The Feral Continent
The Great Noble Families Of The North
Perhaps the oldest family in the North, coming over with the first settlers, they're descended from Lord Glori Vale.
Known for their silver blonde hair, their aptitude for magic, and their patient temperaments, the Vales have been a staple of Northern society for two thousand years. While they were initially one of the founding families of the School Of Gold, they ended up breaking off to form the School Of Diamond, and a Vale has stood as High Marshal Of The Diamond Forces Of The North ever since.
Their sigil is a bloodied sword sticking into a field of white roses. And their family motto translates from Varisian into "Step by step, always step by step"
Almost as old as the Vales, perhaps older, the Elven family of the Variels can trace their lineage back to Tacita Of The Everweb. Technically, they are the descendants of her full-blooded elven sister, Arlen Variel.
Beginning their time as priests and healers, after Tacitas betrayal during the Crusade they almost lost everything they had, and never truly escaped that stain on their bloodline. But, they fought their way back into prestige, establishing the Variel Theater which would eventually become the School Of Agate, and (secretly) establishing the Court Of Mirrors. They are now one of the only noble families with a decent number of surviving members, including the family head Esmerelda and her older disgraced brother Altorius (who are the children of the deceased Adaphis Variel), Altorius's wife Krugga, and the heir to the family Uruz.
Their sigil is a pendulum in mid swing between raging fire and a wreath of leaves.
And their family motto translates from Elven into "What must be done be done."
The Gondarians are as old as the Vales, also coming over with the first settlers. But while the Vales were mages and scholars, the Gondarians were always soldiers.
They quickly established themselves as the dominant family in the realm, making up for their lack of magical power or great fortune with their honor, valor, and integrity. They had the promise to end up the largest noble family on the continent, but when the Crusade fractured in on itself at the Battle Of Thee Hourglass four of the six Gondarian brothers fell to the blades of traitors.
And so the three branches of the Gondarian family became just one, which endeavored to remain strong, and honorable, and steadfast. And it did, all the way to present day, with the Gondarian family holding the seat of Nobility on the Council Of Eight until very recently.
The current head of the family, Lord Jarys Gondarian, is also the founder and leader of the Order Of The New Dawn, an order dedicated to bringing unity to the fractured continent and establishing a proper democracy, while also hoping to end the curse of the Centre.
After being forced to execute his son Tertius for murder, ritual sacrifice, sedition, and the worship of Ferals, the Gondarian family has been left without an heir, and with Jarys having lost his wife a few years ago it seems as if it is soon to be the end for the great family.
Their sigil is a half-sun half-moon wrapped in a wedding band.
And their family motto is in Common, and it reads "Unbowed. Unbroken. Untouchable."
The Osmorma family attained their noble status when their founder, Ysgar Osmorma, was knighted as Sir Ysgar Of The White Field, the leader of the Eight Heroes of the Crusade.
And despite their wealth attained through land ownership (including a controlling stake in the bank of Yrundi) that is truly their largest claim to prestige ever since, with Ysgars relatives and descendants never living up to the standard he set.
Currently headed by Lord Paris Maryn, the Maryn family is a relatively young noble family, only rising to any sort of notice or recognition maybe a century ago, with Paris' grandfather forming the Maryn trade fleet. His son, and the father of Paris, inherited the fleet and began to use it for less than legal or honorable purposes, beginning with the smuggling of magical artifacts and rare herbs and plants from the Garden Of Amistall, and eventually sinking to establishing a slave trade. Paris' father died an early mysterious death, and Paris has headed the family ever since.
Despite their criminal activities, on paper the Maryn family is legitimate and their papers are in order, with the trade fleet still engaging in legitimate operations and bringing in the coin. Paris has ambition, drive, and access to dark magics, and is willing to use them to bring his family to higher prominence. The family currently lacks an heir.
The family sigil is a ships helm wrapped in broken chains. And their family motto is "Stay the course. Through blood and ash. Stay."
Once another of the Great Families, and one of those descended from the blood of one of the Eight Heroes, the Demerics traced their lineage to Lelise Of The Bloodgate, the maiden blessed with unbreakable skin and the strength of a giant.
Their legacy is one of honor, service, and incredible compassion. Charitable, detirmined, and relentless in their pursuit of justice, they served side by side with the Gondarians and Starbrines for centuries, until the Starbrines fell into poverty and the Demerics had their great tragedy.
Only a couple of decades ago, the heir to the family, then only a small boy, was kidnapped from the household. The boys mother never recovered, and the head of the family was unable to have any more children.
They perished during the mage war a few years later, scorched by students of the School Of Gold during the families attempt at a peace summit, and the family fell to dust ever after.
Their sigil was a pair of gauntlets snapping a chain, and their motto was "Live for all and live forever."
An elvish noble family, new to the shores of the Feral Continent arriving only three generations ago, they originated in the Inner Sea region of Ustalav, losing track of their history of the time before they were even there.
They arrived with a great fortune, and incredible magical aptitude and power, with the full numbers of their lineage, establishing themselves as one of the largest noble houses on the continent in one fell swoop.
Two generations later, and the fierce Voltra family find themselves with a seat on the Council Of Eight, as their youngest daughter Alexandra sits as the Headmistress of the School Of Gold.
Despite the fact she is not the head of her family, that place belonging to her older brother, she has done a remarkable job of acting in the schools interest and not her families interest while in her seat on the council, a fact which has openly infuriated her family on many occasions. They are a family of incredible passion, and fury, and retribution, and are not to be trifled with by anyone who values themselves.
Their sigil is a flaming eyeball with a crumbling castle reflecting in the pupil.
And their motto translates from Elvish into "No treachery in a graveyard"