House Alens of Blackmoor is one of the oldest and proudest of the Keledoni noble houses. It is well regarded for its formidable military history and the fierce loyalty felt by the Alens towards realm and people.
Seated in the town of Culain, in the Blackmoors, House Alens was one of the original noble houses of Keledon, with its well-known legacy represented in Sothar KesGalen's day by Braegin Alens, direct ancestor of the modern Alens.
House Alens has a reputation for fairness and justice and its leaders have prided themselves on a standard greater than that of other men. The House raises its children to be inflexible in their adherence to the values and morals of the family. These include fairness, loyalty, honour and temperance.
The current head of the House is Rendar Alens, Duke of Blackmoor, who also serves as Lord Warden of the Realm on the council of Queen Heulyn. Indeed, House Alens, under Rendar, was instrumental in bringing the queen to her throne.
Or, a chevron gules. To sinister, a grizzly bear proper rampant.
Since times unremembered House Alens has borne the bear as its sigil. The great grizzly, always in brown to remind the House of its roots, faces the observer's right. Behind him, on a golden field representing the fields of Keledon, a red chevron represents the ties of Alens blood to the land itself. House Alens has, more than once, been granted the right to use furs on their standard (in Keledoni heraldry, furs are granted by the monarch alone). When the present Queen, Heulyn II, inquired of Rendar Alens why his House never exercised this right, he famously replied, "Our Grace, between beard and bear, we've fur enough to clothe the kingdom already."
It's rare to find sons of House Alens employing the cadency devices that denote birth order. The House's strong emphasis on loyalty to family and friend is one of the chief reasons behind this. It is a matter of family teaching that the House must function as one', never simply as a collection of parts.
Titles and StandingEdit
The Lord or Lady of House Alens is the Duke or Duchess of Blackmoor, or less commonly, of the Blackmoors. Attendant titles include Marquis of Culain, High Earl of Eldyn, and Count of Westhill. The term 'Bears' is often used as a nickname for members of the House, or those wearing their livery.
House History in BriefEdit
The roots of House Alens predate the birth of King Sothar and his later unification of the lands of Keledon. Just as Sother's clan used the hawk as their sigil, so did the ancestors of House Alens use the bear. When Sothar wrought a single kingdom from the many that dotted the peninsula he found one of his staunchest and most loyal allies to be Boreth Artins. As he divided his kingdom into feudal holdings, dispersing them among the nobility of the new land, Sothar gave stewardship of the Blackmoors into the hands of his friend. In the Selmari dialect of Keledon, which Sothar would spread throughout the kingdom, his surname became 'Alens', and Boreth himself the First Duke of the Blackmoors.
House Alens was a staunch supporter of Sothar and his dynasty, serving loyally and faithfully. In 1139 AS, when rebellion first broke out in the kingdom following the death of Alfor I, House Alens played a key part in the king's young son to the throne as Aelfeth II.
The House has tended to be a firm ally of the Crown, although not always a contended one. Aefeth IV and Alfor II are among the monarchs particularly disliked by House Alens, although loyalty did preserve some semblance of friendship.
Gendar IV's patronage of adventuring, balladeers, chivalry and simiar pursuits were well suited to the brash and headstrong sons of House Alens. A closer relationship developed with the Crown, in part because it passed on to a secondary line, House Halad.
During Balar's Rebellion, which preceded Queen Heulyn II's ascencion to the Falcon Throne, House Alens was the first, strongest and fiercest of the future Queen's allies. Garen Alens, head of the House, provided stern and honest advice to the princess, as well as soldiers, gold and material support. He was also a key element in rallying undecided Houses to her cause. In return she promised him a seat on her Council; however Garen Alens succumbed to a festering arrow wound in 1861 AS, a year into the rebellion. Thrust unexpectedly into command, his twenty-eight year old son Rendar, now Duke of Blackmoor, found himself well-suited to his new role. He proved as great a help to the princess as had his father, and soon became fast friends with two common fighters and leaders of the Lowborn Militia, Theo of Aldwyn and Wil Haleson. Rendar himself knighted the two of them on the battlefield, in recognition of their bravery and pivotal contributions to the war. Following the rebellion, and the coronation of Queen Heulyn II, she appointed Rendar Lord Warden of the Realm, giving him command and control over her military forces. Duke Rendar has occupied that seat ever since.