Vassal of Hawkmour
Words: "We Dare"
Sigil: A serpent twined about a rose
Nicknames: Little Snakes, The Fallen
The exact date of House Tessere’s founding is lost to history. Scraps of poetry and ballads still exist extolling its members skill and ferocity as warriors, and boasting of their cavalry being a near match for that of the Oathlands. There are no poems which sing of the House’s fall from grace and historians can’t agree on the cause, but the end result was swift, sure, and final-- they were reduced in a stroke to County Iriscal, certain of their lands granted to House Hawkmour and their fealty transferred to that same House, no doubt with the intention of having the more loyal vassal keep an eye on the less loyal… or maybe just as a final insult, setting one (well-behaved) peer over the (naughty) other.
Historians do agree that Tessere sulked for several decades following this ignominy.
Two centuries ago, Count Pascal began his life’s work to turn the House around. It was he who lured artisans blessed with the knowledge of the weaving of aeterna and umbra to Iriscal, and he who worked closely with the merchant and trading class to develop open trade routes. The turmoil of the Crownbreaker Wars was no deterrent to the Count. It may even have been a boon, as the conflict painted the Velenosa in a poor light and took some attention from the scandal which still tainted the reputation of the Tessere.
Since that time, House Tessere has grown some small measure of fame for the quality of its fabrics, and their willingness to adopt new techniques as they become available, always staying on the very cutting edge of the market and its demands. If they are not as famous or as respected as they were before, their members do not seem to mind overmuch. They have full coffers and a network of merchants which spans the continent, these things are excellent salves to the ego.
But no matter these improvements, neither have they been free of misfortune. Lucrezia Tessere, Countess of Iriscal, decided to have a child with her consort after bearing an heir to the House. That scandal was only slightly overshadowed by her husband’s sister and family, the Forza, getting themselves exiled and excommunicated (a turn of events which surely prevented a divorce given the choices made by the Countess regarding her consort and their offspring). Then, in the year 1008 AR, Lucrezia was lost to what some whisper was an assassination by culprits unknown, and later in the year, their new Countess lost her young husband in action against the Gyre’s forces. Worse still, the young man failed to do his expected duty before marching off to battle-- his bride was not with child when he left. Newly widowed and in her place for only a little over a year, some have turned speculative eyes to the County and its prospects. With this streak of misfortune, it would be easy to believe that their ancient misluck has pursued them again into the present, and to predict that it bodes ill for their future too.
|Madrien||4||Trusted House Servants||Minister of Coin|
|Nurie||4||Trusted House Servants||Lady's Maid|
|Elysio||4||Trusted House Servants||Serpent's Tooth (Sword)|
|Madrien||Income||Minister of Coin|
Fortezza di Iriscal
Description: Once a proud March with a storied martial tradition and a renowned calvary who stood by Hawkmour to guard the borders of the Lyceum against the Oathlands, Iriscal was reduced to a County after some distant misstep against House Fidante. In the centuries since their punishment, they have remade themselves from warriors into producers and purveyors of the finest luxury fabrics to be found in Arvum: aeterna and umbra. Their fortress is no longer a stronghold for soldiers but rather a trading hub and sanctuary for artisans who practice Jayus’ gifts upon cloth and fiber. But, while details of what precipitated their fall from grace may have been lost to the dark years, the scandal has never entirely faded and while they have rebuilt some economic stability, their reputation has yet to recover. Many things are forgiven among Lycenes, but being caught at failing has never been one of them… and how embarrassing for them, that they weren’t considered worth the effort to crush entirely!