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House Starfel: A Minor Noble Family
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[Image: rsz_1rsz_image_2021-09-15_145302.png]

☄️The Starfel Family☄️
What is the Starfel family?
A) They are a minor noble family based in Lispool, renowned for their 'soul gems' or 'Anima Insignis', presently in a struggle to maintain their family status due to poor decisions with their owned businesses. This, compounded with the fact that the main branch of the family possesses no heir only furthers the issues they face.
The family was, in the past, a family belonging to the common folk, filled with both swordsmen, mages, and artisans. Though hardly of note at the time, what set them apart from the rest is filled with vague detail; albeit one key part that many believe is true was the discovery of a 'star that crashed into the land', to which their ancestors took advantage of to create a technique that allows its user to 'craft a weapon that takes the shape of their soul's reflection', using the materials of the apparent meteorite for their weapons and armor-- and some, their accessories. They are also, generally, well versed in artificing techniques, more than the average artificer, in fact.
Of course, many have claimed that it was no meteorite that they discovered; that it was purely an exaggerated tale to boost their family's reputation. That their claim of being 'blessed by the stars themselves' was nothing but fantasy. The Starfels remain stone-firm with their beliefs, however.
The Starfels boast a great amount of talent in their bloodline, be it magecraft, martial techniques, or smithing. Indeed, such were their apparent prowess that they, throughout the generations of the Church Knights, had at least one of their members recruited for the Order.

How big is the family?
A) The Starfel family possesses, at present time, around two hundred~ members. Though only few a handful are from the 'main branch', which is the head of the family's line. And thus, the most 'pure' in terms of heritage.

There are three other sub branches of the family; the 'warriors', the 'mages', and the 'artisans'.

Around twenty members are from the main branch. What sets them apart from the sub branches, other than their 'pure blood', is their ability to draw out the potential of their 'soul gem' much, much earlier than the rest. The stars that occur through 'releasing' the focus inside their gems are much brighter, and more apparent, compared to the sub branches. This, in their eyes, is a sign of 'purity'- or, as others claim, being a 'true chosen of the stars'.

What exactly makes their 'stars' shine brighter than the rest is up for interpretation. Some claim their line, specifically, were the ones that came into contact with the 'meteorite' the most. Some claim they possess immensely strong souls, or they have a certain unique property in their focus; or at times, both. Some even mention that it's due to their sheer will and ambition which causes this.

Do they have their own land?
A) Of course! The land they own is, quite literally, called Starfel. The story goes that they chose to stay in this land specifically because the 'meteorite' that their ancestors discovered landed there. While the land itself is small, it is home to many of their members and servants, as well as the location of their family business; that being a meadery, a distillery, and their own private forge.

What is the family's main source of income?
A) The family makes its living off of numerous occupations. Namely, smithing and tutoring-- in regards to swordplay and magecraft. The family lets its members choose their occupation, regardless of their known 'specialties'. However, they do not let anyone slack off and do nothing with their lives. Those that do are threatened to be disowned.

As for specific businesses, the family makes its fortune by producing and selling various types of alcoholic beverages. Vodka, being one specific such alcohol. They also possess numerous smithies dotted across Lordwain. Although recent incidents have caused a good number of these to shut down.

What is an Anima Insignis, or 'Soul Gem'?
A) It is a gem given to its members by birth, the type of which is dependent on the star they were born under. For example, if one were to be born under 'Mars', they would be given a 'Ruby' gem at birth.

These gems are enchanted in a manner that lets them 'attune' to their bearers' focus; and, at the same time, absorb the energy inside over immense amounts of time. They always possess a rune of sorts at the back.

At ages 4 to 5, the members are later given a replacement holder for their gems. One composed of numerous ingredients, notably etherium and mana crystals. These holders come in various forms, depending on the Anima-bearer's preference. They can change their holders as much as they wish.

At these ages, they begin their journey into artificing.

At a later age, usually around ages fifteen to eighteen, the focus inside their Anima Insignis are at a point wherein one can pull it out and shape it into a weapon. The wearer has no capability to decide what form it takes. The process of extracting the focus is said to be akin to watching the night sky be enveloped with stars glittering along the blank canvas.

To extract the weapon from inside the Anima Insignis, one must first know a specific somatic spell based on Helondic language.

Indeed, when a Starfel releases their weapon from the Anima Insignis, glittering focus surrounds their gem- and for others, usually the main branch, their person. Much like stars in the night sky.

A Starfel from the main branch tends to be capable of what a Starfel from a sub branch can do much, much earlier than the latter. Years, even.

Can an Anima Insignis be passed down? Will the weapon retain its shape if so?
A) They can pass down their Anima Insignis, yes. Though the shape of the weapon gradually changes the longer it is held onto by a new holder, with only a few core parts remaining from its previous form. A 'mark', one would say.

Although this is hardly common practice, and never encouraged to do as the family views this act as 'damaging' one's soul.

There are fringe cases wherein departed family members give their Anima Insignis to their loved ones, however. Though usually the gems in question are buried with them.

Can there be similar if not the same shapes with a weapon from an Anima Insignis?
A) There have been cases where there were similar shapes. Most often, they belong to twins, triplets, and the like.

What happens if a member gives away their gem? Does that mean they are now powerless, seeing as the Anima Insignis attunes to their focus?
A) If a member loses their Anima Insignis, it can only mean a few things.
1) They are dying, and are passing it onto someone they deem worthy.
2) Someone stole it. The family will do /everything/ they can to get it back and make the thief face the appropriate punishments.
3) If they gave it away to another person without a good enough reason to persuade the head(s) of the family, they will very likely be disowned.
3a) If the person who was given the Anima Insignis a non-family member, the Starfels will look for them and demand the gem back.
3b) If it was a family member, then the case depends entirely on the situation.

Can they get a new Anima Insignis?
A) They cannot, in most cases. An Anima Insignis takes quite a long amount of time before it can function properly, thus procuring a new one is deemed a waste of time should one be in their adulthood. They also appear to possess the belief that the Anima Insignis in question and the bearer were fated to be together. If a child were to lose one, however, it is more likely to be replaced.

On inheriting another's Anima Insignis.
- As mentioned prior, this act is discouraged. Few in the family are given permission to pass down their Anima Insignis to another family member, with numerous conditions, with one very notable requirement.

They shall not pass down their Anima Insignis to a third person. Once they pass away, both their own(if they possess one) and their inherited Anima Insignis are returned to the coffin of its original bearer.

The Starfels believe that to bear another's Anima Insignis is to taint their own soul.

There is, of course, an exception.

The original Anima Insignis(or the supposed original, at least), called 'Stella Veritas', belongs to the main branch of the family. Generations upon generations has it been passed down from one heir to another; naturally, the 'souls' within this specific Anima Insignis is far, far more potent. It is said that the heirs are the sole exception to the rule due to the fact that they are the purest in the family line. Being the 'true chosen of the stars', they do not believe that the Anima Insignis in question faces similar issues as ones made today, if and only if, it is wielded by the true heirs of the noble family.

The 'Stella Veritas' is considered the utmost important family heirloom. Few rarely see it.

Has there ever been cases where a non-family member drew out an Anima Insignis?
A) There have been. Although what almost always happens is vastly different in terms of the process when one extracts the weapon. There are no 'stars' glittering around the gem or the person. They are only able to pull it out. The feeling would naturally feel immensely foreign.

The Starfels do not necessarily take offense to this, depending on the case. Although their Anima Insignis is immensely important to them, they are also proud of the fact that they and only they are 'chosen by the stars'. They see anyone who pulls out a weapon from their gems-- without the 'stars' glittering around them-- as shameful.

Of course, if it was a thief who had committed this act, they would further demand punishment from the authorities.

Okay, the family has cool soul thingies, but what do they DO with it?
A) Wildly depends! Some go through their entire lives without using it in combat, or at all, as they are satisfied with living a normal life. Some who are interested are permitted to join adventurer guilds 'part-time' during their late teens, to garner experience and to decide whether or not the life of an adventurer(albeit one that is still bound to the family name) is for them.

Naturally, they would not be permitted to join an adventurer's guild should they not have sufficient training.

Some join the local militia as either volunteers or full time members. Some seek to reach higher, attempting to join the ranks of the Order of the Church Knights.

The Starfels permit all of this, with the sole condition that they cannot toss aside their family name(unless of course they bring immense shame upon the family).

What kinds of weapons formed by Anima Insignis are there?
A) Much like humanity, the possibilities are near endless. The shape an Anima Insignis takes could very well range from being a simple, albeit deadly, average-sized hammer that looks as though it was for hitting nails, to a rather strange, giant pair of scissors.

How long have the Starfels been around?
A) A few centuries at least. Some say they've been around for, at minimum, two hundred years. Although they don't possess much records of their ancestors besides a few key details.

What are the sub branches and what do they do?
A1) The sub branches do not always adhere to their 'specialties' as one would expect. Though, yes, they possess skills and talent related to their branch, they are not expected to follow their parents' footsteps. Should they wish to pursue another path, they are given more than enough permission to do so. The Starfels merely expect them to work as best as they can, and to not bring any negative impression upon the family.

A2) The 'warriors' are a sub branch of the family where most, of their members possess impressive physique and stamina. They are usually more leaned towards physically demanding activities. Their members most often times volunteer for militia work, and possess jobs as tutors for swordplay.

A3) The 'mages' however are the bookworms. They are, as the name implies, leaned towards magecraft. Though the majority of the family are capable of using magic, they sometimes prefer to seek more peaceful means of income. For example, being a librarian, or a teacher at a school. They most often possess keener intellect compared to the other sub branches.

A4) The 'artisans' are exactly what one would think they are. This sub branch are filled with craftsmen and craftswomen at heart. Whether it be knitting, smithing, alchemy, etcetera.

What is the main branch like?
A) They are regarded as the 'noblest of nobles', when it comes to the family. They prioritize, to a rather extreme extent, the preservation of their bloodline's purity. While the sub branches are given more freedom when it comes to their lives, a Starfel from the main branch has far more restrictive rules set on their shoulders. 'The prettiest flower must be given the most extensive care'.

The heirs more so than the rest, naturally.

They have no decision in the matter when it comes to their beloved; an arranged marriage with another 'pure', noble family is set up for them at a young age. The young Starfels are exposed to plenty of interactions with the opposite family throughout their lives.

They are also given much more intense training. Whether it is by the sword or by the book, their instructors are encouraged to give no leeway should it mean they learn properly. This includes their tutors when it comes to proper etiquette as a noble.

What races are there in the Starfel Household?
A) The main branch is predominantly filled with Humans, while the sub branches have a very mixed number of races, half-bloods, or what have you.

Liches, Dullahans, Vampires, Homunculi are of course not present in the family.

What religion does the family follow?
A) Why, the White Lady, of course. Despite the family's, what some would say strange obsession with the stars, the Starfels follow in the teachings of Mercala. They are actively seen encouraging her teachings and participating, volunteer or otherwise, in the Church's activities. (i.e. choirs, donations, etc.)

To the Starfels, Mercala embodies their every belief in regards to the stars.

Notable Starfel Family Members
Grufus Eldrick Starfel - Current Head of the Main Branch Family
- A Lispoolian man in his mid sixties. He is the first son of the previous head, Alcred Starfel. Grufus has three children, as well; two sons, one daughter. He is regarded as an opportunist, and has a small dislike with the way the family is currently run. He is, however, aware that changing much of their ways would cause an uproar amongst the Starfels.

He is considered one of the best swordsmen in the family; although his age has long since prevented him from too much physical strain.

He has recently been acting 'strange'. More short-tempered. This only increased in frequency after his second son's passing.

Alrick Starfel - Eldest Son of Grufus Eldrick Starfel
- Alrick Starfel was said to be a kind, generous man who went about his days mingling with the common folk. At a young age- younger than any of the main branch, he had managed to extract his Anima Insignis' weapon. Many proclaimed him a prodigy, and indeed his parents were proud of him. He was beloved by his younger sibling, and the two would almost never be seen apart.

An unfortunate incident however left the Starfel without their first heir, although many are unsure of what exactly had happened. Him and his escorts were on their way to Hyoya for a business trip- one of many, but never arrived. Days later, their caravan was discovered empty and wrecked quite a distance away from the main road. No bodies were discovered, but a large amount of dried blood was. And a single Anima Insignis.

Presently, it has been around twenty five~ years since then.

Dominick Starfel - Second Eldest Son of Grufus Eldrick Starfel

- The previous generation's only 'representative' in the Order of the Church Knights. He adopted a young boy into the main branch some twelve or so years ago, which caused a large uproar within the family, most specifically the current head.

Mysteriously enough, the boy remained in the family after Dominick convinced his father. Over time, the Starfels have grown to accept this decision, or at the very least grown indifferent to it. Though there are still plenty who believe this goes against their entire beliefs.

Recently passed away on a mission.

Kaeius 'Orfhan' Starfel - Adopted Son of Dominick Starfel
- A young man of similar features to his foster parent. He was discovered to possess a holder of an Anima Insignis when Dominick stumbled upon him during one of his missions. This fact remains privy to a very select few in the family up until today, the head simply passing it off as him giving the young child one when they had first met.

Dominick had given him exclusive training ever since the lad joined the Starfels. Rumor has it that he is to follow his foster parent's occupation, much to many's chagrin.

He, oddly enough, lives in the servants' household. Away from the main branch's mansion. A decision made by the current head.

Notable History(In the past twenty or so years).

Some twenty odd years from present time:
- Alrick goes missing on a business trip to Hyoya, never to be seen again.
- The family as a whole grieve his supposed passing, despite some believing that he is still alive out there, somehow.
- The mantle of heir passes onto Dominick.
- Dominick enters the Order of the Church Knights shortly after Alrick's disappearance.
- Alrick's and Dominick's elder sister announces cutting ties with the family, for reasons unknown.

Twelve years from present time:
- Dominick returns from a mission, with a young boy in tow. After a few days of (heated) debate, Dominick adopts the boy, whom he named 'Kaeius', as his son.
- Kaeius is to be kept away from the majority of the family, both for his safety and growth, so says Dominick.

One year from present time:
- The current head of the family made a rather exorbitant purchase of a supposed 'never-wilting flower'.
- A few have noticed that the family income has been gradually lowering with each passing month. Some have voiced their concerns about the recent business practices employed by the ones spearheading their businesses. This only intensified with the current head's previous purchase.
- Rumors spread around the family that Grufus has been growing increasingly short-tempered lately. Albeit none know why, some have proposed it is due to the stress of the family's current situation.

Two months from present time:
- Dominick passes away during a mission. Supposedly killed in action.
- Grufus' short temper increases in frequency. House servants claim that he is, at times, irrational. Hysterical.
- Both heirs to the family have passed away, with the eldest sister denying any attempts to take up the mantle. (After a long time of searching for Grufus' erstwhile daughter.)
- Talks of who would take up the mantle of heir erupts. Many attempt to propose their own sons and daughters, but are quickly shot down.

Present time:
- The situation only intensifies as a heir is still yet to be chosen, and their income continues to deteriorate at a slow pace.


OOC Notes:
Hello! This is my first time trying something like this. The Starfels are my own little noble family, intended to be more like a backstory support thing for my character than anything else at the moment. I have no intentions to do too much with them as of this moment, but in the future that will likely change. 

If you are interested in making a character related to this, feel free to DM me on Discord. But please understand that as its author, I won't be doing any grand events or anything of the sort in the foreseeable future in regards to the Starfels. Annnnd please understand that I am limiting the slots for this, so don't count on getting in. Mostly due to the fact that I wish for the Starfels to be more or less a comfortable topic for me as a player.

My Discord handle: SpaceShibe#5672
I forgot my last account's password. Oops.
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