- "As I rise, all others must fall."
- —House Faramond motto
Upon their arrival to Montelay in the distant past House Faramond assumed control over the roughly half million colonists through diplomatic means but retained control by both tradition and force of arms, though the latter became less necessary after the final bout of interhouse warfare.
By this time several millennia after their arrival to Montelay the original half million had become closer to fifty million and Montelay society had already adopted the Neo-feudalism that defines knight worlds.
As such there were several knight houses, some grew jealous of the current high king's position and marched against him and the brief but bloody civil war ended in their defeat. House Montelay's justice toward the traitors was swift and the punishment harsh: the confiscation of their lands and knights, with their names being erased from memory. How these exiled nobles and their followers fell to Chaos and descended into barbarism after their exile remains unknown and Montelay's historians have put very little effort into answering the question.
They have not concerned themselves with what they see a unimportant, those Barbarians are their enemies and that is all they need to know about them. Occasionally, these savage peoples will amass in vast hordes and rush forward through the hills and forests, their ordinary human forces supplemented by Beastmen descended from those who arrived during the Horus Heresy. Montelay has been subjected to raids by Ork freebooters from time to time though the planet remains free of them due to their careful use of fire, something they and their vassals take pride in.
These occasional wars and invasions give the Knights and their valiant House troops exercise for the real wars amongst the stars. Those outside wars have seen them fight alongside their trading partners in the Tricamerate Pact and on occasion alongside the Knight Houses of The Exile Sector. They have developed the same attitude toward xenos as their native enemies, they are hostile toward them and the Imperium they serve and so are worthy of nothing less than death.
The Twilight War
Simply a part of the larger Horus Heresy the battle for Montelay began with the arrival of a group of Beastmen on the planet. Having fled a lost space battle nearby they spread word of the larger war amongst the stars to the Barbarians. Their leaders immediately swore their loyalty to Horus, fighting in his name against their old enemies, vowing to burn Montelay and sacrifice House Faramond before taking to the stars under the warmaster's banner. This would be the first time all of the disparate tribes fought together allowing the House to inflict crippling losses on all of them, killing their leaders in battle or publicly executing them.
The Beastmen would remain on Montelay for the next ten millennia, their presence bolstering the Barbarian armies as they once again fought amongst themselves for power and postition.
The Season of The Witch
Sigiberta, one of the few women to become a tribal shaman used her warp magic to influence several tribal leaders, forming a barbarian alliance all fighting for her cause. She led them on a campaign against House Faramond's outlying settlements, killing and raiding while using her powers to summon storms as a cover for their escape. This continued for months, leading the knights hunting her to dub these events "The Season of the Witch."
They eventually caught up to her near the Groulaix Forest forcing a massive clash between a dozen knights, several hundred Men at Arms and thousands of Barbarians including Sigiberta's personal guard of Caprigors, all of whom died fighting. None escaped, their primitive weapons were of little use against the Knights and lasgun armed Men at arms. Though Sigiberta's body was never found there were no further attacks, leading the House to assume her dead. Though female leaders bearing the name would appear over the next three generations, none possessed their namesake's talent for Warpcraft, leading to their quick defeats. The skulls of the Caprigor guards are now treasured heirlooms of House Faramond, displayed in climate controlled cases, sitting on pillows of red velvet.
A mining colony in Tricmarate Pact space, settled primarily by Khzamga citizens they named it 'Rise Up' due to its location on a mountain top. The settlers found an Ork population tens of thousands strong, somehow undetected by early surveys, living in the caves.
The colonists sent a message asking for help and House Faramond answered. The soon to be high King Sébastien arrived leading a force of ten knights and their bodyguard retinues. While outnumbered hundreds of times over the Knights and soldiers of House Faramond cut them down by the thousands, holding the colony until help in the form of the Imperial Guard hailing from the Pact worlds could arrive. Driving the Orks back to the caves they lit massive fires at the entrances, burning or asphyxiating all of them.
Fighting on the surface of the Exile Sector world Kephis as part of a much larger force their knights and soldiers faced The Tyranids of Hive Fleet Orthros. Seen as outsiders by the region's native knight houses they were unwelcome and only tolerated due to the need for more manpower. They were relegated to rearguard actions by the other more glory seeking houses prompting at least one Faramond knight to comment on how they were being wasted.
It would also lead to a feud between the House and House Rhinehof. The Rhinehof knight Varghof Heist The Younger felled a Mawloc and as it fell the knight Armand Passereau,charged forward in his Gallant Gloria et Virtute intending to strike the beast's back with the onboard chainsword, however his strike went wide, instead hitting the Rhinehoffer's very rare Questoris Knight. He could arrive at no other conclusion than to think the act was deliberate, meant to insult him, his house and their philosophy.
The Rhinehoffer's angry retort in Lingua Technis went untranslated and unheeded.
The barbarian warlord Chlodbert unified the warring bands under his own banner, after many years of conflict. Aiming his army of 25,000 of the town of Arpieux House Faramond called on their vassals, raising their full army and any nearby PDF to stop him. Despite being outnumbered they were victorious, Guillame and Chlodbert met in single combat and the warlord was killed, shattering his army and buying Montelay a respite from their attacks as they again fought amongst themselves for supremacy.
Fighting alongside the Imperial Guard of the Exile Sector in an effort to establish a foothold on the world they achieved some measure of success where many others could not. Fighting daily for nine months under storm wracked skies and beside inky black water they did what few ever had before. Nine knights and three hundred men at arms secured a foothold, clawing an abandoned shipyard away from its horribly mutated owners. The battles on Charybdis saw the Faramond knight Christophe Passerau, a descendant of Armand take his knight into battle against one of Charybdis's native beasts. The creature, blindly reaching for anything in reach of its sucker covered tendrils found the knight and its doom, after a lengthy struggle the Faramond vassal ended the battle by driving a running chainsword through it's head.
The Passerau family would celebrate by adding a symbolic representation of the monster on their coat of arms.
Deployed as part of a much larger force to retake the world from the Ork warboss Iron'Ed the campaign was a disaster for all involved.
Mortdadt vessels had been sighted near Sannois,prompting fears of invasion- enough that House Vichy called for aid. Mortdat Striders invaded Sannois, landing near the town for which the battle was named and found an army waiting for them. Eloise Faramond had been given command, bringing with her eight Knights, their retinues and 550 men at arms. House Vichy fielded more than five thousand of their own PDF troopers and several hundred Xireki auxiliaries. The Xenos proved their worth and their loyalty. Their small size, natural agility and local knowledge gave them an advantage in the dense jungle of the region, destroying many of the Mordtadt's walkers with cleverly concealed traps and explosives, vanishing before their enemies could counterattack.
This bought the army some time, enough for two of House Vichy's allies to arrive, The Astartes of The Lightbringers Chapter, which engaged the invasion ships in orbit allowing several regiments of Kordakan Shock Guard to land and deploy. Despite the actions of the Auxiliaries there were still thousands of Striders headed toward Périlles. The two opposing forces would meet on an open battlefield but the Imperial forces still had an advantage, Lightbringers aircraft took to the skies while the PDFs mighty cannons roared and in the end Vichy's hold on Sannois remained strong.
The Kordakans hailed from the Mshindi tribe, known for a tribal superstition- they would eat the flesh of slain enemies to gain their strength. Attempting to do the same with the Mortdat proved to be their undoing despite their victory. The few to act on this superstition started a plague amongst their fellow Kordakans, acting quickly Eloise Faramond ordered them quarantined, a command enforced at gunpoint. The disease ran its course, killing the Guardsmen but sparing the rest of the Imperial and allied forces.
More than ten millennia after joining the Imperium the Famaond line under the rule of High King Guillaume Faramond, continues to rule the planet Montelay in the Emperor's glorious name. From his grand fortress in the Ivory Keep, a mighty fortress atop a sprawling cityscape, Guillaume and his vassals watch over their citizens with diligence and a firm but benevolent hand. Montelay society is transitioning from manual labor and draft animals to steam powered machinery but the knight battlesuits and the "Faramond Pattern" lasgun used by the PDF remain the most advanced technologies on the planet.
Men at Arms
Faramond is a small house. Each of the House Lords has only five knight vassals and they field only thirty four Knights as a result. Each of those vassals chooses a small company of bodyguards usually numbering around twenty men, whose positions are passed from eldest son to eldest son. Both the PDF and the fighting men sworn to the House are collectively known as 'Men At Arms' but the few chosen to serve in a knight's house are seen as elites, a higher social class and a special breed of soldier.
These bodyguards play a small role in battlefield operations, serving mostly to keep their lord or lady alive should their knight fall in battle. If such an event occurs they are meant to rescue them from danger, at the cost of their own lives if necessary. This rarely occurs and so their role is largely symbolic, at least on a battlefield. When not in battle they also protect their lord's home and his family.
House Faramond prefers to fight with a combination of Paladin and Gallant Knight Armors, the younger crop of nobles charging into the fray in mighty lances while their elder peers hang back and destroy the foe with their bellowing Battle Cannons before closing in for the kill. The High King Guillaume himself frequently takes the field at the head of his vassals, casting the foes of the Imperium down by the arms of his mighty Paladin Knight, Warchild. His children usually follow close behind in their Gallants.
This tactical doctrine is influenced by their general philosophy, younger knights must strive to set themselves apart by glorious actions and so this leads to them taking risks to achieve them, however the more battles they survive and the more honor and reputation they acquire the less need to risk their lives to obtain them so they shift toward armors more suited for ranged fighting as they age.
Notable House members
She was no more than 16 years old when she came to Montelay from Sannois, seat of House Vichy for an arranged marriage between the two houses. Only two years later the Chaos tainted barbarians began another series of raids, quickly erupting into more than a decade of all out war.
Despite being given a knight it was not expected that she would ever take the field but did so against the wishes of her father, father in- law and husband, becoming one of the great heroes of the Twilight War. It is also worth noting that while their marriage was intended as a political tool it eventually grew into real love as she and her husband Bertrand fought side by side across dozens of battlefields, rearing nine children in between conflicts.
She served for almost 60 years, retiring at close to age 80, fighting alongside her children and grandchildren, with her combat skills and experience counteracting her advanced age. Her actions destroyed a millennia long taboo allowing women in every generation to follow her example and very Faramond woman to take to the battlefield cites her as their inspiration.
High King Sébastien Faramond
He was the only child of his father, and so was named his heir. He took the position for granted, spending his time off the battlefield(where he proved himself more than capable of leading men, most notably at Deshi Bashara) indulging in wild living fathering an illegitimate son at age 20. He would succeed his father as High King upon his death in 660, forcing the still rather immature Sébastien to grow up quickly. Taking to his new role with aid from his lords he would grow into a popular, effective ruler, as capable of leading a world as an army.
Some years later when on a diplomatic visit to the Tricmarate Pact he would meet the Khazamga noblewoman Indrani Misra Singh, eventually leading to their marriage. The union did not produce any children and so he appointed his illegitimate son Aillard as his successor shortly before his death in 710. The nobles accepted this named him High King as there were no other heirs to the Faramond line.
- "If you think the space between my legs determines my capabilities as a Knight, then perhaps you should worry about more today than just the Greenskins bashing your head in."
- — Eloise Faramond to a particularly irksome Imperial Guard representative
The eldest of High King Guillaume's somewhat eccentric brood, Princess Eloise Faramond has long lived in the shadow of men, though she has never suffered such a fate passively. In spite of being her father's firstborn, she was denied the chance to be High Queen with the birth of her younger brother Etienne, as Faramond inheritance rites ensure that all lordly titles and sovereign leadership go to the eldest male child of the ruling royal family, legitimate or not. With the chance at being House matriarch snubbed, Eloise decided to take up the mantle of her great ancestor and patron saint of all Faramond women who decide a life of duty on the field of war as opposed to within the chambers of the palace, Séraphine Faramond.
Demanding her right to become a Knight at the age of ten (in spite of having only rudimentary training, unlike what her brothers would later receive) Eloise would first take to the field of war against the barbarians of her homeworld at age eleven and at the age of 17 would see her first command fighting with House Vichy on Sannois.
- "Ah, yes! The sound of cannon, the smell of fire on the morning air. This is it, my kinsmen! Remember, that no matter the number of the enemy dead that pile about our feet, no matter the number of rounds that bounce off our sacred armor, we are Faramonds! And therefore, we cannot fail!"
- —Etienne Faramond
House Faramond's heir apparent and the next in line to rule Montelay, young Etienne Faramond is considered by many to be the spitting image of his great-great grandfather High King Jenner Faramond II, a noble if not mildly unstable man prone to bouts of great passion. In spite of his hotheaded personality, the young Crown Prince has proven himself time and time again to be a natural warrior. Popular rumor amongst Montelay's peasantry has it that their Prince has never been defeated in any martial endevor, weather it be a bout with chainswords, a laspistol duel, or upon his mount, the Knight Gallant known as Lament of the Ogre.
While such a status is quickly dismissed by the Prince himself, as he is not of an overly egotistical sort, Etienne is quite charismatic. Prone to powerful speeches and moving exhortations, Etienne lives for the thrill of battle and the glory of leading men of lesser station into battle. However, while he often plays the role of general amongst even his fellow Knights, Etienne Faramond is hardly overly fond of maps and statistics, preferring a much more "hands on" approach to battle. Thus, while Etienne is hardly unfit for his destined place on the throne of the High King, he leaves much to be desired as a leader of men.
- "Our enemy is more clever than you would assume, Lord Space Marine. This Ork is not on his heels, his center is performing a holding maneuver. I would not push through to the objective, but instead utilize his own assumptions against him. My kinsmen and I will crush the flanks, with your support I hope."
- —Arno Faramond during the failed Uxlag Campaign
The second son of House Faramond and the youngest child of the three. He knows he will not inherit his father's throne and so has thrown himself into combat and tactical theory, content with leading the House's army. He is a serious man providing a sharp contrast to his siblings. When not on the battlefield he is often in study, so focused on his texts that he sometimes forgets to eat, but his mastery of tactical theory make him a brilliant commander, but a sometimes poor direct fighter.
Seen as Etienne's equal and opposite, he has a natural talent for the logistics and overarching strategies of war, while Etienne sees only battle. However Arno is also trying to improve his combat skills, knowing that his knowledge his useless if he cannot survive on a battlefield. Like his brother he has much to learn and he seeks to overcome this weakness as well.
- "Wh- What is this? Fools! Cousin, the infantry is retreating! Why would they do such a thing? We Knights still hold the field!"
- —Simon to Etienne during the bloody Uxlag Campaign
The Silvestre family have long been the stewards of the High King and his family, held together by personal loyalties and shared blood for centuries. Their barony on the South Isles of Burgandia has a long and storied reputation for breeding supreme, if not somewhat naive Knights. Simon is, unfortunately, a living exaggeration of the more common stereotypes surrounding the Kin of the King. The third son of the Baron Achille Silvestre III, Simon was initially schooled as a priest of the Imperial Cult in his youth, only taking up the sword as it were when his middle brother Théophile died in a hunting accident.
Taking up the mantle of second son, Simon proved to be a prodigy, understanding the workings of his mount as if by instinct and taking to swordplay on both the ground and in a Knight with surprising speed. By the age of fourteen he had successfully prosecuted his first campaign against the barbarian scum of the north, and by his late teens has successfully partaken in no less than seven wars in both the infamous Exile Sector and areas of the Tricamerate Pact. A savant in the cockpit and a self professed brute in the dueling arena, the small altar boy grew into a large and strapping member of the royal family. However, Simon's mind did not grow as prodigiously, his formative years spent first in the depths of the cathedrals and then on the proving grounds.
Unlike many of the Faramonds, the Silvestre's rarely give their progeny free reign outside of the palace walls, and so Simon remained ignorant to a great many things that did not involve scripture or battle. This has led to disconcerting lack of knowledge relating to the common man and battlefield tactics beyond the use of a Knight. As a Lance commander he is frankly peerless, but, should Simon ever be put in charge of anything short of a Super Heavy Tank Squadron or Adeptus Astartes, he will find his charges sorely lacking. Simon simply does not understand, nore can he sympathize with, the plight of the average infantryman, for he has simply never partaken in battle beyond the occasional duel with a disgruntled noble. It escapes him that men on the ground can feel such fear as they would turn tail and flee in the face of the enemy when glory is to be won, for in his Knight the very concept of death seems alien.