Adventurers who’ve done noteworthy service for the Grand Duchy are welcome visitors to the general headquarters of any army contingent on border patrol or on a campaign. Here they can rest, resupply, and exchange intelligence on their common enemies.
Should adventurers arrive during winter, they can enjoy a more domestic and genteel welcoming. That’s because winter is the season when the wives, husbands, and particular friends of the staff officers are on hand and have set up a household that boosts morale and extends comforts to the war-weary.
The headquarters of General Embrose Vann Hirsh-Dammung, chief of Dornig forces, is an especially diverse and active household, occupying a large manor house, when available, or a series of rough-hewn cabins erected as shelter against the cold.
The Lady Cassiopeia vann Hirsh-Dammung
The elfmarked wife of the commander is the unquestioned head of the household—the general himself even ceding authority in this area. All, from the general’s servants to the other spouses, defer to her.
A veteran of many campaigns, the Lady Cassiopeia does not abide idleness—everyone is assigned a duty, even the children of the staff officers. Born into the family of Ransom-Vidii, she is accustomed to living on the rugged frontier. All games, diversions, and entertainments require her approval—propriety is often an important consideration (though ribald humor and lavish entertainments might be allowed as part of a celebration of a decisive victory).
The Lady Cassiopeia shares her husband’s vanity, dying her hair dark black to hide the gray. She always arrives at camp in an appointed carriage to the cheers of the soldiers who know the general’s mood will improve with her arrival. She greets all guests with a cheerful sincere smile. Those who earn her displeasure, however, say her disapproving glare is fiercer than the general’s own.
Like her Falstaffian husband Lord Amos, Garnet of Courlandia has a rotund appearance. The human wife of the chief of archery and artillery keeps the cooks busy. With a flair for food preparation, she improvises a table of delicacies for the general officers even when stores are low. As loud and bossy as she is in the kitchen, Garnet otherwise adopts her husband’s easy-going ways, especially when the madeira is being poured liberally.
Lord Lorenzo Laurie Octavia, the Salzbach-betrothed of the young chief surgeon Mirandala Orthel, is a newcomer to the household and an unrestrained flirt. A handsome and cheerful elfmarked noble, he flatters all the women of the household, doting especially on the more matronly persons. Lorenzo’s flighty nature is generally harmless, but some eyes roll at his antics. Finding something productive for the classically educated Lorenzo to do has been a challenge for Lady Cassiopeia, as he has no apparent domestic skills, so she charged him with keeping the household ledger.
Gertrude Aunon, human wife of inspector general Tesprund Aunon, holds herself stiff and aloof. A Zobeck emigre, she is exacting and demands precision in speech and manner. She has been tasked with offering instruction of grammar and mathematics to the children, who are quite afraid of the woman with the stern demeanor and heavy accent.
Bryce Brinestrassen, scholar and professor at Reywald’s Huxelheim Academy, is the doting elfmarked husband of quartermaster general Sandrasillo Brinestrassen. He spends several morning hours working on his biography of General Embrose, but cheerfully does whatever task is required. He has a deft hand with a sewing needle and his penmanship is exceptional, perfect for scribing official documents.
Deidre Sommertime, constant human companion of Dragoon brigadier and elfmarked knight, the Lady Janemour Light, is the only common-born member in this household of aristocrats. Lady Cassiopeia has taken Deidre under her wing, instructing her in etiquette and the elf language. Deidre has endeared herself to all with her singing voice, leading after-dinner songs.
Felicity Aldous-Donner, a grandniece of Grand Baron Dymytros Howlik Van Rottsen, is the wife of human chief of staff Cordon Veah, himself a native of Bemmea. A mage, Felicity is tasked with providing magical defenses for the household. Lively and outing, Felicity delights the others with her improvisational prestidigitations.
Margaret Reickenbacht, wife of infantry brigadier Bengamine Reickenbacht, is a gossip who speaks her mind, often without thinking. The others call her “Margo Talkstoomuch” when she isn’t around. Among nobles who are disciplined in the art of conversation, even inappropriate comments that aren’t malicious can cause strain in these close quarters. Last year, even General Embrose, a master of self control and decorum, gave into his exasperation and reproached her sternly. Margo didn’t speak for three days and now makes a pipsqueak noise and goes silent whenever the general enters the same room as her.