GURPS · Town Creation

Creating Halewater III: The Kingsreeve and the Five Families

In my last two posts I’ve been creating the little hamlet of Halewater – a hometown for a hypothetical fantasy PC.

So far, I know that one of the key conflicts in town is the conflict between the Miller, who represents the King’s interests, and the Five Families, who are the wealthiest local people.  To flesh this out, today I’m going to create a few of those NPCs.

So let’s head over to the people system and get started!

The Miller

I’ll start with the person who serves as the King’s representative in Halewater – the miller.

(Rolling, rolling…)

  • Name: Evanth Frost
  • Role: Runs the Halewater Mill, serves as the King’s representative.  (Hmmm… I need to make up a title for this position.  Let’s call him the “Kingsreeve”)
  • Situation: Typically with others, laughing.
  • Bodily Appearance: Tall and Willowy
  • General Appearance: Unkempt
  • Memorable mannerism: Big, open, expansive gestures.
  • Interesting Fact: Makes odd decisions on the spur of the moment
  • Hope or Fear: Afraid of violence

Well, I’m very happy with that – those rolls generated a very interesting fellow, I think.

Evanth Frost is the local Kingsreeve – he represents the King’s interests in Halewater.  He runs the mill on the King’s behalf, and he’s also responsible for enforcing the King’s peace.  Evanth an odd fellow; he’s a tall, willowy man, quick to laugh, somewhat impulsive, and unconcerned about appearances.  He’s an enthusiast, really, always rushing about in pursuit of some new idea he’s had.  Evanth is a very social fellow, and he gets on well with people, generally speaking.  His real weakness (apart from his unkempt appearance) is that he’s highly averse to conflict (especially violent conflict).  Evanth wants to be liked by everyone, and though he’s willing to stand up for his principles when necessary, he’ll compromise a great deal – maybe too much – if he thinks it will help everyone to get along.

One of the Leaders of the The Five Families

(Rolling, rolling…)

  • Name: Wynoli Paleflower
  • Role: Matriarch of the Paleflower family (one of five powerful families who live in the Fiveway House)
  • Situation: Typically in a rush.
  • Bodily appearance: Stiff
  • General appearance: Uses few words
  • Memorable mannerism: Leaves her mouth open
  • Interesting fact: Lavishes attention on a pet, or pets
  • Hope or Fear: Fears the past

Ah, so great!  Once again, these random rolls have generated a really interesting and distinctive character, I think.

Wynoli Paleflower is the matriarch of the Paleflower family, one of the five powerful families who run Halewater from their ancestral homes in the Fiveway House.  She is a stiff, formal woman, very curt when speaking.  She expects to be obeyed, and obeyed quickly.  She’s always busy, and often gives people the impression that she’s on her way to do something more important.  Wynoli places a very high value on social status, and she expects hers to be respected.  She has the unfortunate habit of walking around with her mouth half-open, which gives her a slightly dull look; really, though, she’s nobody’s fool.  Wynoli knows more than almost anyone else in Halewater about the hamlet’s distant infernal past: she is privy to her family’s secrets, and she knows that some of the old folk tales have their basis in truth.  Deep down she fears that the truth will come to light some day, and her constant efforts to enforce norms of respectability are part of her attempt to prevent that from ever happening.

Wynoli respects Evanth’s position as Kingsreeve, but does not respect him much as a man – she feels he lacks the kind of dignity that the position requires.  And his shabby way of dressing!  It’s a scandal, really.  But he’s fairly malleable, in her strong hands, so she’s making the best of it.

A Leader of another of the Five Families

(Rolling, rolling…)

  • Name: Hugh Gravenor
  • Role: Patriarch of the Gravenor Family (one of the Five Families of Halewater)
  • Situation: Typically eating
  • Bodily appearance: Lissome (thin, supple, graceful)
  • General appearance: Chestnut brown hair
  • Memorable mannerism: Speaks very quietly
  • Interesting fact: Surprisingly bigoted
  • Hope or Fear: Afraid of Disease

Hugh Gravenor is the current head of the Gravenor family.  He’s an old man, very grey, and not very active these days.  If it weren’t for his status within the hamlet, he’d be an easy man to overlook: even in his prime he was  small and thin, very quiet, tended to keep to himself.  Hugh is the kind of man who watches rather than participates – though to the younger members of is family, his word is law; and other people of the hamlet sometimes come to him for a quiet word of advice.  He’s quite set in his ways, and has very little tolerance for people who pursue different ways of life – especially foreigners.   Due to his age, he’s increasingly concerned about his health – last winter was tough, and he’s worried that the next bad flu might kill him.   A typical day finds him sitting by the stream, eating an apple, watching the life of the hamlet.

The Rest of the Five Families

I’ve now made the leaders of two of the Five Families: the Paleflowers and the Gravenors.  I don’t think I need to come up with any more right now – but I do think it would be a good idea at least to have names for all five families.

Over to the naming tables!

(Rolling, rolling…)

Right!  So the Five Families are now as follows:

  • The Paleflowers (Matriarch: Wynoli Paleflower)
  • The Gravenors (Patriarch: Hugh Gravenor)
  • The Beechbreakers
  • The Chalwyns
  • The Hillbanks

Right!  That’s enough for today, I think: we’ve done a bit to flesh out one of the central conflicts in the town.

Next time: some of Halewater’s poorer folk.



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