The last of the Belabranta line died in 1447, during the Wailing Years, a melancholy lonely lordling who'd seen most of his family die to the horrors of the Spellplague. Nearly twenty years later, Aulin Driios presented himself to the Lords' Court in the company of Shanree Gundwynd, his betrothed, and the Herald Falconfree. The Herald presented evidence of Uldenaer's lineage as a bastard of that last Belabranta, a byblow of the lord's dalliance with one of the House's beast-trainers, and petitioned to be granted lordship over the Belabranta title. After two days, the Lords refused his claim, but did give him rights to establish a new House, awarding him the old Belatranta title, if not the name. Uldenaer and Tareth (estranged from her family) founded House Belbrundel.
Aulin quickly ennobled his own siblings and cousins as well, and a decade of marriages to available nobles and wealthy would-be nobles followed. House Belbrundel quickly made a name for itself by providing guard drakes to those who desires them in Waterdeep. The owning of guard drakes quickly became a sign of influence and prestige, some even displaying the beasts prominently in promenades through the Heroes' Garden during the late 1470s and early 1480s.
Today House Belbrundel continues to be the sole source for guard drakes in Waterdeep, with the ritual for creating the beasts a tightly guarded secret. They are also hotly in competition with House Gundgulf for the procurement and sale of hippogriffs, though both Houses are trying to revive an aerial guard that uses hippogriffs rather than griffons. The House is known to pay top coin for the scales of chromatic dragons (only).
Members of the Family
- Lord Aulin Belbrundel: Patriarch (Renown 10) • 63 years. Doddering and reclusive, Lord Aulin wishes nothing to do with any of the world. After the death of his beloved wife Shanree ten years ago, Aulin entered a mourning which he has never really emerged from. Fortunately his eldest daughter is canny and very capable. Two years ago, Aulin's Household guard was forced to put his long-time pet green guard drake Verdant down after the beast sensed the old man's weakness and attacked him. This has only made the old man even more melancholy.
- Yulyssil Belbrundel: Heir (Renown 8) • 35 years. Quickly risen to the challenge of managing her House after her mother's death and her father's retreat, Yulyssil is nicknamed the "Queen of Drakes" in Waterdhavian society. She frequently is seen at social events with her pet red guard drake Ruby, an incredibly intelligent, well-trained beast utterly devoted to Yulyssil. With a love of all night revels and vicious competitive streak a mile wide, Yulyssil is a force to be reckoned with in the Game, and she takes her House's rivalry with the Gundgulfs very seriously. She and her consort Bhegan have two children, Deskond (a boy of 14 years) and Uthlyl (a girl of 10 years).
- Bhegan Belbrundel: Yulyssil's consort (Renown 5) • 33 years. A Nesher cousin, Bhegan fell madly in love with Yulyssil at his Coming Out ball, when he begged to pet Ruby and she insisted that he must give her a dance in return for being allowed to do so. This began his wooing of her over the next two years, finally winning her hand. He readily left his own House to join hers, and the two have been inseparable ever since. Bhegan has a guard drake of his own, a black named Midnight, and Yulyssil jokes that he only married her in order to get his own drake, the way he dotes on the beast. Only Deskond and Uthlyl receive more of his affection, and that only barely.
- Shulaleen Belbrundel: Patriarch's secondborn daughter (Renown 7) • 31 years. Though both Yulyssil and Shulaleen hold the secret to creating the guard drake eggs, only Shulaleen is capable of performing the rites needed. She is also an incredibly skilled trainer, heading up the small cadre of drake trainers who help train the drakes (alongside whoever it is has paid for the beast and bonded with it). Shulaleen is plain-looking and always wears gloves and long sleeves, to hide the scars gotten from many a young guard drake's first training.
- Edareen Gauntyl: Patriarch's thirdborn daughter (Renown –) • 26 years. Of Lord Aulin's three daughters, meek Eldareen was the odd one out all her life. Nothing highlighted this quite so strongly as the fact that she was very uncomfortable around guard drakes since a childhood incident: a household drake attacked her when she was young, and she never recovered from the trauma of it. She all but fled her birth house into a marriage with Belress Gauntyl, and seems to have basically forgotten her relations entirely.
- Resources Limit: If necessary, House Belbrundel could probably generate about 14,000 gp in liquid coin and valuables within a month.
The House of Drakes (Villa)
Mendever Street, Sea Ward
Once the villa of House Belabranta, Beldrundel's prosperity since its founding has gone almost entirely into remaking the place into an edifice glorifying the new House, and expunging the old. The great wall around the structure remains from its older days, save that the Belbrundels have added copper shields with their heraldry along its length. Between those shields are arches cut into the wall, barred with iron, that allow glances into the grounds, but also provide a vantage for the many guard drakes on those grounds to peer out at passersby. More than one citizen has lodged a protest with both the House and the magistrates at being startled by the hissing horrors, but thus far House Beldrundel's right to keep their guardians in plain sight has been upheld.
- House of Drakes: A massive edifice once festooned with statuary of griffons, which have all been replaced with fanciful depictions of drakes. A grand set of doors faces Mendever Street, providing entry into the first floor of the structure, which is almost entirely social spaces: a grand garden-facing ballroom two stories in height, various salons and dens, and not one but two dining halls (one commonly in use by the family, and another for grand banquets with guests). The second floor has spaces dedicated to familial gatherings, including a vast solarium facing the gardens, a series of offices given over to household uses, and the apartments for the patriarch's immediate family. The upper three floors are lavish apartments for other members of the household. The cellars boast servant quarters, kitchens (with delivery doors off the Rough Road), and other household function chambers. (A,5)
- Shanree's Delight: So named for the enchantment Lady Shanree felt for the vast library on the ground floor of the building, along with the long gallery of garden-facing, glass-walled reading spaces, Shanree's Delight is considered the household for those who prefer a bit quieter, quixotic life. Its eastern section holds an old family chapel once dedicated to Mielikki, though that is not a faith the Belbrundels follow. They have since donated all of the shrines interior goods to the Shrines of Nature and the rooms remain unused thus far. The upper two stories hold groupings of apartments around central gathering spaces. It has no cellars. (A,3)
- The Pens: Two stories in height, the pens are formerly a stables for horses on the ground floor, and griffon roost on the upper. Today, the lower level is exclusively a pens and training ground for guard drakes, with the old cellars storage spaces now turned into hatching rooms and the ritual chamber where the guard drake eggs are wrought. The old roost how houses familial hippogriffs. (A,2)
- The Heirshold: Closed for many years, the Belabrantas used this building as the domicile and household for their heirs, giving them practice at running households before they became heads-of-House. When Yulyssil married, she opened this building back up and had it refurbished for herself and her husband. The ground floor includes kitchens, dining chamber, guest rooms, and family hall, as well as a modest library and offices for the heir, with a set of cellars with storage space and servants quarters, as well as a luxurious hot baths. The second floor boasts a large family solarium, nursery, and children's quarters and classrooms, with quarters for a nanny and tutor, while the heir and her consort have extravagant quarters on the upper story. (A,3)
Known Faction Perks
Scions and agents of House Belbrundel in good standing might receive the following benefits:
- Living Quarters: Renown 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: Renown 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: Renown 3+. Lynchpins to the House'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 too many of the character rolls results that end in a loss of money, he can and will find his Rank in the House reduced.
- Heir or Consort (Title): Renown 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.
- Wealth of the House: Renown 10. The patriarch of the House is in total control of the House's finances and various holdings, established by the laws of Waterdeep.