The Fancy Times

Fine Slop for the Discerning Tastemaker

Faction Sketch: House Silvia

House Silvia, who almost wasn’t, is the most controversial Old Family house in the Midland zone. 

Before the Good Revolution, the House was most known for operating the largest and oldest charitable organization in the nation. The Order of Benevolent Strangers, a charter system of craft and research lodges, with a women’s auxiliary known as the Rebecca Lodge. The Strangers aimed to “elevate every person to a nobler plane,” to aid those in need, particularly regarding end-of-life care, ease the burdens of the poor, “relieve the darkness of despair,” and be a great moral power for the good humanity. In short, their historic motto, “Wash the sick, unburden the distressed, bury the dead, teach the orphan.”

A Meeting at the Strangers Lodge

Historically, Palmetto society has been extremely class-conscious. Few helped their neighbors or even knew them. There were almost no institutions to feed the poor. The Strangers originated in the Midlands, with a group of prominent peers. They pooled their money and resources together to help people in need after a storm season had wreaked havoc on villages throughout the region. They were led by two brothers of House Silvia. The name “Strangers” in the group’s title denotes the member’s desire that their contributions remain anonymous and uncredited. The Strangers lodges spread by charter grants as other peers and merchants became interested in the organization.

Modern historians now call this time the Grey Period.

The brothers of House Silvia, as founders, were the most publicly known of the organization’s members. House Silvia famously guided the initiative for the Order to focus on the establishment of respectable graveyards for the poor and the unclaimed. The family earned much goodwill among the commons for these initiatives.

Construction site of one of the burial fields.

In the tense seasons that lead up to the Good Revolution, rumors began to spread about the strange and disturbing ceremonies performed in the windowless chambers of the Strangers’ lodges. An estranged member of the Rebeccas had been slated to interview with a popular tabloid but was found dead in a barren field just before it was to take place. The cause of her death was never discovered, and the rumors were all the more amplified.

Rumors of unnatural rituals.

The rumors pressurized a demand for members of House Silvia, being the only visible members of the Order, to be questioned about these public concerns. The fledgling Directory, at that time little more than a judicial force, arrested them and felt the pushback of their supporters. House Silvia underwent a lengthy, and fruitless investigation, that dragged out their time of incarceration. Every day opposing shouts rang a clamor for their heads or their freedom. The Silvas wouldn’t be restored until the intrigue of the supposed scandal died off.

The Silvia Riots

While some evidence of strange rituals were found in a few lodges, drawers of human bones; empty rooms but for their mile-high violent murals; unusual symbology in the floor tiles, none of this could be connected to House Silvia. 

Read more about House Silvia here.

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