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House Muskratte

Muskratte. The mere name conjures a peculiar reaction whenever it is mentioned in Valderian court circles or amongst the Borderlords of The Midkingdoms . It might summon a jolting laugh, a sour look of disgust or an expression of puzzlement, or even a cold dismissal. Few who have heard of the place, let alone those who have set foot there, have a unified response to it; just why can be harder to pluck from their discourse.
  The House of Muskratte was always an afterthought in the initial glory days of Valderia ; far-flung on the border, its lords and ladies were considered rural roughnecks barely superior to commoners despite their marital and familial ties to other Houses. It was with some surprise that their meteoric rise came as the kingdom began to consolidate.   The Muskrattes, it seemed, had hit upon a rather ingenious strategy for sustaining their fortunes; they were the first to seek out and patronise adventuring bands beyond the border, soon amassing vast wealth and an even vaster hoard of mysterious and magical treasures from their sponsored endeavours, and a reputation for fostering creative, adventurous, even reckless souls not only in those to whom they bestowed their favor, but also within their own family.   Over time, their influence grew, until they were among the wealthiest and most powerful families of Valderia ; but with that growth grew an increasing arrogance and detachment from Valderian high society, whom the Muskrattes deemed to be dullards obsessed with their insular world and ignorant of the wonders of magic, history, and science which the Muskrattes greedily plundered for their ever-growing collection.   Something had to give, and after decades of spiteful rivals chipping at their influence and muscling in on their business, it was the formal formation of adventuring guilds that led to the downfall of Muskratte. No longer holding a monopoly on adventuring patronage and consumed from within by their own eccentricities and bombastic, larger-than-life deeds that had cost a number of them their fortunes, sanity and lives, the Muskrattes finally collapsed, their glorious estate left to the weeds, their wealth and power drained away to pay their debts, and their bloodline finally reduced to their last scion - the strange, reclusive, and by all accounts utterly mad Karquiolle, last Duke and heir to the House of Muskratte.

Associated Characters:

  Duke Karquiolle of Muskratte   Bartholemew   Lady Eight-Clouds

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