House Hawkwinter

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House Hawkwinter

Postby Jiriki » Tue Dec 03, 2013 5:16 am

(Traditionally a strong arm of the city guard and troops fielded by the Lords of Waterdeep, the Hawkwinters hunt and breed highly prized war horses on extensive country estates north of nearby Amphail. They spend much of their time there, and make most of their money through the sale of their blood stock in peacetime. In times of war, they serve as mercenary generals and guides, hire out their own cavalry and work as highly priced lightning – fast troop outfitters.

Their best mounts are black with silver manes and tails. A rare few have odd coloured eyes.)

Patriarch: Lord Eremeos Hawkwinter. (Consort, Lady Kyrin the elder.)

People of note: Lady Kyrin Hawkwinter, Horselord of Tethyr. Countess. (Commander of the cavalry of Tethyr. (2nd daughter of Eremeos and Lady Kyrin Hawkwinter).

Among Lord Eremeos many grandchildren is Jax Hawkwinter. A scion of the house that shows promise if just like his aunt (and like more than a few of his fellow Hawkwinters), more than a little headstrong.

"Lady Kyrin Hawkwinter is the second daughter and sixth child of the Hawkwinter clan, and far from any major inheritance within the family ranks. As an expert horsewoman and cavalry instructor after a short stint in the Guard, her specialties lay in commanding cavalry and horse breeding. When I first met her, she seemed formidable and refreshingly forthright, barging into a private meeting with her father, dropping to one knee to vow service to me and inform me that she had hired and trained 800 loyal cavalry soldiers and horses to put to the cause. As you know of Lord Eremoes, he teaches his children to follow their passions, and Kyrin is passion personified in battle or in council." ~ Haedrak.

The city of this quietly powerful Waterdhavian noble family is the site of many splendid parties.

On a strategic corner location in a block of fine merchant’s houses and luxury apartments, the walled Hawkwinter compound consists of three spired balconied stone houses made in the like of miniature castles – with crenelations, gargoyle – shaped downspouts and arched windows only found in the uppermost reaches of the walls. The only exceptions to this design lie in the tall – peaked tiled roofs, which shed copious snow down onto the passersby in winter. Some folk believe the down – spouts are real gargoyles that the family can release to defend their home. These are kept immobile by strong enchantments controlled by the Hawkwinters themselves.

These miniature castles are linked by winding garden paths, overhung by many old, carefully tended tree’s hung with lamps. When parties are thrown, many – hued driftglobes light every corner of the gloomy halls, passages, and cellars of the castles, and perfume is added to the lamps amid the tree’s.

Musicians play in chambers here and there, and mages are hired to perform minor illusions – either of languid beauty in the early evening or of mystery danger and spice later, when those who celebrate until dawn chase each other around the balconied rooms and dungeons. Oh yes, these castles have dungeon cells. The cells are very clean, lit with red torches for show but are functional do not doubt this, do not doubt either that they are used from time to time as well.

Conversations and tales from afar are valued to stave off the boredom that threatens nobles, so adventurers and those newly arrived to the city are welcome as guests. The doors are not open to all though. Waterdhavian nobles invite a select folk: usually Piergerion, out of courtesy although he but rarely attends such events; other noble houses with home the family are on speaking terms; mages and other fashionable or powerful personages, such as guildmaster; and the occasional very successful merchant in some sort of dignified trade.

These guests are expected to bring their spouses or an escort, and from two to six guests each – who may be anyone, such as adventurers and other walking entertainment. Those with ideas of just slipping in (crashing is a term that’s used) are warned that nobles doors and bouncers are mighty, experienced, quick, and reinforced by magic and might of arms that even successful adventurers might respect – from a safe distance.

To get invited, let it be known that you’re newly arrived an either an importer or adventurer or that interesting things befell you that you can tell or, even better, show something about.

As to the gossip: at parties, nobles can meet – to exchange items, for example – without eyes noticing or tongues whispering, but rarely conduct important business. That’s what they have large walled houses with many closed doors for. They do use parties to meet with, manipulate, and arrange future meetings and business with underlings, outsiders and newcomers. Also at such parties are the only place that outsiders and common folk are likely to hear nobles gossiping about nobles first hand. The alert listener can learn a lot from the tone of voice, raised eyebrow, or a lip, or when and how long someone pauses when they are speaking.

The folk who attend Hawkwinter parties are eccentric and tend to be powerful – and if they’re noble, up to something all the time. The scent of danger can always be found in the air at these parties.

Truly a Waterdhavian noble’s feast is something all should enjoy. If you manage to get an invite, by all means go out of your way to attend it.
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