The Roccati Family
The Sylvan Foxes
Many stories among the Menicean Nobility start with feats, prowess, or dedication. But this one is different.The Roccati Family is one of the leading houses of the Great Forest's capital, Sylvan-Haven. Once the region's uncontested leader, its influence sank a century ago, alongside the fall of Parbora.
OriginsFew are the houses whose nobility was granted by Nelandra Aigleran herself, but the Roccati house is one of them. Its story began with a doctor and her son during the Clan Wars. Livia Roccati was among the rare doctors serving in the Aigleran clan's army. While she could easily do her job from the clan's capital when the war just had begun, she eventually had to follow the military into enemy lands when the conflict got fiercer. Fearing for her son's safety, if he was to follow her, she made the tough decision to leave him with relatives. During her service, Livia weaved a close friendship with Nelandra, whom she cared for after each fight. The two of them would often be seen having tea and sharing lunches together. Unfortunately, the small number of healers at that time often left Livia exhausted and overstrained. Being in such poor shape, her body could not fight a fever she caught between two skirmishes. She passed away in her sleep, leaving her 14-year-old son behind. In the meantime, Ivo Roccati traveled alongside his aunt. She was a caravanist, one of the first to travel on what would later become the Menicean trade routes. Curious as a kid should be, Ivo spent a lot of time exploring each town and region work would take them to. He learned the ropes of negotiation and trade as he assisted each of her aunt's bargains. When the Clan Wars ended, Ivo was summoned to the new capital, where the royal family told him about his mother's fate. As a token of friendship to her loyal friend, Nelandra offered Livia's son to stay with them at the White Castle. Yet, after a few days to think about it, Ivo decided to remain with his aunt and work as a merchant. The Roccatis settled in the village that would later become Sylvan-Haven, in a part of Menicea that had yet to find a supervisor. When she started looking for candidates to join her newly established Nobility, Nelandra immediately reach out to them. Against decent funding from the crown and the right to own properties, they would have to supervise the region's development. A task both of them were willing to take on.
Dear Ivo, I am writing from the top of Eltanella. Did you know that we could see the Great Forest from here? I often find myself looking back and thinking about you two. How are you doing? Where were you when this letter reached you? Odelia is wonderful. I took some flowers and insects that I plan on taking back with me to show you. Just like our whiteblooms, the buds here take months to wither. This is our last battle, after all. I will finally be returning after this is all over. I know I left a while ago. I wish I could come back sooner. Rereading it now, this letter is a bit of a mess. Though we are close to winning, there is still a lot-- [The letter stopped there, unfinished]
The TwinsDuring his time as head of the family, Ivo mainly focused on establishing all the infrastructures needed for his region to thrive, like most noble houses back then.
He often got his relatives worried as he was quite renowned for being a casanova, seemingly unable to find a partner and settle down. This blew out after his aunt passed away, as she seemed to be the last thing that was forcing him to behave. Rumors of Ivo courting various women and men all over the city spread like glirisca in the desert. Eventually, he met the lady with whom he truly fell in love. A year later, they were expecting their first child, who ended up being twins, two girls. If being unstable was not enough, Ivo was also struggling to be a good father. The lack of a proper familial structure during his young age did not help, and he ended up being more of a side figure to the twins. Both got most of their education from their mother, who also had a commercial background. Above anything else, she taught them the importance of family. That the bond they shared as twins was stronger than anything else, and that long after their parents would be gone, they'd still have each other.
Years later, as great noble families were emerging, the twins were ready to take on the challenge to be one of them. With both their parents slowly retiring, it was their turn to add their stone to the edifice. Everything began with the rise of Silver-Dust. The mining city grew so fast that it needed a constant flux of wood and tools. While Sylvan-Haven could provide all of that, the distance between the two cities was discouraging merchants. They favored Elyades, whose production was slower but undeniably cheaper to convey to the top of Odelia. That's when the twins got an idea. What if they funded the installation of a new settlement in the west of the Great Forest? A town that would be closer than Sylvan-Haven and more reliable in the long term than Elyades. And thus began the first expeditions to the west, paving the road to what would become the great city of Parbora. With now two cities to oversee, both being on opposite sides of the Forest, the twins knew it was time to split up. Cinty Roccati would handle the east, and Farah Roccati the west. Before they reached the age to pass the baton to the next generation, Parbora had already blossomed into the trade hub they dreamt of. The Roccatis had almost the whole south of Menicea under their grasp, a level of influence only officially matched by the Prexyann Family throughout Menicean History.
Forest scenery (Official art) by Antoinette Stoll
The ShiverThe next two generations following the Twins at the head of the family deeply marked the Menicean Nobility history. The Roccati name was everywhere, from the top of Mount Odelia to the depths of Fulgen. It was hard to attend any noble dinner party without seeing a member of the family there. Yet, the passing generations started to grow apart from one another. As time went by, the bonds between the west and east started to fade, despite the efforts put in by the eastern branch to maintain their relationship with their cousins. Since Parbora was founded by the Roccatis, not the crown, there was no other noble family to share power with. While they had to invite other families to help handle development within the newly explored Jungle , none of them held enough power individually to be a problem. Ultimately, the only ones they had to deal with were their own kin from the eastern branch. A hindrance Leorio Roccati, head of the western branch, was eager to get rid of. But first, he would need a motive; a good reason to justify him leaving the family for good.
The FallLeorio was an ambitious géroun. He wanted to develop Parbora into more than just a large sawmill for Odelia. Without really asking, he started opening his own tanneries and great leather workshop. A monopoly that Sylvan-Haven cautiously kept for itself until then. As soon as they learned about Leorio's affairs, they immediately tried to shut it down. After several months of unsuccessful negotiations, the head of the western branch of the family started to plot his departure. Convinced that his situation in Parbora could build his lineage a new name, Leorio Roccati gave up his last name through a matrilineal marriage with his wife. The western Roccati branch became the Silas Family, severing once and for all their past bonds with the Roccatis. The news was far from well received by the eastern branch, who engaged a war in the shadows. Since murder and inner armed conflicts are strictly forbidden by the crown, they went on an economic war instead. Both Roccatis and Silas spent lots of money trying to buy off any replacement to Sylvan-Haven's supplies to Parbora.
To survive in our world is a constant fight for power, stability, and public image. All it takes is one lousy head of family to ruin generations of hard work. Something we and the Roccatis both had to deal with at some point.
What's leftThanks to their name's legacy and power, the original Roccati Family triumphed over the Silas Family. Not only did they keep their former kin from forming new trade routes, but they also convinced most noble houses in Parbora to leave. Left with almost nothing, the former western branch had to fall into illegality to survive. As Parbora slowly fell prey to high criminality levels, its population started to wander back to the east. Simultaneously, the south of Odelia was colonized and provided Silver-Dust with the wood it needed. In one generation, everyone forgot about the once grandiose western side of the Forest. Territorial Patrols gradually abandoned its roads, suffering from an enormous amount of attacks from both outlaws and fauna. The Silas name also fell into oblivion, dooming every single of its bearer to shame and rejection from the rest of Nobility. On their side, the original Roccatis also suffered from the separation. Aside from the money they spent on the economic war, their name also suffered from the Silas' actions. They are slowly working on rebuilding the trust people once had in them, and some even say that they plan on retaking Parbora from outlaws one day.
The Great TanneryThe Tannery is one prowess of architecture brought by the combination of Géroun and Morknar savoir-faire. Located in the south of Sylvan-Haven, it stretches from the bottom to the top of a giant oak. There, all the leatherwork the family is known for is made. Around the workshops are large houses built for the employees to live. Almost all 300 workers are permanently staying at the Tannery, alongside their whole families.
The Old OakThis old tree is said to be among the oldest of the whole Forest. On top of it lies the magnificent Roccati mansion, built as years went by and the family got bigger. The tree itself was yet another present from Nelandra at the beginning of the Golden Age. Alongside their Nobility, she offered the tree to the Roccatis as a token of her friendship with Ivo Roccati's deceased mother.
To CommonersFrom their beginnings to current days, Roccatis were always relatively close to their people. This is especially true for everyone living in the Great Tannery since their needs are directly provided by the house. Many souls come to the workshops each year, hoping to find a job and a home. The Roccatis spent a lot of effort building the region's wealth alongside its particular identity and culture. Despite them living within the Inner Grove of Sylvan-Haven, they always remained one of the city's most accessible families.
To the InfluentThe Sylvan Foxes are no longer a threat, for now at least. Many houses of the Forest saw the fall of the Roccatis as an opportunity to seize more power. Once a great house that one couldn't avoid dealing with, their war with their own kin forced them to be milder at their own council. Nevertheless, their name still weighs importance. Though they aren't as free as they used to be, the Roccatis inspire respect. And if they ever manage to reclaim an ounce of their past glory, those who abused their clemency while they were at their weakest will surely regret it.
Ivo Glen Roccati was a somewhat grim géroun. He was often seen wandering the streets of Sylvan-Haven alone, gazing at the trees while holding onto a worn piece of paper. Alongside his aunt, he established the family's first relationships and worked hard on building Sylvan-Haven into the commercial hub it is today.
The Great Forest
Geographic Location | Jun 9, 2019
Southernmost region of Menicea, a vast and lush green land.
The old Ivo was a lost cause for his daughters. At least, meeting his wife gave him the stability he was yearning for. While he barely participated in his successors' education, he strengthened the commercial relationships and contracts of the region. If not to his daughters, he was a father to the Forest.
Olinda Glen Rossa
Farah RoccatiAfter founding Parbora, she worked on every single contract the settlement first signed with Odelia.
Former head of the western Roccati branch before leaving the family, Leorio Glen Roccati-Silas dreamt of freedom. He was an ambitious géroun, but found his plans always to be pestered by the eastern branch, who fiercely defended their monopoles. After he gave up the Roccati name to marry a young heir to the Silas family, he started an economic war with his former kin over the control of Parbora. As he ended up losing the war and most of his fortune, Parbora sank into poverty and criminality. His name remained in history as the one who almost doomed the two families and is still resented today.
The west went from a prolific trade heaven to a deserted criminals' nest in a mere couple of decades. Seeing the people running away to southern Odelia or the east of the Forest, leaving their homes behind, was heartbreaking. Though we wanted to help, our advisors judged better that we stayed off their conflict.
King Siran of Menicea