Extant members:

  •     King Jorrin Thorn (early 30s)
  •     Lord Evnan Thorn (early 20s)–now consort to Empress of the Hazon Dynasty

Capital: Maribor, the capital, is more of a rural kingdom capital–pre-war population 1,000 people. Post war population: 200

Kingdom: Garresh. Population 300,000 (pre-war 350,000) around 20% Jara’hem and 80% Thorn citizens

Banner: House Thorn’s banner has a green field, a brown shield, and thorny vines winding around the shield.

 

Other Attributes

They can field a maximum army of 4,000 with citizen levee

Farming, hunting, and animal husbandry is the base of their economy (Sheep, Cows)

Leatherworkers are skilled

A few small towns on the water, not a big trade presence on the water. Some fishing and short trade merchant-marine.

 

Imperial Thorn

House Thorn was founded in the year 816 by Evnan Thorn, who was a country squire that owned a series of successful farms. Thorn lands grew to be the principal agricultural base for the Hazon Empire with its main exports being wheat, barley, corn, pork, chicken, beef, and fish (roughly in that order).

Roughly around the year 916, the Thorns, having expanded their power base, started building the wall between Garresh and the Hazon capital. Nominally built to reduce Jara’hem raids into the imperial city, but the leading patriarch, Serod Thorn’s, real desire was to begin severing ties with the declining empire and establish a Thorn kingdom in his lands. These goals were unrealized in his lifetime, but they have continued down his line.

 

Rebellion

In 976, Olmir Thorn, the grandson of Serod Thorn rallied the local tribes of barbarians and other Houses to rise against the Hazon Dynasty in a five-year war, known as the Lords’ War, and ultimately drove them back to the City of Hazon. The wall was a key factor in the defeat of the empire, as House Thorn was able to deprive Hazon City of much needed foodstuffs.

Olmir made a pact with the Kahn of the Jara’hem that he would recognize their sovereign status within his kingdom in return for their support on the battlefield. His requirement was that the Jara’hem abandon their practice of raiding towns and settlements. While both leaders saw this as a step forward for their people, these decisions were widely unpopular on both sides.

Both Olmir and the Kahn were killed in the war against the Hazon Dynasty, and their successors were disinterested in honoring the agreement. Both sides accused the other of breaking faith and unity for the rest of the war was uneven.

 

Post-War Period

While the Thorn lands were originally a Duchy, the Thorns had a desire to declare their lands an independent kingdom. However, internal strife and infighting between the Houses delayed them from openly declaring their sovereign state. For the forty years following the rebellion, House Thorn remained nominally a Duchy but operated as a de facto kingdom.

Olmir had one son, Mendin Thorn. Mendin was less open to compromise than his father, and his 23-year rule of the Duchy (981 to 1004) was marked by militaristic growth and autocratic oppression of any uprisings/rebellions from the Jara’hem. While the Thorns remain largely agrarian, the growth of their military tradition has been strong since the war.

Mendin was widely unpopular as he kept in place the war taxes established during the rebellion, frequently called up citizen levees to fight against the ever-growing Jara’hem raids, and silenced dissent and rebellion with capital punishment.

Mendin was assassinated under mysterious circumstances in 1004. His sons, Jorrin and Evnan, are the last remaining Thorns.

 

Contemporary History

Jorrin, 31, and Evnan, 22, are the last remaining Thorns. In recent years they have worked to re-

establish peaceful relationships with the Jara’hem. Jorrin is viewed as more open-minded than his father and has met with some success in his recent dealings with other houses and the barbarians on his lands.

The Thorns experienced a crop blight on their lands starting in the year 1016.

Evnan Thorn encountered the refugees from Silver Hill directly following the Rift Crisis in July of 1016. He enlisted their aid against the Jara-hem.

In August of 1016, while investigating the disappearance of his brother, Jorrin Thorn was able to reach an agreement with the Khan of the Jara’hem. With the resurgence of the Hazon Empire, the Thorns and the Jara’hem agreed to the original compact laid down by their respective grandfathers. The Jara’hem would cease raids in Thorn lands (but would be welcome to raid Hazon lands) in return for assistance in fighting the empire and securing Thorn lands.

In September of 1016, Jorrin Thorn was rescued by the members of the town he had been traveling with. In return for their heroism, he granted them the right to establish a temporary town in the Southwest part of his lands until January of 1018. The town was to be named “Haven.”

In October of 1016, the Thorns and their new allies fought against the Hazon Dynasty. The wall was breached and all defenders killed or captured. Maribor, the Thorn capital, was put to the torch and all residents were slaughtered.

In November of 1016, Jorrin Thorn was reunited with his brother Evnan–discovered in a Hazon prison. Evnan had no recollection of the previous months. The Emperor of the Hazon Dynasty died of natural causes this same month, and his sister claimed the throne. To help her unify her lands, she signed a peace treaty with the Thorns.

In December of 1016, Jorrin Thorn crowned himself king of Garrresh. Evnan Thorn wed the Empress of the Hazon Dynasty. King Thorn signed a charter with the Town of Bryden’s Ferry and accepted the oaths of three elected and two royally-appointed council members.

Following the war, the Jara’hem are much reduced, numbering perhaps 600.

 

Beliefs/Goals

Beliefs:

  • Slavery is a crime against all living things and should be abolished at any cost
  • One’s word is their bond
  • Through a balance of strength and compassion one can achieve greatness

Goals:

  • To defeat any remnants of the Hazon Dynasty (achieved)
  • To overcome the division caused by the Jara’hem and unify the people (including the Jara’hem) of their lands (achieved)
  • Work with the other Northern Houses to achieve a sense of unity between them

 

Relationships with other Northern Houses

  • Hazon Dynasty–Following the Second Dynasty War (War for the Kingdom), the Thorns have signed peace and cemented that peace with a royal marriage. The wall is undergoing demilitarization but not deconstruction.
  • The Knights of the Peak–The Thorns tangentially helped the Knights get reestablished by taking out the Empire in the Lords’ War. The Knights have full military access to travel through Thorn lands. Knights are not popular with the Jara’hem. Knights would support Thorns in a just or defensive war. No border tension with Thorn.
  • House Dranir–They control the trade within the northern regions. They have trade agreements with House Thorn. No border tension with Thorn.
  • House Kran–More neutral with Thorns. Not a lot of competition and the Thorns don’t do much magic as the Library or Empire, so Kran isn’t against them. They have worked together peacefully in the past, and Evnan Thorn trained there to learn the arts of resistance to magic.
  • Library of Arn–The Thorns have hired them on occasion. Mutually beneficial relationship, but that’s it.
  • Province of Jade–Not much contact between them and Thorns