The Bartholomew Legacy
The Bartholomew family has held the seat of power in Gostria for generations. Griswold Bartholomew was the first in the line to hold the seat of Count of Gostria. He was chief advisor to the previous Count, who died childless. The citizens of Gostria elected him as Count by a large margin, Griswold being well-loved in all corners of the province.
The Bartholomew family has kept Gostria free from conflict with other provinces, and was largely responsible for keeping the Kingdom fed during years of blight two generations ago that left the seas and forest largely barren for years.
The most recent Count of Gostria was Heinrich Bartholomew, son of Gunther and Constance. The marriage of Gunther and Constance was largely political in nature, Constance being a cousin of the Count of Ruga, who had been jealous of the prosperity of their neighboring province. Constance gave birth to twins, Gregor and Heinrich. Gunther lived well into his sunset years, and the title was passed to Heinrich only 10 years ago.
Heinrich was born 47 minutes after his twin brother Gregor, technically making him the younger son and not in line for succession of the title of Count. However, from a very young age it was clear that Heinrich had a mind for politics, economics, and land management, while Gregor felt the calling to join the Obsidian Legion and chose to decline the position when their father passed.
Heinrich met Adelaide Martusk while studying economics with her father, head of the merchant guild in Gostria. They married at a young age, and tried to start a family. After a series of still births and miscarriages, it wasn’t until 15 years later that Adelaide finally gave birth to a daughter, Mathilde who is now 14. 8 years later, she was once again with child. Adelaide did not survive the ordeal of the birth of Gerhardt, 6 years ago.
In the six years since Adelaide’s death, Heinrich became more withdrawn and relied heavily on his advisers. This has resulted in the slow decline of productivity and happiness across what was once the most prosperous province in the Kingdom. On the night of Mathilde’s 14th birthday, Bishop Mandru of the Order led a coup that left Heinrich murdered in his bed, and Mathilde and Gerhardt on the run.