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The ir'Igthorn Family

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In centuries past, the Brelish crown offered large tracts of the Droaam barrens to anyone willing to settle there and make something of it. Many ambitious merchant families considered this encouraged colonization a short track to nobility and lept at the chance, despite the gnolls, harpies, and worse. One such family was headed by Tharew Igthorn, an ironmonger originally from the Galethspyre region of Breland. Tharew bought a baronial title from the king, invested in a decent mercenary force, and sailed up the Scar River until he found a likely looking promontory. There the ir'Igthorns planted their banner, the family crest still uknown and untested.

Baron Tharew I spent most of his 20 year term building the Igthorn manor-fortess and fending off the nearest tribes. His daughter, Baroness Ritha, inherited enough of a safety buffer to revive the family business and start exporting metalwork back to Breland. It was with Baron Tharew II that the family's fortunes, and infamy, truly blossomed. Tharew II took the unprecedented step of trading with the local gnoll and orc tribes, rather than driving them off. He gave them arms enough to attack their traditional enemies, and they escorted his caravans up and down the Scar. But Tharew II's greatest legacy was converting to the druidic faith of the Gatekeepers and marrying into the Maashak orc clan. Through Tharew II's maneuvering, Tharew III was not only Bargon ir'Igthorn, but also Chief of the Maashak and Gatekeeper of the Scar River Circle.

For the next few generation, the half-orc and human heirs of ir'Igthorn split their time between the family fortress in Droaam (where the wealth was made) and more cosmopolitan residences in Sharn (where the wealth was conspicuously spent). Though the ir'Igthorns were never invited to the ir'Tain Gala, they were reluctantly recognized as one of the crown's stronger representatives in Droaam, and the ir'Igthorn half-orcs were regular fixtures in House Tharashk's social sphere.

But the Last War changed every family's fortunes, and rarely for the better. The ir'Igthorns saw an initial boom in business as they fed raw material into the Brelish war machine, but increasing tribal unrest in Droaam made them reluctant to send abroad the knights they needed to protect the family lands. When the goblin revolt led to the establishment of Darguun, rumors circulated that the ir'Igthorns had known it was coming. Certainly they profited from later trade, but no one has proven conclusively that this was anything other than (still distasteful) financial opportunism. The true pivot in ir'Igthorn's fate came in 986 when the Daughters of Sora Kell issued their summons to the warlords of Droaam. The reigning patriarch at the time, Baron Resh II, presented a semblance of guarded neutrality and made preparations for a siege. But when King Boranel ordered the evacuation of Brelish citizens in 987, Resh II refused, suddenly allying with the hags. His son Resh III, safely ensconced in Sharn, managed to save the family title from abolishment by denouncing Resh II as a traitor and volunteering immediately to service in the Brelish army.

Since that time, the ir'Igthorn family has existed in two branches. The Igthorn Clan still rules the family lands along the Scar River, while the ir'Igthorn family clings to its investments in Sharn.

Prominent Family MembersEdit

Baroness Ritha IV:Ritha IV is the daughter of Resh II, and the ruler of the family in Droaam. Like most warlords, she treads a fine line between demonstrating subservience to the Daughters of Sora Kell and ruthlessly trying to expand her own powerbase. In addition to the small but veteran force of knights she fields from the family fortress, Ritha is also Chief of the Maashak tribe and nominal commander of its warriors. Ritha's problem, however, is a spiritual one. While respectful of her family and tribe's druidic traditions, she herself is a devotee of the martial triumvirate of Dol Dorn, Dol Arrah, and the Mockery (a faith she developed during her youth in Rekkenmark). The growing cult of personality around the hags therefore disturbs her more than politically, and every incident of troll fanaticism makes her wonder at her father's choice.

Baron Weshal II:Weshal leads the ir'Igthorn family in Sharn. He was decorated for his involvement in a few minor campaigns during the Last War, and demonstrates his loyalty to the crown by agitating for the reclamation of lost territories (notably Graywall). Having lost the traditional family holdings in Droaam, Weshal is casting about to find the family's future. He discreetly encourages the younger members of the family to pursue deeper relations with House Tharashk, especially in those regions where the Edicts of Korth do not apply. Weshal has also invested in a few of the Xen'drik expeditions leaving from Sharn, and has considered claiming new territories to settle outside of Stormreach. While no one questions ir'Igthorn loyalty under Weshal's leadership, his obvious ambition has not improved their social standing.

Urey ir'Igthorn:Not every ir'Igthorn in Sharn thinks Resh III made the right decision turning his back on the Droaam branch of the family. Several sympathizers secretly report back to Baroness Ritha in defiance of Weshal's orders and at the risk of being arrested as traitors to Breland. The most highly placed among them is Urey ir'Igthorn, Weshal's nephew and third in line to the (recognized) title. In addition to channeling funds back and forth through the port of Vralkek, Weshal has also cultivated contacts among Daask, the Droaam-sponsored criminal gang in Sharn's lower reaches. Ritha herself would probably be upset to discover this connection, given her own doubts about the hags, but at the moment Urey is too far away and too valuable for her to question.

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