much of his time in the Atruaghin Clans.
Laurana Mauntea (0 level normal woman, N)
Laurana, Mendel's youngest child, married a cousin of Corwyn Mauntea last year. She is a lively woman, much like her mother when she was young, and is a striking beauty with raven hair and piercing blue eyes. Her marriage is a political one, and rumour has it she seeks true love outside the marriage bed.