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The House of Leopold

We all mourn the loss of the Haverstaad line, whose noble members brought great prosperity to not only Brisburgh, but to Brisland as a whole. My cousin Gerald was akin to a brother to me, and I swear that the Leopold family name shall honor his memory and that of all the Haverstaads. The eagle shall keep watch over the lion's den. King Wilhelm Leopold I, at his coronation ceremony.

 

Since 723 I.R., the Leopold family has ruled over the Kingdom of Brisland and held the seat of the Duchy of Brisburgh. They are the second dynasty of the Kingdom; following the Haverstaad dynasty, who were the founders of both the Kingdom of Brisburgh and later unified the various powers of the region into the Kingdom of Brisland.   The crest of the Leopold family is that of a black eagle on a field of gold. When Wilhelm Leopold I took the throne, he dictated that the family crest of the Haverstaads would remain the official crest of Brisland - that of a golden lion's head on a field of blue. Since then, and inspired by the words of his heartfelt coronation address, the family motto of the Leopolds has been the eagle watches over the lion.

 

Leopold Family Tree

Assets

In addition to holding the crown of the Kingdom of Brisland, the Leopold family's reach extends rather far. They control a number of trading companies with extensive caravan networks and even reach across the sea with an impressive fleet of family-owned trading vessels.

 

Trade Ships

 

While the Leopold name might not show up often enough to tell the true story, much of the nobility in the kingdom is closely related to the King's family. Very close cousins control the towns of Lanston and Wesford within the Duchy of Brisburgh. The Leopold family has also held control over the Duchy of Northampton off and on for several centuries, and the King's own uncle - Faustus Leopold - now holds the title of Duke there.

History

For most of its history, the Haverstaad family ruled over the Duchy of Brisburgh and the Kingdom of Brisland. In fact it was Benalas Haverstaad II who proceeded over the Unification in 415 I.R., and he was able to trace a lineage back to the founding days of the Kingdom of Brisburgh almost six hundred years prior to that great accomplishment.   It is no wonder that the passing of Gerald Haverstaad in 723 I.R. with no clear heir brought dismay and fear down upon the people of the kingdom. A terrible pox had run rampant across the southern lands and had decimated every family from the poorest swineherd to the royal family itself. As a result, all of Gerald's brothers, sons, and nephews were dead. The decade-long time of disease, famine, and death was known simply as The Pox; and it was a dark time indeed for the kingdom.

 

The Pox Times

 

Prior to taking over the throne of Brisland, the Leopold family were an important and influential force in and around the city of Brisburgh. Their origins are shadowed in the past, but the earliest family records show that they built their fortune of both coin and power as a major trading family in the early days of the Kingdom of Brisburgh. Negotiating deals with not only nearby settlements, but with neighbors as far as Riverton and Northampton, the Leopolds were central in establishing the first long-range trade caravans in the southern plains.

 
If you see wagons under armed guard, chances are a Leopold owns it. Common maxim, circa 350 I.R.
 

As a result of this trade network, the Leopolds were also the first to advocate the building of a system of roads connecting the various pre-unification kingdoms - something that would turn out to be vital in the transition of the widespread territory into a unified kingdom. As they grew in power and wealth, the Leopolds eventually were among the first families to form the foundation of the current peerage system. Leopold ancestors were among the first entitled lords in Brisburgh, and eventually were granted lands of their own near the city. Through several generations of close relations with the Haverstaads - including a number of marriages between the two families - the Leopolds became the closest living relatives of the Haverstaads at the time of The Pox. This, of course, is what eventually lead them to becoming the de-facto ruling family of the kingdom just over a century ago.

Notable Living Family Members

 

Francis Leopold III

 

King Francis Leopold III

King Francis Leopold III is the ruler of the kingdom of Brisland and the duchy of Brisburgh. He is a fair and benevolent ruler, although he is less interested in the day-to-day affairs of the kingdom than he is in more entertaining diversions such as reading, horseback riding, hunting, and the games-militant.   Francis was born in 798 I.R. to Francis Leopold II and his wife Lizbeth. He was the middle of three sons, and therefore was not in line to inherit the crown. After his older brother died of an illness, he found himself in line for the throne. When his father passed away in 842 I.R., he took over as King of Brisland.   Francis III took his own wife in 830 I.R., marrying Glenda Bartledge, daughter Duke Elias Bartledge of Riverton. Thus far they have had three children: a son - Sebastian - born in 832 I.R., a daughter - Helene - born in 834 I.R., and another daughter - Marissa - born in 838 I.R.

 

Faustus "The Crow" Leopold

 

Duke Faustus Leopold

Faustus Leopold is the uncle of King Francis Leopold III and duke of Northampton. He was born eighteen years after his older brother, the late king Francis Leopold II, to the second wife of their father - who was quite younger than her husband. When the former Duke of Northampton died without leaving a male heir, Francis II appointed his brother as the new Duke. Faustus quickly established himself as a firm ruler of the duchy that had in recent years become something of a thorn in the side of the kingdom. Production shortfalls, tax collection issues, and the morale of the peasantry were all concerns that Faustus set about correcting with an iron fist. Although many people look upon him with spite, he has turned what was once an inefficient burden on the kingdom's economy into an example of economic success.

 

Jocham "The White Wolf" Bargas

 

Jocham Bargas

Following the end of The Kingslayer Rebellion, Pavish Leopold and his son Nathan fled from the kingdom and took refuge in the Principality of Remaria. In Remaria, Nathan Leopold's name was changed to Nathan Bargas. He later married Glenda Verhest, daughter of the Count of Borvalem, in 806 I.R. The count died without a male heir, and Nathan took over the title by right of marriage in 813 I.R. His own son, Jocham Bargas, inherited the title of Count of Borvalem in 836 I.R. and still holds this position in 850 I.R. As a direct descendant of King Rikard Leopold, he or his descendants could possibly contest right to the throne of Brisland. His true identity is still a close-held secret known only to a few trusted acquaintances. The true fate of Pavish and his heirs remains a mystery within the borders of Brisland.

The eagle watches over the lion.

Founding Date
3070
Type
Family
Leader
Francis Leopold III
Parent Organization
Kingdom of Brisland
Location
Brisburgh
Related Ethnicities

Royal Arms of Francis Leopold

Royal arms of Francis Leopold III


The Leopold Legacy

 

In the 127 years since the Leopold family took the throne, the Kingdom has known a time of relative peace - with the exception of The Kingslayer Rebellion. The Leopolds have been generally regarded as fair rulers, if not always kind. There seems to have always been a dichotomy within the family between benevolent - but absent - figureheads and those who rule with an iron fist. The current king, Francis Leopold III, is commonly considered one of the former but still loved by the common people; while his uncle Faustus Leopold - the Duke of the Duchy of Northampton - is considered the latter, and generally reviled.

 

Yeah, they're decent enough folk. The King seems to care about the people. His pa was a good one, too. His uncle, up in Northampton, is another story. That man is a right bastard, that one is. Overheard in a tavern in Gerald's Crossing.


 

For all their failings, the Leopold family has generally been well-liked by the people and respected by both the nobles of the Kingdom and by the rulers of neighboring lands. They hold to the rule of law as it was laid down by the Haverstaad dynasty, and what little they have changed of the laws over their reign has been with the support of the nobility and executed through established protocols. Much of what they have accomplished over the last century has included improvements to the Kingdom's trade economy, improved relations with the Western Realms - most notably the Mardhelm Empire, and systems of agricultural surplus preservation and redistribution to prevent famines such as that which took place after The Pox decimated the land.

 

King visiting village

 

Diplomatic Relations


Ruling Family

House Leopold has been the ruling family since 723 I.R., and prior to that was an important noble family related to the previous dynasty. The Leopolds always were, and remain today, a powerful merchant family.

Ruling Family

When house Leopold took over the throne of the Kingdom of Brisland, they also took control over the Duchy of Brisburgh. The family built their fortune and base of power in Brisburgh, and have always been a central facet of both the duchy and the city.

Liege Lords

Brisburgh and Riverton have a long history of close relations and cooperation. As such, the sentiment of the citizens of the two duchies are favorable towards one another. The people of Duchy of Riverton generally look favorably upon the Leopold family.

Liege Lords

As a conquered region, relations between The Halsingly March and the royal seat have always been on the cool side of the spectrum. The general attitude of the citizenry towards the royal family though is more one of apathy than resentment in modern times.

Ruling Family and Liege Lords

Since The Kingslayer Rebellion, public opinion of the Leopold family has dramatically waned. While not on the brink of outright rebellion, civil unrest is a problem in the duchy. The royal family - notably the King and the Duke of Northampton - see the region as problematic.


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Comments

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23 Jan, 2019 16:17

A thing that I tend to always say when reading articles like this one: use the link system to us the excerpts for location names and other things. Beyond that, it's a good article that helps build the family into the world!   Though I'm confused about the founding date: it says 3070, but many dates tend to go no further than 900. Did you meant 370? Or 307?

23 Jan, 2019 16:34

The 3070 is based on the timeline, 793 I.R. is 3070 based on the world universal date. I expected it to calculate on that, and didn't catch it until after I submitted the article.   I'm confused on your comment about the links? I have links to several locations (ie - Kingdom of Brisland in the first paragraph.) Is there another method I'm not using?

23 Jan, 2019 16:52

Oh, I just noticed that. I think it's mainly in later paragraphs that it becomes less used which made me notice it. Like Francis Leopold II having no link to any article yet or the towns Lanston and Westford. But that may be just me, I tend to be someone who makes a link for almost any mentioned name.

23 Jan, 2019 16:54

I could definitely be more consistent. I tried to go for more of a 'first mention' philosophy, but probably ended up missing some opportunities because of that. Thanks for clarifying!

23 Jan, 2019 16:56

No problem! Thanks for also clarifying the date thing!

24 Jan, 2019 16:06

Very well written article, it definitely intrigued me about your world. It's the kind of fantasy I like the most, and I'll read more of your world. I have only a small plot question: when Nathan name "was changed", I suppose it was changed by his father to protect him, but were they protected by someone? Nathan later married a count's daughter, was the count aware of their identities or were they secretly supported and protected by the Remarian prince himself? Congratulation for the article!

24 Jan, 2019 20:05

Good question! I definitely had in mind that they had the support of the Count, but I should expand on that. Whether this extends to the prince or not is something I'll have to ponder first. Thanks for the feedback!

26 Jan, 2019 10:57

Right off the bat, the formatting looks perfect. It's rare to see a page giving off a Tetris vibe by almost perfectly ending near the bottom. It all looks really well thought out and is interesting to just look through.   It reads fairly easily as well, although I would argue that the flow gets slightly broken up right underneath the image called "The Pox Times," between the large middle section and right sidebar, but that might be just me and I honestly cannot think of a good way to fix it here, because the page works either way.   It's a pretty interesting read but not my type of material so I honestly cannot give you a good opinion on it beyond the fact that I did not find any noticeable grammatical errors.   Also, I agree with another user who mentioned using the linking system for this article- there is a LOT of information and I feel a little bit overwhelmed without an easy way to doublecheck the information. Maybe quick access to a timeline to summarize some of the more important information mentioned in the article? On top of that, the links that are available are nearly the same color as the text, and that makes them a little difficult to see. But that is a personal gripe, I do feel that anyone who becomes very much invested in this story will do the honors of reading through all your other articles to get a good handle on the story.   Overall, awesome article. Enjoyed reading it.

26 Jan, 2019 23:46

Thank you so much! The link color is tied to the theme, although I'm sure there's a way to change that through CSS. I may have to dig/ask for help with that. The center is a thick wall of text. I'll look into breaking that up after the competition. Thanks so much for the feedback!

27 Jan, 2019 02:44

Yeah I've got no clue how to do that, if you feel like changing the colors, but I'm sure there's a way! Good luck in the competition!

26 Jan, 2019 19:15

Awesome article! It's rare to see such a detailed description of a royal house, coupled with such beautiful images. However, looks over shoulder there's of course my basket list of questions on the family. They're a trading family, it seems, and relatively rich. How do they go about using the money? I mean, my family, the House Aban, finances assassinations with their cash. Are assassinations common in your world? Why or why not?

26 Jan, 2019 23:48

Good question! I would say yes, they are; but not by these guys (usually). That's definitely something to ponder and explore. Thank you for bringing up something I hadn't considered! I'll have to add some info after the competition. Thanks again!

27 Jan, 2019 03:38

No problem. I'm an assassination minded person: the fastest way forward is the path of least resistance. Not assassinating for this content though ;)

30 Jan, 2019 17:06

WOW! Now that was an incredibly detailed and extremely well formatted article. The usage of quotes, artwork, sidebar content, And your prose skills simply made for the most interesting article for the current challenge that i have read. For me i personally liked how the Leopold's rose to power over time and became the de facto rulers of Brisland before becoming the eventual rulers. The relations tab also contains some good info and gives the readers some insight into the relations of the Leopold's with the other people of Brisland and Brisburgh. The artwork was extremely good and gave the article a unique high fantasy feel that could only be described as BK Bassian style. I would like to know more about the assets and military power of the Leopold's myself since i am an avid military fan myself. Congratulations and keep up the great work!

31 Jan, 2019 14:15

Thanks! I had thought of delving into personal military assets, but was also looking to balance the article so it didn't get bogged down in too much detail. Given that they control the entire kingdom, it seemed fairly redundant since the articles about the kingdom, various duchies, and settlements all have more information on what the King has access to. The family itself would probably just have some on-staff caravan guards for the most part, and some personal men-at-arms for the larger households. Thanks again for the feedback!

30 Jan, 2019 17:12

You've done a masterful job laying this all out. It really shows how well thought out your writing is. It's impressive. Hope I'll be able to snag a copy once this is a book or similar. Well done.

31 Jan, 2019 14:12

Thank you! Yes this is all background for a book series I have planned. The first book is outlined. Hoping to get the first one out some time late 2020, but I have to see how it goes. Fingers crossed!

31 Jan, 2019 17:21

Best of luck!

5 Feb, 2019 17:11

Well done as always BKBass, a beautiful piece with fantastic complimenting art and a great dive into the specifics of the most important characters. I love the brief dive into the history before them with the haverstaads and the pox. The Relationships are also a great touch. Great Entry!

7 Feb, 2019 03:30

Thank you very much! I'm glad that you enjoyed it!