A family long associated with martial endeavors, including the making of arms, armor, and the soldiers who use them, the Bladesemmers lost both property and title during the Wailing Years. Though they have regained (most of) both, they are still struggling to re-establish their identity as nobles. With the loss of the past, the Bladesemmers became mercenaries, smiths, and trainers, and as a family they lost something of the polish of days past.
Today, they have a reputation as "rough around the edges" nobles who are barely worthy of the name. To some degree, the Bladesemmers are navigating this by taking up an interest in the activities of the Watch and the Guard, proving their loyalty to Waterdeep through improving both of those organizations. Mostly such efforts come in the form of working to help fund and equip both organizations, although some Bladesemmers have become officers of both in recent years.
Members of the Family
- Lady Brone "Blackapron" Bladesemmer: Matriarch (Renown 10) • 45 years. Lady Blackapron has earned that name. She grew up without noble title, the daughter of a Bladesemmer smith in Daggerford. She was at the head of the efforts to recover the Bladesemmer title in the aftermath of Neverember's selling of titles, and she brought with her a rollicking clan of fighters and smiths. Though she was heavily scorned at first, her quiet dignity and no-nonsense way earned her many admirers right away. The fact that her clan arrived with not-insignificant wealth helped, admittedly, but the "maker's mark" of her forging her family's new nobility was her marriage to Malolone Gost. Everyone likes to whisper about the time she was among society friends at a tavern: she and her fellow ladies were accosted by a drunken ruffian of an adventurer fresh from Undermountain. After asking him exactly once to leave them be, she stood and punched him dead in the face, breaking his nose and knocking him unconscious. She then returned to her seat, and apologized for the necessity of it all, buying the tavern a round as an apology.
- Malolone Bladesemmer: Consort (Renown 7) • 43 years. A boy who grew up a half-forgotten cousin in the Gost household, Malolone developed into a well-liked young man, accepted in the social set without being a mover or shaker therein. Still, the affable young man made friends easily. It wasn't until he met the newly-elevated Lady Brone at a theater event one evening that he'd ever found something he wanted to strive for. He never made the mistake of trying to defend or stand up for Brone – she was far too formidable to need that from someone as relatively meek as Malolone – but he was there for her when her efforts to find her footing in Waterdhavian high society became frustrating. When he confessed his affection for her, she seemed taken aback, but glad, and the two were wed in short order. Since then, he has turned that mild strength to the benefit of his new House - a true benefit among the Bladesemmers who tend toward fiery, fighty personalities.
- Skorlor Bladesemmer: Matriarch's firstborn son, Heir (Renown 6) • 23 years. A skilled fencer and a bit of a bravo, Skorlor has his mother's temper and his father's charisma and deep understanding of Waterdhavian society. He runs with a small clique of other swordsmen who would like nothing more than to bring honor duels back into fashion, and have begun to do so, the law be damned. They've all just been "gentlefolk's bouts" to first blood, but he and his are avid readers of salacious novels featuring dashing swordsmen and -women whose blades seek mortal satisfaction from their enemies (when they aren't falling into bed with one another). Skorlor seems intent on shaping himself into that sort of noble, if he has his way.
- Gaufridus Bladesemmer: Matriarch's brother (Renown 7) • 41 years. An officer in the Watch, Gaufridus is the rorden in charge of Dob's Watchpost, one of the Watchposts of the Sea Ward. He is well-loved by his men, and respected by his seniors in the Watch, although they are careful to watch to ensure he does not show undue favor to any nobles, particularly his own House. It seems that his superiors have very little to worry about, however, for Gaufridus has demonstrated himself to be unflinchingly responsible and conscious of his integrity and duty.
- Nasetta Bladesemmer: Matriarch's mother (Renown 1) • 70 years. Nasetta married Rilik Bladesemmer as a young woman, taken with the handsome mercenary captain's noble bearing and strong jaw. She is proud of her daughter Brone's accomplishments in recovering the family's noble title, and though she has lived a life of wealth, it did nothing to prepare her for life as a Waterdhavian noble. She still finds it all quite a whirlwind, and prefers the seclusion of her apartments in Alamenda's Round. In the last few years, Nasetta has taken a paramour – Jaesan Rihval, an old cohort of Rilik's from his days as a mercenary.
- Jaesan Rihval: Nasetta's Paramour (Renown 4) • 71 years. Nasetta's paramour and the former best friend of Brone and Gaufridus's father Rilik, Jaesan is clearly ill-at-ease with the lavishness that has suddenly come into his twilight years. He is quiet and devoted to Nasetta, and still works through his sword routines in the early hours of the morning. Brone put him in charge of the Swordshigh Salle, and most of the current family learned their fighting skills from the old fighter. Brone considers him a friend and mentor, and the two frequently chat about the choices that face her as matriarch of the family.
- Resources Limit: If necessary, House Bladesemmer could probably generate about 23,000 gp in liquid coin and valuables within a month.
Whiteblade House (Villa)
Sul Street, Sea Ward
An absurdly large compound even by Waterdhavian noble standards, many of the Bladesemmer buildings trace their origins to use as mercenary training and headquarters before the Masked Lords limited how many any men-at-arms could be maintained by a given House in the city at a time. The gardens are really more of a lawn, and one well-suited to tromping about and fighting in, at that, and the whole is surrounded by a tall, imposing edifice of black stone, stopped with fanciful wall-spikes in the shape of the House's upraised sword iconography.
- Whiteblade House: Vast and rollicking, Whiteblade House is a manorial edifice in the same black stone as the wall around the compound, with carvings of armored warriors standing at attention in alcoves carved along its outer facade on every level. Narrow windows and crennelations along the roof give it the impression of being a particularly fancy miniature keep. The main floor of Whiteblade has all its social spaces, including a massive grand hall, a scattering of salons, a household salle, and an armory that is more of a family museum with historical weapons and armor on display. The cellars are purely storage and connections to the compound's service tunnels, although household lore likes to maintain there is a secret vault full of riches down there somewhere. The second story bears a library that opens out onto an outer balcony overlooking the gardens, with spacious living quarters taking up the rest of the floor. Slightly less roomy (but no less opulent) living quarters make up the third floor. (A,3)
- The Armory: Once a literal smithy and armory storage for the house's craftsfolk, this building was turned into additional living spaces and a third story added onto it at the height of the House's largest population in the middle 1200s DR. It is shuttered and empty at current, although Skorlor is pressing to be allowed to turn it into an heir's household for himself, a proposal his mother finds wasteful and absurd. (A,3)
- Squirehall: Consisting of a single story above ground and two levels of cellars beneath it, Squirehall is the servant's quarters for the Bladesemmer villa. Its more genteel living quarters on the ground floor are for the use of the upper echelon of servants and household retainers. The first cellar beneath that is built around the massive kitchens, bakery, and brewery, with living quarters for the folk who work in those facilities, as well as the connections to the tunnels that reach the other buildings along the western edge of the compound. The lower cellars feature extensive storage in the center, with rooming for other household servants. (B,1)
- Alimenda's Round: The newest building on the compound, Alimenda was one of the last dowager consorts of House Bladesemmer before the Wailing Years. Snappish and ill-tempered, her son built her this domicile, which includes a long, glass-walled gallery with a view of the gardens, a large library, and lavish personal suites. It also has a servant's cellar which is mostly just a small bit of storage built around the end-point of a service tunnel from Squirehall. Lady Brone's mother, Nasetta and her paramour Jaesan live here, which suits their desire for quiet privacy very well.. (A,1)
- Swordshigh Salle: Also known as "the Barracks" because this building once housed familial mercenaries when they still owned such, Swordshigh is a fencing academy, and one making quite a splash in that scene. The one-story building features a variety of armories, salles, and lecture halls, as well as a large street-facing exhibition hall whose outward face can be folded back to give passersby a view at the fights on display. Jaesan oversees the training curriculum and testing within its fighting programs. (A,1)
- Bladesemmer Stables: A sizable household stables. (B,1)
- Warturrets Hall: Though most of Warturrets is made up of living spaces that are extraneous given the current numbers of Bladesemmers in the House, part of the three-story building that extends out into the gardens holds the House's forges. With a long-established tradition of arms and armor smithing, the Bladesemmers have always included smiths in the household, and the modern Bladesemmers may include a higher percentage of them than in any days past save its founding. The workshops along the back of the hall are all taller than they are wide, as the back portion of all three floors are dedicated to them, giving plentiful ventilation for the work at hand. Balconies from the upper two floors open out over the workshops, though since no one lives in Warturrets currently, they go largely unused. Warturrets is also known for an extensive marbled baths where those who've been working can clean off and unwind a little before returning to their normal lives in the rest of the compound. (A,3)
Known Faction Perks
Scions and agents of House Bladesemmer 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: 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).
- Sword Training: Rank 1+. All scions of House Bladesemmer receive training in various arms. Choose one sword and gain proficiency in this weapon.
- Business Opportunities: Rank 2+. 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): Rank 2+. 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: Rank 3. The patriarch of the House is in total control of the House's finances and various holdings, established by the laws of Waterdeep.