Tuesday, August 15, 2017

House of the Third Meridian

Overview of the Third Meridian House

Current Binder Lord: Gerard DuFaine.

Founding Binder Lord: Roman DuFaine.
3rd House Sergeant-at-Arms: Drummond Carter
House Interests, Water, Import/Export of exotic foodstuffs; particularly fresh produce, Spice Imports & Resale

In the year before binding, Lord General Alastair Ghent marshalled and led al battalion of the Army of Thirteen that would later formed the Third House. Lord Ghent was a powerful noble and a warlord of some renown even before the Tarrasque attacked known for his a taste for exotic flavors and liquors. He kept Roman DuFaine as his private valet and personal chef, a former peasant picked up out of a seedy backwater tavern where the commoner chose his ambition over a serving girl to whom he was betrothed. Roman had always had ambition above his station, and this was not lost on Alastair. The valet was present for every meeting, in every war room, and overheard every business dealing, and the various currents of black mail that Lord Ghent ever attended to to raise his forces and ensure that he would profit from the ‘inevitable victory over the beast.’ Roman quickly made himself indispensable to Lord Ghent, and became both a trusted friend and adviser.

On the day of Binding as the Tarrasque struck unexpectantly Lord General Alastair Ghent was slain even as he readied his immovable harpoon.  At his failing, it seemed that his battalion would route and possibly spell defeat for the army of thirteen. In this moment, Roman stepped up to the ballista where the harpoon still lay and spoke the first word that came to mind… rumored to be the name of his serving girl fiancĂ© from so many years before.  And whether by intent or instinct he managed to sink his harpoon into through the beast’s chest, where it would be discovered some of choicest meats and organs lay. And while the God-Butchers would eventually discover that the Tarrasque produces all manner of tissues and organs throughout its body, the “Prime Organs” (those which reside in the correct anatomical position inside the body) are particularly prized magically, alchemically, and culinarily with their purity making them particularly potent and easy to fabricate and process into reagent form.

Despite his meager background, Roman was recognized as one of the 13 heroes and eventually raised to status of Binder-Lord as the encamping army formalized into fortress and then city a claim bolstered by documents from the childless Lord Ghent naming the valet his heir apparent. Roman, despite his lack of skill with sword sorcery, or alchemy, performed his duties with an intense practicality which would see his fortunes (and the eventual fortunes of Third House) rise. His shrewd mind for business quickly earning respect from anyone who dismissed him as nothing but an ‘up-jumped cook.’ Roman was one of the first to realize that as the city that grew up around the Tarrasque, it would require adequate food and water, but most importantly water.  And as water started to become scarce due to the taint he profited greatly as majority backer behind the construction of the aqueduct. He also began to monopolize the import of fresh vegetative foodstuffs & spices which were difficult or impossible to grow in the immediate vicinity of the city; a great deal of control that third house continues to enjoy till this day. He also was one of the first to begin marketing the wares of the Tarrasque to distant cities and states. To further his agenda, he began to form ruthless monopolies on the import of all spices, herbs, sugar, and salt. Innumerable Chefs, and street vendors from the smallest to the largest had to pay respects to the 3rd House if they hoped to have any chance of success in the city.  Spice smugglers while plentiful in the beginning of Salt in Wounds have become fewer and fewer over time; the grizzly ends most would meet make those remaining enjoy a particularly lucrative enterprise.

Roman ensured that his children and their children would be the best educated and best counseled house in Salt in wounds.  He laughed at his fellow binder-lords martial obsessions and expansive schemes, and laid the ground work and set an example of the power that could be amassed simply through shrewd, ruthless mercantilism, establishing traditions that are followed till present day. 

Currently Gerard DuFaine heads the Third house and carrying on his great grandfather’s tradition, owns two of the finest restaurants in the entire city.  Gerard has also surrounded himself with the best counsel money can buy and relies heavily on Drummond Carter, his Man at Arms when it comes to defending his interest where force is necessary.  Gerard has also proved to be a shrewd tactician and has made several moves though both Business and marriage to for powerful alliances to further cement his place in Salt in Wounds.

3rd House Manor

The Manor-house of the Third Meridian is a large, sprawling estate which favors function over form.  What embellishments are present always serve a purpose beyond the aesthetics. 

A wonder of architecture, it is designed to self-cool, and heat, collect rainwater, and other utilities achieved through both physical/mechanical means as well as magical. In secret, the Third House maintains vast extra-dimensional spaces full of water and food stores large enough to sustain the house and those who serve “vital relationships” for several years. However, none but Gerard and Drummond know of their existence.

Inside the house is a vast dining hall which is elegant in its sheer simplicity.  To service this hall is an equally vast kitchen staffed by the best chef in the world (though claimed vigorously by Gerard, the claim, while subjective, has been substantiated by several well-traveled gastronomes) along with an abundance of slaves, all trained meticulously to produce the finest cuisine.  Chef Thomas Cetcham often employs adventurers and mercenaries to bring him ingredients of the more dangerous variety, served nowhere else in the world due to the dangers of collecting them.  Many desirable ingredients (both flora and fauna) can be gleaned from the Cap Caps if price is no object.

Guest quarters are unusually sparse for a Manor of its size. And only the most important or influential guests are invited to stay at the Manor beyond meals and entertainment.

Outside the estate are large gardens, unusual for Salt in Wounds due to the prohibitive costs of maintaining them with water. However, being majority backer of the Sweet Water Aqueduct has afforded Gerard the ability to maintain these lavish extravagances. Soil is imported from thousands of miles away and planted in raised beds where fresh herbs and vegetables are grown for consumption at the manor.
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