While many see the Kasvals as paragons of leadership and virtue, I truly knew what was going on behind the closed doors of the White Palace see what power can do someone if they are left alone with it for too long - Jacob Morris
The house is lead by the king or queen that rules the Kingdom of Ardania
with all other family members following their orders. But all family members are treated as royalty who have say in political matters and are allowed to follow their own goals agendas as long as they are not causing any trouble.
Being a Member
Well, it seems that you ended up in a place of great power, but that doesn't mean it will stay that way. Being a member of royalty is not an easy thing to deal with, especially in the Kingdom of Ardania. Being one of the most powerful of the Great Houses of Ardania
has its charms, but also its downsides as well. Being in on the top means some people will try to get on your good side or get rid of you the first chance they get. That will often solely be placed on the one that shall be crowned king and rule over the kingdom as it is their birthright. So many monarchs have been placed on the throne some of them good and some of them bad no one ever knowing what going on their heads. Then there is the rest of the family that have to follow their lead while their ruling it not uncommon for backstabbing to happen, but most of them stay in line. All of them however have to tread lightly if they are going to navigate the politics of the kingdom which usually isn’t a problem considering they are master at it. If they weren’t then they would have been thrown out of power ages ago. Ruling a kingdom isn’t easy, which is why you have vassals under you to make things easy along with a the law, advisors and an army to make sure that your family stay in power and ensures that it can keep the kingdom together.
What People Think of You
Back in the early days of the kingdom the Kasvals were a beacon of hope and unity that ended centuries of war and united Ardnaia under their banner. They brought about a golden age that saw the kingdom advance technologically and culturally. Allowing for its citizens to prosper under them, but that age would end eventually and things just go mess later on. The kingdom after many centuries would fall into decline and the kings and queens of royal house would do the same as terrible rulers took the throne here and there. This lead to several wars and rebellions against them p, creating many enemies in the process. Leading them to only have very few true allies and the rest only follow them because of their rule.
Preserve the Kingdom of Ardania and maintain order and peace throughout the region. Along with maintaining the family's political supremacy over other noble houses and other groups with the kingdom.
The fact that the house rules the entire Kingdom of Ardania means they have control of tax revenue, vessels, and their soldiers to serve them. Along with the city of Asron under their control and the personal palace, the White Keep. Along with their treasury carrying many riches and treasures considered highly valuable.
An Unlikely Union
The founding of the House Kasval is something of an oddity by history due to circumstances that were a part of their creation. The story starts with two kingdoms like most stories start with, but these kingdoms are at each other's throats for centuries. These were the kingdoms of Arda and Dania and they were the only two kingdoms left in the south of the Western Lands. Both sides fought in several wars against each other, but neither side gained any ground. Diplomacy was all but impossible between them and skirmishes along the borders were common. It seemed that this would go on forever unless a miracle happened. This is what happens by none other than the rulers of both kingdoms, King Hendrik of Arda and Queen Kerena of Dania. What shocked people the most was that they wanted to marry each other of all things and because they were both young and single it seemed to be all the easier to happen. How those two met is still up to debate since there are no actual documents that state how it happen. Some only rumors and stories told about it with some saying that they met each other during a skirmish on the border or that they were star-crossed lovers that met each other when they were children. But it is more likely that they met during the peace signing of the Seventh Border War when they were teenagers. What transpired to make them want to marry each other is just between them.
This marriage as a whole would unite both kingdoms in one as they were both the last direct heirs of their respected houses. This, of course, did not sit well with both sides in the background, and on their wedding day two groups' assassins attacked them, but due to both groups being hired by different parties they started killing each other since only one group could get paid. Forcing the newlyweds to flee and were now on the run as it seemed everyone wanted to kill them. While on the run they ran into a bard by the name of Kasval who helped them hide and act like they were a part of his theater troupe. After several months of gathering those loyal to them and adventures of their own they fall in love with one another, they managed to defeat those trying to kill them and unite the kingdom. In gratitude for his help. Kaval's name would be the new name of the royal family and he would give a permanent position in the royal court. Arda and Dania would officially merge into Ardania uniting the entire south after eight hundred years of conflict.
Before Ardania was formed the land and the people that lived on it were trapped in a state of war and believed in superstition. Causing much trouble along the way after the unification. Nobles would wage wars against each other for territories and the common folk considers simple things like birthmarks as signs of demons. House Kasval would change that by introducing the Vows of Fealty, which were laws that restricted noble vassals’ power to better secure peace and stability. While the peasants were educated through the Laws of Understanding to better understand the world and improve their job effectiveness with updated methods. Bring the land out of a dark age and into an age of culture and enlightenment. Even bringing forth trade with the rest of Kineth after centuries of isolation allowed further prosperity. They even created laws between church and state to allow more control of the kingdom without interference from the Church of the Spirit and Flame
in certain matters.
Technology was considered highly valued by them since it was considered valuable to improving Ardania and all ways of life. Often using machinery and science to do so even though it was not accepted by other states at the time. Later on, magic would even be allowed by them as it was considered a valuable asset, and many spellcasters were allowed to be a part of noble courts as advisors and scholars due to their vast amounts of knowledge. Allowing more power granted to with magic and a better understanding of it to avoid being ostracized. Even allowing more advanced studies in magic for certain purposes such as construction and medicine. Even in some terms of creating better weapons and armor for warfare.
Politics and Warfare
Though they rule the kingdom, the Kasvals were often a part of the politics of the other noble houses that ruled under them as they often were fighting one another for power in the shadows as they were often forbidden to it through open warfare, but in some cases it was possible. Other than that it was done with political marriages and deals for wealth and influence. This is why they often kept an eye out on certain houses to avoid conflicts or to ensure that they do not gain too much power. With each generation forming some form of alliance to certain parties to ensure it. Of course, this does not mean that such things are simply done behind closed doors. Like most other houses the Kasvals often do it in public where everyone is watching to show who they are with and what their standing is. Due to them being royalty they stand out like a sore thumb and they don't mind it. But they often have their conversations in code when talking about more serious matters. This has often allowed them to avoid conflict and maintain their political superiority for centuries. With them even rarely stooping to lows of blackmail or assassination
But there are times when war is the only option to follow. Though wars have been limited to smaller scales since they rose to power once in a while large conflicts come along. This is why they created the policy or make the enemy pay for every inch they take with a series of castles and fortresses that are strategically built across Ardania. Along with having their royal army to aid them in times of war when are need to join. Most conflicts that happen since the forming of Ardania were often internal which were often caused by nobles or a rebellion. Since the nobles were limited in having their troops, the Kasvals would send their troops to end the conflict with nobles in the region obliged to aid them in their endeavors. But there were a few invasions that happened in Ardania in its history, which is why at least one family member needed to lead the army to assign that they cared about their people. In all the conflicts that involved the royal family, there has always been a Kasval on the frontlines of war.
Decline in Power
As centuries went by the Kasvals slowly began to lose power as their noble vessels began to enrich themselves and began taking advantage of laws and increasing their holdings while the common folk suffered. Poverty rose above normal levels and they lost their grip on their political rivals almost entirely. Even the last five generations of Kasvals have many of their members falling to depravity along the way. Soon enough three conflicts began as their watchful gave began to waver. The War of the Crowns, The Burning Faith Revolt, and Roderick's Rebellion, all of which would weaken the kingdom over time as the unity that kept them together was failing. Along with that two of the last three kings were tyrannical by nature causing the production of the nation to be halted and profits to go straight to them. Making many of the people dispose of the royals entirely and lose faith in them and the rise of rearmament for nobles and their military power grew as the royal armies weakened. It created a power vacuum when the last king of Ardania, Athelstan II ascended to the throne after the death of his father, Joseph IV. It seemed that another civil war would have happened if it wasn't for the Vatian Empire
The invasion of Ardania and the beginning of the War of the Raptors
saw the kingdom in disarray and turmoil as the nobles and their forces were disorganized due to infighting as the legion of the empire won battle after in the early years of the war. But unlike his father, Athelstan took up the mantle of his forefathers a lead the royal army into battle. Though he was not a warrior, he was, however, a cunning strategist that managed to unify the nobles under him to fight the empire. But resources were low and the damage was done as the empire slowly advanced into the kingdom. Though Athelstan knew much about the inner workings of the empire's military and used it to his advantage. It might have been possible to win the war as his plans managed to wipe out much of the forces of the empire in the kingdom. But once he was wounded in battle his plans were foiled from infighting from the nobles. Later on, the war would be over and the last of the Kasvals were no more, ending a dynasty that built and destroyed a nation.
The entire house died out in the final days of the War of the Raptors
when the imperial legions of the Vatian Empire
stormed the capital city of Asran. The entire royal family was trapped inside the White Palace and was killed. With it said that King Athelstan charged at the legions rather than being captured. His wife and children succumbed to the fire that engulf a part of the palace.
The family crest is that of the Eagle which is a sacred animal in Ardania as a symbol of hope and protection. While the crown represented their right to rule. The rings in its talons represented the merger of Arda and Dania. The symbol on its chest is a representation of honor and the stars represent each of the house's six values, duty, honor, faith, compassion, strength, and wisdom. While the blue is the sky the eagle soaring above seeing all and the while is that of virtue.
Geopolitical, Great house
Karena the Bold
: A queen who was just as she was beautiful, she made many contributions to culture and infrastructure.
Ledeo the Great
: A warrior who defend Ardania during the Night War
and fought against corruption.
Angelica the Pious
: A Queen who believed that faith was the only way to guide the people to salvation building great churches and cathedrals in the name of the The Spirit and Flame
: A tyrant above all else his reign was mostly made conflict common in Ardania and caused thousands to starve and others to be tortured for talking bad about him.
Wayne the Tower
: Defended Ardania from invasion during the Warlock War and was a steadfast ruler.
: The last king of Ardania, even though his reign was short, he was just and wise as the kings of old and fought to defend his people to the bitter end.
Carmichael the Wise
: A king that brought law and order to the land and brought forth great educational reforms to the people.
Behind Closed Doors
Away from the crowds and spotlight most of the Casvals were strict people vying to make themselves great. Their policies were to weed out any bad influence at an early age to ensure that their heir did not ruin the family. They had to be maneuverable in politics and look like saints to the people. Making all the more imperative to ensure that they maintain their standing in the kingdom and ignore everything else. So many generations of the family had strained relationships with one another.
Eye Out For Magic
One interest that they valued was magic for it was a power that they could use to remain in power. With spellcasters under their control, they could be able to do certain hints not possible by normal means. Even it meant delving into the dark aspects of it. Many who had magic have found their way to the Kasvals to serve them for the promises of titles and protection from a world that hated them.
Chivalry and Honor
Even though some of them were sneaky and manipulative all Kasvals followed the laws of chivalry as it painted them as honorable rulers. Along with making their enemies look bad if they made a move on them for attacking people of honor. Even some of the family members became knights to uphold that image. This worked quite well as it made everyone think that they played by the rules and were predictable, of course, was all a ploy to lower their guards for them to strike when they needed to.