Friday, March 22, 2013

Jarlsburg: The Lunar Court

While the City of Jarlsburg is ruled by the Council of Oleander (where the Ministers of the North, South, East, and West work together with the Prime Minister) for most matters, the supernatural denizens look elsewhere for guidance, leadership and retribution.  And that is where the Lunar Court's authority comes into play.

Within two decades of the Oleander Council taking over the city from it's dwarven founders, it's members began to see that the mundane aspects of urban life were trying enough without the various quarrels found amongst the undead, ghosts, shapeshifters, and other horrors that inevitably settled within the city.

Their first measure was to form the Silvercloaks to bolster and work alongside the Watch in dispatching these menaces. That plan worked, maybe too well, as then Prime Minster, Augustus Craven learned one night as the ancient vampire, Phillius Montague "visited" him  in his night chambers to make the point that while the Silvercloaks might destroy all the vampires in the city, Montague would either not live to see it or worse, be amongst the Silvercloak's victims.

And so, a "dialogue" developed between several prominent supernatural citizens and the Oleander Council's members.  To avoid public outcry after the overwhelming success of the Silvercloaks, the unit was not disbanded but reduced to exactly thirteen members.  In return the supernaturals negotiating with the Council promised to form their own ruling body that would answer to the Prime Minister and would, in fact, oversee, fund and direct the Silvercloaks to enforce law and order amongst the their own kind.

And so the Lunar Court was born and the Silvercloaks became their most capable agents.  The Court's rule over the supernaturals mirrored the Council with the Crescent Regent ruling the East, the Gibbous Regent ruling the West, the Waxing Regent ruling the North and the Waning Regent ruling the South.  The High Inquisitor was selected to publicly represent this Lunar Court and work to oversee the day to day assignments of the Silvercloaks.

In the last two centuries the solution has been mostly successful and, aside from a rogue Waning Queen who tried to usurp total control over the city eighty years ago, has been deemed a success.  You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, after all, or hearts, minds and skulls.

Arguably, the most significant role the Court has played was in helping the Silvercloaks and the entire Watch solve the gruesome serial murders of the prophetic madman, Eustes St. Kiln.  Before his reign of terror was over one Regent and two Ministers fell victim to his demoniac assaults and it was Dunedain, the Crescent King, who finally deduced his identity and lead the assault against him.  Rumors persist that the Council and the Court uncovered a terrible prophecy that clearly spelled doom for Jaurlsburg, "when the stars were right."

The current Regents are:

The Crescent King - Dunedain is only the second to hold his seat.  He's reasonably liked and universally feared.  He was a vocal advocate of Prime Minster Malifaux's ascension to the office and she tends to side with him on most issues. He has one glaring weakness, his daughter Anastasia, a young woman of amazing beauty who he adopted when she was only a few days old and who is a mundane human. Rumors abound speculating how she found his way into her custody but the only truth that mattes is that he adores her and has made it clear that she is not to join the ranks of the supernatural citizens of the city.  It is suspected he is actively working against St. Kiln's mad prophecy, as he is known for backing odd proposals and is always curious about the strangest subjects.  For instance, he has used personal funds to form a committee that keeps a daily census on the number of pigeons in the city.  
Dunedain is a Lich.

Gibbous Queen - Mrs. Laurel O'Daire is also the Witch Mother of the Coven of Crumb and has held her seat at the Court for just shy of six years.  She strictly enforces the bylaws and practices of the Court and brooks no mercy for trespassers in her section of the city.  Her chilling punishments are renown for their creativity and many in her territory are deeply terrified of her. However, as an ally, none are more loyal just be certain never to cross her.  Mrs. O'Daire deeply suspects that Dunedain is hiding something from the rest of the Court and does not trust him at all. She has several well-placed spies within his Quarter and the lich  has begun to contemplate if a war between the two is inevitable.

Waxing Queen - Magda Balorengre assumed the position just over two weeks ago.  It's said that her predecessor decided not to honor an agreement he'd made with the Gibbous Queen.  His remains were found strewn throughout the city and a message was delivered to the surviving members of the Court, including one left for his replacement to read upon ascension.  
Magda has not yet replied to the message.  She is a well known and powerful Alpha werewolf with strong ties to the ghost community.  Her family owns several butcher shops throughout the city.  She is pragmatic, just, and completely overwhelmed.

Waning King - Count Eduardo Franco Bastion will celebrate his fiftieth year as a member of the Court
later this year.  He is popular not only within the supernatural community but also amongst the wealthy citizens of the city.  He is the owner of Jarlsburg's most popular public house, the Knight Club and has an extensive network of individuals who either owe him a favor or are looking for him to owe them.
   The Count's success is owed to the fact that he is, for a vampire, a truly "nice guy".  He genuinely takes pride in his position as a Regent and works diligently to fulfill his duties. A pet project of his, is the ascension of the first ghost to the position of Regent.  He had hoped to achieve that goal after the doom that befell Luther Glouchester, the former Waxing King, but knew that Mrs. O'Daire and Dunedain wouldn't approve.  It is why he supported Magda's ascension, as she shares his compassion for the ghost community and he is hoping they can build a power base to achieve their goal when the next seat comes open.

The current High Inquisitor is a very secretive being, known only as Lot.  He works most closely with Dunedain and has little to no tolerance for Count Bastion.  Rumors persist that only Dunedain knows what he truly looks like and other rumors assert that Lot is a supernatural being, regardless he is a highly skilled and accomplished magic-user and a master swordsman.
   Lot is a precise and highly regimented being, a real taskmaster for the Silvercloaks, who he expects nothing less than perfection from on a daily basis.  However, Lot is the first to defend and avenge any agent under his responsibility and this extends to each agents family, as well. Lot prefers to keep the fact secret that he ensures the welfare of the widows, widowers, and orphans of any Silvercloak that falls in the line of duty.

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