Blazon and Meaning
On a field Vert, a mirror framed Or is charged with a pearl Natural and encircled by lines embowed Azure. The gold-framed mirror represents its importance to the Ygrayne's history and their mastery of the magic. The pearl symbolizes the great wealth that has arisen from a tradition of expertise. Both together depict an unblinking eye, a reminder of the all-seeing glass. The curved lines move outwards in ripples of influence to represent the all-encompassing power of the Great House.
An enormously wealthy House, Ygrayne is renowned for the collecting the finest mirrors beneath the Sea, and developing mystical mastery over them. When their secrets began to diffuse into general study, they sought other ways to maintain their position, and became known for crafting new mirror and glass works, as well as new magic techniques. Ygrayne still produces more than its share of exemplary mirror mages, however. Those who delve deeper than normal into the advanced mysteries find themselves beholden to Ygrayne's resources, and to many in Rebma the House and higher initiates of mirror magic are indistinguishable. It is whispered that they have discovered a way to imbue mirrors themselves with magic, allowing the uninitiated to make use of them.
Along with House Dilwen, Ygraynes pride themselves on preserving the history and culture of Rebma, however their methods are both more openly aggressive and insidiously plotty. Of all the Great Houses, theirs is the most pureblood, and they have a tendency of shunning any half-breed offspring that turn up hoping to be recognized officially as kin.
An old and affluent family, Ygraynes can be expected to be found, or have notable history of contribution, in many facets of Rebma life. In everything from military to administration, to the clergy, to the cultural, to diplomacy and espionage, and especially the magic community, there is a well-known Ygrayne in the ranks.
Ygrayne claims descent from the Catoptromancers gathered by Lir at the start of recorded history. Later, their mirror-scrying and ritual magic aided the first Queen Under the Waves, Manawydan, in learning about the other races in order to draw them into the Consolidation of Rebma. She raised the family to be her nobility, after House Dilwen, the first in line for that honour. The Triton hold-outs proved a threat to their home territory, motivating the Ygraynes to find ways to hide and conduct their activities in secrecy. They were promised further reward for their cunning and perseverance by Manawydan, and when she died in the final battles of the Triton Wars, her daughter Moins remembered and elevated Ygrayne to be one of three Great Houses, conferring upon them both extra duties and privilege.
Properties and Revenue
- The Ygrayne ancestral territory is located in the realm's outlying western region, within a naturally-sunken crater and therefore somewhat deeper than any of the other noble holdings. This suits their cranky dispositions well, as the increased pressure is slightly uncomfortable for the average Rebman at that depth.
- A large townhouse estate on an Upper City plateau in the capital serves as home for many members involved in the arts, politics, and city affairs. It is generally believed that along with the other Great Houses, Ygrayne is responsible for the field of magical influence that keeps the waters in and around the capital enchanted and hospitable to air-breathers.
- The majority of Ygrayne industry occurs within several artisan studios and warehouses in Rebma City.
- The family owns a townhouse property in Amber's capital city, in a unique show of affluence.
Allies, Enemies, and Rivals
- With the Tritons' national capital standing between their holdings and Rebma City, the cunning Ygraynes have, over a thousand year span, worked to build a better relationship with the fierce mermen. Now, there is no Rebman noble family whom the Tritons trust more.
- When the body of a Ygrayne Lord was discovered in the fledgling Undine Embassy, the equally irritable and reclusive snake-lady nation gained the family's enmity.
- The threat of conflict with budding political rival House Morfilod has caused speakers to redirect their aggressions during Court and the House in general to look for ways in which to regain favor with the Regent while plotting against Morfilod.
- They are on friendly competitive terms with fellow artisan House Mairwen.
- Normally civil neighbours with House Dilwen, the other Great House has gotten on rocky footing with the Ygraynes after an unsolved case of respiratory disease infected all the Great Archives historians (Ygraynes included) except for the Dilwen senior staff.
- The House's standing with the Rebma Crown is currently, and historically, tense. Recently, Ygrayne had begun to use its wealth, along with its political and mystical influence, to express displeasure with some of Queen Moire's decisions. They had not, of course, spoken outright of treason, but their criticism had been vocal enough to cause them to be considered political opposition to the Crown. That tradition continued into Martin's early Regency, until scandal hit in the form of one prominent elder, Lord Evadyr, being captured, accused, and convicted of High Treason by consorting with enemies of Rebma and embezzling the Crown treasury.
- Bespoke Artisan
- Mirror Initiate/Intermediate Mage
- Shard Picker (a mage who collects fragments of mirror to look for significant bits of the Past)
- Political Champion
Members in Play
Out of Play
- Marchioness Gallmau Ygrayne, the Head of the House and self-appointed Chief Critic of the Crown, tenacious at both tasks. A ruthless individual with a sharp tongue, there are few who would dare to draw the focus of her wrath.
- Lady Orabel Ygrayne, sister to Gallmau. A sister of little consequence, except that she is the mother of Ula, a well know aide at the Embassy.
- Evadyr Ygrayne, the Exile, once enjoyed a life of prestige as the Head Physician for the Crown. Having conspired with enemies of Rebma, including Black Water Agents and a Necromantic Cult, the Crown has titled him a traitor. Despite efforts by Gallmau to retain him in a permanent state of house arrest, he has been ordered disavow'd by House Ygrayne and banished from Rebma to a far Shadow for the remainder of his life.
- Sir Steryn Ygrayne, cousin to Gallmau, serves as the champion and political representative for House Ygraynet. Of late, though, he's been losing political battles, and therefore stands to be replaced in Court.
- Lord Lymon Ygrayne, Orabel's grandson, is one of the up-and-comers of the younger generation, leading his gang of contemporaries into mischief. He would like to bring in support from amongst the Amber royals and nobles, but usually comes off sour.