Noble Houses of Caemlyn
There are nineteen great houses of nobility in Caemlyn bolstered by an unknown number of minor houses. Trakand remains the ruling house, with the Dragon’s wife sitting the throne. She is attended by Aes Sedai advisors, including Ellomai Sedai, Head Librarian at the Caemlyn Library and fellow Sister of the Green Ajah.
Their sigil is the Oak and Owl. In the fourth succession war, House Taravin was the second house to pledge their support to Trakand. When Queen Morgase was missing and until the daughter-heir could be located, House Taravin sat as regent on the throne of Andor. They willingly relented their seat upon the daughter-heir’s return.
Lord Leopold Taravin, High Seat
Lord Leopold Taravin is the High Seat of House Taravin. He has inherited a large fortune and has been a successful leader and influencer during his tenure. House Taravin’s holdings span land, agriculture, and livestock but they are especially known for their mines in the Mountains of Mist and involvement in the gemstone and pearl trades. Sea pearls are something of their unofficial symbol and all of the members, lords and ladies alike of the House wear them as accessories. He is something of a womanizer and had multiple quiet affairs and fathered an unknown number of illegitimate children. However, House Taravin is dedicated to their honor and reputation, and these children are cared for discreetly by the High Seat as has been the tradition for several generations. Their surnames are given codes that play on the wording of house’s banner, the Oak and Owl, so they can be tracked.
Leopold carries himself with an air of nobility consistent with his blood. He’s generally even-keeled and a fair Lord, but not without his own faults. He has the same strawberry-blonde hair with streaks of gray painted at the temple and throughout his whiskers.
The wife of the High Seat came with an incredibly sized fortune of her own whose contribution expanded the House’s holdings and power. Her family has ties to the gemstone trade. She is a decent player of the Great Game, although relies primarily on her power and name more than needing to manipulate things to her ends. She accepted her place in the family as a bride of substantial inheritance that expanded the Taravins’ mining interests. She is aware of her husband’s indiscretions but turns another eye so long as the House’s reputation remains in tact and her children are the only formally acknowledged heirs.
Lady Taravin is a homely woman of mottled-complexion and ash blonde hair. Her eyes are light blue, likely why some of her children inherited the color rather than the amber-hazel of the Taravins. She often wears her hair in high, tight curls and decorated with expensive ornaments.
The oldest child and heir to the High Seat. By virtue of his family and inheritance, he is one of the most eligible bachelors in the whole nation. He is incredibly handsome and noble, carries himself with the air of a highborn, and is generally driven by honorable intentions. Although he seems to be falling into some of the same habits, he is ashamed of his father’s exploits. Knowing he will have the responsibility to care for an unknown number of half-siblings someday, he hopes to serve the House at a higher standard when he inherits the High Seat. He is in his mid-thirties, of noble bearing and has the same sweeping blonde hair and coloring of the House. He has light blue eyes like his mother and a warm intensity about him that generally makes every lady at court melt under his gaze.
A girl of 15, she is the second child of Lord and Lady Taravin. She befriended Nicole Candraed partly because Nicole offered her sound advice in matters of the Great Game and didn’t treat her like a child in the process, but also because Kymira pitied Nicole. Kymira found the pearl ring left behind on Corele’s statue in the House’s crypt in an attempt to keep it for herself. This ring became the catalyst that united Nicole and Leoden. Kymira befriended Lady Misaki Armendariz who accompanied her mother to Caemlyn and attended a ball hosted by House Taravin.
A younger daughter of a High Seat multiple generations previously who is believed to be deceased. She left Andor at approximately 15 years of age over 150 years ago to join the White Tower upon the discovery of her channeling ability. She ultimately became an Aes Sedai of the Blue Ajah and eventually served as Keeper of the Chronicles.
The Winthers are a large and wealthy House, strong in favour with the Queen; at least until the recent scandal, including Matias’s arrest, which tarnished their reputation. They have pledged troops for the aid being sent north to Shienar, and vied for the honour of command, but ultimately lost out to House Taravin.
Lord Matias Winther, High Seat
Matias is a ruthless and astute politician. Among the smaller houses he has been known to lend money, notably to the ailing House Vanditera. To settle the books, a betrothal was promised between the Vanditera’s eldest daughter and Matias’s youngest son, both still children at the time. Fraud engineered by Aahron Ellis, a former apprentice of the Kojima Bank in Tar Valon, hastened the Vanditeras decline, with Matias’s intention being to subsume the House and its land into his own.
However the Vanditera daughter rebelled against the future marriage. Matias intended to apply pressure by staging the robbery of the Vanditera Heir, Tashir, but in a turn of tragedy he was killed in the tavern brawl which resulted.
The relation between the two Houses soured after Tashir’s murder, and the Winther’s broke the engagement, citing the daughter’s promiscuous reputation as the cause. The Vanditeras promptly raised a murder enquiry against them, but this was ultimately dropped, and the whole sorry affair forgotten for years to come. The Vanditeras were left almost destitute, and Winther profited from it anyway.
Years later the scandal was again front page gossip, when Asha’man Jai Kojima began digging into the past and uncovered the root of Tashir’s death, as well the trails of Ellis’s machinations. Though still secret for now, it transpired Matias had long been buying information on White Tower accounts from Zakar Kojima, with Ellis and Lynn Bank as an intermediary. In the frenzy of rumour and accusation that followed, Matias was arrested. He blamed the Black Tower for planting evidence against the Noble Houses, loudly decrying that the Black Tower was attempting to carve their power from underneath them. He was ultimately pardoned by the Crown.
Recently, relations between Houses Winther and Vanditera have been renewed. Matias’s son will instead marry the middle daughter, Oshara, who now comes with a considerable dowry. The alliance is likely to buy silence.
Garovin Winther (deceased)
Matias’s younger brother.
Garovin’s second wife, and his widow.
Matias Winther’s grandchild, one of his older son’s daughters.
Lord Blaine Darwyn, High Seat
Lady Blythe Darwyn
Firstborn son. Went to train with warders in the White Tower, and during the Battle of Tar Valon was gravely wounded while defending Lythia Sedai who then bonded him as her warder. He has since abdicated his place as heir.
Second son. Became heir to the High Seat upon his older brother’s abdication.
Nephew of the High Seat whose parents died. Raised as one of the family.
“Cyndi”. Daughter of the High Seat.
A minor House which has long been struggling to remain afloat.
Lord Mishael Vanditera, High Seat
Lady Danollia Vanditera
Tashir Vanditera (deceased)
Eldest child and heir to the Seat.
Middle daughter. She greatly resents Nythadri, blaming her for their brother’s death, their House’s longstanding misfortune, and for her control of their new and sudden wealth. She is amenable to the match with Pathor. She’s dark-haired with dark blue eyes.
Youngest daughter, she was still a child when Nythadri first left for the White Tower. She retains a look of youth, and has a gentle nature, taking more after her mother than father.
Oldest daughter, whose promiscuous reputation and entanglement with the events that led to the Heir’s death was largely damaging to the Vanditera’s standing amongst the other Houses. That she is now Aes Sedai is likely to remedy some of that harm, and certainly Mishael will use her title to his advantage in leveraging himself against Winther, however he has made it clear to her he no longer considers her his daughter.
When Jai returned her brother’s pendant to her, she sent it immediately to her father, unaware that the Vanditera coffers had also suddenly swelled with almost twenty-thousand gold crowns “donated” by Ellis. Not yet knowing where the money came from, Nythadri took the fortune under her own name in an effort to protect her family from the scrutiny of how they had come by such a vast array of wealth. She banked it with the Kojimas in Tar Valon, unaware of the strings Zakar pulled behind the scenes. At Jai’s request the money was moved. Recently Mishael has requested access, needing it for his alliance with House Winther in order to secure the marriage bargained between Pathor and Oshara.
Of the ways she was inevitably tangled there was little point elucidating, for if Zakar’s fraud came to light, it would undoubtedly drag her down too. As far as she knew her name was still on his list; the trail of money was in her name; her family benefited exponentially. On paper the complicity was damning. But in Zakar’s eyes the betrayal would require an exacting recompense – even if she somehow managed to silver-tongued her way out of the worst of it, he would not allow himself to fall alone. The most she might be able to do would be to shove Jai from the line of fire. His own brother already readily believed her the cruel seductress. Light even Lythia believed her to have instigated. It was a part she could play, if she had to.Nythadri, Coming to a Resolution
A country house with no real presence in Caemlyn with lands located in the southern reaches of Andor. Several years ago an orphaned relative was sent to their estate along with a letter from Aes Sedai to ask that she be taken in. The High Seat never questioned the proposition and adopted Nicole as a long-lost cousin. About a year after her arrival she made the journey to Caemlyn.
Lord Galvan Candraed, High Seat
Lady Bola Candraed
Wife of the heir. They have two daughters and one son.
The young Nicole arrived at the country seat of House Candraed in possession of gold and a letter from an Aes Sedai identifying her as a long-lost, orphaned cousin of the House. They took her in and sheltered the traumatized young woman. After a season they decided to take advantage of her good looks and natural talents and sent her to Caemlyn where she became a Lady in Waiting to the Queen. Her real identity is Corele Taravin.