Families, Houses, and How it all Works Together

So lets start with the obvious stuff:

There are 6 Families, right?

Let’s imagine the country…4 provinces lined up across the south of Larossa–from east to west we have Jannsen, Lucas (Olsen), Halvdan, and Andersen. North of Andersen, we have Lee. North of Lucas, we have glaciers, and farther north of Jannsen, we have Horn.

I’m a pretty terrible artist, but imagine something like this:

Lousy Map

(A) I have little to no skill in map drawing. B) I did this pretty fast. C) I left off most of the names that aren’t mentioned in the book, just to avoid extra data….and D) the line down the center is the Laksitya River, wich separates Lee and Horn, cuts through Lucas, and makes part of the border with the country of Kithria.)

With this sketchy map we can see that Horn is pretty far north of everyone else, inside the dotted line that I’m calling the glacial boundary. It’s more like the Canadian Arctic Shield up there, bits and pieces of land connected by sea ice. No one bothers with the Horn much, and thus they’re not even mentioned in the first book. Horn is a large province, but very little of the land is arable, making that the least populated province, despite its size.

Each Family (and their Fortress) is tied to one specific House, although political pressures can cause that House to change.

At the time of Dreaming Death, it goes as follows:

Lee Family–House of Vandriyen (Lord Vandriyen, Master of Lee Province)

Lucas Family–House of Valaren (King of Larossa)

Andersen Family–House of Gasanian (Master of Andersen Province)

Jannsen Family– House of Montaris (Lady Montaris, Mistress of Jannsen Province)

Halvdan Family–House of Alaharen (Lord Alaharen)

Horn Family–House of Horn (in this case, the House has changed their name to Horn, so we have Lady Horn or the Mistress of Horn Province)

So those are 6 of the Anvarrid Houses, of which there are approximately 85. Several of those do not vote in the Senate because they are considered to have “gone into the Family” which is the Anvarrid way of saying the remaining heirs are too pale to pass as Anvarrid.

{This is what actually caused the transition from the previous Royal House (Anaracin) to the House of Valaren–the only two Anaracin Heirs were too fair to pass, and therefore the Senate would never confirm them as heirs.}

The treaty between the Anvarrid and the Six Families keeps the Families in the Anvarrid’s political pocket. If forces them to act as, in essence, a small standing army for each respective Lord or Lady. Jannsen and Horn, by virtue of historical accident and geography, were never invaded, and therefore didn’t need the treaty in the same way the other 4 Families did. This is a source of constant tension, since there were some serious downsides to the treaty. Then again, who’s going to enforce that treaty?
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Character List for Dreaming Death

Aldassa, David: lieutenant; reports to Cerradine; very organized

Aldassa, Liana: David’s wife; clothier’s assistant

Aldrine, Kirya: army lieutenant; with Shironne’s family for security; works as maid for Shironne’s mother and for Perrin

Amdiria: aka Lady Amdiria; king’s consort; white hair

Anjir, Melanna: aka Lanna; Larossan; Shironne’s youngest sister; coarse hair; a sensitive; eight or nine years old

Anjir, Perrin: Shironne’s younger sister (older than Melanna); Larossan

Anjir, Savelle: aka Madam Anjir; daughter of wealthy Larossan’s businessman’s wife and former king Khorasion of the House of Valaren; half sister to the current king; half-Anvarrid; aka Mama to her daughters; Shironne’s mother; in mourning; a sensitive; dark brows; long dark brown hair

Anjir, Shironne: Larossan; seventeen years old; small; wild curly brown hair; blind; senses Angel of Death’s dreams; childhood scar running across left palm; powers manifested when she was twelve; focus is pure quartz; a touch-sensitive; has Ramanet blood from her paternal grandmother

Anjir, Tornin: Shironne’s father; abusive; dead; stabbed by mistress

Anna: chief officer in the back rooms

Cerradine, Jon: colonel; long legs; head of the army’s intelligence and investigations office; forty-four; prematurely white hair; good friend of Dahar; dark eyes; can’t swim

Cook: cook at Shironne’s house

Daharion: aka Dahar; aka the prince; Kai’s father; elder brother is king; tall; lean; short dark hair; olive skin; bright green eyes; raised by the Lucas Family; good friend of Cerradine; wife executed ten years ago; a sensitive; head of Daujom; can’t swim; House of Valaren

Demas: twenty-five years old; in Elisabet’s yeargroup

Dimani, Joio: young Larossan man; medium brown skin; black eyes; newspaper writer

Eli: sixteen; Mikael’s only swordsmanship student; blond hair; runner in the royal household; not a sensitive

Elias, Master: Eli’s father; Lucas Family’s head legal counsel

Endiren, Paal: man missing in Andersen Province

Faralis: police commissioner; corrupt

Gabriel: Eli’s cousin; a sensitive; Eli’s age; runner in Below

Gastenin: city police officer

Hanna: Kassannan’s wife; lieutenant; murdered

Harinen: works in the city morgue; friend of Kassannan

Hedraya, Lord

Jakob: infirmarian

Jannika: twenty-two; Mikael’s former lover; shorter than Mikael; weak sensitive

Kassannan, Aron: captain; thirty-six years old; field surgeon; medical examiner in the morgue; reports to Cerradine

Khaderion: king; aka Khader; Dahar’s older brother; Kai’s uncle; House of Valaren

Khajurian: the king’s daughter, an only child

Khandrasion: aka Kai; aka Mr. Lucas; aka Master Kai; aka Khandrasion of the House of Valaren; twenty-four; part Lucas (mother’s side) and part Anvarrid; heir to Khaderion; member of Daujom

Lee, Mikael: Anvarrid name Mikoletrion; twenty-three; aka Angel of Death (to Shironne); dreams of deaths in progress; part Anvarrid; mother was a Lee; aka Mikoletrion; average height; freckles; bright blue eyes (father’s side); hair turning from blond to brown; member of Daujom; quarters are on second floor of palace; can swim; his parents were killed when he was thirteen

Lee, Samuel: member of Mikael’s yeargroup; blind

Lucas, Deborah: forty-four years old;  Lucas Family’s Head Infirmarian; aka Elder Deborah; widow; Cerradine’s foster sister; Mikael’s sponsor; Elisabet’s sponsor; Dahar’s sister-in-law

Lucas, Elisabet: aka Master Elisabet; Kai’s primary guard; a first; twenty-five years old

Lucas, Iselin: Jannika’s yearmate and closest friend; strong sensitive (murder 3)

Merival: Hermlin Black waitress; pretty; thick, dark hair; brown eyes

Messine, Filip: army lieutenant; Shironne’s security; acts as groom

Moradine, Nalyan: dead soldier (murder 2)

Nisimi, Savrin: Iselin’s boyfriend; musician

Pamini, Ensign: new worker in army’s main office

Peder: Elizabet’s second

Prifata, Liran: murdered police officer (murder 1)

Rachel: Kai’s younger sister; Engineer; twenty-three

Ramanet, Gajaya: High Priest of Farunas

Sera: Kai’s younger sister; eighteen; lives with cousin in Halvdan Province

Simeon: Eli’s uncle; fight master

Stephan, Dahar’s half brother

Synen: owner of the Hermlin Black; has a wife and two sons who work at the tavern

Tobias: sentry outside Lucas fortress

Tova: Elizabet’s second; twenty-five

Tomas: first of the twenty-twos

Valerion: Mikael’s father; missing for almost a decade: Lord Vandriyen’s heir

Vandriyen, Lord: Master of Lee Province; Mikael’s grandfather

Verinne: Perrin and Melanna’s governess; elderly; was Savelle’s nursemaid
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If there’s anything else you want to know, ask in comments, and I’ll try to post it here…