House Hawkwood

Prideful yet honourable, the Hawkwoods have seen one of their own take the Emperor's throne. The Emperor however is at this point choosing to distance himself from his own house to practice a more egalitarian rule. Some of them are thus disgruntled with the new Imperial regime and others support it completely.

While Alexius Hawkwood (Hawkwood, Emperor Alexius) has since distanced himself from his family to appear more impartial, the Hawkwoods take such political setbacks with stoicism - the same fierce perseverance with which they beat back the barbarian raiders to their worlds. A Hawkwood does not give up. House Hawkwood is more beloved by its vassals than any other house. The Hawkwoods generally treat their subjects fairly and with justice.

House Hawkwood history has risen and fallen so often as to incite the phrase "The rise of House Hawkwood is like a prostitute in zero-G". It prides itself on its pedigree and its commitment to noblesse oblige. They are indoctrinated with protecting their serfs and have many difficult expectations to live up to. More than any other House, House Hawkwood dedicates itself to the care of its serfs and the preservation of their lands. House Hawkwood shares a border with the Vuldrok barbarians, who bear an enmity that is only outmatched by their hatred of House Decados.

From the moment they are born Hawkwoods are taught of their destiny to lead. They never learn to doubt their abilities or their right to rule, those who don't weren't really Hawkwoods anyway.

House Hawkwood Edit

Currently the most powerful single house in the Known Worlds, House Hawkwood takes the ideals of honor and chivalry quite seriously, which has been, by turns, both a political drawback and a source of surprising strength. Since the First Emperor Wars, the internal politics of House Hawkwood have largely been a cordial struggle for dominance between the Mountbatten and Darian lines, with a coalition of lesser lines headed by the Averies coming in as a distinct third factor. A number of Hawkwood lines have had previous periods of glory, most especially the Plantagenets, Hapsburgs, Adamses, Kolns and Lancasters. These lines, with the exception of the Lancasters, tend to retain high levels of status and influence despite their decreased size, and often ally with the Avery line to sway the balance of power against the perennial great families.

There is a significant division in the house between the more Anglic elements and the more Teutonic elements within the house. As lords of Leminkainen and powers on Gwynneth and Delphi, the Kolns, Hapsburgs and Fenrises exercised great influence over the house’s culture and ways in the years preceding the First Emperor Wars, but with the striking gains made by the largely Anglic families against the Windsors on Ravenna and the Gesars on Delphi and Tethys, as well as the great losses suffered against the Vuldrok on Leminkainen, the Anglic families gained a decided and, from that point on, unchallenged ascendancy over house politics. Now the Teutonic families are more closely bound by treaties and marriages to dominant Anglic lines and they do not constitute the power bloc that they once did.

The Gaelgran families of Gwynneth are in a similar position to the more strictly Teutonic lines, but they never constituted a significant political force in their own right in house politics, always allying closely enough with the ruling family that they were allowed significant autonomy on the planet of Gwynneth but never making serious efforts to plant a member of their own line on the throne. Since the First Emperor Wars saw the downfall of the Hapsburgs, the Wildes have held undisputed power on Gwynneth, which is an impressive feat considering the fractious nature of the lords on that planet. The patron saint of House Hawkwood is St. Henry, supposedly a Hapsburg who slew a huge serpent on Holy Terra. He was a longtime foe of the young House Gesar, and he is said to have performed many charitable deeds for his subjects. While it has been historically established that the Count Henry Hapsburg who was sainted by the Universal Church did indeed fight the Gesar forces (it was for this opposition of Gesar tyranny that he was canonized), some al-Malik and Reeve scholars believe that the legend of the serpent may be figurative, or may be a covert reference to the mythical King Percival or even earlier figures. Nonetheless, it is accepted as truth among Hawkwood lands, and it is one of the more popular themes in Hawkwood stories and songs.

Currently, Hawkwood ascendancy is maintained by a few key strengths of the house. First, the Hawkwood worlds are significantly more productive and prosperous than those of any other house. Gwynneth, Ravenna, and Leminkainen are bounteous agricultural and mining planets, while Delphi is a first-rate technological base. Hawkwood domains on Velisamil, Bannockburn, Pentateuch and, until the Second Emperor Wars, Tethys, are largely stable and productive. Many attribute this in part to the house’s second great strength, its stable social structure. Although there is a great deal of feuding between rival lords and a fair degree of chaos in Hawkwood space, the house’s adherence to the precepts of honor and chivalry has enabled it to keep serious social unrest to a minimum, maintain the loyalty of nobles to the house, and make firm alliances with the Church, the Merchant League, and other houses. The third great strength is the Hawkwood military, which itself rests on two central pillars. The first is its great lords and champions, who are rivaled only by the Hazat and the best fighters of the Adepti Templi in martial skill and in tactical acumen. The second is the Hawkwood space fleet, which is expansive and powerful enough to allow the Hawkwoods to project power deep into hostile territory. Although it is a heated dispute whether the greatest knights of houses Hawkwood or Hazat are superior, the Hawkwood navy is clearly second to none. The greatest weakness of the house is its commitment to the code of chivalry, which can often complicate or frustrate the power politics and espionage that are at times necessary for it to retain its position.

Hawkwood Fiefs Edit

Delphi Edit

The Hawkwood homeworld, Delphi is one of the most powerful and technologically advanced planets in the Known Worlds. It is not as heavily urbanized as Byzantium Secundus, Leagueheim, or Criticorum, but its cities, even the vast sprawling ones, are generally in fairly good repair, and if the lords that rule different neighborhoods do not always cooperate, it is still a peaceful and stable world. Although House Hawkwood has always been the dominant power on the planet, it has always had to fight off Gesar and Windsor forces controlling substantial territory. House Gesar was decisively crushed in the First Emperor Wars, and although most of its lands passed into Hawkwood control, a number of prominent Orthodox priests are descended from the surviving Gesar lords and still maintain some influence, albeit not in service to their defunct house any more. House Windsor, which still sided with the Alecto claim to the Imperial throne after Vladimir’s death, had a significant presence on the planet, which had to be pacified in bloody and drawn-out urban warfare. The most prominent Windsor families surviving were able to negotiate their absorbtion into House Hawkwood, and they retain a number of counties on the planet as Hawkwoods to this day, never daring to upset the status quo.

Delphi was once a warm and temperate world, but has cooled down considerably. It is now known for its strong winds, which are farmed for electrical energy in some regions, its varied but healthy biomes, and its proud white cities, which extend for many miles. Delphi’s citizens, noble and common alike, tend to maintain a certain understated pride. Delphians admit that they are not the cultural capital of the Known Worlds, but without any rancor or bitterness, because they know that they don’t need to be the cultural capital of the Known Worlds. Their power and security is all but unquestioned, and as for culture, the reserved and staid ways of the house are good enough for them. That said, an influx of al-Malik and Eskatonic thinkers have enamored many of the lords of Delphi with the powers of rhetoric and reasoned thought, and the planet is far more ideologically cosmopolitan than any other Hawkwood world, even if it is socially fairly conservative.

Within House Hawkwood, Delphi has always been the seat of Mountbatten power, and though the Darians have often held Olympia and much of its continent of Somerset, they were never as firmly entrenched in the planet as the Mountbattens, who hold four of the planet’s impressive seven dukedoms, counting the moon Diana, which is an important military and naval base. In addition to a substantial Darian and Avery presence (each family holds one dukedom here), the planet also hosts a dukedom which is the patriarchal seat of the Plantagenet line, though the Wessexes have enough counties on the planet that they actually have more influence than the Plantagenets. There are also a number of Gaunt, Adams, and Hapsburg counties on the planet, and a surprisingly small number of Fenris or Wilde counties. The continent of Courai, split between the Justinians, Juandaastas, and Eskatonic Church, has now been almost entirely captured by Ur-Obun rebels.

About 19% of the planet is held by non-Hawkwoods. There is a significant presence of Hazat lords on the planet (7% of the planet), mainly on the rugged continents of March and Shyra. The Hazat on Delphi have a long history of intermarriage with the Hawkwoods. House al-Malik owns several urban regions as well (3% of the planet). Houses Justinian and Juandaastas cling to their remaining territories on Courai (originally 2% each, but shrunk by the fortunes of war), and House Torenson has several holdings on Delphi (1%). Several fiefdoms on the planet are the direct property of the Empire (2%). The planetary see is Orthodox, though there are quite a fewAmalthean dioceses, and the number of Eskatonic dioceses has grown surprisingly since the beginning of the Emperor Wars. The Nacado Holy State (2%) is an Orthodox property which houses the Delphian Metropolitan See, overseen by Cardinal Lyander Wessex Hawkwood.

Delphi’s industry is based on its technological base, which allows it to export high technology electronics and components, as well as all manner of items of high quality artifice. It is just barely agriculturally self-sufficient due to high-technology irrigation and sometimes can even export food, but in past times it has experienced the occasional famine when not supplied from Ravenna. The Charioteers, with whom House Hawkwood has a long and friendly relationship, dominate Delphi’s economy, which is strongly mercantile. The Reeves’ guild, however, is quite powerful here as well, and occasionally competes on an almost-equal footing with the Charioteers. The Engineers maintain a significant presence to see to the upkeep of Delphi’s technological base, but they are kept from expansion by the religious orientation of the general populace. The Troubadors are very powerful on a planet so interconnected and so enamored of gossip. The Muster and the Scravers both have modest presences on the planet.

Militarily, Delphi is a superpower. Much of the Hawkwood fleet can be found on Diana or the space station Lextius Starhold, and the high-technology lords of the planet have extensive defenses and large contingents of elite cuirassiers. The lords of Delphi have a number of knightly orders of renown, and include some of the most valiant heroes of the Emperor Wars. Delphi’s ruler is Queen Victoria Gloriana Mountbatten Hawkwood, who is moderate and, according to her critics, almost inactive. It is certainly true that the Crown does not exercise its authority as extensively as it has under Darian rule, but some believe this may be for the best.

Ravenna Edit

Ravenna is the envy of much of the Known Worlds. It is a planet of tremendous natural beauty and bounty, and it is peaceful and has usually remained largely untouched by outside aggression, whether from rival houses or from Vuldrok raiders. Historically its rulership has been contested between the Hawkwoods and the Windsors (for whom it was their homeworld). Since the Windsors accepted Hawkwood rule, it has been exceptionally peaceful, though there are lines of tension growing due to the split within the Darian family over the question of Empire.

Ravenna is a beautiful world of rolling hills, craggy mountains, vast oceans, and lush forests and grasslands. Never a particularly warm world, it has nonetheless managed to maintain a comfortable temperature despite the fading of its sun. Socially, it is one of the most conservative worlds outside of Li Halan space. Decorum and orthodoxy rule, and keep the planet quite harmonious. The Darian tradition of expansive governance based on law is respected as a historical phenomenon, but, with the controversial exception of Emperor Alexius (Hawkwood, Emperor Alexius) , it is considered entirely too Delphian to try and revive that tradition. Seeing the comparative peace and serenity with which the Ravennans have lived, it is easy to see why they are so reluctant to suffer any changes to the status quo. Ravennans have a marked distaste for news and gossip that comes from too far away, and they see it as a mark of commendable humility to carry on about their business no matter what happens elsewhere.

The Darians hold the planetary throne and two of the planet’s five dukedoms, as well as the bulk of the planet’s counties. The Mountbattens hold the third dukedom, the Wessexes the fourth, and House Torenson the fifth. The Windsors and Gaunts both hold enough counties to make them significant players on the planet. Additionally, the Kolns and Adamses have significant presences on the planet, and a number of Fenrises have a presence in the polar regions.

Though Ravenna is a fairly stable and centralized planet, about 24% of the world is still held by non-Hawkwoods. House Torenson’s king now lives here (7%), as do significant numbers of Hazat (3%, especially Marianas and Dulcineas) and Li Halan (5%, many Kung-Zhau). Many of the Li Halan found on Ravenna adopt styles of dress and behavior quite similar to the Hawkwoods there, though some maintain their distinctive culture even in the face of the planet’s overwhelming conformity. There are somewhat fewer al-Malik on Ravenna than on other Hawkwood worlds (2%), and the few Decados (1%) who live here do so in very contained communities and are often raided by their neighbors.

Most of the continent of Castillo (6%) is in the hands of the Orthodox church, which is by far the dominant religious power on the planet. Very few members of other sects have any kind of following on Ravenna, and even most of the Inquisitorial presence on the planet is Orthodox.

Ravenna is a planet almost completely self-sufficient, a feat made possible both by its agricultural fertility and its low-tech nature, which reduces dependency on scarce resources. Its greatest import is technological experience and equipment, which usually comes from Delphi. The Charioteers are somewhat less important on this planet than on other Hawkwood worlds, as commerce is not particularly encouraged by the planetary rulers. The Reeves are the most powerful guild on the planet, though they often use the Muster for the mining operations that generate so much wealth for the planet.

Militarily, Ravenna is something of a sleeping giant. There is significant fleet activity undertaken by the lords of the planet, and there is certainly no shortage of powerful warriors upon the planet, but the lords are somewhat less militant than on Gwynneth or Leminkainen. The Darians are famed for their cavalry tactics, and the lords of Ravenna spend much time in riding practice, breeding the best-trained destriers known to House Hawkwood, though those bred on Leminkainen are fiercer and larger. Ravenna is ruled by Prince Alvarex Darian Hawkwood, who has taken a number of steps to consolidate his power and popularity among the lords of Ravenna and the naval officers of the Hawkwood Fleet, though his policies are not particularly welcoming to non-Ravennans.

Gwynneth Edit

A wild and mysterious planet, Gwynneth is far more chaotic and decentralized than Ravenna or Delphi, but it has proved its worth to the Crown on numerous occasions. Though the planet hosted a Windsor and Alecto presence before Vladimir’s time, and has been invaded by the al-Malik on several occasions, an equally great challenge to Hawkwood control of Gwynneth has been the presence of the Gaelgran clans that originated here. Within the house, there was significant conflict between the Hapsburgs, Fenrises and Kolns engaged in combat against the Alectos and Windsors, and the Wildes and Rochforts that combated the Gaelgran clans. During the Second Emperor Wars, these problems came to a head, as after Vladimir’s death the Alecto-Windsor alliance toppled the major centers of Hapsburg, Fenris, and Koln power on the planet. The Wildes and Rochforts, with significant aid from the Mountbattens, managed to push back and eventually eliminate the Windsor and Alecto presence on the planet, leaving Gwynneth firmly in the control of the Wilde line, as it has remained, despite constant feuding and infighting amongst the lesser lords, since then.

Gwynneth is a heavily forested and rugged world, home to immense and grandiose mountains, flora and fauna in the wilds. It is riddled with caves and tunnels, and seems to have a slightly higher concentration of Annunaki artifacts than other worlds. Its twin suns cause unpredictable and violent storms and make sailing a distinctly perilous proposition. People of Gwynneth tend to be somewhat individualistic and mindful of each other’s privacy. The pagans and the Universalists of the planet take, for the most part, a live-and-let-live approach toward each other, each doing what they need to in order to get by. This is not to say that citizens of Gwynneth are exactly cosmopolitan, though some of the more urban lords are, for they are still quite afraid and distrustful of the unknown. As a rule they do not, however, bother those who do not bother or threaten them. Gwynneth is also a world where talent is granted significant respect, as those who have some practical skill are admired and those who do not are disdained.

The planet is home to three dukedoms. One of these is owned by the Wildes, one by the Rochforts, and one by the Hazat. The Hapsburgs and especially Fenrises also have a substantial number of counties on the planet, as do the Mountbattens, Garethedes, and Kolns. The Gaunts and Plantagenets have significant presences on the planet as well. A number of smaller families such as the Becketts and Talbots, which are more Anglic or Gaelgran than Teutonic, are kept as satellite families by the Wildes, and help to prevent any unrest that could threaten the Archduke’s rule. Some of these are more directly loyal to the Rochforts than the Wildes.

Only about 68% of Gwynneth is controlled by House Hawkwood. There is a significant Hazat presence in the mountains of Hod (14% of the planet, led by the Duke Ramon Carlos Justus), and there are a number of al-Malik enclaves as well (7%, largely Hallaschid, with some Clinius). House Fianna makes its home here, along with several of the Bannockburn Gaelgran houses (together 5% of the planet, almost all of which is House Fianna), and a number of Trusnikrons are to be found in the wilder areas of the planet (3%). The arctic regions actually host several Decados fiefdoms (3%, mostly Valushnya and Bogakov). Gwynneth has a rather large Ur-Ukar population, much of which lives in the caves and tunnels that riddle the planet.

The cathedral of Gwynneth is Orthodox, but the Eskatonic Order has a large presence on the planet, due no doubt to the planet’s long history of mystical and occult phenomena. The planet’s two suns and the Paracelsus Belt between them have long invited mystical speculation and the formation of fringe cults. Further, the highly magical Gaelgran noble lines first flourished on the planet, and the Phavian Institute had its headquarters on the planet during the Second Republic in part due to the frequency of psychic phenomena in the populace. Temple Avesti has been attempting to gain a greater foothold upon this planet to combat the pagan population that the world continues to harbor, but it is firmly opposed by many of the lords of Gwynneth.

Gwynneth is self-sufficient as far as resources go, but it lacks the developed technological base of many planets, and trades often with Delphi and Criticorum for technological equipment and expertise. It is a food exporter, though not one comparable to Ravenna, and a mineral exporter, though not one comparable to Leminkainen. It sometimes exports lumber and crafted items to resource-poor worlds, though this is so inefficient that it is only relied upon for income in times of famine. The Charioteers are the dominant guild on the planet as on most worlds.

The planet is quite militant by disposition, and is home to a number of warlike lords. The military power on Gwynneth is divided between those of the lords loyal to the Archduke and those who ally themselves with the Rochforts. Lords from Gwynneth tend to be excellent rangers and scouts, and their proximity to both the Criticorum al-Malik and the Gaelgran tribes in the forests makes them quite fond of using unconventional tactics and gambits in war. The Wilde line is a strongly naval line, but otherwise the planet has only a moderate fleet presence.

Gwynneth is ruled by Archduke Archibald Wilde Hawkwood, a moderate ruler who follows the Wilde tradition of avoiding micromanagement and of cultivating alliances with the Crown and its allies.

Leminkainen Edit

The most rugged and warlike planet under the Hawkwood banner, Leminkainen was once a highly prosperous and developed world coveted by the Hawkwoods, Uriens, and Cuchulgrim lords that fought over it. During the Fall of the Second Republic, Leminkainen was a powerful base held by the Wersa coalition of rogue houses. When Republican authority failed in the Wersa sector and House Hawkwood broke off from the Wersa coalition, fierce fighting ensued between the Royalists and the Wersa-affiliated Hawkwoods. House Fenris, which had reconstituted itself apart from the House of which it was a part in days of old, was won to the Royalist fold by expert diplomacy from the reemergent Lancaster family, and the Fenrises provided House Hawkwood with a foothold on Leminkainen. Over the next 100 years, powerful assaults from Ravenna, led by the ruling Darians and supported by the Church and the Wessexes, dislodged the Wersa loyalists and destroyed much of the planet’s technological base, leaving a few bioengineering facilities intact.

Leminkainen fell firmly into the grip of the Fenrises, but the Vuldrok invasions of the 4400s swept over the world like a scourge, decimating the Hawkwood defenders and leaving behind plagues and genetically engineered Vuldrok monstrosities. The Koln line of Hawkwoods was instrumental in retaking the planet, acting in alliance with Alecto and royal Hawkwood forces. While they did not fully pacify the planet, the Kolns instituted a regimented and orderly society in the areas they conquered, keeping strong ties to the Church. Unfortunately, the Koln line faltered in their push to fully remove the Vuldrok presence from the world, and were overthrown in a bloody civil war lasting from 4544-51, giving the Fenrises claim to the world they had always considered their own. Since then, the Teutonic families of Leminkainen, seeing themselves marginalized at court, forged tighter alliances with each other, and the rivalry between the Kolns and Fenrises has cooled down. Leminkainen since then has been a battleground between the Fenris-dominated Hawkwoods and the Vuldrok raiders that periodically swept in from Hargard. During the Emperor Wars, several powerful Drenjar lords managed to seize much of the continent of Teldor and hold it in an uneasy truce that continues to this day.

Leminkainen is an unnaturally lush world, though much of it is turning to desert due to the fading of the suns. It has always been a hothouse, but now the heat and cold are both more violent and pronounced. It is home to a number of genetically modified plants and animals, some extremely beneficial to humans and some extremely dangerous. It is also home to a few high-technology enclaves, but much of the planet remains at an extremely primitive level. Most people on Leminkainen, taking their cues from the ruling Fenris line and the Vuldrok that they fight, are extremely boastful and eager to prove their mettle against each other. Although everyone on the planet professes a hatred of sophistication , pretension, and all forms of deception, they are all more or less expert on the nuances of status and gaining or losing face. Leminkainen natives are fiercely loyal to their families. Martial skill and survival skill are accorded respect even more than on Gwynneth, but more or less every other type of skill is looked on with a degree of suspicion. Koln Hawkwoods try to make a point out of behaving like Delphians or Ravennans, but for all of their emphasis on decorum they still work just as hard as any Fenris to avoid being taken for a weakling. One consequence of these Leminkainen philosophies is that military tactics are completely disregarded in favor of bold charges and shows of valor. Indeed, it is considered a sign of weakness to sit around and think things out.

Leminkainen’s throne is held by the Fenris line, which also holds one of the planet’s two Hawkwood duchies. The Kolns hold the other one. The Wildes are a powerful presence on the planet as well. The Hapsburg line holds several counties here, as do the Mountbattens and Darians. There is also a considerable presence of Talbots and Garethedes. Fenris lords dominate, however, holding many of the Hawkwood territories but feuding amongst themselves constantly.

45% of the planet, however, is out of the hands of House Hawkwood. House Trusnikron’s king lives here (8%), and there are a number of Fianna (5%), Tlannic (3%) and Kilgore (3%) lords on the planet as well. The Vuldrok of Valdalla are firm in their territories (17%). Other Gaelgran houses from Bannockburn each have their own presences on the planet (totaling 4%), though their power is kept firmly in check by the fierce Fenrises. The Empire holds several strategic bases (2%), and several Li Halan hold land on the planet as well in an attempt to keep it safe for civilization (2%), though they spend most of their time feuding with the “degenerate” Hawkwoods on the planet and rooting out heresy in their own lands.

The Leminkainen planetary see is Orthodox, though there are significant Amalthean and Avestite presences on the planet, and a fair number of Eskatonics come from Gwynneth as well. There are several Adepti Templi fortress-monasteries stationed in strategic fiefdoms in the planet (1%). Although the Hawkwood lords support Orthodoxy, everywhere but in Koln lands there is little emphasis on spiritual conformity.

Leminkainen is known for its bounteously rich and tenacious plant life, but the Fading Suns phenomenon is causing climate changes which lead to famines, and leftover diseases from the barbarian invasions make Leminkainen less of a breadbasket than it might be. Its true strength is its mineral wealth, most notably the Pygmallium veins which are unrivalled throughout the Known Worlds. The Muster is the most powerful guild on the planet due to its monopoly on mining operations, with the Charioteers and Engineers competing for second place. Leminkainen is home to tremendous military might. The Trusnikrons breed and train various different Changed mounts for Leminkainen Hawkwood cavalry, which though unsubtle and unused to complex formations is quite devastating. Hawkwood fighters on this planet are fierce and as strong and hardy as the Vuldrok they oppose, though almost equally disdainful of discipline and tactical sophistication. The Wilde, Darian and Mountbatten families keep a significant fleet presence on the planet.

Leminkainen is ruled by Archduke Ragnar Fenris Hawkwood, an aging veteran of the Emperor Wars. A war hero himself, he has some sympathy for the claims of Fenrises who felt insufficiently rewarded by Alexius, but he considers himself to be bound by his oath to the Queen.

Velisamil Edit

Always the preserve of House Hawkwood, Velisamil has traditionally been a peaceful planet home to nothing worse than mild tension and intrigue.

Hawkwood Royal Offices and Orders Edit

The Office of Information Retrieval Edit

This is the Queen’s household intelligence service. It has branch offices everywhere in the Known Worlds, but it is diminutive compared to groups like the Jakovian Agency or the Mutasih. Its agents are relatively skilled, though there is often some friction at the requirement that the agency comport itself in an honorable fashion. The Office of Information Retrieval was more expansive under the Darians, but has been scaled back by Queen Victoria.

The Office of the Royal Chancellor Edit

The Office of the Royal Chancellor is responsible for maintaining diplomatic relations with other houses, the Church, the League, and the Empire. It is active mainly upon Delphi and at its embassies outside of Hawkwood space, though there is at least one branch office on every Hawkwood planet to advise the planetary ruler on dealings with non-Hawkwoods upon the planet.

The Office of the Royal Treasurer Edit

Much smaller than the Empire’s or the Church’s, the Royal Treasurer’s office is responsible for taxing the Queen’s subjects. It sponsors regional audits, at which local lords with Reeves go about and count up their subjects to determine the proper rate of taxes they should extract, and it audits the auditors occasionally to ensure that they are performing fairly and correctly. The royal treasury receives its taxes on a planetary basis, and so largely deals only with the House’s princes and archdukes. When an audit reveals that a lord is not paying sufficient tax, auditors wil inform nearby local lords and request that they pressure them into compliance.

The Red Lion Guard Edit

This knightly order is the personal bodyguard of the Mountbatten patriarch and therefore the personal bodyguard of the Crown. During periods of Darian rule, the White Lion Guard performed this function, but the two orders have cooperated significantly and passed equipment to each other during each royal transfer of power. Now the White Lion Guard serves Duke Alvarex Darian Hawkwood, though most of its membership left that order to form the nucleus of the Phoenix Guard at the end of the Second Emperor Wars. The Red Lion Guard is responsible for the personal safety of the Queen, the Castle Olympian, and the treasures of the Crown that are kept there. They occasionally undertake battlefield missions in the name of the Crown in the manner of the Phoenix Guard, but this is very rare. The White Lion Guard was more active in this respect. Each member of the Red Lion Guard is technically a royal champion, though the royal champions that tend to represent the Crown in affairs of honor are usually not of the Red Lion Guard, as the guard’s duties are almost exclusively security-related.

The Company of the Midnight Dove Edit

This knightly order is the most elite organized order that the house sends into battle on a regular basis. Knights of the Midnight Dove roam throughout the Known Worlds, undertaking sensitive and dangerous missions for the Crown. Knights of the Midnight Dove are highly elite and unswervingly loyal, and they are almost constantly on duty in one way or another. The Company of the Midnight Dove operates a small wing of stealth ships, fighters, and fast destroyers in order to deploy effectively anywhere, and its headquarters and primary training grounds are hidden on Delphi’s moon Diana. Many of the Company’s facilities are kept secret from Hawkwood lords.

The Company of the White Tower Edit

A knightly order established by the Darians in the wake of the First Emperor Wars, the Company of the White Tower is not under tight royal supervision but nonetheless serves the Crown loyally and well. The purpose of the Company was originally as a bulwark against further Vuldrok invasion, but its mission has expanded significantly. Now the official purpose of the order is to defend all land held by the Crown from foreign invasions. Unofficially, members of the order see it as their responsibility to aid any fellow Hawkwood in distress, as any problems any Hawkwoods have represent a danger to Hawkwood control of their territory.

Though an actual hierarchical knightly order in theory, the Company is somewhat freeform in practice. Knights of the White Tower must follow the orders of their superiors in the Company, but these orders usually consist of the command to live in a certain place and ensure that it is ready to resist invasion, and the place itself is wherever possible agreed upon by the knight to live there as well. The Company would be a powerful centralizing force if it were widespread, but as it is the Knights of the White Tower are so few, except on Leminkainen, that they do not act in a very coordinated fashion. The Company is fairly selective in its membership for an order with so little responsibility (as the Crown wishes to be able to count upon Knights of the White Tower in times of distress), but far less selective than a true adventurous knightly order.

The Company of the Griffon Edit

A somewhat honorary order of knights who have distinguished themselves in space, as fighter pilots, fleet commanders, marauders or marines. It carries additional duties and obligations, as there are both fighter squadrons and small battlefleets commanded entirely of Knights of the Griffon, members must spend a portion of their time in practice for interplanetary battle, and members are called upon more often to defend Hawkwood space, but it is not tightly regimented. Membership in the Company of the Griffon is an honor considering the House’s high esteem for naval prowess, and in times of peace is somewhat honorary.

The Company of the Black Forge Edit

Established by King Rudolph Koln II in 4321, the Company of the Black Forge is a semi-secret knightly order sworn to defend the Pygmallium mines of Leminkainen on behalf of the Hawkwood Crown in perpetuity. The Company served the house admirably in protecting many of the most strategic mining complexes even against the Vuldrok invasions, and it continues in its mission to this day. The Kolns who largely compose its membership take a far-sighted view toward the protection of the Pygmallium mines, and work to ensure that the mines are in stable and well-defended regions and well-hidden.

The Company of the Sword Imperator Edit


The Company of the Crown Sophia Edit


The Company of the Lion Star Edit

These honorary knightly orders are used to reward Hawkwoods of true valor. They are extremely selective and entirely honorary, rarely convening and carrying on with little overt show. Each Knight of the Crown is also a Knight of the Sword, and each Knight of the Lion Star is also a Knight of the Crown. These three orders have seen many imitations among other houses, and are extremely venerable institutions.

The Hawkwood Rooks Edit

Hawkwood intelligence agency.

Selected Hawkwood Families Edit

- Mountbatten: Staid and proper, holds the Crown. (Crown on Delphi, big on Ravenna, Gwynneth, Byzantium Secundus)

- Avery: Very rich and influential, ties to the Charioteers. Economically oriented. (Crown on Velisamil, big on Delphi, Byzantium Secundus, Ravenna)

- Darian: The Imperial family, now split. The Hawkwood remainder is largely anti-Imperial. (Crown on Ravenna, big on Delphi, Byzantium Secundus)

- Wilde: A powerful naval family, allied with the Mountbattens. Warlike compared to Ravennan or Delphic families. (Crown on Gwynneth, big on Leminkainen)

- Fenris: One of the most warlike and nordic families, demands Imperial favor for its past deeds of valor. Not entirely dissimilar from the Vuldrok. (Crown on Leminkainen, big on Gwynneth, Bannockburn)

- Wessex: Very Orthodox, oppose Fenris’ “paganism” and Avery/Adams guild ties. Prominent family at court. (Big on Ravenna, Delphi, Gwynneth)

- Gaunt: Stern warriors, often fight vs. Hazat. Ties to Avery. (big on Ravenna, Gwynneth, Delphi, recently kicked off Tethys)

- Koln: Teutonic, very proud, vie with Fenris for power on Leminkainen. High incidence of theurgy, closer ties to Church than Fenrises. More civilized in manners than Fenrises, but equally bloody. (Big on Leminkainen, Gwynneth, Velisamil)

- Plantagenet: Arrogant, trying to hang on to their former glory. Ancient grudge with House Fianna. (big on Delphi, Ravenna, Gwynneth, presence on Tethys, Velisamil)

- Rochfort: Related to the Lafayette Hazat, this once-proud line has lost most of its land on Tethys and Delphi after a number of defeats in the Emperor Wars, and has little influence beyond Gwynneth. (big on Gwynneth, presence on Delphi, Velisamil)

- Adams: Allied with Empire, politically and economically savvy. (Big on Byzantium Secundus, Delphi, Ravenna, Gwynneth, presence on Tethys)

- Hapsburg: Once great, now insecure and quite fervent in their desire to prove themselves. Technologically-inclined, patrons of many Engineers. (Big on Gwynneth, Delphi, presence on Ravenna, Leminkainen, Byzantium Secundus).

- Windsor: All that is now left of House Windsor, this line of Hawkwoods is quite conservative and opposed to all changes to the status quo. (big on Ravenna, Delphi, presence on Gwynneth)

- Lovel: Infamous as lacking in moral character. Very loyal, though, and good warriors, so tolerated. (Big on Delphi, presence on Gwynneth, Ravenna)

- Montgomery: Rather small, but clustered near positions of power. (big on Delphi, Byzantium Secundus, presence on Ravenna, Velisamil)

- Beckett: Allies of the Wildes, given to artistic and cultural endeavors. Orthodox, but notably tolerant of pagans. (Big on Gwynneth, presence on Bannockburn, Delphi)

- Garethede: Of Gaelgran origins, seen as romantic savages by more conservative branches of Hawkwoods. Technologically adept. High incidence of Theurgy. (Presence on Gwynneth, Leminkainen, Bannockburn)

- Agrippa: Allies of Darians, devastated in the Emperor Wars. Now staunchly anti-Imperial, bitter at being forgotten by Alexius. (Presence on Delphi, Gwynneth, Ravenna)

- Locksley: Allies of Wildes, excellent woodsmen and rangers. Individualistic and insular. (Presence on Gwynneth, Leminkainen)

- Talbot: Great warriors, implacable in combat vs. the Hazat especially. Notoriously chivalric, often regarded as foolish in their idealism. Eminently impractical as administrators, but quite prestigious as champions. (Presence on Delphi, Byzantium Secundus, Gwynneth, recently kicked off Tethys)

- vonBuellen: Cultured and romantic. Foppish at times, and utterly unrestrained in the pursuit of love. Considered either sophisticated and dashing or pathetic and lowly. (Presence on Gwynneth, Delphi, Ravenna)

- Godwin: Allies of the Rochforts, highly militaristic and preoccupied with status and face. (Presence on Gwynneth, Leminkainen, Aragon)

- Poindexter: Warriors, down-to-earth, loyal, if a bit unfriendly. Allied with the Lancasters. (presence on Delphi, Leminkainen, Velisamil, Gwynneth).