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House Leonguin

"Victory to the Valorous"

House Leonguin was a minor noble house of Ishgard, symbolized by a white lion. For generations it remained in a state of disgrace, and was even rumoured to be cursed from its inception, for its members seemed inevitably plagued by misfortune.

Thirty years past, Ser Sagrameric inherited the house in a dire state from his late brother, who had cared little for the responsibility and accrued massive debts. Sagrameric initially struggled with the responsibility, but he was determined to not let his house fall. He proved his merits during the eighth campaign against Nidhogg, and regained some favour when his house was credited with slaying a great dragon.

Sagrameric died in a duel years later, leaving his twelve-year-old son Launcien as his successor. Such a young and inexperienced viscount would have been disasterous, had the reclusive Lady Leonguin not produced a timely will from her late husband, which dictated that his cousin Rossitor would be the acting head of house until Launcien came of age. Rossitor stabilized the house's tenuous position, and oversaw the heir’s rigorous training to prepare him for leadership.

In the early spring of 1575, dragons appeared within the walls of Ishgard, causing panic. Witnesses reported two draconic figures emerging from House Leonguin’s manor at night and taking to the skies, unaffected by the city's wards. House Leonguin was found guilty of the highest degree of heresy, and its name and deeds were struck from Ishgard's history. To this day, few Ishgardians dare to speak its name openly.

Known servants of House Leonguin:

From Count Edmont de Fortemps’ unpublished writings:

Since its ennoblement some five centuries ago, House Leonguin has ever been a steadfast ally of House Fortemps. It was to my great shame that I turned a blind eye to that history, and failed to uphold my duty to protect my subjects.

Grave heresy was a serious accusation. To be involved would have surely posed great risk to my house and the many individuals dependent upon it. Such reasons were many and compelling, but nonetheless, they were excuses. Surely no justice was served amidst the web of treachery that plagued House Leonguin. Even if my intervention could not have saved them, dare I pretend there was any righteousness in the way their people were slaughtered?

Still, had their enemies not been so hasty to bring about their downfall, fate would not have brought Ser Iolanger into my home. He was initially wary of me, and rightfully so. I think he could sense the contrition beneath my hospitality. Only much later, in new depths of loss such as I had never experienced, did we learn to speak truthfully to each other.

Sagrameric de Leonguin

Previous Head of House

Age 53 †

Ser Sagrameric de Leonguin was a cousin in the Leonguin family lineage who never expected to be in line for inheritence. He had been pursuing a lifelong career in the Temple Knights when the house fell on his shoulders. He had a reputation as a hot-tempered and belligerent knight, but beneath his boisterous personality hid a pragmatic strategist. As Viscount, he managed to restore the fortunes of his house against all odds. To do so, he did not hesitate to seek out talent from lowborn and adventurers to staff his household. This inevitably provoked much ire from the more traditional nobility.

Sagrameric wielded the sword Heartbiter, an heirloom passed down his family.

Even years after becoming Viscount, his zeal for battle hardly diminished. He frequently lead his knights on dragon-hunting expeditions, until he attempted to pursue a fearsome dragon named Arvakr. Nearly all of his knights were killed in the battle, and he nearly died as well. Fortunately, an adventurer named Lang Dauphinet saved him, and in return the adventurer asked to be accepted into his household. After this incident, his injuries finally forced him to retire from the battlefield.

Sadly, it seemed Sagrameric could not escape his lineage's misfortune. He had already been widowed once when he inherited, and nearly all of his children died before him, eventually leaving him with a single heir. As the years went by, he sunk deeper into his grief, becoming more volatile and unable to manage his political enemies. He died in a duel against another noble.

Here is a tale well known to any Ishgardian youngling: A count was murdered by a treacherous rival noble, and his loyal knight killed the rival in return. The knight committed a heinous crime by murdering a highborn, yet she knew it was her duty to avenge her lord, even at the cost of her own life. She was executed, but later she was canonized as a minor saint, a shining example of honour and loyalty for all those who aspire to knighthood.

I speak of Saint Iolaine, whom my mother named me after. But unlike her, I was left with no vengeance to pursue, as Ser Sagrameric took down Lord Chevraudan with him in that fatal duel. He could not let his children's deaths go unavenged, but with a stroke of his rapier, he declared the blood feud between two unfortunate houses would end there. Even in his final moments, his foremost thoughts were of protecting his family and house.

Rossitor de Leonguin

Head of House

Age 48 †

House Leonguin's last head of house before its fall. Baron Rossitor de Leonguin was a strict and levelheaded leader who made the most of the little resources available to him at the time of his ascension, seven years past. When House Leonguin had few allies among the nobility, he held the undying loyalty of his household. He did not possess the skills of a warrior, but he wielded his words as keenly as any blade.

As he was only the acting head of house, he was obligated to pass its seat to Launcien when he reached the age of adulthood. He wasted no effort preparing the heir to take over his role, but neither of them lived to see that day come. At his posthumous trial, the Inquisition characterized him as a crazed heretic who hid vile rituals in his manor. The severed draconic head that stood on trial was supposedly his, obtained by the Temple Knights who hunted him down.

Of course, it is no secret that I am the same individual as Lady Leonguin. Such arrangements are not uncommon among the nobility, where some distant countryside relative is invented to circumvent the laws governing inheritance. Though at my age, I find that I have little patience for maintaining polite fictions about the circumstances of my birth. I simply find life as a man preferable, even if its joys have been tempered by my husband’s death.

... No, there was nothing noble about it. Duelling is outlawed in Ishgard for good reason.

Launcien has lost much as well. I do not relish depriving him of his carefree childhood, but our family's reputation overshadows him, and I have bought barely enough time to prepare him for the dangers of Ishgardian politics. He must prove to have all of his father's strength, yet none of his foolishness. He is a timid and petulant boy, although he has a soft spot for his bodyguard. Perhaps Ser Iolanger will be able to put some skill with the sword in him.

Launcien de Leonguin

Heir of the House

Age 17 †

Launcien de Leonguin was unlikely to have become heir, being the last in succession after his older siblings. Unfortunately, they each suffered untimely ends, shortly followed by his father Sagrameric. Thus he found himself in the unenviable position of Viscount of a disfavoured house at the age of twelve. His père would protect him until he came of age, but feuds between noble families ran deep, and their enemies were willing to hold a grudge. As expected, Launcien was reluctant to accept the responsibilities suddenly thrust upon him. He was particularly ill-suited for combat, and dozens of tutors failed to teach him to wield a blade with any measure of skill.

During the trial of House Leonguin, it was determined that he and Rossitor carried out a heretical ritual in the basement of their manor, transforming themselves into Dravanians. This assertion seemed unlikely, as he was on an outing away from the city that very morning, but the evidence produced was irrefutable.

Tutoring Lord Launcien has required some creativity, to say the least. Lord Rossitor impressed upon me that the only measurement of success is bare effectiveness, without concern for things such as elegance and proper form. So I have done my best to teach him how to fight dirty, to rely on every cheap trick I know, plus some new ones I had to invent for him. This... style, if you could call it that, is in no way honourable or befitting of his status, but it may someday prove to be the difference between life and death.

Attien is upset that I have been training Lord Launcien, yet I still refuse to teach him swordplay. This was to be expected, I think. Children are sensitive to unfair treatment. The other day, I caught them mock-duelling with rapiers. Attien had drawn blood on the young lord's face, and might have injured him more grievously had I not stepped in. I was afraid that Lord Rossitor might punish him, but my lord gave him no more than a stern talking to. Still, I forbade him from entering the training room from now on, so he has been quite sullen. He does not yet understand that there is no reason to envy his friend, that Lord Launcien's training is hardly a privilege. Too many people in this world have sullied their souls with violence, and some day he will realize he is fortunate to have not wasted his life on such pointless endeavors.

A missive bearing the seal of the Archbishop, addressed to First Commander Aymeric de Borel:

Give up the pursuit. The trial begins tomorrow, and we cannot suffer any more delays.

Acquire two wyvern heads of appropriate size and bring them to the Vault.

Disobey, and you will be charged with insubordination against the Holy See. Remember what you are.

This is unconscionable, father.

You cannot possibly believe this is in accordance to Her will.

How many times have Ishgard's “unbreakable” wards been broken?

Ever since Ser Sagrameric's passing, I've had a reoccuring nightmare. In it, I take the place of Lord Chevraudan with a foil in my hand. I strike and parry with it skillfully, even though I've never learned to wield a rapier. Sometimes he strikes me down first. Sometimes I run him through and watch the blood spill from his mouth. But always, his blade finds a way to pierce my heart.