Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Stormborn," House Gorav, pt. 2, 391 words

Taal granted Ludo a rare title of merit, making him Lord Engineer and eligible for a marriage into one of the Houses. Despite the embarrassment of the revolt, Gorav snatched him up in a trice with a first marriage to one of the matriarch’s second-born half-sisters. With the matriarch’s untimely death without issue some years later (which, despite various efforts to prove otherwise, could not be pinned upon Ludo nor his wife), Ludo was in a position to assume the head of the House. The promise of his expertise in warfare and siegecraft, and the favor in which Taal held him, appealed to enough of the House elders to assure him sufficient support for his claim, especially as Gorav had long been looked down upon as a House of common craftsmen. As Ludo’s star has risen, so has that of House Gorav.

Under Lord Engineer Ludo, House Gorav has made some sharp changes to how it operates. More commoners than ever have been brought into positions of power, based on merit more than birth. The starborn of Gorav still hold a privileged place, but in the fashion of spoiled children given amusements to silence their tantrums. True power in Gorav’s affairs belongs to those who earn it. Ludo’s changes have painted Gorav further with the black brush of “commonness,” but their efficacy cannot be doubted. Only stormborn are barred from holding a high post. Ludo knows that granting them any true power will bring the wrath of Taal down upon his head.

The Art of Craft grants its bearers the natural talent of a master craftsman. A starborn of Gorav is preternaturally capable with any act of creation they set their minds to, from pottery to smithing, from sewing to carpentry. Clay almost seems to shape itself in their hands, and the grain of the wood always seems to flow perfectly for whatever they make. A Gorav starborn can fold and forge a fine steel blade in a fraction of the time that another swordsmith might, and almost from the moment they can first lift the hammer and tongs. Through various marriages to the Emperor and others of House Methis, they hold all the contracts on supplying Imperial arms and armor, be it the ceremonial blade of a Grand Exarch, or the short blade and breastplate of an Imperial soldier.

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