Aristocrats

Table of contents


The Aristocrats are rich because they are rich, famous because they are famous, important because they are important. Tales tell that, once upon a time, they were the strongest at magic and more or less ran the planet below — but, of course, these tales are frequently propagated or funded by the Aristocrats themselves and, as such, aren't exactly trustworthy information. The simple fact of the matter is that they retain the status they've always had, and people allow them to do so.

There are five Aristocratic families and bloodlines: the Calders, Wintles, Rowans, Thorpes, and Halligans. Each occupies an area of the Estates with a specialty and a magical focus, as well as very strong genetic traits that mark their genealogy and background. There are no absolutes, just tendencies and preferences, but frequently the stereotypes associated with families are surprising accurate. Whether this is nature or nurture is up in the air.

The Calders

The Calder family has always been at the heart of politics and law due to one main reason: the Frontiersmen. Some stories tell that originally the Frontiersmen were meant to be more along the lines of security aboard the Turritella; not a civil force but a privatized one, paid by the Aristocrats to keep the rabble out and their Estates safe. The Calders were the family who put this idea into force, who trained strong men to defend, armed them and prepared them.

In modern day, the Calder family still is in charge of training the officers of the Frontiersmen, and has a hand in creating many of the weapons that appear both in the Turritella and on the surface. They are well-armed, very direct, less interested in the policy-making aspects of politics and more in simply cleaning up the streets.

Magic

Breath and bone magic are the primary focus of the Calders, skills important for any officer of the law. They are particularly good at training dexterity and strength, both magically and physically, teaching Frontiersmen and their children alike how to make the most of what they have. Of course, not all members of the family have the same magic, but almost every Calder will have at least some limited ability to increase strength and speed, even if they have to have it hammered into them.

Appearance

The genetics among the Calders runs much purer than in some of the other families. They are pale skinned with green or blue hair and eyes. Generally they are wiry but strong, and relatively tall. Dark-skinned Calders are immediately suspect, frequently ostracized or turned out of the family.

The Wintles

In contrast to their more combative neighbors, the Wintle family is more peaceful and refined. They focus on the arts, both in the creation of and sponsoring excellent artists. Their pet project is the Opera House, constantly commissioning repairs and edits, fantastic sets, incredible costumes. Sometimes, a Wintle will be the star of the show, and sometimes it will merely be some common man who has been elevated for fifteen minutes of fame by their sponsorship.

There is also a small portion of the Wintle family who is wrapped up into politics, considering it a different kind of art. Their main goal seems to be affecting change in the way things are run, solidifying policies and reorganizing governmental structures.

Magic

Wintles have a way with blood magic, stirring people up especially. They like to evoke emotional responses, either in their art or in the heat of a political speech.

Appearance

Red skin and pale hair mark the members of the Wintle family, although this is by no means always true. Since the Wintles tend toward flights of fancy, new blood is frequently introduced into the family; some children are born with darker hair, or with the ruddy tone of their skin lightened toward peach. Many Wintles have deep dimples.

The Rowans

The Rowan family likes to refer to itself as the Healing family, and the rest of Newgulf follows suit. They do, after all, have a knack for fixing things - whether it be people or architecture. Decades or centuries ago, no one is quite sure, the Rowans were rumored to have revolutionized potions, making them more efficient and easier to swallow. Since then, they've had a strong hand in new potions, producing potions, and of course, taxing potions.

In addition, the Rowan family is excellent at repairs. While new constructions will always require the aid of the Scientists, for other large projects a Rowan will serve in a pinch, mending walls and floors and ceilings or perhaps even extending a building. They also head the quiet, constant repairs that keep the Turritella solid and in the air.

Magic

The family is strong at flesh and breath magic, with a dose of blood mixed in here and there. However, there is a split in focus down the middle of the family; some of them focus on making potions, and others on architecture and construction.

Appearance

All of the Rowans have very dark skin and washed out eyes that turn up a touch at the corner. Vibrantly ginger hair is common, and generally viewed as a good sign for a child. They tend toward wide mouths, long limbs, and slim frames.

The Thorpes

Transportation is generally the realm of the Thorpe family. Supposedly they invented the auto-carriage, and they like to tell the tale that a Thorpe actually was in charge of constructing the great elevator down to the surface. In modern day, they certainly have influence in both of these realms. Thorpes hold a monopoly on the construction and sale of auto-carriages, jealously guarding the secrets that make these walkers run. They keep The Lift up and running smoothly, as well as taxing those who wish [for some reason] to meander their way down to the surface.

Their access to The Lift also makes it easy for them to fund their own expeditions down. As such, the Thorpes have the most access to Ommatidia crystals, frequently sending teams down to mine and gather.

Magic

Breath magic is a major focus of the Thorpes, especially the creation of spiracle. However, due to the wide range of their influence, there are members of the family strong in every element. There is less focus, among the Thorpe family, than in many of the others.

There are also some rumors that they deal in void magic, experimenting with things outside the realm of what is commonly acceptable, but no one has ever been able to prove this, and it's probably not wise to try.

Appearance

Gold dominates the Thorpe family. Most have gold skin or gold eyes or both. Their hair is generally extremely straight, they are frequently on the shorter end of things, and have stocky frames.

The Halligans

Relative newcomers, the Halligans are frequently frowned down upon as cheap, and as new blood. They are not, in fact, one of the old families that supposedly helped with the construction of the Turritella; they are comparatively young, allowed into the Estates only about sixty years ago, and are entirely self-made. They started out as money-lenders, buying and selling loans, ruthlessly claiming payments, getting water from stone. This business grew to a bank, one bank grew to several, and the Halligan family gained a reputation for being good with money.

They also became extraordinarily wealthy.

As it stands now, they still run the banks in town, are still know for being ruthless when people don't pay up, and are constantly at battle with the surface bandits who rob their establishments. However, some people speculate that there is some kind of deal between the Halligans and the criminals, and that perhaps they get a cut of what's taken.

Magic

Not only don't the Halligans have a magical focus, but they frequently are rather magically weak. Their strength lies in money sens.

Appearance

There is very little genetic coherence among the Halligans. They are huge, multi-limbed family with fingers in pots all over Newgulf. Many of them have brown hair, but other than that, they are as varied as snowflakes.

Famous Aristocrats