Lord Robert Blackbryre
The Leader of the White Cloaks
Robert was always a charming young man. He grew up in the House of Black, one of the oldest families in Selden, so old, in fact, that they have a tribal history. For much of his life he lived in the shadow of his older brother Rowland, and while both were equally capable and succesful in their lives, Robert always felt that his achievements were always soured by the fact that his brother had done them first.
Rowland was a warrior; Robert, a scholar. The two of them got along quite well but their father, Thomas Blackbryre only ever appreciated Rowland. Rowland marched off to join the guards at Phanero’s Rest as soon as he turned sixteen. While Robert, when he came of age, decided to stay at home and learn the duties of Lordship. Old Thomas Blackbryre had always been a warrior, and had settled down in his old age after inheriting the estate many years ago from his father. Thus, Robert’s interest in lordly affairs was unappreciated by his father who had always seen his title and status as tedius and boring.
Robert sought in books what his father refused to teach. He read all he could on the dealings of Lordship, Orders of Knights, Law and Order, Government, Politics, Strategy, and any other subject he felt would serve him when the time came. Robert knew that the laws of succession would see his brother leading the house before him, but Rowland had already agreed that all of the duties that befell the Lord of Black would fall to Robert.
It was in Robert’s seventeenth years, and Rowland’s twenty-third, that horror befell their family. The House of White, a rival family from the North, began to stirrup trouble against the House of Black, Phanero’s Rest being the arena for these ancient troubles. And stories of vampires attacking House of Black men in the North began to circulate, and with all the tension between the two families, the House of Black came to believe that the House of White was a secret coven of vampires seeking to destroy them.
When investigations into the matter proved that there were indeed dark forces working in the House of White, a host, pulled together from the Guardsmen at Phanero’s Rest, and the bannermen of the House of Black marched on the House of White and slaughetered all that lived there. In the fading hours of the day a man was dug up from the wreckage, raving mad and howling like a mad dog, laughing and spitting.
They threw him on the ground and prepared to hang him, the final killing, a punctuation for a day of slaughter. But in his last words the man revealed an ancient plot. One that told of two brothers of the House of Black. Thomas and Peter, one a normal human man, and one cursed with lycanthropy. The two met together and decided on a plot, which would rid the world of the House of White forever. Peter, the werewolf, would hide amongst the House of White’s people, killing random travelers on the road and stirring up rumours about monsters near the White’s Woods. Thomas would stay behind, till the rumours at last reached his ear, at which point he would insight violence in his people and those of Phanero’s Rest. Together the two would see to the destruction of the House of White and all their lower families. Even now, as Peter described, Thomas was drinking a poision which would see that he was never punished for his crimes.
Rowland lay dead by the end of the battle, the first victim of the battle. Robert was now the only remaining heir to the House of Black. In that moment Robert cursed all the dark things which had caused this madness to descend upon his family and the people of the House of White. He looked to the West, cursing the veil, and promised that he would see that all of the evil in the world was cast out or destroyed. In that moment he, at only the age of seventeen, created the White Cloaks, taking the symbol of Viritus as his mark he asked for the alleigance of all those that would serve the forces of good.
And thus he was made into Lord Robert, ruler of Mindelor, inheritor of the Great Mountain, Phanero’s Rest, and all of the Mindelor dominion.