House Melshimber

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House Melshimber
Image:Melshimber.png
“Only the finest of wine and words.”
Personages
Patriarch: Harlond Melshimber
Consort: Andraethra Melshimber
Heir: Tasheene Melshimber (firstborn daughter)
Membership (Nobles): 39
Predominant Faith: Oghma
Faction Details
Common Descriptors: Genteel, educated, suave
Primary Classes: Bard, Cleric (Oghma primarily), Rogue, Wizard
Alignments: NE, LE, N, NG, LG
Faction Ranks
Favored: Rank 1. You are a favored member of the House. If you are a Melshimber, you have pleased the matriarch sufficiently to gain her notice. If you are an agent or retainer of the House, your efforts to aid the House have gone well-noted.

Lynchpin: Rank 3. You are given a position of some responsibility in the House's operations. If you are a scion of the House, the matriarch considers you one of the favored scions of the House, and consults with you on matters of House importance. If you are an agent or retainer, your contributions and skills in service of the House have won you a position of no small regard and respect in the matriarch's eyes - although that may earn you the jealousy of her blood kin who are less favored than you.
Matriarch/Patriarch: Rank 10. You are the acknowledged and legal head of the household.

Interests
Trade & Interests: Sage-lore (history, genealogy), information, fine wines
Holdings: Northern Seawatch Street, Sea Ward, Waterdeep (Estate); Offices (Castle Ward), Rooming House (Trades Ward)
History
Ethnicity: Tethyrian
Founded: 1190 DR
Previous Eras: 1354 DR

Best known for their scholarly pursuits and fine wines, Waterdhavians in the know like to say that the Melshimbers have combined those two interests to master the art of gossip and information-gathering. One of the older families in Waterdeep, few are such a fixture on the social scene as the Melshimbers. It is a simple fact that no social event can be said to truly occur in Waterdeep without at least a flurry of invitations being sent to the Melshimber Villa, and acceptance by at least one is required to accord such an event a success.

The Melshimbers never surrendered their nobility, unlike many others, though the dark times in Waterdeep hit them just as badly as others. Their old matriarch Edura was practically a slave to Open Lord Dagult Neverember, who used her information network as his personal spies, controlling her through a very addictive drug that he alone doled out to her. When she died of the caustic drug's effects, her eldest son Lord Harlond became head of house, and has sworn to never be beholden to such again.

[edit] Faction

Best known for their scholarly pursuits and fine wines, Waterdhavians in the know like to say that the Melshimbers have combined those two interests to master the art of gossip and information-gathering.

[edit] Overview

House Melshimber is a House of scholars and carousers. They are usually quite well-regarded for their winning charms, their love of (and access to) the finest wines, and as patrons of the arts. Once, the Melshimbers were regarded as intrigue-loving dilettantes and party-goers, but their reputation evolved a somewhat sharper edge for knowing everyone's secrets. To this day, everyone knows: the Melshimbers know.

[edit] Goals and Philosophy

Where once the Melshimber investment in intrigues was simply a harmless game to engage in between parties and events, now they are nearly a stock in trade. The Melshimbers continue their oldest vocations - that of wine merchants, vineyard owners, and patrons of the arts - but all of those can be and have been turned to the increase of power for Hlanta's House.

[edit] Activities

By and large, Melshimber scions are involved in sagecraft, wine (either the making or selling of it), and the patronage of the arts in any number of capacities. In many ways, the House as a whole is involved with Hlanta's search for interesting secrets, which she rewards her family and household well for.

Quests undertaken by agents of House Melshimber might include the following:

  • Deal with anything disrupting the lines of wine flowing from any Melshimber property to Waterdeep.
  • Seek out by any number of unsavory means the secrets of other Houses...and even those beyond the nobles' Game.

[edit] Perks

Scions and agents of House Melshimber in good standing might receive the following benefits:

  • Living Quarters: Rank 1+. Those in good standing with the House are given quarters within the House's Waterdhavian villa appropriate to their role in the House.
  • Living Expenses/Salaries: Rank 1+. Those in good standing with the House also receive a stipend of 1gp plus 5sp per day per point of Rank. This is not actual cash, but simply familial credit towards payment of Lifestyle costs. This stacks with the same kind of familial credit received from the Waterdhavian Noble Background (see Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide).
  • Business Opportunities: Rank 3+. Lynchpins to House Melshimber's operations receive access to a variety of business opportunities within the House's money-making endeavors. This is handled as "Running a Business" in downtime months. This does not incur a business expense, but if the character rolls results that end in a loss of money, he can and will find access to his House funds reduced until the loss has been made up for.
  • Heir or Consort (Title): Rank 3+. The holder of one of the legal titles Heir of House and Consort of House, as recorded with the city of Waterdeep, is entitled to an additional 2gp per day in familial credit, per the "Living Expenses/Salaries" entry above. The heir is also accorded certain privileges within the legal system of Waterdeep, including the ability to speak on behalf of his House in some legal proceedings and the like.
  • Vault of Secrets: Rank 5+. Upper-tier House members gain access to the House's "Vault of Secrets," a metaphor for the body of knowledge the matriarch and the upper echelons of the House have accrued about other nobles and other important individuals in Waterdeep. Those with access to that Vault may seek out information from the House's sources, taking up a day of discussion with family members and records. If the individual or organization in question have any secrets known to the House, that scion gains access to them at the end of that day...although the asking may draw the interest of Gholsetha or any of the other important House members.
  • Master of Pages: Rank 7+. A family title, the Master of Pages is the head of the house's sagely business, considered the direct employer of the family's many sages and librarians, as well as its network of informants and information-brokers. This title comes with a monthly stipend in addition to familial credit in Waterdeep and mastery of the House of Parchments, including unrestricted access to the House's fine library therein.
  • Master of Wines: Rank 7+. A family title, the Master of Wines is the head of the house's wine business, considered the direct employer of the family's many sommeliers, wine merchants, and vineyards. The title comes with a monthly stipend in addition to familial credit in Waterdeep, as well as the right to take residence either in one of the House's many vineyards or in the Vintage House in the Waterdeep villa compound.
  • Wealth of the House: Rank 10. The matriarch of the House is in total control of the House's finances and various holdings, established by the laws of Waterdeep.

[edit] Members of the Family

The Melshimbers are a rollicking large family, with a great many branches scattered all over. Not all Melshimbers are recognized as House Melshimber, in fact, due to various familial enmities and falling-outs, although Laeral's Reinvestment did bring quite a few of them home to roost (so to say).

[edit] Main Branch

The main branch today traces its lineage back to Lord Khallos Melshimber, the son of Lady Hlanta.

Harlond Melshimber
Patriarch of the House (Rank 10) • 45 years
A man comfortable in his role as head-of-house, Lord Harlond is part of the backbone of Waterdeep's noble community. He makes the requisite appearances at public events, of course, but his forté are the parlor and study meetings, the conferences late in the night, which shape the futures of Waterdeep, insofar as the nobility have any sway over such. He is pleasant but his smiles never reach his eyes.
Andraethra Melshimber
Consort (Rank 8) • 41 years
In contrast to her husband, it might almost be fairly said that there is no social set in Waterdeep without Andraethra. She sets a great deal of the nobility's standards of comportment and presentation, and a critical word from her has crushed reputations and futures within those circles before.
Tasheene Melshimber
Heir, firstborn daughter (Rank 2) • 23 years
Young and ambitious, Tasheene seems to hold her parents' stodgy, traditionalist ways in contempt. She certainly is as power-hungry as they; she simply doesn't see any use in avoiding employing whatever contacts and resources come her way.
Kobrostos Melshimber
Secondborn son (Rank xx) • 21 years
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Gholsetha Melshimber
Patriarch's sister (Rank 9) • 43 years
Secretive and elegant, Gholsetha delights in the social rounds. In many ways, most think of her as the very icon of the Melshimber secret-merchant: she always knows just the right gossip for your needs, so long as you can bring her something she didn't already know. If not, she's happy to direct you to discover some!
Elbymil Melshimber
Consort (Rank xx) • 48 years
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Veluithan Melshimber
Firstborn son (Rank xx) • 22 years
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Jhaenureth Melshimber
Heir, secondborn daughter (Rank xx) • 19 years
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Elhorar Melshimber
Matriarch's brother (Rank xx) • 39 years
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Alon Melshimber
Elhorar's consort (Rank xx) • 34 years
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Diemba Hunabar
Matriarch's sister (Rank 0) • 41 years
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Ruldryn Melshimber
Matriarch's cousin (Rank 57) • 33 years
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Mrinil Melshimber
Ruldryn's consort (Rank xx) • 33 years
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Ilomnar Melshimber
Ruldryn's firstborn son (Rank 0) • 14 years
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Brylla Melshimber
Ruldryn's secondborn daughter (Rank 0) • 11 years
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Shalyth Melshimber
Ruldryn's thirdborn daughter (Rank 0) • 8 years
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[edit] The Scornubian Branch

Despite what the name suggests, this is not the branch of the family that is in Scornubel. No, this is the branch of the family from Scornubel. There is perhaps another dozen or so actually in Melshimber holdings there as well.

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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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[edit] The New Kin

Kymeera Melshimber
Matriarch's Cousin (Rank 4) • 44 years
A distant cousin, Kymeera showed up in 1471 DR, when things were looking very bad for House Melshimber. The infusion of coin she brought with her prompted Lady Edura to overlook the stain on her name: her tiefling children Psalm and Hosanna.
Psalm Melshimber
Kymeera's firstborn son (Rank 1) • 21 years
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Hosanna Melshimber
Kymeera's secondborn daughter (Rank 0) • 13 years
Sweet dispositioned and gregarious to a fault (although with a slight impulse control problem), Hosanna loves making friends. Unfortunately, she's realized that a good many folk don't wish to make friends with someone who looks like her. Though her relationship with her cousins her age is still fraught, she has taken solace from the welcome she has gotten from some of her aunts and uncles.
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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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xxx (Rank xx) • xx years
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[edit] Other Kin

  • The Scornubel Branch: x
  • The Silverymoon Branch: x
  • The Baldur's Gate Branch: x

[edit] Holdings

  • Resources Limit: If necessary, House Melshimber could probably generate about 50,000 gp in liquid coin and valuables within a month.

[edit] Wine's Wisdom Hall

Sea Ward of Waterdeep, Waterdeep
The estate villa of House Melshimber consists of a trio of buildings, with extensively landscaped gardens between them. The whole is surrounded by a fine white-washed wall, decorated with carved interwoven grape vines around quills across the top of it. The buildings themselves are likewise a mist-grey (almost white) stone, and they are fond of decorative stained glass windows - even the regular windows often have a frame of stained glass across their tops and bottoms, usually depicting grape leaves and clusters, books, scrolls, writing utensils and the like.

  • Wine's Wisdom Hall: A five-story structure, Wine's Wisdom's best-known feature is the Tasting Room, a large rounded room that sticks out into the gardens. It is four stories in height, and its garden-facing walls are all fine glass windows. It is a fine party chamber that is the envy of many nobles, and rightly so - many of the finest social events in Waterdhavian histories have taken place there. The rest of the building is made up of private living spaces, for the most part: the ground floor features sumptuous chambers for entertaining guests, including a massive banquet hall with a stage on one end that is sometimes used to host theatrical events or musical performances. The upper floors are all wings of private suites for household members. Lady Gholsetha's immediate family maintain rooms here.
  • The Vintage House: This five-story house has extensive rooms, including two floors of guesting housing for friends of the family visiting Waterdeep. The street-front face of the building features a massive set of oaken double-doors all entwined with grape vines and closed books in the center of the doors emblazoned with the Melshimber heraldry. There is also a small gate in the wall directly north of the house, allowing delivery wagons access to the house's extensive wine cellars. The cellars themselves are the size of the whole of the building, and entirely made up of row-after-row of ceiling-height wineracks. Half the servants of the Vintage House are directly under the Master Sommelier Denaren Izira, and employed to keep the wines in fine shape and inventoried properly. These servants also deliver wines to the houses of the estate and see to its proper service.
  • The House of Parchments: Before the House maintained separate offices for such, the Parchments House provided them with a base for their sages to do their work from. Now friends of the family (and other Waterdhavian nobles) still occasionally visit for that purpose. The ground floor is made up of a handful of reading rooms and parlors which line the outer walls of the building. The southern edge of the building juts out in the gardens - this is the House library, a massive four-story construction, with literal walls of books. The upper second through fourth floors of the northern portion of the building is divided into a variety of suites.
  • The Great Cellars: Beneath the villa grounds is an extensive warren of cellars. These cellars can be accessed from the cellars of any of the houses, although only a few heads of house (generally those of Rank 7+) have keys to them. The family maintains a massive wine cellar down here somewhere, in which they store ancient and extremely valuable vintages, including some wines magically restored or preserved garnered from ancient historical sites (a neat cross of the House's interests). It is also said that the House's vaults are down here somewhere, hidden away behind traps and locked doors. Family rumor maintains that one passage also extends out into the sewers.
  • The Garden Chapel: A small private family chapel, situated in the northwest corner of the gardens, shrouded by trees.

[edit] Waterdhavian Properties

  • Melshimber Offices: Castle Ward. House Melshimber maintains a small office, with ample library (all copies of the House's own tomes) for the use of its members who maintain public presences as sages, with a set of apartments above.
  • The Quill Hall: Trade Ward. House Melshimber also maintains a rooming house, which they rent out to only writers, sages and the like. The top floor of the house they keep empty, for the exclusive use of those writers they patronize to produce written works for them.

[edit] Other Land

House Melshimber maintains extensive vineyards around the North and Heartlands, which produce their variety of fine vintages.

  • The Helm-and-Eye Estates: A collection of rich vineyards just outside of Scornubel, with an opulent manor in the center of the lands, the Helm-and-Eye (named for the Melshimber heraldry) is home to xxx. They are masters of over a dozen individual vineyards and two small villages where the harvests are brought in and made into wines at the estate proper.
  • Greenfields Vineyards: Though they own only a few of the vineyards to be found in these lands just north of Amn, House Melshimber invests in quite a few others here, and usually benefit from a pick of the harvest. They also own most of the best wineries in the area.
  • Heartlands Estates: The Melshimbers also own a handful of vineyards and wineries across the Western Heartlands, including in Bereghost, the lands around Baldur's Gate, Triel, Scoubar and Elturel.

[edit] Other Investments

  • Printers Through the North: House Melshimber also owns an extensive printery out of Silverymoon from when they print a great many books that find their way into libraries in the North.
  • Patronage of Authors & Sages: The Melshimbers also make a point of acting as patrons for many writers of topics they consider of interest or importance, providing funding and even room and board (in the Quill Hall, above) for promising writers.
  • Contributions: House Melshimber contributes heavily to a great many institutions, mostly libraries and temples to Oghma. Every major urban library and temple to Oghma in the North receives an annual stipend. They also contribute heavily to Candlekeep's coffers.

[edit] Rumors About House Melshimber

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