The Choice

In the year 50 of the settlement of Elan, under the leadership of lord Sobius Crestfell, House Crestfell entered a period of crisis. At that time, Sobius was coming to the end of his years and with no surviving heir the Crestfell court was a hotbed of political scheming and murderous intent. When his seneschal was assassinated, Sobius decided to retire the court to the family estates in the county of Sweetwater.

The House Crestfell country estates are at Newcastle ten miles south-east of Stonespoke and here, with the court about him Sobius Crestfell died. House Crestfell at this time held control of all trade in metals out of Stonespoke which amounted to three in four tons of all metals traded in Elan. This placed the house in a valuable and the position of the head of the house a politically pivotal role.

At this time there were two parties that had a claim on the position, that of Sobius' brother-in-law, Oridon of Crestfell and that of the Marshall of the house, Rory of Crestfell. The law in these matters is of little help, the appointment may look to precedent but it is largely down to a political or military resolution.

Oridon was supported by the three founding houses of Lions, White and Caradagon and a sizeable number of traditionalists in other houses. However, Oridon was elderly and very conservative, seen by many to be too timid for such a senior role. He was also not a Crestfell, nor had he any blood claim to the position.

Rory of Crestfell claimed to be an unrecognised bastard of Sobius Crestfell, he had certainly never been offered any favours, and in the absence of any legitimate heirs it seems unlikely that Sobius would have gone to his grave without recognising his own son. Regardless, Rory had achieved his position in recognition of his valour in the battlefield and whilst he carried little political support, he had the household guard of House Crestfell and of several mercenary groups, loyal to his cause.

Negotiations between the two parties began immediately following the funeral, however they rapidly broke down in the face of intransigence from Oridion's party who belived that without political support, Rory had no claim of substance. At first light the following morning, the household guard turned thirty courtiers, loyal to Oridion's out of Newcastle to shiver at the gates of the estate and make the long day's journey to Stonespoke.

Through that year, Rory drew his military support to Newcastle and sent out a call to all men of Sweetwater loyal to the memory of Sobius Crestfell to support him in his claim against the usurper Oridon. Meanwhile, Oridon at the head of an army raised by his political supporters marched on Newcastle.

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