History of House Silverston
Coming to Highlands
When the Alphatian General Halzunthram arrived in Highlands in AC 786, amongst his followers was the 50 year-old battlemage Tostian from Randel. Tostian soon rose to become Halzunthram's closest advisor and was consequently was made the first Count of Silverston in AC 803, the first amongst Alphatian nobles in the area. Tostian chose Silverston because Schloß Silberstein (as it was earlier called under the hold of the Graustein family) was in prime shape. After Tostian, Halzunthram shared fiefs to his loyal followers: Savalo was made Viscount of Volnay, Potiorek, Viscount of Eriadna and Sanapria, Viscount of Redstone.
Tostian was not very impressive. He was very fat, with bull-neck that dwindled into sloping shoulders, and was awkward in his gait. His eyes were deep-set, his features heavy and coarse, and his face suffused with a flush. He wore his hair long and had a frantic stutter. But he was no fool, he was very competent magician, in fact the only time he didn't stutter was when he casting spells.
As a ruler, Tostian was not effective. He had little time to spare for anything except fighting. He left ruling mostly to his sons, Vortram and Geilan. He was also violently impatient, which somewhat explains his lack of interest in ruling a dominion.
Tostian was killed by a grizzly bear in a hunting trip in AC 810 at the age of 74. Halzunthram was only one to mourn his passing.
Vortram was 42 when his father died. He had come to Highlands with his 40 year-old brother, Geilan in AC 791, after their mother had died in Alphatia. They were first seen fighting alongside with their father, but after AC 803, they stayed in Silverston to rule the county.
Vortram was not like his father. He was a big man, who loved showy clothes. His father had mostly used simple uniforms, but Vortram wanted to be seen. He was genial, extroverted and merry. He loved parties and despised the hardships of military life. He was also a poet, scholar and musician. His fluency with languages was also impressive, during the first 20 years in Highlands he learned to speak every major language in the area without any accent.
Vortram had been married just a year before arriving to Highlands, and his wife and newborn daughter Mariadna followed him. He however sent them back to Alphatia in AC 801 for safety. He never saw them again.
As ruler of Silverston, Vortram was highly efficient, wise and just. Although when he was getting older, there surfaced also tendencies to cruelty and despotism. He also had many illegitimate children who he favored.
Vortram ruled at the height of the Forty Years War, where Halzunthram lead the Alphatians and their allies against the rebel forces. Vortram remained loyal to Halzunthram until AC 821. Even the joining of the elves with the rebels in AC 806-808 did not break his loyalty. Only when Wilhelm von Drachenfels, leader of their Hattian allies, joined the rebels in AC 820, did Vortram begin to wonder if Halzunthram was going to loose the war.
Vortram contacted the other Alphatian nobles, Prusias, the new Viscount of Volnay, and Arden, the new Viscount of Redstone, and the son of Viscount Potiorek of Eriadna, Lendup, to discuss about the matter. Together they decided that Halzunthram's case was lost, and if they wanted to keep their dominions, they would have to change sides. They secretly contacted Wilhelm von Drachenfels, and started the negotiations with the rebels. The next year they declared their allegiance to the rebel side. (Lendup had to kill his father who wanted to stay loyal to Halzunthram.)
Halzunthram was again forced to bring more troops from Alphatia, but that did not help him anymore. He was captured in AC 828 and Forty Years War was over.
Republic of the Highlands
Negotiations after the war were hard for Vortram. The Flaems were demanding expulsion of all Alphatians from the area and more than once, Vortram and his allies walked out on negotiations just to be called back later. In the end, the influence of Alexander Glantri and Wilhelm von Drachenfels influence got the Flaems and the other Thyatians to accept the Alphatians staying in the area.
The other Alphatian nobles unanimously chose Vortram to represent them in the Council and his title as Count of Silverston was also accepted in the Parliament. At this point, Vortram was already 61 years old and as tired of war as everyone else in the area.
At the first Council meeting, Vortram was given the charge of Chamberlain of the Highlands. His most important duty was to rebuild roads that the war had destroyed and open the mines that had been closed.
Vortram's last years were not happy. His brother Geilan was murdered in AC 831, and his daughter Mariadna refused to come back from Alphatia. Because of this, Vortram named—to everyone's great surprise—Geilan's son, Ambrosion, to be his heir. It was generally expected that he would recognize one of his illegitimate sons and name him heir.Vortram was executed in AC 835 after killing Alexander Glantri and Birkai Virayana during the Council meeting. There were never given any reason for his deed.
Ambrosion was 41 years old when he followed his uncle as Count of Silverston. His first deed was to expel Vortram's siblings and illegitimate children from Silverston. He had not been very popular earlier and this did not improve matters a bit.
Ambrosion's selection to represent the Alphatians in the Council was challenged by Lendup, the Viscount of Eriadna. However, Ambrosion had the backing of the Alphatian lord Prusias, the Viscount of Volnay and their Thyatian ally, Johan of Haaskinz, the Baron of Egorn (Lendup's sole backer was the Alphatian colonel Arden, the Viscount of Redstone). Prusias and Johan choose Ambrosion because they disliked him less than the racist Lendup. One the other hand, Lendup and Arden accused Ambrosion of an unholy alliance with the necromancer Morphail Gorevitch-Woszlany and performing sadistic tortures and rituals, which Ambrosion learned from his necromantic father, Geilan. In the Council, Ambrosion was elected to be Chamberlain, because no one else wanted the position.
Ambrosion was more like Tostian in appearance than his uncle. He was ugly, little man, who however, enjoyed the company of ladies and was fond of gambling and high living. Consequently he spent more time in Glantri City than in Silverston. Ambrosion was not up to ruling. He was perpetually at loggerheads with various cliques amongst Alphatians and with other Council members.
Mariadna the Denied
As the Count of Silverston, Ambrosion's real troubles however began only in AC 843, when his cousin Mariadna suddenly came from Alphatia, and began to demand her father's inheritance. Ambrosion, of course, refused to give up Silverston, where he had already ruled eight years.
Old divisions amongst Alphatian nobles surfaced anew. Lendup and Arden backed Mariadna's demands. Meanwhile, Johan of Haaskinz and Stefan Cornhearst of Volnay (son and heir of Viscount Prusias, who died in AC 839) maintained their alliance with Ambrosion against Mariadna's claims.
Parliament decided that this was a matter Alphatians should resolve by themselves.
This resulted in the so-called Alphatian War, which lasted next ten years. It was not an actual war, but more of little skirmishes, marauding, robbing of merchants and assassination attempts among the Alphatian dominions. The areas south of the Red River was not safe for travelers during this time.
Only once during these years were the Alphatians united. In AC 845, the creation of the County of Wylon for the Thyatian Alexander von Taafnen was unanimously protested by every Alphatian.
Viscount Arden of Redstone was killed in a skirmish against Volnay troops in AC 847, and in the end, he proved to be only real casualty of this war. His son Gisel stayed loyal to Mariadna. But when Lendup died in AC852, Mariadna's case began to unravel, as Lendup's son, Bias, was not interested in continuing the feud.
In AC 853, Mariadna died at the age of 63. If she would have been less unpleasant a woman, she might have won this war. Two months later, Ambrosion's wife, Tirana and his only son, Eustasion, died of a fever.
After this, Ambrosion was a broken man. He contacted Mariadna's son, Vitalin, who had come to Glantri only recently in AC 852, and proposed an ending of the war. He promised to make Vitalin his heir, if he would lay down his arms. Vitalin accepted this.
Ambrosion died next year in the age of 60. He had lost all will to live.
Vitalin was only 21 when he inherited the County of Silverston. He began immediately to use his father's name as his surname. He also began to heal wounds that feud of his mother and Ambrosion had been caused, by marrying the cousin of Viscount Bias, Eriadna.
In the Council, Vitalin demanded the position of Chancellor, but lost it to Friedrich von Drachenfels (mostly because others thought Vitalin was too young). He then vied for the position of Treasurer, but lost it to Matteo di Sfonti. He ended up with the Viceroyalty of Nordling, which he was not happy at all. Unfortunately, he was stuck with it for 32 years.
Vitalin was already fat at this young age. He had problems with his eating and it showed. He was otherwise the typical pure Alphatian: pale, black-haired and bearded. He was also a bit difficult to work with. He was cruel, oppressive and was hardly ever known to say a civil word to anyone. He was also greedy, and it was suspected later that he pocketed some of the money that were meant to be used for keeping Fort Nordling in shape.
Vitalin was however effective as a ruler. He managed to pacify the Alphatian areas in only two years. And after creation of the Principalities, Vitalin created a very effective local government in the Principality of Blackhill.
Vitalin proved also be a good military leader during a short campaign against Alexius Glantri in AC 859. He led troops from Blackhill and Caurenze and crushed Alexius's troops in a battle fought between Westheath and Hightower. This lead Friedrich von Drachenfels to appreciate him bit more. But his difficult nature did not help him to get too many allies during the next years.
Vitalin's most visible achievement was his large family. Between AC 855 and 867, Eriadna gave birth to four sons and three daughters. This did not however mean a happy domestic life. Vitalin and Eriadna had been quarrelling since AC 863 and two years after their youngest, Owain, was born, Eriadna left Vitalin and migrated to Alphatia.
Consequently, Vitalin's two oldest sons, Vitalin II and Pelagiri, began to blame him for this. They both left Silverston in AC 875 and began life of adventurers vowing never to return. They however did return in AC 883, when they tried to kill Vitalin with the help of their younger brother Gepin. They however were no match for the old mage. Vitalin executed his own son Vitalin II and imprisoned Pelagiri and Gepin. He had to spare those two, because he knew already that Owain would not be a good ruler and he did not want to leave Blackhill to any of his daughters. Of course, Gepin was not even magic-user, but he also realized that Pelagiri would need him to help in ruling. Vitalin released Pelagiri and Gepin the next year, after they have promised not to try to kill him again.
Vitalin's daughters gave him no troubles. They were totally obedient to him and he used them only as a tool to get allies. His oldest daughter Mariadna married Eric Bluebeard, son of Marquis John Bluebeard in AC 880. The second daughter Eriadna married Arnulf of Haaskinz, grandson of Count Robert of Haaskinz in AC 882. And the youngest daughter Jonna married Bernard Batril, son of Archduke Bohemon Batril in AC 883.
In AC 886, Vitalin was chosen to be Chancellor after the death of Friedrich von Drachenfels. His opponents were Robert McGregor and Galeazzo di Sfonti. Galeazzo did not get any support, because of his bad reputation and young age. The real choice was between Vitalin and Robert. In the end, Vitalin was chosen, simple because he was the less unpleasant alternative.
Vitalin got sick and died in AC 889 at the age of only 56.
Pelagiri was 32 years old when his father died. He was a tall man, with big, bushy beard. Some said that he looked like a bear. But he wasn't gruff or grim, he had a beaming smile and he radiated an infectious gaiety around him. He was a friend of poets and troubadours, being bit a poet himself.
Pelagiri had been adventuring for eight years with his elder brother, Vitalin. It is said that they even visited their mother in Alphatia, but there is no proof about this. They tried to kill their father after coming back to Silverston in AC 883. Vitalin was executed and Pelagiri spent next year in prison with his younger brother Gepin. In prison, a close personal bond between them was born.
Pelagiri spent the years AC 884 to 886 in Fort Nordling as Castellan. During those two years, he achieved much fame in military matters that earned him the position of Warden of Marches after he became a Prince. The Council also chose him to be a Viceroy of Monteleone.
Pelagiri left the rule of Silverston totally to Gepin's hands. In his ten years as a Prince, he spent nine and a half in Monteleone. He knew that he had no talents for ruling a Principality and that Gepin was ten times better in that role.
Pelagiri spent his time improving Monteleone and leading raids into the Broken Lands. It was very clearly seen that he wanted more fame than power. He was also a great hunter, one time he even killed a bear by using only a dagger.
Pelagiri also proved to be his father's son. In spite of his gaiety, he proved to be very antagonistic. He was easily insulted and spent much time blasting away his adversaries. But Pelagiri did manage to get a new ally in AC 893 when his cousin Serena married Albrecht von Drachenfels, heir of Prince Ernst.
Pelagiri died in AC 899 in the age of only 42 fighting against band ogres.
Pelagiri was followed by his 32-years old younger brother Owain as Prince of Blackhill. Pelagiri was not married and Gepin had earlier been murdered in AC 897. Owain had been already ruling Blackhill for these two years. It had been suggested that he was behind Gepin's murder, but then again there was nothing he could gain from this, because he was already Pelagiri's heir, Gepin being a mundaner.
Owain was squat and bottle-nosed man who used to wear tall hats. He was also slovenly, rude, ill-tempered, obstinate, stupid, cruel, quarrelsome, tyrannical, selfish, bad-mannered, lax, sybaritic, oppressive, dishonest, crude, devious, cynical, liar, coward, braggart, bully and fool. No one could trust to him. Someone would say that he was a typical youngest child spoiled by his father.
Owain had a wife and two young children so inheritance of Principality was secure. He had married Isidora Cornhearst, daughter of Count Arnulf Cornhearst in AC 895. Their first son Cadwallon was born in AC 897 and second son Ricelion just before Owain became a Prince.
In Council, Owain was chosen to continue as Viceroy of Monteleone. He was not content with this charge, so he flattered other Princes hoping to get better position by this method. It worked at last in AC 902 when he was chosen to be next Treasurer after the death of Galeazzo di Sfonti. He also continued his charge of Fort Monteleone.
At first everything went quite well. Owain seemed to be a perfect Treasurer. Everyone was content with his work there. In fact he proved to be a very good with numbers and giving positions to his henchmen. From AC 908, every major position in Treasury was in his pockets. He also forged tax-reports and pocketed some of the taxes.
Owain's undoing was his greediness. Trade agreement with Darokin in AC 920 was mostly result of his close cooperation with Chancellor Albrecht von Drachenfels. It was a good agreement for both countries, but next year was exposed that Owain had been taken some heavy bribes from some Darokinian merchants. Owain's reputation was totally discredited; he and most of the upper officials were promptly removed from the Treasury. He was however allowed to keep his position as a Viceroy although only with a narrow margin.
After this Owain was a broken man. His past deeds began to haunt him. He confessed to his son that he had murdered Gepin's son, Huberion in AC 903. He lived his last years in Silverston without leaving his tower. He died in AC 926 at the age of 59.
Owain's oldest son Cadwallon was only 29 when he succeeded his father. Unlike his father he was tall, handsome young man, with pure Alphatian features. In AC 924, he had made a trip to Alphatia and came back with wife Thendara. She was a distant relative of the Emperor of Alphatia and an air wizard of legendary powers.
Cadwallon had a deep sense of duty since he had been governing Silverston already before his father isolated himself in his tower. Since that time, he had also been a real ruler of Blackhill. He had already nominated his brother Ricelion to represent him at Parliament.
In Council, Cadwallon was chosen to succeed his father as Viceroy of Monteleone. He was not good in this charge as he was not interested in Fort Monteleone and neglected it almost totally. He tried to get the position of Treasurer unsuccessfully for three times: in 927 he lost to Simon Vlaardoen VI, in 936 to Malcolm McGregor and in 937 to Filippo di Sfonti. These losses were mostly because Cadwallon clearly was not very effective in handling the money.
Instead, Cadwallon was a perfect host and clearly had diplomatic abilities. So when Chancellor Albrecht von Drachenfels died in AC 940, Cadwallon was one of the candidates for Chancellor of Princes. However, he lost to Pieter Vlaardoen VII. But after Pieter was drowned in 947 Cadwallon succeeded him.
As Chancellor, Cadwallon proved to be very successful. His most visible achievement was establishment of diplomatic relations with Wendar in AC 970. However after this, his mind began to deteriorate rapidly and he began to suffer from bouts of insanity. He died in AC 972 at the age of 75 when he just walked out of the roof of his tower in Parliament.
Cadwallon's oldest son Uthar was unable to understand magic, so it was his 42 year-old younger son Volospin who succeeded him.
Volospin Aendyr was chosen to be Viceroy of Nordling by the Council. He showed less interest for this charge than his father had shown to Fort Monteleone. Unfortunately, there would no openings for other more interesting charges for the next 19 years.
It was only in AC 991, after the death of Mario di Malapietra, that Volospin was chosen to be a next Chancellor of the Princes, with the support of Jaggar von Drachenfels.
The Noble Line of Silverston
Tostian b. 736 d. 810
Vortram, son of Tostian. b. 768 d. 835
Ambrosion, nephew of Vortram, son of Geilan. b. 794 d. 854
Vitalin Aendyr, grandson of Vortram, son of Aendyr and Mariadna. b. 833 d. 889
Pelagiri Aendyr, son of Vitalin and Eriadna. b. 857 d. 899
Owain Aendyr, son of Vitalin and Eriadna. b. 867 d. 926
Cadwallon Aendyr, son of Owain and Isidora Cornhearst. b. 897 d. 972
Volospin Aendyr, son of Cadwallon and Thendara. b. 930 d. 1008?
Author: Harri Mäki