History EditAt the beginning of the Accordance War, just after the Night of Iron Knives, the ranking nobles of House Liam in Concordia met to decided their stance. Three major factions surfaced, led by Baron Malcolm, Sir Peltis, and Count Dongahue. The argument raged for a week with no resolution.
On the seventh day, with tempers frayed and tension a palpable haze, Sir Gwilliam spoke. He had not said a word until this time, as befitted his lowly rank; he was present as a replacement for his lord only, the elderly Count Edward, who was too sick to be present. In truth, Gwilliam should not have spoken at all. Perhaps it is in his favor that he didn't say much. "I'm tired of sitting around debating endlessly. It's all we ever do." Count Dongahue looked up then, surprised at who was speaking. "I'm going to Europe, and one way or another, I'm going to find a home for House Liam."
The room erupted in outrage. The whippersnapper had no business criticizing the council of his elders. Why, he was only recently past his childling years. Blades were nearly drawn for the third time and brash Baron Malcolm called out for Gwilliam's head.
The fact that the young noble suited his actions to his words and was already at the door leaving the council chamber, kept blades from leaving their scabbards completely. Count Dongahue slipped out of his seat and followed a moment later, leaving the rest of them to argue about appropriate penalties for such behavior. By the next day, the remaining nobles had put the unpleasantness behind them with a vote of censure for both Gwilliam and Dongahue, and the old debate began again.
While the others debated, Dongahue caught up with Gwilliam and the pair discussed the future of the house. They agreed that Concordia was too unsettled for safety and perhaps it was best for those of House Liam to return to the ancestral shores of Europe. It seemed that everyone in Concordia was an eager youth seeking to carve out a new duchy; in Europe, they hoped for less competition and more opportunity. They would begin in Amsterdam, known to the fae as the Duchy of Tulips.
There, Sir Gwilliam decided that the sometimes cruel streets of Amsterdam were precisely the sort of environment in which House Liam could do some good. With the count's noble assistance, Gwilliam met with the commoner lords of the region: he was a witness to the horrors of war in Concordia and was willing to offer both an alternative to open conflict and the recognition they craved. There were, of course, those who were too proud to treat with a simple knight of an exiled house, but Gwilliam and Dongahue were persuasive, and the majority of the commoners were sensible enough to see the wisdom in what they proposed.
Gwilliam had solidified his position by 1980 to the point where he felt confident that he could safely petition King Picolette of the Kingdom of Flowers to recognize his claim on the Duchy of Tulips. In a private session with his closest advisors, the king contemplated the unrest that had plagued portions of his realm and that troubled the High King of Concordia even to that day. He then weighed that against the relative peace that had blessed the Duchy of Tulips; undeniably the work of young Gwilliam. In the end, Picolette braved the protests of the Traditionalists of his court and granted Gwilliam the duchy.
The driving conflict in current house politics is the ongoing war of words between young Duke Gwilliam, his Court of Tulips and the European fae who follow his lead, and the unexpectedly united front of the ranking Liam nobles in Concordia.
Duke Gwilliam is the source of the rumors of alliance between House Liam and House Fiona. Unwilling to accept the historic disdain of an entire house, he began quietly to open discussions with the three Queens of House Fiona in the New World (Aeron, Laurel, and Mab). Gwilliam's efforts have led to a small alliance at the moment, but it has not yet blossomed into anything anyone of House Fiona cares to admit too openly. Gwilliam is aware that attempting to use the progress that has been made as a public relations tool would be counter-productive. He has mad some effort to stamp out the rumors himself, so he might stay in the good graces of Fiona. If this effort is successful, he is to begin talking to influential courtiers of other houses as well.
The success of the discussions with House Fiona has prompted Gwilliam to attempt to reopen lines of communication within his own house that have been clouded since the schism. Since 1995, he has been sending his trusted liegemen to Concordia to speak of the value of standing up for one's rights. This quiet act is aimed at his fellows in Liam, rather than attempting to convince other houses that House Liam deserves redemption: he does not believe in begging. He thinks that the house will do well enough by carving out it's own territory and ignoring the whole matter of exile.
The duke's men are considered agitators by the Liam nobles of Concordia: Baroness Grayswan, who succeeded Baron Malcolm as the de facto leader of the Concordia faction when he passed away in 1989, has decreed that any vassals of Gwilliam are to be arrested and thrown out of Concordia. The irony of this exile within an exile has not gone unnoticed.
Gwilliam is more willing to deal with the Prodigals than the average Kithain. He cooperates with the Bone Gnawers of Amsterdam, which has proven to be a source of reward for both werewolves and changelings. The Bone Gnawers, plentiful in Amsterdam, have allowed Kithain into some of their caerns, which operate in a manner similar to freeholds. In return, Gwilliam and his sidhe use their charisma and influence to ensure that the laws of the city benefit the Bone Gnawers as much as possible. Further cooperation may come with time. His flexibility has served him well as he makes inroads into the hearts and minds of Concordians; he has access to information that his rivals and enemies will never reach. At present, he has received word of a potential explosion in the ranks of the High King David's court at Tara-Nar and is unsure how best to exploit this. In the end, he may remain on the sidelines, prepared to take advantage of the chaos that could result.