A History of House Corvidae

In the reign of the young Arthur II the commander of the King’s forces had been one Hroc, known as Rook. He became the King’s Lord Chancellor and was succeeded by his son; the position quickly became hereditary although not always from father to son, sometimes one would stand aside for a more capable cousin or nephew. The house of Rook remained closest to the King and came to be called House Corvidae, converting from the native Albione to the more fashionable Imperial tongue. Eventually the heads of the three great houses of Albion: Corvidae, Hunter and Karlennon, were granted the title of Lord General in perpetuity.

After the fall of the monarchy, the Land of Albion was completely leaderless and in disarray. Border incursions from Caledonia and Cymrja increased, privateers attacked the coast and the Elves in the Greenwood suffered greatly trying to keep the Goblin hordes at bay. After two years of such depredations Chancellor Ravern from House Corvidae decided that enough was enough. He travelled to the west, to House Hunter and north to House Karlennon, both of these noble houses listened to his proposals and agreed to join him. On the first day of spring in the year 848AF the heads of the three great houses called for all the Nobles of Albion to meet at the Wellspring of Life. They proposed that the Lords General should jointly take on the responsibility to rule Albion in the monarch’s absence. The assembled Nobles, heartily sick of civil war agreed to this and so the rulership of the Council of Albion began. Once per year all the Nobles of Albion would meet in a Great Council but the three Lords General would run the Kingdom, awaiting a new claimant to the Pendragon Throne.

There was peace in the land once more, the people forgot the time when a King had ruled in Albion and accepted the Council. In the eyes of the people and much of the nobility the Lords General were equal in power and stature, yet this was not the case. House Corvidae was pre-eminent, the idea for the council had come from them and they were able to be more involved with the Kingdom as a whole, rather than concentrating on the border regions. This was no problem and the leadership of Corvidae was especially strong when in 1045AF the Lady Rioc became the head of the House Corvidae; she was wise and fair, a good military leader and in her youth was called the "Flower of Albion". She bore two children, a daughter, Alicia, and a son, Corvus. Corvus became head of House Corvidae and of the council in 1087AF. Alicia married the Duke of Charenten and bore him sons and one daughter, Elspeth, who married Lord General Elias Karlennon on 21st March 1088.

In the Spring of 1064AF Corvus married Lady Inogen of House Hulce (vassals of House Hunter) and in April 1065AF Inogen bore Corvus a son, Cadarn. In the years that followed, Inogen gave birth to two more sons: Corax, Cornix and a daughter, Monedula. After giving birth to Cornix, the youngest of the four, Inogen fell ill and died. Then, in 1081, Corvus became friendly with a woman called Roxanne. Roxanne bore little love for any of Corvus’ children and, it is widely believed, had a hand in their deaths or disappearances. Whatever the truth of the matter, by 1084 not a single child of Inogen’s blood could be found and Roxanne was busy populating the household with her own whelps, completely dominating Corvus. Foolishly accepting the treasonous advice given him by Roxanne (called in latter years "the Demon Roxanne"), Corvus announced himself king of all Albion. And thus was the doom of House Corvidae sealed, for in his battle with the Harts, who still believed in the coming of the Pendragon, only a mere handful of his household stood by him; the rest refusing to take the field. With the Harts victorious, the remaining members of the household went into hiding or self-imposed exile fearing that the wrath of the Harts would fall upon them for the colours they had only recently been proud to bear. Worse yet, there was no clear heir to the Lord Generalship since Roxanne’s attempt to wipe out Inogen’s children had apparently been succesful and no-one in their right mind would have accepted any of her "brood" as head of the household.

Fortunately not all of Corvus’ legal offspring had been killed, if indeed any actually had, but it was not until the summer of 1098 at the Gathering that Cadarn Corvidae came out of hiding and was recognised by his cousin, Hugo Charenten. Brought before the Queen and the Privy Council, Cadarn publicly apologised for the actions of House Corvidae, pledged his loyalty to Queen Elspeth and to the land of Albion and gave himself up to the Queen’s justice to answer for the misdeeds of his father. The Queen, supported by the Privy Council, not only allowed him to remain free but also permitted him to wear the black and gold of the household colours, and confirmed him as head of House Corvidae.

At the Moots of 1099, having proved himself as a loyal man of Albion, Cadarn was awarded the Dukedom of Cornwall. At the same muster as he was given this honour, he asked and was granted another – the hand of Elspeth, Queen of Albion. Later that year, at the Gathering of Nations, Duke Cadarn Corvidae took the hand of Queen Elspeth of Albion and House Pendragon was reborn.

In the meantime, other members of the Household returned to Albion. Monedula and Cornix returned from their sojourn in Lyonesse, while Corax returned from his seafaring life to a marriage with Gytha Ogg of Londinium.

Unfortunately this was not to last. At the Gathering of Nations 1101 Gytha was brutally murdered by a group known as the Covenant, who believe that the Noble lines of Albion must not be mixed with those of “lesser” blood.

Cornix and Monedula disappear from Albion sometime between 1101 and 1102, some believe they have returned to Estragales, but this is uncertain.

At the Gosan Moot of 1102 the fortunes of the family took another turn for the worse. Initially struck down by a malady of the heart, Cadarn was later to perform a Ritual, the purpose of which was to summon a Daemon to hunt down and destroy Roxanne once and for all. The price the Daemon desired for the task was the patterns of a thousand innocents. Cadarn refused and instead bound the Daemon to his service for a thousand years for its insolence. Upon completion of the ritual Cadarn left the circle and knelt weeping before Queen Elspeth, convicting himself by Albion law to death for enslaving a creature. Elspeth commutes the sentence to exile – he may hold no land, title or home in Albion. Cadarn transports himself to the void leaving the people of Albion stunned. Later that same Moot, Corax Corvidae, Cadarn’s brother dies battling Daemons. His death is a terrible shock to all.

During an expedition sent into the mists of the Vale of Avalon an ancient member of the House was found. Tristan Hroc was born many years ago during the time of Arthur in Camlan. He was a sorcerer of some power and had disappeared from all memory for centuries. Tristan was found petrified seemingly from a ritual that went disastrously wrong along with his brother Odinian and cousin Nakir Corvinae. Tristan, formerly advisor and chancellor to King Arthur was selected to lead the nation as Chancellor early in 1103 following the illness suffered by Lord Alexander Hulce. Yet all was not well. Tristan was a man out of time and he found it hard to continue in this role for long finally stepping down from his position and out of public life in 1104 whereupon leadership of the household passed to one of his descendants, a man called Corvus.

So it is that the recent history of the House turns full circle. Corvus Hroc has taken the name of the House as his own and leads it as Corvus Corvidae,  and with the breaking of the world in the Cataclysm, has found many of those who escaped the wrath of Roxanne returning home to Albion.

A new day has dawned for this ancient and powerful House and the household motto of Fata Tractabilia Mutationi which can be translated as "Fate amenable to change", has become a wry comment on the changeable fortunes of the family.

Compiled from various
sources by the hand of Corvus Corvidae
Spring 1107