In this post we will show you the steps to follow to create a noble house, and at the same time we will create a new house of the Earldom of Mir.
The houses had a specific position in the feudal hierarchy. In Laplana, only Earls, Vicecounts, Comdors and Vavassors had their own house. The Lords, forming the lower layer of the nobility, belonged to a superior house and wore its colors.
The house we are creating had the rank of Earl, and was the superior of 8 Lords, 3 Vavassors and 1 Prior, but this numbers can vary depending on the year.
The noble houses were linked to a land. In the campaign of Laplana this was entirely true because the houses couldn’t change their lands or acquire new ones. If they did it, they had to change their name, heraldry and personality.
There was way in which a house could grow: improving its manor, having more vassals, o ascending in the feudal hierarchy.
In this aspect, Laplana was very different than the medieval Europe, were the political marriages aimed to increase the lands and titles of a family. In Laplana, the children of a house belonged to a house or other, but never belonged to two families at the same time.
The house we are creating was situated in the earldom of Mir.
To create the history of a noble house is a complex process and we will do it only if its required by the plot. As a basic data, we can give the year of its foundation.
In this case, the house was founded the Year of the King 224, the same year on which the earldom of Mir was conquered and refounded.
There are two main ethnic groups in Laplana: the arcaics and the sylvans. The first were descendants of the invaders of Archery coming from Archland; the seconds were descendants of the native humans of Archery.
The archaic occupied the nobility, bourgeoisie and clergy, while the sylvans were the bulk of the peasantry. Only one of every ten nobles was sylvan.
Our house is of sylvan origin, which is a rarity.
There are a lot of ways to create a name. Everyone has its ways. The important aspect is to be coherent in your campaign setting.
In Laplana, the names are inspired by the catalan language. To create them, I have a microsoft access file with all the words of the catalan language, and I chose one randomly (using microsoft excel to create random numbers and then choosing the rows with these numbers).
In this link there is a text file with all the roots in catalan. There are only the roots, and not all the words, because the file size grows exponentially.
To choose the correct name the ethnic group has to be taken in account. Sylvan have names related with the nature (animals, plants, weather…), while archaic have names related with crafts, objects, or abstract concepts. When we have the name, we search the definition, because it can help us to define its personality.
Our house will have the name Rampoina: that means the parts of a plant that one has to take out for its own benefit. This definition will define at least one of the personality factors for this family.
Every house has one primary personalty factor and two secondary ones. We will use the personalty chapter of our own system, FIVE, based on the 16 personality factors, but you can you whatever you like.
In our new house, we choose the following factors:
- Primary factor: practical (low imagination)
- Secondary factor: forthright (low privateness)
- Secondary factor: gregarious (low self confidence).
The house personality was maintained through generations thanks to the emblems ceremony. In Laplana, when the leader of the house died, the heir was chosen following a ceremony: the house emblem (an object), containing the essence of all the previous house leaders, choose a heir between al the family members with a personality aligned with the house one. In later entries we will explain this ceremony in detail.
Coat of arms and motto
A coat of arms can be created using several available systems. We use the random generator of Chris Puncher’s heraldry drawing software.
If the house has a player’s character the coat of arms can be created following his preferences, using the same generator, but there are other heraldic generators available.
In this case, the coat of arms is the following, described as: Per fess gules and sable, 2 garter or.
Over the coat, we added a figure related with the house’s name, a tobacco plant (taken from Wikimedia Commons.
Optionally, you can create a moot for the house, a phrase defining it. In this case the motto will be: “get to the point”.
Their direct vassals (Lords) used the same colors, but without the plant.
Finally, we have to choose the house’s emblem. Is an object used by all the house leaders during its history. In the beginning, all the emblems were weapons, but this had varied with the passing of time.
In this case, the charge is a tobacco plant, so we have decided that the emblem for this house will be a smoking pipe. In important times, the leader use the pipe to smoke and this helps him (or her) to take the right decisions (those according with the house personality), “communication” with his ancestors.
The emblem is a magical object, and it can have other powers that will be described, if needed, in an adventure.