The Five Families of Caldera

Ralani Aristocrats who can trace their lineage back to the foundation of Caldera, over 7 centuries ago.

The First Families are those who claim to have had ancestors present when Surabar the Spellmason defeated the demon Nabthatoron and founded Redgorge and Caldera. Surabar himself had no acknowledged offspring, and therefore his name is not included in the list of First Families; he is usually referred to simply as the Founder.

The Five Families of the City of Caldera are: Azlaxin, Rhivaldi, Taskerhill, Tercival, and Vanderboren. Each family is described below:

House Azlaxin

Khedric Azlaxin was Surabar's closest friend and companion, which makes the Azlaxin family first among Firsts. They are a large and diverse clan, with various members displaying nearly all the traits of the other four families. Mostly, though, the Azlaxins are noble, cautious, and wise. Elder Azlaxins serve the city as council members and judges (commoners in Cauldron who find themselves in legal trouble will sometimes refuse to accept the ruling of any judge who isn't an Azlaxin).

The Azlaxin family crest is a red lion on gold field.

Current members of the Azlaxin family include:

1. Lord Zoren Azlaxin, head of the household
2. Zachariah Azlaxin, his eldest son

House Rhivaldi

The Rhivaldis are generally considered the black sheep of the First Families, although few locals could tell you exactly why this is the case. Like the Taskerhills, they make a good public presentation of themselves (daughters of Rhivaldi often become famous singers or chime dancers). But they frequently receive the cold shoulder from nobility, as though they were guilty of some unspoken slight against the other First Families. This attitude trickles down to the commoners, who concoct unfounded rumours about the Rhivaldis' past and present dealings. One common aspersion (typical in its vagueness and vulgarity) is: "Spell-mason calmed the waters while Rhivaldi pissed in the pool."

The Rhivaldi crest is a profile of a white eagle, its talons clutching a black serpent on purple field

Current members of the Rhivaldi family include:

1. Lord Jakob Rhivaldi, Rhianon and Rachel's father, head of the household
2. Lady Mariana Rhivaldi, Rhianon and Pearl's mother
3. Rhianon Rhivaldi, bard, member of Ike's Harriers
4. Rachel Rhivaldi, Rhianon's older sister
5. Thirifane Rhivaldi, Rhianon's aunt and sometimes-mentor

House Taskerhill

The Taskerhills are renowned for their wit, beauty, and artistic talents. They embody the outward ideal of the aristocrat in every way, exhibiting charm, courtesy, and generosity towards the lower classes. Indeed, the Taskerhills are popular in every sector of Cauldron's society. Only those who are allowed to get very close to members of the family realize that, underneath their patina of grace, they tend to be calculating and egomaniacal. The Taskerhill family also has substantial holdings in the city of Sasserine. The Sasserine branch of the family owns a massive lumber mill, providing them with enormous wealth and power. That branch of the family is led by Andros' older brother Kalmadar.

The Taskerhill family crest is a leaping golden stag on a green field.

Current members of the Taskerhill family include:

1. Lord Andros Taskerhill, Annah's father, head of the household
2. Lady Ileova Taskerhill, Annah's mother (recently deceased)
3. Annah Taskerhill eldest daughter

House Tercival

The Tercivals are pious to a fault. Their religious associations date back to the battle of Demonskar, when the paladin Kristof Tercival sacrificed himself to save Surabar Spellmason from Nabthatoron's attacks. his brothers made a pledge in honour of their fallen sibling: the firstborn male of each generation would become a paladin. Historically, the Tercival knights have been associated most with the worship of Berevrom, although some have chosen Ator or Etahr as their patrons.

Members of the family who do not become paladins or clerics work instead within the network of the upper classes, campaigning for reforms and benefits to help the needy folk of Cauldron. This sometimes gives members of the other First Families the excuse to ignore those social ills; Vanderborens and Rhiavaldis in particular have often been heard to remark, "Oh, that's a Tercival problem."

The Tercival family crest is golden sword and cudgel on a white field.

Current members of the Tercival family include:

1. Lord Alaric Tercival, paladin, knight of Berevrom
2. Lady Ophelia Tercival, head of the household

House Vanderboren

The Vanderborens are shrewd, enterprising, and utterly self-absorbed. Unlike Taskerhills, who radiate compassion and grace, the Vanderborens make no attempt to hide their disdain for the common people, nor of other nobles, for that matter. Their redeeming virtue (to some people's eyes) is in their brutal honesty; some are practically incapable of dissembling. On the rare occasion that someone earns their friendship, they devote themselves unfailingly, and for life. On the other hand, they also know how to bear a grudge, sometimes for generations. Unlike some of the other Caldera nobles, the Vanderborens also have substantial holdings in Redgorge and Sasserine.

The Vanderboren family crest is a black wolf on a red field

Current members of the Vanderboren family include:

1. Lord Loren Vanderboren, Tobias' father, head of the household
2. Lady Inara Vanderboren, Tobias' mother
3. Tobias Vanderboren, Loren's eldest son
4. Verik Vanderboren; Loren's brother, who heads up family interests in neighboring Sasserine.