of the of the House of Valcore and its Device
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
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
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.
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
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
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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