House Chastain

A prestigious family of seafaring adventurers

General Andra Marcus, Commander
New Reformed Army
Fort Reliance, Asheville Territory
26th 972 PCE

Dear friend and fellow patriot,

We hereby pledge the support of the Norland militias to the Skyland Alliance. By popular vote of the general franchise, we have ratified the Merikan Charter and shall honour our commitment to hold free elections and help establish a new Congress of the Merikas within the current twelve-month. The course we have chosen will be perilous, but we the people of Norland will stand with the other states of Skyland to assert the common creed of death before tyranny.

Yours in the ranks of martyrs,
Erdric Chastain
Lord Baron of Noirlan

House Chastain is one of the most storied and influential families of the frontier Merikan state of Norland. Scions of the Chastain family have frequently held the chair and gavil of Noirlan's governorship and the Chastain Southern Trading Company dominated sea trade between Merika and the Zone Coast for generations until the closing of the Silent Sea. This shifting nexus of power and wealth established the Chastains among the foremost families of the Norland Commonwealth. Their prestigous reputation was leveraged most directly during the War of Princes in which Governor Erdric Chastain rallied the support of the Commonwealth for an alliance against the Hidden Empire and the foundation of a new federation of Merikan states. Thus the Chastains played a significant role in the founding of the New Merikan Republic and held considerable influence in the early years after the ratification of the Republican Constitution.


Since its creation in 369 AOP, (the year 795 of the Post-Cataclysmic Era), the Southern Trading Company had been the leading financial interest of the Chastain family. When Pachuco emissaries came to Noirlan seeking new diplomatic and trade relations with the Skyland city-states, the Chastains leveraged their long-standing alliance with the ruling Vidal family to secure rights to an exclusive trade concession based out of the critical Silent Sea transport hub of Farport Outpost, the seaport gateway of the Forbidden Zone.
In the ensuing years the Vidals and Chastains maintained a stranglehold over the Silent Sea trade in exotic Pachuco fruits, spices, and handcrafts. The climate of the Outramar and Pachuco jungles proved suitable for growing more than corn, and the Vidals employed local Pachuco agricultural talent to cultivate acres-upon-acres of plantation cropland. In exchange for the protective services of the Chastain family's formidable merchant navy, the Vidals granted the Southern Trading Company exclusive rights to convey their shipments of coffee, tobacco, and molasses.


Past leaders of House Chastain have included prominent members of Noirlan's governing Crescent Chamber as well as respected sea captains who have plied the seas as privateers in times of war and closely guarded Chastain trade interests in times of peace. The seafaring adventurism of the Chastains has often led to accusations of piracy, but the balance of opinion regards the Chastains as a noble house known for a household tradition of bold

deeds, valorous military service, and inspired leadership.

Recently, however, the esteem of the Chastains has declined. After the deaths of Erdric and Syllyndra Chastain in a perilous sea crossing bound for the Zone Coast, the mantle of the Chastain name fell to their twin children, Oliver and Orphea. While Orphea did her best to sustain the family business and secure new trade routes among the Southern Kingdoms, her brother embarked on a career of vice and criminality.

Taking the name "Marius," Oliver abandoned military service in the Union Army and began a criminal enterprise bent on theft and extortion. When Oliver returned to Noirlan and unleashed the power of the Deathbringer artifact his true identity was exposed and the Chastain name instantly came to be tarnished with the stain of Oliver's crimes.


Very little is left of the Chastain fortune. In order to raise funds for the Thorpe Expedition, Orphea Chastain has essentially liquidated the last assets of the Chastain estate. Even the family's Noirlan villa has been sold to the Dupree Holding Company. All was done in order to secure ships and provisions for the expedition's Silent Sea journey. In fact, Orphea had even arranged to mortgage her family's final holdings, their extensive plantations in and around Farport Outpost on the coast of the Pachuco Jungle.


Since the Age of Renewal, long before the founding of Noirlan, the Chastains dwelt in the plains and marshes of the southwest wilds. In those days the Chastains were essentially a feudal clan of affiliated tribes. Annals of Skyhome, a Renewal Era manuscript florilegium of gnomic verses and epic narratives, includes a passage that makes reference to a warlord named Syldris "chassis-stained" (Chastain):
The word-keeper, mile-traveller,
Broke his dream-chain, sang his heart song,
And shared wanderings, journeys of the freeways.
Riding upon Miss-the-Sea, ruined coast,
Edge of Middowest, broken by Sky-Fire,
He looked to the south, land of the Crescent Kings,
The highway troop, steel spears and gears,
And their Captain Syldris chassis stained red
Like the desert rose, crimson in the cold light.
— Annals of Skyhome

After the end of the Road Wars, the descendants of Syldris founded a regional fiefdom under the rule of the old southwest Crescent Kingdom. The Age of Renewal passed and as fuel reserves declined and the last of the black roads crumbled away the Chastains raised sail and turned from the freeways to the seaways. While the Vidals founded Noirlan and came to dominate the emergent culture of the southwest marshes, the Chastains established supremacy on the Middowest coast, from Noirlan to Memphis. Their early maritime enterprises made the Chastains a powerful military force and formed the foundations of what would eventually come to be known as the Southern Shipping Company.

The formal alliance between the Vidals and Chastains began during the Age of Princes. When the Hidden Empire tried to subjugate Norland in 637 PCE, Chastain seafaring mastery enabled House Vidal to obtain an unprecedented victory over the Steel Legions at the Battle of Noirlan. In subsequent generations, the Vidal dynasty's singular reign over the Crescent Kingdom ended and together the Chastains and Vidals founded a new free Commonwealth based upon the primacy of law and a limited form of democracy.
The Deathbringer
Chronicles of the Age of Renewal speak of technological miracles. Among these tales are legends of a device called the Lifebringer. Ancestors of House Vidal brought the artifact with them from the Forbidden Zone when they migrated to Skyland in 603 PCE. They used it to render the coastal territories of Noirlan suitable for human habitation, but the Lifebringer was corrupted during the Norland invasion and has since borne a terrible malediction: the Doom of the Deathbringer.

Centuries later when the nascent democratic Republic of Merika was formed to oppose the Hidden Empire, Governor Marcus of the Laradan Free State sought the support of the Norland Commonwealth for her New Reformed Army. When Erdric and Syllyndra Chastain, at that time joint holders of the Crescent Council's ruling barony, voiced assent to the president's war decree, many other free-states followed their leadership and the Skyland Alliance finally coalesced into a truly continental Merikan army. Without the successful formation of the Delphi Pact it is arguable that the Battle of New York would never have been won. Thus the end of the Princes' Tetrarchy may owe in no small part to the honourable legacy of House Chastain.
The subsequent decline and usurpation of the Republic's ideals mirrors the dissolution of the Chastain family. By ending the power of the Deathbringer, Orphea hopes to not only restore her family name but perhaps save all of the Republic from a darkness that has cursed Noirlan for centuries.
House Chastain
"Home is the Hearth Fire."

Subsidiary Organizations
Base of Operations
Farport Outpost

House Leader
Orphea Chastain
Thorpe Expedition
Organization | Feb 7, 2019

A crew of explorers ventures into the Forbidden Zone


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30 Jan, 2019 02:04

Man, your theme feels like playing Civ2 xD

30 Jan, 2019 20:03

Pretty cool. I really like how their rise to power is tied to a nation that formed around the same time. That's actually really neat. It's awesome to see that the parts of your world exist in, well, the same world and even shows how families could rise to power in the real world.   But I'm curios, with them losing a bit of power and influence, has any other group begun to work try and take their power and position from them? If so, how are they doing it and how successfully? Is there more than one, and are they fighting or working together?

30 Jan, 2019 21:35

Thank you for reading!   While Orphea's expedition is tromping around in the jungles, The Dupree family is poised back home in Noirlan to usurp the place of House Chastain. The Norland Commonwealth is the last semi-autonomous state in the Merikan Union and the Duprees are secretly working with the Union to undermine that independence in exchange for a privileged position in the new pecking order. Without the aid of House Chastain, House Vidal will be unable to stop the Duprees and their Union allies from imposing a trade embargo on essential commodities and forcing the Commonwealth to accept Union control.   I checked out your world and see you too have an interest in fallen civilizations and remnant cultures. I'm going to follow your work. I look forward to reading about your world!

31 Jan, 2019 21:27

Thanks for following me. Feel free to critique any of my articles. And yes, I like the idea of fallen civilizations, and it works well for the semi-lovecraftian themes of Haakha.

Delmer Putnam
31 Jan, 2019 00:00

This is really cool! I like the history of this family and how real it feels: I’m sure if I took the time, I could find a historical family, probably several, that bare similarities to this one. That really resonates to the effort and thought you’ve put into your worldbuilding. There is one thing I’m wondering though: have they had a major influence in this nation’s government, besides trade? Have they contributed to the nation in other ways, such as taking part in a major conflict, or do they have any blood relations with other important houses?

31 Jan, 2019 03:04

The Battle of New York alluded to in the article is actually a tremendous event in the regional history of this continent. I think I ought to create an article dedicated to it that explains (among other things) the important role the Chastains played in the Wars of Princes that culminated in that battle and led to the building of a whole new political order: ending despotism and establishing democracy.   Thanks for motivating me to create an article I've been meaning to get around to!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
31 Jan, 2019 19:22

You deserve a like alone for the theme man. Where did your background for the article text come from? Great work. I also love the beginning letter. Would love to know how you did that as well! I enjoyed reading about this family. Didn't notice too many grammar or spelling errors...none actually but I don't look for them as often as content which here is pretty cool.   As a suggestion and this is my opinion only, do with it what you will, I personally suggest not using blue as your quote accent or whatever it's called. Is suggest an earth tone cause its quite alarming against the vackdrop and just tfor me kind of distracted but that's easy for me lol. I'd suggest a dark green, white, black or brown. You might be able to do so with a darker shade of blue as well. It just seemed too bright to me.     You say they had a stranglehold on the sea trade of these various goods. Why those goods? Did they over the tobbaco and molasses you mention later? Why or why not. Is it a product of their area of control?

31 Jan, 2019 22:55

Thanks for your kind compliments. I went down the css rabbit hole "just to tweak a few things," but, funny thing, making css changes on World Anvil has a cascading effect. A change in one place has unforeseen effects and so you keep going at it until everything looks consistent. And by that point nearly everything winds up modified in some way.   The handwritten letter was made using a custom css container and custom sections for two different cursive fonts: "Mrs Saint Delafield" and "Tangerine." I appreciate hearing your opinion on the blue quote box bar. It did clash. I've changed the colour but I might eventually just lose the bar completely.   When the Chastains and Vidals set up their overseas ventures, Noirlan, though habitable, was still a pretty inhospitable environment. The corruption of the Lifebringer left the work of Renewal unfinished so much of the land surrounding the settlement remained fallow from post-cataclysmic contamination. Sugar cane and tobacco were not native to Noirlan or any of its immediate Skyland neighbors, so these cash crops became effective luxury commodities for Noirlan traders to gain an edge in the Skyland markets. To this day, Noirlan is not agriculturally self-sufficient and depends on a trade surplus in luxury goods to provide staple foods for its citizens.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
31 Jan, 2019 23:28

Youre quite welcome man. I like it a lot. I do like the new blue better. I try to be pretty thourough with articles that may be competition entries. I did house Roux and I'm usually self concious about my css.     That all makes sense. Pretty smart idea for them. I like the way you write as well. super easy to read. Good job on the article and good luck!

31 Jan, 2019 21:43

A pretty solid article about a family that went to heck! The picture help visualise the current family members, Oliver surely giving off a bit of a villain nature from his appearance alone. I would however redo some excerpts from article links since from a glance they don't tend to tell a lot more about the articles themselves.
Which brings me to the Deathbringer: By the name it is implied it can cause death (lifebringer seemingly making areas liveable). But what exactly can such machine or artifact do that made Oliver's true nature be exposed?

1 Feb, 2019 00:28

Yeah, I've left the artifact a bit ambiguous here. It was even worse before I added the Deathbringer info box. Here's a little more detail about the artifact and what Oliver did with it:   The Lifebringer was gifted to humanity by numinous beings known as Visitors after a long period of post-cataclysmic blight. The artifact was used to transmute toxic materials and alter DNA in order to support genetic adaptations that would allow human beings to repopulate the earth. About 400 years ago the Vidal family brought the Lifebringer to Norland and used it to create a viable habitat called "Noirlan."   In response to the Princes' invasion of Norland in 637 PCE the Vidals decided to use strange occult magic (weird science masquerading as mysticism) to modify the gene splicing power of the Lifebringer and use it to create spontaneous, fatal mutations in living tissue. Their plan worked but the tampering was irreversible. Furthermore, the "death-wave" unleashed by the device had rendered a huge swathe of battlefield into a poisonous wasteland. Moreover, the artifact's effects could not be suppressed. The Vidals realized they had turned the Lifebringer into a doomsday weapon: a Deathbringer.   In order to prevent the corrupted artifact from further damaging the local ecosystem, the Vidals and Chastains built a protective vault for it deep beneath Noirlan where it has been kept secret for centuries.   After Oliver learned about the Deathbringer, he conspired to steal it from the vault during Noirlan's annual spring festival. When he brought the device to street level its effects instantly began transforming random revelers into grotesque mutated monsters. Dozens of citizens died in the ensuing chaos and Oliver, unable to control the Deathbringer's power, was forced to leave it behind in order to escape from the authorities (cue elaborate mustache-twirling vamp-mode).