Party Theme – Birthright
All of your characters are descended from members of important Houses of the old Palladium Empire. It has been over 500 years since the fall of the Palladium Empire, so exactly who your ancestors were, what positions they held, and the exact family tree from them to you might be a little fuzzy or downright forgotten.
But it isn’t just a tale passed down in your family. Each of your families has a Sigil Gem that has been passed down thru the centuries. They come in different colors and shapes, but are about 2 inches long. When you look into them there are some veins of color inside forming an shape.
Here is a picture of some,
They give off a faint magical aura of the abjuration school. They do not seem to do much. When you say the name of the House you are descended from they glow a little. If you do this over paper or a wax seal, they can form a little mark and indentation with the House Sigil. This only works if you are true blood descendant of the House (adoptions don’t seem to count). It is great for signing official documents … doesn’t impress anyone at parties.
You each have a House Sigil. (Except for Brandon and Korey who just have one between them). Come up with any house name, sigil symbol, or gem color you wish.
You families may have been powerful in the ancient empire, but that doesn’t mean they have to be now. Plenty of the families saw their fortunes plummet in the fall of the empire. And there have been five centuries since where many generations could have risen or fallen. Think about your character’s family history and current social status.
There are a few very important families who are descendants of a House and hold Sigil Gems. The Tsar of the Tsarist Empire is one, amongst his hundreds of other titles. Some of the lesser lords of the Barony are.
Inheriting a little magic bauble isn’t that meaningful by itself. However, over the centuries various holders of the Sigil Gems have kept in touch, forming a little club of sorts. They call it the ‘Society of Sigil Houses’. They write letters to each other or meet occasionally. It doesn’t amount to much, perhaps being used to get an introduction into high society by a friendly House member or inspire a bit of scholarly study of ancient Palladium. It doesn’t even have a clubhouse.
However, the death of Skarag has inspired some of the Society to sponsor an expedition into the Shadow. It was after all right at the heart of the Palladium Empire, so maybe old family lands or relics still remain. And who better to send than some of the young well trained family members of the ‘club’! The Palladium Empire is said to have been dominated by these Houses, their power a blood right. Time for you to seek out your birthright.
Some active members of the Society have pooled together 1000 gp for you to spend as a party outfitting your expedition with mounts, food, gear, and such. (This 1000 gp is in addition to the personal starting funds from your class).
A somewhat inactive Society member who lives in Rendell, Lady Eleanor Brumbell, has offered you her hospitality as you prepare to set off.