Mad Baron Densil

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Author (in-game): Anonymous

Mad Baron Densil, Part the First

Even the finest families contain a bad seed or two. In the case of the storied duchy of Dufort, it was many generations ago that the heir to the noble line was a fellow by the name of Densil. His cruel reign as the head of House Dufort is remembered to this day, despite the best efforts of house scholars to erase it. Even now, the cottagers around Castle Navire scare their children into obedience with a threat that “the Mad Baron will get your little fingers” if they don’t behave

This stems from the legend that Baron Densil would sever the fingers of anyone who displeased him. The tradition goes that he started with the smallest finger and worked his way up from there. When asked why, he said that the offender retained use of their hands. Thus they could serve the house, but the missing digit (or digits, for repeat offenders) was a reminder of their subservience.

Just a few years ago, a trove of very small bones (most likely finger bones) were found buried on the grounds of Castle Navire. Though this does not give truth to the legend, it does lend it credence.

The depravity, cruelty, and depredations of this spectacularly terrible man make us glad that our current house leaders have progressed from such barbarous punishments.

Mad Baron Densil, Part the Second

As a youth, the “Mad Baron” Densil was one of four children sired by the Third Baron Dufort, Gethmar, and his lady, Baroness Yoanna. Densil’s three siblings did not survive to adulthood, their deaths clouded in mystery to the current day. It is said that their despicable brother engineered their deaths, though this is pure conjecture.

What is known is that the death of her third child was too much for Baroness Yoanna, and her mind was shattered. In response, Baron Gethmar had her locked in a tower, where she lived out the rest of her days.

Densil reached the age of majority and was officially declared heir to the barony. The death of Baron Gethmar followed just a year later. A rogue arrow buried itself in the baron’s shoulder during a hunting trip, a wound which should not have killed him. Modern historians suspect poison on the barb, but at the time no evidence of any wrongdoing was discovered.

Soon after Densil took the reins of the barony, he dismissed most of the loyal aides and staff, some of who had served the family for generations. All work on the knight’s wing for the castle, which Gethmar had begun, ceased. And most knights who had often found a warm welcome and good companionship within Castle Navire departed for less disagreeable environments.

Densil spent the next several years looting the once overflowing coffers of the barony, taxing his subjects to such an extent that they fled to other fiefdoms. Across the region, good land lay fallow. The Mad Baron and his cronies rampaged across the countryside.

The few ships that came out of Navire’s once proud shipyards were substandard. It was as if his mental state—a cursed whirlpool of anger, self-indulgence, and innate cruelty—were reflected in the quick downturn of this once well-run, prosperous barony and shipbuilding concern.

Mad Baron Densil, Part the Third

None alive now know why Densil behaved so cruelly. No portraits remain of the fourth baron of House Dufort (praise the Eight), but contemporary reports suggest that his eyes were as black as a Wood Elf’s, but flat and cold.

Having wiped out his treasury within two years of taking over, Baron Densil set his sights on finding a wealthy bride. The Dufort name attracted an ambitious and very wealthy merchant, and he agreed to offer up his eldest daughter in marriage. The Dufort title in exchange for her extensive dowry. The two were married by proxy and Baroness Helenna arrived at the castle to meet her husband for the first time. It was said she was a woman of plain looks and extreme intellect.

The day she arrived at the castle, Helenna insisted on meeting the Dowager Yoanna. Despite the harsh conditions, Densil’s old mother yet lived in the tower, Densil took his new bride to meet her mother-in-law. No one knows exactly what happened during this encounter. The new baroness later said that upon seeing Densil, his mother leaped from her squalid bed and issued a horrific screech.

She grabbed her son with uncanny strength and flung both herself and her soulless surviving child out the tower window. They plunged to their deaths.

Baroness Helenna remained at Castle Navire. A cousin of the DuFort line, Sinvel, was decreed the fifth baron. No one was particularly surprised when the widowed baroness married the fifth baron e a month or so later.

Since that union, the barony has prospered and was promoted to a duchy after the conclusion of Ranser’s War. Whatever curse struck the Mad Baron and House Dufort has luckily appeared to have died with him.

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