The Romanovs of Stigmata

Eastmont County

The ROMANOVS were a family of nobles that traced their descendants back to the Czars of Russia, a contention disputed by House Decados (who made the same grandiose claim). Through time, warfare, and political alliances, the Romanov family was gradually subsumed into the greater House and all but disappeared. Those who still bore the Romanov name were given lands far from the heart of the Empire, on dangerous worlds where their lineage would (assumably) dwindle to nothing and die.

Count Alexi Piotr Romanov Decados, the patriarch of this line, was one of these Romanov descendants. Born the only child of a reclusive noble family on Cadiz, he was forced to move to Stigmata before the Emperor Wars. It was he who encouraged the Decados noble in charge of the Stigmata Garrison to remove the garrison from Stigmata to fight for the Decados against Alexius. It was his hopes that this would lead to a Decados victory in the Emperor Wars and that he would be recognized for his sound advice and promoted in rank (and preferably given more comfortable estates off-planet as well).

Unfortunately, his advice was ill-timed; soon after the Stigmata Garrison left, the Symbiots invaded with full force; only the swift intervention of Alexius and his forces saved the day. House Decados was permanently shamed for this action and a bitter Alexi was forced to divest himself of resources and contacts simply to stay alive.

As things finally calmed down, Alexi decided that the only way his family would survive would be to strengthen the bloodline through genetic engineering (much like the al-Malik are rumored to have done, though this is not well known today).

He had members of the Supreme Order of Engineers experiment with his children (3 sons, 2 daughters, and 1 ‘other’ raised in-vitro). Not all of his experiments were successful. One of his daughters remains locked up in a castle tower, the myriad of mouths that grow on her body screaming madly when the moon is full and when they hunger for blood and bile.

The second daughter, a hauntingly beautiful woman named Lenore, disappeared without a trace one night (though legends of her ‘ghost’ wandering the halls of the castle linger on). The ‘other’ remains in the hands of the Engineers, for there was no physical way that Count Alexi could control it.

The 3 brothers are the political force that runs Eastmont County. The Middle Brother is now the Count, after Alexi died in a hunting accident three years ago. The Eldest Brother (at least publically) advises his younger sibling, and the youngest brother seems to have few responsibilities, except to not dishonor the house by his actions.

The ELDEST BROTHER was bred to be a natural leader. He has charm, wit, and grace. He is highly intelligent, compassionate, harsh if he needs to be, and well versed in military strategy. He is like Alexander of Macedonia, Czar Peter of ancient Russia, and Arthur Pendragon combined, a person born to rule.

Unfortunately, he also suffers from bouts of severe madness. In one of his more psychopathic rages, he gave the orders to decimate one of the Courts – an order that was finally stopped by his middle brother after several hundred people had been massacred. Because of this madness, before his death, Count Alexi forced the Eldest to renounce his claim to the throne.

The title of Count fell to the MIDDLE BROTHER, who contains some of the charisma of his eldest brother and some of the conviction of the youngest, but acts more as a moderator for his two, more extreme siblings. Often a bit reserved in their presence, he is the undisputed ruler of Eastmont County. Some say that the madness of his eldest brother and the visions of his youngest brother sometimes afflict him, but no one has any definitive proof of this.

The YOUNGEST BROTHER was bred with a different style of leadership in mind – that of a religious zealot. He has the powerful charisma a ‘holy man’ needs to sway the hearts and souls of people. He has the sheer conviction and will to impose his moods on the masses. In many ways, he is like the Rasputin of old Russia, a dangerous, highly political opponent.

He has experienced visions of the Holy Flame since his youth and can communicate this holy conviction to others. Unfortunately, his zealotry does not extend to his daily activities. He is a debaucher, claiming that strong spirits, women, and self-flagellation lead to more and more intense visions. Despite his debauchery, there is a ‘line’ he will not cross, though. He is firmly against heretics and Antinomists and will root them out with a passion if given a chance.

Both the eldest and the youngest brother are frustrated with the current situation with the Middle Brother as Count. The Eldest, when he is lucid, truly wants to be ruler of Eastmont County and, were it not for the bouts of madness, he would be a better Count than the Middle Brother (and the Middle Brother knows this).

The youngest does not want to rule, but he wants the Middle Brother to pay more attention to his counsel. Sometimes, he comes up with ways to ‘punish’ the Middle Brother (usually through political scheming) for his apparent ‘lack of faith.’

During their less lucid moments, both the eldest and the youngest have either physically attacked the Middle Brother, or tried to have him assassinated. This is an action they immediately regretted when they became ‘sane’ once again, for in truth, the three brothers care for each other – they are unique; the creations of their father, and all three of them believe they have a right to exist. In fact, the Middle Brother is trying very hard to find brides for his brothers, so that their children can carry on the birthright given them by Alexi.

Politically, the Eldest Brother is the one most concerned about the governing of Eastmont County, even though he has no official standing in the courts. The Middle Brother concerns himself with interstellar politics and is often abroad, especially with the war efforts currently underway. All he is concerned about with Eastmont County is that it remains stable (not necessarily peaceful) and that the taxes continue to be collected each year.

The Youngest Brother concerns himself with ‘matters of the spirit.’ Sometimes this means he is highly political; sometimes he is only concerned with religious matters. More often, he questions both the needs of the Eldest Brother and the Middle Brother and wants them to heed his counsel better.

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