Vassal of Valardin
Words: "Loyal to the Queen."
Sigil: A gold and black honey-bee in flight on a dark blue background.
Nickname: Bees, Stings
Centuries ago, Laurent was the son of a beekeeping farmer who owned a small meadery in the Oathlands. He was knighted young and then ennobled by Queen Alarice the Great in exchange for great acts of courage and bravery whose specifics are lost to time, but it is sure that he was granted the Duchy of Artshall after he and two others were the last men standing in a gruelling battle of the Red Fields. It's obscure what family held the duchy prior to the ennoblement of Laurent, but it seems that many of them were lost in that same war.
For the hundreds of years since, the Laurents have prized loyalty and humility as the highest of their chivalric duties. Their men and women have been among the backbone of the Valardin fealty. Workhorses whose pride is married to their sense of duty rather than to their personal honor, there is a deeply communitarian streak about their family tradition. While highly adherent to rigid social structures, there is nonetheless the sense that every piece in the puzzle -- every worker in the hive -- is important to the whole, and each role and duty worthy of its own honor, that most Laurents have historically held close to their hearts.
Description: Nestled in the hills of the border between the Oathlands and the Lyceum, near the headwaters of the westernmost branch of the Lyceum split, the seat of Artshall is a stronghold of slate and granite, extruding from the hulls. It overlooks forest lands, and a small but rich vale of fields and farmland. The largest meadery of the holding is within steps of the great black stone hall. Although the holding is not especially mineral rich, there are some sources of iron for forging to the north of the hall. The river trade southward to Tor is a hallmark of the income of Artshall, but the primary wealth is in the vale, the meaderies, and in the forestry of the woods to the south. Knights and soldiers keep a stern and stolid vigil in a wide perimeter on both sides of the river.