PART TWO: NEW PEERAGE
by Artorious Hathwillow
In 2TE:20, an unlanded noble by the name of Gregor Bryce was serving in the council of High King Silus the Kind during his campaign against House Jordayne. Having been crowned in the middle of a war started by his father, Johannus, High King Silus faced the question of whether he would pursue his father's war or not. Ultimately, he chose not only to continue the re-unification war against House Jordayne, but to start another against the fledgling region of Redwater to the South. Faced with the difficult position of a war on two fronts, Silus apparently sought council on how to quickly end things with House Jordayne. Gregor Bryce's advice to deal with House Jordayne was simple; "There is but one reward for a traitor to the race". At Bryce's advice, Silus no longer accepted quarter or parlay with the nobles of House Jordayne. Each member of the family he captured was put to the sword. Desperation soon set in, and Godsrock forces were able to capitalize on a series of strategic blunders made thereafter. Within the year, all members of House Jordayne had been captured and subjected to the ancient custom of 'decimation'. Gregor Bryce successfully lobbied to marry one of the Jordayne widows, and was rewarded with the elevation of his family to Great House.
Ever since, House Bryce has been at the forefront of the various historical atrocotious committed against the Stahlmen natives of the Greenwold. In 2TE:22 House Bryce worked with the First Ondarinist Inquisition to root out the entrenched Stahlic culture of the Greenwold. It wasn't until Satrap Glyyn publically immolated himself in the open court at Kings' Sheathe that Silus called for an end to the Inquisition. All the same, House Bryce was again involved with the Inquisition of the 3rd Era, and even now in the 4th Era has lobbied at least once to outlaw certain traditionally Stahlic practices and folk-traditions. Part of this is the Bryce's longstanding piety and investment in the Church of Ondarin; as the popular wisdom goes in the Greenwold, when Ondarin calls for blood you can be sure a Bryce will answer.
Before 2TE:123 the territory to the north of the White River was a wild and unexplored frontier. It was known that there were clans and tribes of savages, but since they had not previously crossed the White River, nothing came of it. In the early spring of 2TE:123 though, the Palelander Clans united under Mordecht the White King and, allied with several Orcish Warlords from the far North, crossed the White River to siege Aspenwulle. The initial response was slow - it took almost a month for House Draegar to mobilize forces and another for them to join the fighting in the Greenwold. The White King's forces extended nearly to Kings' Sheathe before the tide turned; the newly minted Church Militant leveraging the powerful advantage of Ondarin Templars to turn back the invasion.
It took a full fourteen years to finally end the Palelander Invasion; the 3rd Era was ushered in by the famous Battle of Red Snow, at which High King Artor the Wise supposedly defeated Mordecht the White King in single combat and broke his forces for good. Historical accounts variously dispute that, but what is known is that Artor the Wise's personal retainer, last heir to the Banmor name, served him well enough in combat to earn a peerage.
Thus it was that Artor chose to establish a Taenish presence north of the White River, deferring the responsibility to the new Lord Corbin Banmor. Rather than attempt to defeat each of the resident Palelander Clans on the open field, Lord Banmor instead targeted the defacto ruling Clan, Clynddylan. When Patriarch Clynddylan surrendered near the end of 3TE:1, Lord Banmor married Clynddylan's daughter and thereby substituted himself into the soceo-political structure of the Palelander Clans.
It was a savvy move that endeared the Banmors to the Palelander culture- one which valued martial prowess but not bloody warfare, and whose patrolineal political structures were easily coopted into the Taenish vassalge system.