THE CHARACTERS

CHOOSE YOUR HOUSE

HOUSE EMERALD

DUKE FERDINAND SWANNE

Lord of the Emerald House, but reigning over a faded memory of the family that once almost ruled the Kingdom of Heldrassë.

There are many that still remember the Duke with hope; those that are still loyal in their hearts to House Emerald.

Consumed by sorrow, and a need for revenge, due to the passing of his wife Helena, the Duke has become reckless of late, obsessed with restoring House Emerald’s former glory.

Allegiances: House Emerald

Notes: Lord of the Emerald House

MAIA SWANNE

Lady Maia Annabella Antoinette Swanne. Heiress to the House of Emerald, daughter of Duke Ferdinand & Helena Swanne.

Maia was taken to the Provinces shortly after she was born, and it was over nine years before she returned, just in time for her tenth birthday.

Maia is given a necklace with a clear crystal for her birthday. It once belonged to her mother, Lady Helena Swanne, but she must keep its existence secret.

Allegiances: House Emerald

Notes: Daughter of Duke Swanne

LADY HELENA SWANNE

Mother of Maia, Helena died in mysterious circumstances on the night she gave birth to Maia.

Some believe that she was murdered, and this was the reason that the Duke fled to the Provinces with his newborn daughter.

Allegiances: House Emerald

Notes: Mother to Maia Swanne

THE DISHFORTHS

Mrs Vera Dishforth

Overworked cook and house-keeper to Duke Swanne, Mrs Dishforth is married to Randall, the Butler, and mother to Jenny and Robin.

Mrs Dishforth’s sister Maud lives in Port Asheerë.

Mr Randall Dishforth

Father of Jennie and Robin, Mr Dishforth is the last remaining butler to the fading House of Emerald.

Robin Dishforth

Son of Mr and Mrs Dishforth, last employees of the Emerald House. Robin, 14, works as stable-boy, chimney-sweep, and general dogsbody to the Duke. Sometimes mean to his little sister Jenny, but he is always the first to protect her.

Maia and Robin argue just before the move from the Provinces, and for a time are not on speaking terms.

Robin has a secret love for Maia that he knows can never be fulfilled, but is still fiercely-loyal to her.

Jennie Dishforth

Jennie works hard as maid to the Duke at Crowe Hall, and even though she is only 11 years old, she has already lived a life of hard work and toil. Jennie is best friends with Maia, but sometimes resents her position of privilege, but they always make up in the end.

Allegiances: House Emerald

Notes: Servants to Duke Swanne, residing at Crowe Hall

MORDEQUAI QUARRLE

Aged retainer to Duke Ferdinand, Master of the House of Emerald’s armies, now long-since gone. General Quarrle remains in the service to his Duke out of a lifelong loyalty that will never be diminished.

Once Master at Arms to the Legions of The Emerald House, at 68, Quarrle is one of the last remaining retainers for the Duke.

Wears a false hand made of Boar’s tusk ivory, after a Giant Boar bit it off when he and Maia’s father explored the Black Forest beyond the Shear.

When the Duke and Maia return to the capital, Quarrle stays behind in the Provinces to train more of soldiers on behalf of the Duke. Unknown to the Queen, they have a small army prepared for war.

Allegiances: House Emerald

Notes: Master-at-Arms to Duke Swanne

HOUSE SCARLET

Queen Sofia Bluddë

Ageing monarch, beset by countless rumour of attempts upon her throne. She has already survived one attempt upon her life, and the assassination of her daughter.
Increasingly paranoid, Queen Sofia becomes ever-more ruthless in an attempt to retain her weakening grip upon the throne.

Old, and with her health failing, her son’s position as heir to the throne looks precarious amongst the scheming Lords of the Great Houses.

The Queen is a virtual recluse, rarely seen at court, and the source of many rumours of madness induced by the sorrow of a lost child and attempts upon the life of Erebus. Stories disagree as to whether Erebus’ younger sister died at childbirth or that she was stolen by some dark force, leaving Sofia broken, a shadow of her former self.

Towards the end of her reign she relinquishes the task of ruling Heldrassë to her advisers, who scheme against each other to increase their status as the real power behind the throne.

When Sofia came to power after Alfred’s death, she purged many of the old King’s advisers, in a bold move that surprised all.

She has ruled in an uneasy peace for over ten years, but when her daughter was murdered she began the purges once again.

Allegiances: House Scarlet

Notes: Sovereign ruler of Heldrassë

Prince Erebus Bluddë

Son of King Alfred Bluddë & Queen Sofia Bluddë, heir to the throne of Heldrassë.

Erebus has a scar, running down from below his left ear, tracing beneath his chin, to the centre of his neck. Rumours abound that he received this wound as a baby, when an attempt was made upon his life.

Allegiances: House Scarlet

Notes: Heir to the throne of Heldrassë, and best friend of Maia

Miss Willow

Good-natured Nanny to Maia. Although in the service of the Emerald House, Miss Willow is originally from the Ruby House.

Wonderfully-eccentric, behind her gentle facade, there is more to Miss Willow than meets the eye.

Allegiances: House Scarlet

Notes: Guardian to Maia Swanne, in the service of House Emerald.

King Alfred Bluddë

Father to Prince Erebus, and Sovereign Head of the Kingdom of Heldrassë, Alfred died in a hunting accident shortly after Erebus’ birth.

Allegiances: House Scarlet

Notes: Deceased.

King Ullrich

Seventy years ago, the Uprising saw civil war break out all across the Kingdom of Heldrassë.

When Gold and Emerald had fought themselves to ruin, King Ullrich took the throne for the Ruby House, then purged all the other Houses of their remaining power.

A paranoid and ruthless king, he forbade any mention of the Book of Heresies, the catalyst of revolution, and also the teaching of the true history of the Uprising.

Allegiances: House Scarlet

Notes: First King of the Ruby House.

Madame Beaulierre

Within the endless ranks of servants, maids and royal retainers, Ellianne Beauliere, the Guardian to the Prince Regent is one of the few people to whom Prince Erebus has any emotional connection.

Having studied with Miss Willow in the distant past, the two aged guardians are still the best of friends.

Allegiances: House Scarlet

Notes: Guardian to Erebus, Prince Regent.

Eldrick Grummë

Cruel and greedy classmate of Erebus and Maia. Corpulent, sandy-haired, loud and brash.

When Madame Gourgonne becomes the Royal Tutor, Eldrick relishes the opportunity to witness his classmates punished.

Allegiances: House Scarlet

Notes: Classmate to Maia Swanne.

General Grummë

Gaudy and vain Master of the King’s Armies, Grummë is loyal to whomever can best sate his thirst for wealth and power.

Allegiances: House Scarlet

Notes: Father to Eldrick.

Fabian

Cousin to Prince Erebus, Fabian is handsome, witty, and confident. One of the prince’s best friends in class, Fabian is often mistaken for the heir because of his demeanour.

Fabian’s father is Lord Justice, a ruthless man, charged with enforcing the Queen’s law, and his son shares some of his traits.

Allegiances: House Scarlet

Notes: One of Maia’s classmates.

Cardinal Mallessë

Cardinal Mallessë is the Head of the Church of the Red Sun, the main religious power in Heldrassë.

As one of the Queen’s chief advisers, he wields an ever-increasing power in state affairs.

But many don’t trust the Cardinal, and whispers abound that he performs secret rituals to the Dragon, an Order that is gaining power and influence in Amrosia and throughout the Kingdom of Heldrassë. The Order’s Master is Lord Underwoldë of the House Obsidian.

Allegiances: House Scarlet

Notes: Originally served House Obsidian, before he became head of the Church of the Red Sun.

HOUSE GOLD

Lord Chronos

Lord Emmanuel Chronos, Royal Astronomer and Keeper of the House of Time at the Royal Observatory within the Halls of Learning.

Chronos is an official name given to the Master of the House of Time, and it is said that the secret halls of the Royal Observatory contain wonders beyond imagining.

The vast workings of the Great Clock that stands over the city are a sight to behold, and must never miss a stroke, or legends say that great calamity will befall the land. It is written in old lore that the Great Clock holds back time, and that evil forces from beyond would find a way through should the clock ever stop.

Allegiances: House Gold

Notes: Head of the Arcane University.

Lauren Chronos

Son of Lord Chronos, Lauren is a shy and introverted boy, but a loyal friend to Erebus and Maia. Something of an inventor, Lauren’s obsession with science is often at odds with his father’s more mystical outlook on the world.

Allegiances: House Gold

Notes: Classmate of Maia Swanne

Aelssa Arraigne

Maia’s gentle classmate from the Golden Isles.

Aelssa is a distant cousin to their tutor, Miss Solait.

Allegiances: House Gold

Notes: Ethereal and warm-hearted classmate of Maia Swanne.

Miss Laureli Solait

Maia’s kindly tutor, a Lady of the fabled House of Gold. Miss Solait is a loving and gentle teacher to the children, and her lessons take on a dreamlike quality, as though an angel perhaps walked amongst the class.

Her husband died in the Encroaching, while her grandfather was killed in the Battle of Red and Gold that saw power shift to the Ruby House, Miss Solait carries an air of gentle melancholy with her that only adds to her beauty.

Allegiances: House Gold

Notes: Tutor to Erebus and Maia

HOUSE SAPPHIRE

Lord & Lady Avalorre

Parents to the twins Elisabeth and Ivy.

They reside at Port Asheerë, the centre of the Sapphire House’s power.

Lord Avalorre is Master of the Queen’s Naval Fleet.

Allegiances: House Sapphire

Notes: Rulers of the Sapphire House

Elisabeth Avalorre

Elisabeth and Ivy Avalorre, daughters of the Sapphire House.

Good-natured, but sometimes prone to teasing and selfishness. Will always tell teacher.

Allegiances: House Sapphire

Notes: Classmate of Maia Swanne

Ivy Avalorre

Out of the two sisters, Ivy is the proudest and most wilful.

She will grow to be a powerful sorceress.

Allegiances: House Sapphire

Notes: Classmate of Maia Swanne

HOUSE OBSIDIAN

Lord Underwoldë Blacke

Head of the House of Obsidian, Lord Underwoldë holds much of the real power over of the Kingdom as Master of Commerce.

There are rumours that House Obsidian has taken up the old religions, from a time before House of Gold and the worship of the Church of the Red Sun. Some have even suggested that Lord Underwoldë conducts rituals in the ways of the ancient Order of the Dragon.

Allegiances: House Obsidian

Notes: Master of Commerce to the Queen.

Lady Morrowe Blacke

Wife of Lord Underwoldë and mother of Eve.

Lady Morrowe is ill at ease with the scheming of her husband, and takes no part in the power-play of the House Obsidian.

Allegiances: House Obsidian

Notes: Mother of Eve Blacke.

Eve Blacke

Daughter of Lord Underwoldë and Lady Morrowe of the House Obsidian.

Eve is painfully-shy, and filled with sorrow for the actions of her cruel father.

Allegiances: House Obsidian

Notes: Classmate of Maia Swanne, and best friends with Lauren Chronos.

Madame Gourgonne

The terrifying Royal Tutor rules her class with an iron will and an uncannily-accurate throw of her chalk.

Intolerant to daylight, Madame Gourgonne wears her dark spectacles on even the greyest of days, leading her pupils to speculate upon whether the eyes behind those dark lenses might turn a victim to stone, should they be unlucky enough to catch merely the slightest glimpse.

Allegiances: Unknown

Notes: Possesses an unhealthy obsession for manners & etiquette.