An Introduction to Mahid
Presently the most popular and powerful House in Birtule, Tiduun has long had romantic associations. They have usually not been greatly wealthy or powerful, but they have spawned many explorers, artists, and the most boastful of warriors. The resulting image of a dashing and intrepid House is what the present Lord Tiduun built his popularity on; forty years of the pious rule of House Mirkul had instilled resentment and a desire for change in many of both the non-religious and those of faiths not recognized by Mirkul’s somewhat suppressive patron Elanta.
Gradually Mirkul lost support, and Tiduun capitalized on the shift in public opinion, selling himself as an advocate of the personal rights over hierarchical responsibilities. With no looming external threat or recent major conflicts in memory to lend credence to those who preach duty and structure, the ascendance of House Tiduun was perhaps inevitable.
Tiduun has mostly made good on its promises of freedom, or as some might describe it, laxity. In Birtule proper, this has earned him many friends among those now free to openly preach and practice their religions, bring old grievances out and create or settle new ones, and deal in ever more dangerous or morally questionable goods. A small, mischievous segment of high society avoids the enviable burden of idleness with a dangerous and carefully orchestrated game of fashion; it seems every banquet these days features someone flaunting dress that would have brought insult and blood mere months ago but somehow just nuzzles the ephemeral border between astonishment and outrage today. Thanks to House Tiduun, the nobility and near nobility of Birtule have more wealth and freedom than ever before, but they are also more decadent, lascivious, and perhaps corrupt.
Policies of lenience have earned him few friends, however, in the Imigoru, where rules both social and legal are few and rarely enforceable anyway. Whether through the cleverness of the Lord himself or, more likely, his cunning adviser Gurtok Illminos, demonstrations of public welfare, organization of a little public entertainment, and a battery of bribes and favors fired at strategically placed individuals and organizations have all helped solidify his support, or at least largely quiet dissent, in the Imigoru. Perhaps more crucial, however, was redirecting the focus of the few House Guards in the Imigoru away from large, wandering patrols and towards more numerous, but smaller static stations. The vast criminal population doesn’t have to worry about accidentally running into one, and the vast victim population (which, it must be noted, greatly overlaps the first group) knows where to run at all times for assistance, instead of having to rely on blind hope. Guards assigned to such duty, however, are helpful only very reluctantly; they must be or they would have whole neighborhoods after their assistance at all hours. They can probably be relied on to protect someone running from armed brigands, but bring them a complaint of petty theft and they’ll ignore you at best.
As part of Tiduun’s air of amiability, Birtule began sending diplomatic envoys to several other cities, as well as The Pactground, a few years ago.
While the attitude of tolerance did a good job getting Tiduun to power, few wise in the ways of politics expected it to keep them in it this long, and some indeed say that it alone has not. A curious number of fortunate events befall the House, and those unfortunate events which could, and often would unfold into catastrophe at the last minute always seem to be averted, avoided, or passed on to someone else just in time. A few sharp old players might recall a line from one of Lord Tiduun’s speeches regarding a Silent Hand of fate uplifting the city and its people, and crushing the enemies of Birtule and those who would stand between his house and its destiny. They might recall this, and whisper to one another that not all is as it seems in House Tiduun.