In its earliest days, House Hawkwood was the leading house but a consortium of other houses, led by Decados, brought it crashing down, almost to the point of extinction. One member managed to revive its fortunes and within generations it once again became one of the greatest houses, until the first barbarian invasion broke through at Delphi and devastated Hawkwood’s holdings. Other catastrophes have come and gone, but House Hawkwood endures…
House Hawkwood has had its former leader, Alexius, ascend to become Emperor, but he is now distancing himself from his house, going out of his way to deny its leaders the rewards of empire. This has caused great consternation among the wealthiest nobles but, at the same time, many of Hawkwood’s landless nobles have found a place among the Emperor’s Questing Knights, helping to administer the Empire, explore its darkest reaches and bring back important news.
When a new Hawkwood is born, the House surrounds him with evidence of inevitable destiny and by the time the child is five, he can recount the deeds of leading Hawkwoods from centuries past. By the time the child reaches 12, he will realise just how important House Hawkwood has been in humanity’s progress, and at 16, he will have no doubt that every action he takes will have critical importance to everyone in the Known Worlds.
While certain Hawkwoods have gone bad in the past, they are easily dismissed by those who remain. Real Hawkwoods can deal with anything. Real Hawkwoods never doubt themselves. Real Hawkwoods know that their bloodline allows them to face any enemy and overcome any obstacle. Failure of any kind is not accepted. This background makes Hawkwoods vain, headstrong and bigoted – but at the same time they can be courageous, charitable and progressive. Hawkwood nobles are extremely conscious of both their personal honour and that of their House, and duelling is a favourite method of resolving such conflicts.