The Throne of Celedon
The House of Goldhart
The House of Goldhart is known throughout Celedon for their honor. They live by it, and often die by it. The House is one of the longest standing families in Celedon and have always been important advisors to the king.
Their loyalty to the Drake family is well known. When Geoffrey Drake, IV died and Marcus Drake was just an infant, the country of Celedon was at war with the Principality of Valburn. Earl Tanner Goldhart was named Regent to the throne and Protectorate for the child king. Many in the land encouraged the Earl to claim the throne as his own. The country was in turmoil and at war. Further, he was well loved by all and would have made an excellent king. If there ever was a time for the Goldhart’s to take rule, this was it. However, he was never tempted to do so, instead using all his energy to protect the realm and the child king.
Ruling the important town of Wildekeep, the House of Goldhart has had ample opportunity to fight on behalf of the crown. The Wildlands to the north are rife with enemy forces of various types, such as goblins, orcs, bugbears, hobgoblins, giants of all types, etc. There is a constant need for defense of this realm, and for this reason, the House Goldhart tends to be ruled by the most accomplished fighters. It is a Goldhart tradition for the ruler of the House to fight with his men.
The current earl, Earl Mangus Goldhart, II is the grandson of Tanner Goldhart. He is only 29 years old, but has already established himself as a skillful ruler and soldier. The older residents always remark how much he is like his grandfather. Although his father, Mangus Goldhart I, was not an accomplished fighter, Mangus II is known as a soldier, warrior, and gifted general. Like his grandfather before him, he has risked his life on numerous occasions to aid a common soldier. His men love him and would do anything on his behalf.
Since Wildekeep is unique in that each House serves in the army stationed there, this can cause a lot of friction, especially during times of peace when the common enemy is missing. For this reason, the ruler of Wildekeep must be very diplomatic. Here is the only area in which Mangus II hasn’t excelled. His brash, candid demeanor has angered some member of rival Houses.
The House of Northrop swears fealty to the House of Goldhart and are fiercely loyal. Baron Charles Northrop rules over the cities of Redville and Wellcliff and has married Mangus’ cousin, Arial Goldhart. There has never been a time when the Northrop house has failed in their duties to the House Goldhart. Part of this is due to the fact that so much of the Goldhart wealth comes from adventures in the Wildlands and this allows for lower taxes collected from the Northrop House.
House of Rey has long been allied with the House of Goldhart. Since the Rey family was granted the dukedom of Hegelyn, the House of Goldhart has supported them and has joined the families in matrimony. Mangus Goldhart married Elizabeth Rey, the youngest sister of Merril Rey, at the young age of 18 and has had four children by her, Mangus Goldhart III – age 10; Carla Goldhart – age 8; Miriam Goldhart – age 4; and Tanner Goldhart II – age 3.
House of Martel, the subordinate house of House Rey, is also known to be a staunch ally of House Goldhart.
It should be noted that even though House Rey is a dukedom and House Goldhart is an earldom, House Goldhart is seen as the higher, and more powerful house, even though a Duke is considered higher in rank and power than an Earl. This is because the Goldhart family has actually turned down the title of Duke on two occasions, ostensibly due to their humble origins (The house Goldhart was established from a common family for their service to the king over 250 years ago). It is also said that the Goldhart family has sworn to never rule as a Duke – based upon their experiences with an evil Duke before they were granted nobility. For whatever reason, the Earl of the House Goldhart is treated with the same respect as any Duke in the land, although at times the lesser title is conveniently brought up by their enemies.
The main family which is in direct conflict is the House Blackwood. For years, the House Blackwood and House Goldhart have served as advisors to the Drake line. Over those years, both houses have argued about the course of action the king should take. There are whispers of House Blackwood’s ambitious tendencies which make some of the advice detrimental to the kingdom of Celedon, but advantageous to the Blackwood lands. The House of Blackwood has also failed to supply their forces to defend the north border, claiming their forces were necessary to protect the city of Celedon and the king. Consequently, the House of Blackwood takes very limited casualties and tends to choose to fight when the odds are greatly in their favor.
Additionally, the subordinate families, Cornell and Godwin stand by their liege and are considered to be enemies of Goldhart.
Finally, the House Terrell has constantly stood by Blackwood, although they have never directly come into conflict with Goldhart. Likewise, House Stafford stands by the actions of House Terrell.