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    But We Are Not Men


    House Asheron

    House Asheron are most likely the oldest and most powerful/influential of the Dalmasca bunch. This is, in effect, how they manage to have female leaders, and the rest of Dalmasca just accepts it (not to say it's easy by any means). Countless historical text have mention of the Asherons scattered across their pages, though the Asherons have not, thus far, had members of their line take active role in the shaping of history, they are quite talented at figuring out which houses and people to support, and have a penchant for choosing rightly. House Asheron control many, many acres of farmland and vineyard, and thus are very powerful merchants; most of the food and wine supply in Dalmasca originates with House Asheron, and to say the least of it, while this makes them very difficult to target, it also makes them hard not to, and they are not strangers to opposition, particularly opposition that doesn't play necessarily fairly. Currently, House Asheron are led by Livia Asheron, but she has parents, sisters, and others, and quite vocally supports House Essair.



    Livia's parents are not quite her parents, and would be the only ones aware that they aren't. In truth, Livia is the daughter of a pair of Macenian freedmen under the House Asheron banner, they served in the Asheron house for about twenty or thirty years and were freed, and decided to work after on one of House Asheron's many farms. Unfortunately, some of Asheron's opposition torched the farmland they were working, and the flames killed them both; only Livia survived, and even now, she bears burn scars, often hidden very well under her clothing, that act as the only remnant of her birth family. House Asheron themselves adopted the girl, and told no one where she came from. Livia knows, but everyone else just assumes she's a blood Asheron. Livia likes to think herself an Asheron forged in fire, and most don't get it.


    In any case, Livia is the eldest of the couple's children; they had biological ones of their own, but after Livia was adopted. Incidentally, Livia turned out to be quite the headstrong lady, and very much a leader, and her sisters, not as much; head of house eventually fell to her, as her parents tired of the dull political games Dalmascan nobility like to play, but Livia thrived there. Her words are well-formulated enough to deal with most threats, and if that isn't enough, she isn't afraid to get dirty. Her parents were envisioned to both honestly care for one another, even if their marriage was perhaps more political to start with, the father a bit more quiet than the mother, who did most of the political legwork before - father was more of a shadow-operator. His wife handled things openly, but if you were too busy looking at the snake in front of you, you missed the one behind her, sort of thing. Livia very openly backs House Essair for Imperator, and I'd like if her parents did too. House Essair's leader, Kassandros, is practically an Asheron in everything but name, so they may see him as something of the son they never had.



    Most believe Livia leads solo; this is not quite truthful, as it's really more of a joint-effort between herself and her sisters. Much like their parents are a two-man operation, with one in front and the other sneaking about behind, Livia is the one in front, and her sisters operate as her mobility, her eyes and ears, where Livia can't. Her sisters would thus need to be good at political ploy, gossiping with the right people, and being friends with the right people, having connections in the right places, because they are how Livia knows what's going on in Nydema, and Dalmasca at large, despite her own personal limitations. She, after all, cannot be everywhere at once, but when you've got four sisters, well that's hardly a problem.


    Theoretically, one or two of these could be brothers, but given the strong patriarchal lean that Dalmasca has, I think one or two being a brother could potentially cause rivalry problems, especially if one of said brothers found out Livia isn't even a blood Asheron, and she's got enough trouble from outside sources, she doesn't need to be fighting with her siblings, too.


    Friends and Rivals

    One of the things Livia started, when she was about thirteen or fourteen, was, she established House Asheron as a blood-stables having House. This means Asheron now houses, trains, and fights blood fighters in the blood arena. In general, it's never happened that a female acted as a blood trainer, and to say the least of it, Livia's had plenty of opposition from other blood trainers, given they are all Dalmascan males, gods forbid she ever met a Jihonese male one (they're worse). At the same time, some of those that deal in the blood games probably admire her, and there are likely some that have no stables of their own that also do. Whether Livia realises it or not, she is paving the way for future female trainers to make a name for themselves in Dalmasca and perhaps Jihon someday, provided Dalmasca and Jihon don't collapse first.


    In any case, having some of these other stables-having Houses around might be interesting.


    Blood Fighters

    It was estimated House Asheron, well, Livia specifically, houses and trains around ~200 blood fighters. Currently we have two of them, a couple Macenians called Axelius and Regillus (Nikanor and Roland are their real names), but there are quite a few more. Livia trains them personally, and is often out there sparring and interacting with them, so she is not at all some kind of pretty thing on a pedestal. There are probably a few that have some reservations about their trainer being a woman, and some that may not like her acting like she's one of them, but on the whole, she is one of them, and she does not act like she is above them. This is very strange for a blood trainer, and this is part of why several of her less-graceful rivals view her as unfit to be a trainer, as they see this as her being too lax and feminine to handle the blood arena. Granted, she also takes great care with which fights she places her fighters in, because she sees them as the people they are, and not pawns, and if the chances of losing them are too great, she will outright refuse. Most often, her fighters compete in the street games, not the arena-proper. There's less money in it, but the street fights are what the games originated as, and also aren't ever to the death, whereas the arena fights often are. Not always, but often enough to be considered normal.


    Livia also employs her fighters as house guards, and does pay them for this, and they are mostly left to their own devices. Axelius wanders in and out at will, and quite frankly, there's nothing stopping them from running - Livia wouldn't go after them, so most likely, they stay because they're loyal to her and House Asheron and no other reason. Other Dalmascans might go after them, though. Livia gives them a lot of freedom; she's the sort of person that lets the stables manage themselves, and the fighter hierarchy figures itself out, manages itself, and the fighters keep one another in check. She may get disappointed, but she doesn't punish. ... well, if you break a wall, she might make you fix it. Every new fighter she purchases is outright asked if they want to stay in the games, or if they don't feel they're suited to it, and she does pay attention and will listen to them, and pull fighters she sees don't perform very well in that environment. All in all, House Asheron is the least-terrible house that keeps stables to end up in as a blood fighter, and if you want a blood fighter with a bit more freedom than the average one, House Asheron's your place. Asheron also free their slaves periodically, and the general rumour about the House is that once a slave goes there, they never come back; because eventually Asheron free them. There are dozens of freedmen under the Asheron banner, most of the 550,000 farm workers on their farms are freedmen.



    Asheron could also use vassal houses, Cassimer used to be one but eventually became a major house in their own right, freedmen, political allies, pirate and other mercantile friends, probably some more that I'm forgetting right now. You can get hold of me on the site, I'm andromeda, or poke me on Discord (Krystal#9867) if you'd like to chat about one or more of these roles. This is for an original fantasy site that is now private. It has only four races, and its premise can be summed up with humes suddenly started doing magic, and then started losing their minds, and supposedly the Messiah's going to kill everyone that's not a mage someday. Think Game of Thrones with a little extra magic and a couple other races. If you're interested in the site, let me know and I can link you to lore and help you get started. We do accept new members, we're just not interested in accepting any ol' Joe off the street (doing so tends to end badly for everyone).

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