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Through Defeat, Triumph - Index Questoris: House Ishard

Iron Gauntlet 2020 House Isahrd Brother Argent

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#1
Brother Argent

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Index Questoris: House Ishard
 
 
 
 
The Legend
 
 
Ask any member of House Ishard, noble house of the Questoris Imperialis, and they will tell you the same story of their founding, for all are taught the tale as soon as they are able to sit long enough to listen.  The legend goes that the founding of House Ishard came before the dark days of the Horus Heresy.  The planet they come from, Novala, was a garden like agri world settled during the Age of Strife when human settlers arrived in vast colonisation ships.  As contact was lost with Terra the planet fell into warring smaller kingdoms of psuedo fuedal techno barbarians where the planets aristocracy dueled with lance and sword over the planets vast green fields.  These duels often escalated into full fledged wars that could span continents and involve hundred of warriors.  When these conflicts truly escalated it wasn’t uncommon for the planets aristocracy to take to the field in their ancient war machines, known as Knights.  These relic war machines were heralds of a bygone era and were as devastating as they were rare.  Vast battle cannons would level whole fortresses and massive feet crushed scores of warriors.  To command one of these war machines was the highest of honours among the planets nobility yet even amoungst the knightly houses the rule of the aristocracy was supreme.  Those houses determined to be more pure and noble lorded over the lesser houses, using their position to use these lower houses to brutally oppress the planets other inhabitants.
 
One of these so called lesser knight pilots was a young noble by the name of Tristain.  Tristain served as a squire for the King of Lothaine, one of the smaller kingdoms on the shores of one of the worlds great seas.  He was an indentured warrior, piloting one of the armiger class knights, whom was often sent on whatever menial and demeaning tasks his King Marek could think of.  Despite this Tristain served with honour and distinction, never once balking from the tasks he was set.  It was during once such task he faced in one on one combat the champion of one of the greater kingdoms.  Despite he being only in an armiger helverine and the enemy piloting a paladin class knight he was able to bring down the foe, although taking great damage in the process.  In recognition for his deed in honour of his lord he was given a slightly less menial task.  He was sent to retrieve a new wife for his King, the Princess Ishard of Kaenwall, whom was promised to his liege lord in exchange for military alliances.  The young Tristain, now bereft of his crippled knight mount, set out on foot and then by sea to the Kingdom of Kaenwall where he met and set out again with the young lady Ishard.  While on the journey back, however, the two grew close and eventually fell in love.  When they returned to the court of Lothaine Tristain did his duty and handed over to his King his new bride, despite it breaking his heart to do so.  Despite his noble intentions, however, the young Tristain couldn’t deny his heart and the two kept up a secret affair whilst Tristain stayed at court.
 
It was an state of affairs that wasn’t to last as Marek became jealous of the attention his young bride showed the young knight.  Although he never discovered their affair he had his suspicions and so King Marek sent Tristain on a impossible quest that would certainly be his death.  Learning of this the Princess Ishard begged Tristain not to go, but to run away with her.  But to Tristain to abandon his duty would be worse then dying and so he set out on the quest he had been given.  What the quest itself was is never certain.  Indeed it is said that the tale of Tristain’s great quest varies on whatever lesson the Preceptor at the time is attempting to teach but what part of the tale that remains the same is that without a knightly mount it would have been impossible and Tristain’s warmachine was still crippled from his duel.  He prayed to whatever god was listening and was said to have been sent a vision of a white leopard that led him to the sea shore where he could see a wooded isle.  He would eventually sail to the island after repeated dreams of the leopard and found on the isle a cave that led deep beneath the earth.  What had seemed an island soon turned out to be the remains of one of the great colonial ships that had brought his people to the world in the first place and the cave one of the remaining entries to the catacomb of ship works beneath.  Within this ancient structure Tristain managed to stumble across a great store of the ancient war machines that had laid dormant here for so long.  Tristain was able to activate one of these ancient knights, a massive Cerastus Knight-Castigator.  He would take this relic of glorious wars past and go on to complete his task as given.  When he returned to Marek the king was surprised but not disappointed for he now had a rare and highly powered relic in the Cerastus, despite its Throne Mechanicum refusing to accept him as pilot.  Still, the King reasoned, Tristain was his loyal servant and would pilot it in his name.
 
Tristain and Ishard soon resumed their affair, despite initial hesitations, but were soon discovered in the midst of their tryst in King Marek’s garden.  He flew into a rage and attempted to slay the young knight whom fled.  Marek locked Ishard away in his fortress and Tristain fled back to the isle where he had discovered the Cerastus, taking the war machine with him.  It was here he was visited by another vision where the leopard led him to where he saw himself at the head of a great army that freed all on his world from the oppression of the planets nobility to live as equals.  Filled with new hope at this vision, and perhaps some prompting from the lost voices of the Cerastus’ Throne Mechanicum, he set himself a new quest.  Soon the legend of Sir Tristain Hopebringer began to spread many were drawn to his banner, that of six emerald leopards on a field of white. Despite his love for Ishard never waining he married the Princess of another Kingdom, Ishard of the White Hands, for her name and her beauty.  Despite living together for a long time in the castle Tristain had built on the Isle, Tristain still pined for Ishard of Kaenwall and his new wife knew it.  Still the two ruled side by side and began to forge a new kingdom of freemen.
 
  Eventually his actions drew the attention of King Marek whom led a band of himself and his five best knights to slay the knight whom had dared defy him.  They made battle, six against one, on the shore beside Tristain’s isle and despite being out numbered Tristain managed to best the six sent against him.  As Tristain confronted in person the wounded King Marek the King struck him with a poisonous blade before he died.  Tristain was taken to his castle where he lay dying.  He was visited by a wise man whom told his that only his true love could cure his and he sent word to the now Queen Ishard of Kaenwall to come to his aid.  He told his messenger to fly white sails on their ship when they returned if Ishard same and black sails if she didn’t.
 
When word came of the messengers return the dying Tristain asked his wife what coloured sails the ship flew.  She, in a fit of jealousy, told him the sails were black.  Broken hearted the young Tristain breathed his last, as Ishard of Kaenwall made her way from the docks.  Queen Ishard had brought her young son to see his father for she had soon discovered she was with child during Tristain’s exile.  When she found her lover’s body she was broken hearted but swore Tristain and her son would continue his father’s legacy.  On the day he came of age and was able to take over piloting his father’s Cerastus knight it is said she made her way to Tristain’s grave where she lay down and died from grief, her duty done.  Tristain’s son, whom his mother had also named Tristain, would prove worthy of his namesake and father’s legacy and would forge a new knightly house and kingdom that would eventually rise to dominance on Novala.  A house he named for his mother as House Ishard, whilst still taking his father’s crest.  And so was House Ishard formed.
 
 
Leopard Ascendant
 
Or so the legend goes.  It was been passed down for countless millennia, often changing and changing back on subsequent retelling.  No matter their original myth the knights of House Ishard soon lived up to their founder’s legacy following the arrival of the Emperor’s Great Crusade.  Although the Emperor himself didn’t arrive on Novala his warriors did.  Novala put up no resistance to their arrival. House Ishard’s ruler, Tristain the Younger’s great grandson Palanis Ishard, immediately recognized the Divine Authority of the Emperor’s emissaries and bent the knee, with much of his house holds warriors joining the Crusade.  They would go on to win great glory for the house only for much of their glory to be undone in the dark days of the Heresy that followed.  Indeed much of the forces that left Novala ended up being destroyed when they refused to renounce their loyalty to Terra by the forces they fought alongside.
 
In the millenia that have followed, however, House Ishard have proven themselves worthy of their founder’s legacy time and time again on countless worlds and against innumerable foes.  Where the Imperium’s need is at its greatest the Knights of House Ishard are often to be found, fighting for the common man from the cruelty of tyrants.

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#2
Brother Argent

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So even worse rough draft of the history of House Ishard.  Based off my own families heraldry and history (Izzard) much of the myth is based around the legend of Tristan and Isolde of Arthurian legend, from which my family is said to get its name.  Not happy with it and its rather sketchy but its a start.



#3
Harlan Skorus

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Aw yeah I love me some Arthurian myth
 

These duels often escalated into full fledged wars that could span continents and involve hundred of warriors.

 
if something's continent-spanning I'd guess at there being more than a few hundred involved.

 

The rest is all pretty solid, there's a few spelling/grammar bits here and there. What I really want to know now is: with this hyper-detailed backstory that is infered to be taught to every new Knight of the house, how has it shaped their character in whatever passes for the 'current' day? Do they rarely field household of knights, deploying as singular questing units? Does the Cerastus Knight exist, are there more, do they go out of the way to find more of these rare suits in deference to their liege of old? Do the people still have power or has the nobility stolen it back? Something like that.


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#4
Ace Debonair

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Aw yeah I love me some Arthurian myth


This. biggrin.png

Absolutely digging the backstory so far, it's got the right balance of old-school fable and giant mechanical war machines.

I'd like to know more about "modern day" House Ishard too, but this is a grand start.
 

So even worse rough draft of the history of House Ishard.  Based off my own families heraldry and history (Izzard) much of the myth is based around the legend of Tristan and Isolde of Arthurian legend, from which my family is said to get its name.  Not happy with it and its rather sketchy but its a start.


I'd based the Order of the Iron Tower's name on the old heraldic motto of my family: "God is a Strong Tower to me", and the family crest's colours are also 50% of the inspiration for the green robes too.

This year's Iron Gauntlet is brought to you by family history, it seems! laugh.png


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#5
Brother Argent

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Thanks for the feed back guys.  I fully intend on fleshing this out into a full article but for now was focusing on the Origins as per Challenge the First.

 

@Harlan: I imagine the knights are highly focussed on chivalry, or at least being seen to.  Some are overtaken by 'visions' and head off on their own Grail Quest type journeys, whilst others lend their aid to Imperial Forces where ever its needed.  The Cerastus still walks, and is piloted by the house leader to this day.  

 

@Ace: Your lucky your family has a motto.  The Izzard's didn't so I use my personal one " Through trial, strength.  Through defeat, triumph." - basically knock me down, I'll get up stronger then before.  


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#6
Bjorn Firewalker

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"Through trial, strength. Through defeat, triumph." - basically knock me down, I'll get up stronger then before.


Great motto!
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Wolf Scout- Catachan barking toad eggs+ Thousand Sons Marine= Fun! (Wolves of Catachan)

Warhammer 40,000+ Star Wars- Rian Johnson- Reylo= AWESOME! (Knights of Renaissance)

Reasons to use the Steel Crusaders ('Codex: Space Marines' supplement) or the Iron-hearted Angels ('Codex: Blood Angels' supplement): Because you think giving Sternguard Veterans a heavy bolter wtih special issue HEAVY BOLTER ammunition is ALMOST as much fun as shoehorning an Earthshaker cannon into a Land Raider.

#7
Brother Lunkhead

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So even worse rough draft of the history of House Ishard.  Based off my own families heraldry and history (Izzard) much of the myth is based around the legend of Tristan and Isolde of Arthurian legend, from which my family is said to get its name.  Not happy with it and its rather sketchy but its a start.

 

I think you've got a strong foundation with your rough draftthumbsup.gif  I like the use of the Tristan and Isolde legend very much. Looking forward to seeing your history push forward. You're off to a fine start.


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