“It doesn’t matter that the Marlowes have no hierarchy within their own house. They still need to abide by the etiquette of House Silverstone since it’s their castle that the Marlowes currently call home.”
Unlike the other Grand Houses that make up the Kingdom of Vahalia, House Marlowe doesn’t run on a feudal system – such as Lords and princes and dukes and earls – but the Grand House is controlled through a system of fighting honors and age.
In House Marlowe, it’s the best warriors who wield the most power, rather than those who are born with noble blood. Because of this, the members of House Marlowe are trained in the art of combat from the moment they can walk and hold a sword.
The world can be cruel to the Marlowes who never learn how to fight.
- Tanvir the Bear Rider (b.849 AS – d.897 AS)
The son of Thoman Marlowe and Louise of House Blackwood, Tanvir Marlowe was known for his talents in archery, which was taught to him by his grandmother, Naenia. But when he was fifteen, Naenia and Lagertha were killed in an attack by the Northern Wolves – wolves that are three times the size of normal wolves and have a taste for human flesh. Angered and distraught by the deaths of his mother and grandmother, Tanvir and his father went into the woods in search of the northern beasts, only for his father and the rest of the men to be killed in a nighttime attack. Now alone, Tanvir wandered the cold forest until he came across a pack of black bears, who led him to their cave and healed him. For black bears are known for their ability to heal with water and tears. Once healed, Tanvir was able to ride upon the alpha bear into the nest of the wolves, slaying the beasts with the help of the bears.
- Rollo the Lions Head (b.1402 AS – d.1469 AS)
The youngest of a set of triplets, Rollo Keplerson was small for his age and was thin in the arms. His two older brothers, Siguard and Ubbe, were much stronger and nearly a foot taller than Rollo. They were able to wield a sword by their seventh birthday and could launch a long bow arrow into a buck over a mile away by their ninth. But Rollo had should no such strength of skills. Rather than his body growing stronger with age, his mind became stronger, as did his wit. Then, at the age of thirteen, his father put him on a trade ship and sent him off into the world, not wanting to have a thinker for a son. “Do not return to me until you bring back with you a trophy of strength”, said his father. For the next decade, Rollo roamed the Original World with nothing but a small dagger and his wits to survive, before finally returning to his family with a lions head to give to his father.
“You brought us back a lion’s head”, said Rollo’s father. “A fine trophy.”
“Aye”, answered Rollo. “I won it in a game of cards.”
- Vadik the Faerie Prince (b.2577 AS – d.2611 AS)
The oldest of eight brothers, Vadik became the oldest man of the house after his father, Hvetsik the Giant, died from a wound to the stomach while he was hunting for boar. With seven younger brothers – between the ages of eight and two months old – to care for now, Vadik knew that he had to find a way to feed his family. But the harvest had been bad that year and most of the game had migrated south for the winter. And so, believing himself to have no other option, Vadik place the oldest of the children in charge and set off to the Kingdom of Chystalous, where he offered his eternal service to the Faery King in return for food. Doubting that a mere original being could be a worthy soldier, the Faery King gave Vadik a test. If he could slice the wing off of a butterfly with a spear then, not only would he supply his entire village with food, but he will be given the hand of the king’s beautiful daughter, Princess Gwennela. And so, with a single throw of a spear, Hvetsik saved his village from starvation and gained himself a wife.
- Ivar the Chaveonus Slayer (b.4736 AS – d.4812 AS)
Ivar’s mother, Clair of House Blackwood, laid in her birthing bed for eight days and nights to bring Ivar into the world. But the birth proved to be too much for the thirteen-year-old mother and Clair succumbed to childbed fever. His father, Henrik the Silver Tooth, was so distraught by his beloved wife’s death, that he carried baby Ivar into the Silent Forest, where he left his infant son in the hands of the elements and the gods. But the gods were smiling on baby Ivar that cold winter night. A pack of cruowolves were traveling through the forest and came upon the infant. The alpha female of the pack took in baby Ivar and, according to legend, raised him alongside her pups. And there, in the deepness of the Silent Forest, Ivar grew up alongside wolves: learning to track like a cruowolf, learning to hunt like a cruowolf, learning to kill like a cruowolf. Finally, after discovering that a string of villages near his birthplace was being attacked by packs of chavenouses, Ivar led his family of cruowolves to his village of birth, slaying all of the chavenouses. Some say that he killed the alpha male with his bare teeth.
- Jarl the Iron Skinned (b.6311 AS – d.6344 AS)
Orphaned at the age of six, Jarl was taken in by his father’s younger brother, Bjorn the Bold, and raised alongside his six cousins: Erik, Asger, Ivar, Ragnar, Rollo and Elejik. Despite being the son of his elder brother – a brother who Bjorn was said to hold a lot of animosity against due to Jarl’s father marrying the love of Bjorn’s life – Bjorn treated Jarl like a son and his sons treated him like a brother. But then, on the edge of Ivar’s eighteenth birthday, a group of Diagon soldiers came and raided their small village on the edge of the Marlowe Realm. The Diagon soldiers killed Bjorn the Bold and placed his six sons in chains, hoping to sell the young men into the Applani slave system. Jarl was able to escape the clutches of the Diagon soldiers and, for the next three weeks, tracked down his cousins to Diagon Castle. There, the eighteen-year-old Jarl was able to sneak into the Diagon Dungeons, where he fought against all the guards, releasing his cousins from captivity without a single blade slicing his skin.