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History of the of the House of Valcore and its Device
Valcore heraldry
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During the Norman Invasion of England in 1066, A young Knight, Sir Miles Valcore, finding the cramped spaces below the deck of his ship not to his liking, took refuge in a lifeboat upon the deck. As the invasion fleet made its way toward the shores of England, a mild collision propelled the lifeboat and Sir Miles over the side. Sir Miles awoke to find himself in the middle of the English Channel with no way to know which way to turn. At this point he prayed to God for help. At the moment he ended his prayers, an opening formed in the clouds and he saw the North Star beaming through the breach.  This gave him a course, which allowed him to pilot the small boat into a tiny harbor on the English coast.  From there, wearing no armor and armed only with a short sword and a long shafted boat hook for a spear he made his way to
where the army of William of Normandy was encamped. His comrades rejoiced at his safe return , seemingly from the dead. After he recounted his tale, The future King William allowed him to decorate his shield with a device resembling the North Star.  
As the Valcore family progressed, this device came to be the primary device of the Valcore heraldry. It was in the 1400s, When Sir Geoffrey Valcore ,  fighting in France under  Edward, “The Black Prince” of Wales that a German mercenary knight and champion jouster, Sir Ulrich Von Liechtenstein  observed that the device resembled a flower seen in his homeland. Upon returning from a trip home, he made a gift of pressed dried and lacquered edelweiss flowers sewn to a fine velvet tunic to Sir Geoffrey. So taken with the beauty of the little flower and the thoughtfulness of his friend, Sir Geoffrey began to refer to the device as the Valcore Edelweiss and began having his device altered to more closely resemble the plant.
The device was altered again in appearance in 1503 when Baron Sir Basil Valcore passed away and Baron Sir Eldebrandt Valcore took hold of his Fathers’ lands and fortune and immediately bought property in Scotland. At this point, he made a treaty of friendship with the Clan Macintosh, which resided in that area. For this he added a small shield in the center of the Edelweiss in which he placed the St. Andrews Cross.  Baron Sir Eldebrandt Valcore had four sons,  Baron Edward Valcore,   Sir Geoffrey Valcore (Named after his ancestor (Deceased.) , Sir Robert Valcore and Esquire Tristan Valcore, Who is at the University in Cambridge.  


In the New World

The first Valcore in the new world to be granted noble title was Duke Talon Valcore. An outcast from the noble house in Europe, Talon headed to the new world and lived for a time as leader of a mercenary band called the Green Gauntlet.  After a time he was introduced to the Empire of the Imperial Magistracy and at that time was granted a noble title of Duke and granted the lands in which Galivery Forest resided; this being the place where the mercenary band had its stronghold.  He immediately began using the device of the House of Valcore as part of his heraldry. He sent letters back to England to his brother Artimus and informed him of the lush countryside and unclaimed lands. At this point Artimus arrived and set up a large castle with the help of some friends from New France, a French colony to the north. It was at this point that Lord Artimus, a Knight only, proclaimed himself Baron of the lands he possessed and named “Greyhold”  
After a time, Baron Eldebrandt sent his young son Robert to learn of the ways of rule as Talon had regained his favor in the family.  Robert found that Talon had lied to his family about a great many things and that he was not as he should be. At this point, Robert headed to Greyhold to stay with his uncle Artimus. They soon gathered a small force and headed back to Europe to seek their fortune.

Talon continued for a time to rule his new lands called “Cronallis” and this was a matter of great pride to the family in Europe whom by now had sold much of its own holding excepting those in Scotland and a few manors to pay debts and tithes.  Then it all came crashing down when, amid scandal and intrigue, Talon is killed in a duel with a bandit king called Rambutus .  At this point, Artimus saw his opportunity to return and claim the lands his brother left vacant.  This he did and made many enemies. He took Talons wife, Gabriella Adlys Valcore as his own and thus dishonored her. He proclaimed his lands to be a new kingdom, called Corinthia and proceded to make and lose allies across the board. This also angered the Empire of the Imperial Magistracy as there were many harsh and degrading words passed between Artimus and the rulers of that nation. An allied nation, the Kingdom of Eden was very much insulted by Artimus’s crass ways and declared war on the Kingdom of Corinthia.  While conflict never occurred between these nations, it must be said that tensions ran high.

A Split in Corinthia

At this point. The kingdom Split and formed into what became the Grand Duchy of Cronallis. The Grand Duchy was set up as many duchies under which Artimus, the Grand Duke was the leader. Cronallis was again a main figure as they began to hold festivals to make the people of the land happy under the Grand Ducal rule and to a large extent they were. The Grand Duchy of Cronallis was strengthened further by an alliance with the Kingdom of Uberheim.  It was also at this point that the House of Valcore became allied to the Legion of Thunder, run by  Prince Sir Thor of Uberheim.
 At this point tensions began to rise once again between the Empire of the Imperial Magistracy, the Grand Duchy of Cronallis and the Kingdom of Uberheim. King Siegfried Von Uberheim sent a declaration of war to the Empire of the Imperial Magistracy and set other Viking bands to marauding up and down the Kings Highway whilst the armies of Sir Hagan and Baron Uller ravaged the northern provinces of the Empire burning homes and villages. The Empire, being a peace loving people and lacking troops to combat this horror, could not stand up to it. After a time, , Uberheim began having internal strife and called back its troops.  At this point, Grand Duke Artimus sued for peace with the Empire. The Empire in its beneficence was amenable to a agreement of neutrality.   Meanwhile, The issues in Uberheim began to spill over into the Grand Duchy and the nation split into two factions, those behind Duke Robert Dagondge and those behind Grand Duke Artimus Valcore. It was then that the Legion of Thunder split off from the Kingdom of Uberheim and started their own kingdom, the Kingdom of Avalon. Because of the evils that came out about the actions of King Siegfried and their great friendship with the Legion of Thunder,  Cronallis chose to leave the alliance and form a new one with the Kingdom of Avalon.  

This began a short peaceful era for the Grand Duchy. The House of Valcore gained strength at this point with many new members joining and much happieness all around. The household began holding its own events and courts. The first charter of the House of Valcore in the new world was drafted and Grand Duchess Gabriella Adlys Valcore made many proclamations and put forth much effort in regards to running the household to its best effect.  Then, in a surprise to all, she left Artimus.


In Europe:

At that very moment,  the young Baronet Robert Valcore was commanding the Company of the Edelweiss, a mercenary band and had just returned to England for a refit and recruitment. While encamped outside London, A Scottish Knight, Sir Jacob MacJames arrived with full armor and all his own equipment. Feeling a strong kinship with this strange Scotsman, Robert immediately made him part of his personal staff. From their, they took the company up north to the border on a mission set to them by her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth.  This mission was to destroy a large band of lowland Scottish boarder revers. Roberts worries about the loyalties of his new lieutenant were unfounded as he equated himself quite well and was very familiar with the tactics of the border men. The bandits were easily beaten   It was at the end of this small campaign that Robert got word from his uncle Artimus that the Grand Duchy of Cronallis was in trouble.  So Robert collects his most trusted men together and , along with their wives and some camp followers, boarded a caravel given him by Duke Alba as a gift for his service. Robert was surprised to find Sir Jacob waiting with all of his gear at the docks and he volunteered to  accompany the men to the new world.  
Upon reaching the New World, Sir Robert finds the Grand Duchy of Cronallis in shambles and Artimus quite mad. He and Jacob move to the Empire of the Imperial Magistracy and stay for a time. The Empire was as His Uncle Talon had spoken and he decided to head back to Europe.  Leaving most of his men under the care of Sir Jacob, Robert began the long journey back to his native England but was stranded when his ship was caught in a storm and blown off course. It set ground on the shore of the Newport Colony where he was taken in by the remnants of the Knights Templar living there. There he stayed and gathered information on reports of the Empires continued strife.
Then one day he received an urgent message from the Empress Adana Breckonridge stating that her brother, King Palatine Thrommel Breckonridge had usurped the throne and  she had retreated back to her own small kingdom of Styria. Immediately Robert drew up a force and headed back reclaiming the lands of the Grand Duchy of Cronallis as his own and declaring them his stronghold. He renamed them Blackstaff after the small village he once ruled as an Imperial Citizen. He took up residence in his old home and immediately hired peasants to quickly finish  the large fortress “Draconis” which he had begun two years before and they finished it in record time.  This large stone fortress stands at the crossroads of the Kings Highway and the Hawk River and commands a view of all the area around.

He immediately pledged his loyalty and service to the Empress’s sister, Avengelyne Breckonridge-Greggoire who took the throne after the untimely death of Adana Breckonridge. Adana had died of a broken heart over the loss of her throne and subjects.
Shortly after taking the Village of Blackstaff and the fortress, Robert moved to claim the former Duchy of Meadhon and the villages that surrounded it. He set small garrisons in each town to maintain order and police the surrounding area. The Fortress Draconis was completed on May 1st 1579 and was garrisoned by 200 of the force of 400 Templars who came with Robert and he added earthen ramparts and wooden stockade fences to the village of Blackstaff, the capital of the newly dubbed stronghold of Blackstaff. The three cannon from his ship are then placed at the three bastions of the fortress and make strong the already impregnable fort. Built of a combination of local granite and sandstone the fort commands an impressive view with the outer curtain wall reaching a hight of 13 meters of solidly mortared rock, each bastion rises another meter above that. using the waters of the Hawk river as filler, a trecherous mote surrounds it on two sides with the river on the other the primary gate house is offeset and requires 2 turns in opposite directions to access, guarded with murder holes, a brass swivel gun and 3 portcullis. in addition a huge block of solid granite can be dropped to completely block the doorway. The great doors are a real sight, carved throughout with celtic knot work and expensively painted, it is also dangerous with 15 centemeter long spikes covering the door itself. When opened the spikes recess into the wall. Robert and his men begin roaming the countryside bringing in local craftsmen and experienced commoners to begin rebuilding the nobility of the area. As time went on, Sir Robert found no resistance from Imperial troops and in addition, found most of the villages that used to be his domain most amenable to his return as they were very much neglected when he left. He kep sending messangers to her majesty , the queen of Styria but recieved no answers. His messangers were ignored at her gates and sent back. It was as though her kingdom had ceaced to communicate with the outside world. It was at this time that his troops intcepted a small caravan heading through the night past Fortress Draconis. This caravan was lead by a band of mercenaries guarding A European noblewoman called Elizabeth Brentwood. Sir Robert immediatly invited her to stay for a time at the fortress as there were rumors of a resurgence of Viking Raiders , believed to be the same band that wreaked havoc on the Empire. Such rich caravans were easy pickings for these throwback bandits. The Viking threat continues to be an issue and scouts moving through Imperial lands find many small fortified viking homesteads. The warriors amongst the norsemen are obviously preparing for war. Weather they intend to invade Blackstaff or the Empire is not known but either situation does not bode well. Sir Robert thinks long and hard about contacting the Emperor about this threat but decides that he will leave them to it. They abandoned him so he would not do anything to aid them. The fact that these vikings are allowed to roam free in Imperial lands and threaten Blackstaff makes Robert suspicious of the Empire's motives. A year goes by and the lands of Blackstaff grow lush and fruitful as three new mills are built along the Hawk River as well as cottage factories working in leather and metal. The cattle farms are producing tons upon tons of good meat, leather and bone as well as milk. A winery is built a mile from the fortress and the sight of grape leaves rustling in the wind is a sight to behold. Iron, granite and copper are discovered and mines are quickly built. In 1580, Sir Robert is married to Dame Elizabeth Brentwood and they begin to make plans for forming their lands into a kingdom. The decision is to name it Stanislaus after a distant member of her family as the name has great meaning. And now with a lush and properous country in the making, and an old threat looming. Robert and Elizabeth begin the task of forging a new Kingdom..
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