Bandits from the River Kingdoms and Issia nearly spelled the end of the Taldan colony of Rostland in its early years. Sirian First’s reputation as a duelist drew the attention of a bandit chieftain, who offered the baron a wager: half his fortune against the bandit leader’s head, if he could best him in a duel. Baron First accepted, and lost. He paid his due and disappeared, too ashamed to show his face any longer, most assumed. Yet Sirian returned years later as Baron Aldori and, in a highly-publicized “rematch,” defeated his foe in seconds and reestablished his rule in Rostland. Baron Aldori then issued his own wager: 100,000 gold pieces to anyone able to best him in a duel of blades. Thousands flocked to Rostland to answer this challenge, and the “Sword Baron” defeated them all. He founded the Aldori school of sword fighting, and established the influence of the Aldori swordlords over Rostland for centuries.
With the change in regime, many swordlords fled Brevoy to other realms, such as the River Kingdom of Mivon. A few became sell-swords, prostituting the arts of the Aldori School for the coin needed to buy them food and shelter. The rest primarily settled in or near the free city of Restov.
The Council of Swordlords now only has an official capacity as an advisory board to the Rostland municipal governments. However, all of the members of the Swordlords are powerful nobles in their own right and through their unified might the Swordlords could pose a threat to the ruling government of Brevoy — their separatist ideals are widely known.
Sir Richard Iannuchi (Lord Commander of the Council)
The Lord Commander of the Swordlord Council is a regal bearing, older man in his 50s. Despite his age, Iannuchi is still quite capable in battle, and he’s a seasoned leader and a veteran of many battles and duels. When discussions between various Swordlords breaks down in argumentation, all look to Iannuchi to settle disputes and remind the council members who their true enemies are. Hailing from a powerful political family amongst the Rostlanders, Iannuchi himself is known by many of common folk as the honour of the old Swordlords personified.
Lord Mario Derro (Council Banker)
Mario Derro is a younger lord in his late 20s, who is known for his ruggedly handsome looks and his talent for finance and trade, a skill that he employs as the record-keeper and banker for the Swordlords. Derro’s financial influence extends beyond the Council itself. Through his own backroom politics and trade deals he has amassed many farms and orchards in Southern Brevoy, and has a large influence with many mercantile factions in the North due to various financial involvements.
Lady Ariana Santorini
Ariana Santorini is an aggressive lady in her late 30s, who is known for her passion and tactical abilities. She is usually dressed in full battle armor and weapons, often looking as if she just walked off the battlefield (which perhaps isn’t far from the truth). She often hires out her armies out as mercenary support for nearby conflicts to keep her troops seasoned and prepared for war, as well as to provide gold for her house. She is rumoured to have an extensive druidic resources under her command, and most of her lands are wilderness in return for their support, which includes raising her famed hippogriff mounts.
Lord Stefan Mandor (Cavalier of Quality)
Stefan Mandor is a charismatic man in his late 30s who is known as a cavalier of high regard. He competes often in tournaments and almost without exception wins handedly at everything he competes in. A paragon of lancework, riding, and archery, Mandor prefers a greatsword to the regular aldori sword for battle, donning the traditional blade only for honor duels. An extremely large and powerful man, matched with exceedingly quick reflexes, he is resolute in determination and is loathe to retreat, often succeeding due to bullheadedness where others would give up. His heavy cavalry are the strong right arm of the Swordlords military might.
Lord Gerrol “Torregrossa” Manolo
Raised as priest of Gorum, this enormous man is the epitome of the War God in battle. Torregrossa, or ‘Big Tower’, as he is usually referred to, is an enormous man who stands over 7’ tall and weighs so much he must ride a huge stallion into battle. It is said that his stallion was granted him by Gorum himself, which most believe due to the black stallion’s massive stature. Anything political outcome that will result in battle appeals to Lord Manolo, and he has focused his house’s resources to provide support for his war efforts. His farms produce food that is immediately prepared for use in field support, and his other industries are wood and wagon crafting (siege engines and logistical caravans) and weapon and armor smithing. He is the single most needed Swordlord by the council, as he is often used as an intimidating hammer against their adversaries.
Lord Antonio Ghirlandaio
Lord Antonio Ghirlandaio, or the Lord of Flowers, is the consummate Swordlord, and is an expert swordsman, poet, artist, and romancer of ladies of refinement everywhere. Extremely handsome and confident to the point of being arrogant, his sword skills are unmatched in Brevoy. He stands as the champion of the council in any honor duels, so needless to say, the Swordlords are rarely bothered with challengers these days. He has little interest in war or battle, but will eagerly engage in a duel to test the mettle of another swordsman. His beauty is marred only by a single scar running down his right eye, the origin of which he has never disclaimed.
Lord Ivan Vasseri
Lord Vasseri is the eldest of the Swordlords and the only one who can remember the battles that took place over 40 years ago with strong emotion. He was a young swordlord at the time of the last uprising, and harbors a great hate for Issians, despising them with an unreasoning passion. He resents the Manning (Issian) presence in Rostland and has been unhappy since the Blessed Union, constantly pressing for open conflict with the current Lord. Usually dismissed as an angry old man, his words have found fertile ground of late, with the constant offenses of Lord Darren against his fellow Swordlords. It was his idea to create a foothold in the Stolen Lands.
Lord Victor Vasseri (Council Diplomat)
Victor is the youngest of the Swordlords and the heir to the Vasseri House. He’s only been attending the council for a little over two years after being approved as a stand-in for his father, who rarely attends meetings unless an important vote (which for him means one approving war with the Issians) is up for discussion. He is handsome, well-mannered and well-spoken, and often travels the South with Lord Ghirlandaio. He serves the council as a diplomat and ambassador to other factions in Brevoy.