The Unexpected Heir
Lord Cormac is the father of Narron Kaspen and Amanda Kaspen. His current wife is Deasta Lasten, who he married after the death of his first wife, Maraflora, the mother of his children. His only grandson is Oryn Kaspen, son of Narron and his wife Lynine Sholt. His younger brother Clyde Kaspen rules their late father's territories, and has two sons, Isaac Kaspen and Talwyn Kaspen. Lord Cormac is assisted in ruling Kaspen by his chancellor Arion Trest, marshal Denning Brooksworth, and steward Vossel Swain. Father James serves as the chaplain of Kaspen, and assists Lord Cormac in matters of faith. His two long serving bodyguards, Lars Dustman and Morris Burke, lead his personal guard. The rest of the castle guard and town guard are led by Mark Stablesworth.
Lord Cormac Kaspen began life as the son of an insignificant knight in an insignificant part of Lethbrand serving an insignificant lord. Cormac served as a page for this lord in his youth, and after the lord's death in battle in a war against Temgrin, entered the service of his former master's more prominent brother, a Lord Admiral of Lethbrand. Cormac eventually became the Lord Admiral's squire. He served the Lord Admiral for several years, first as a squire and later as a knight, before being granted command of a ship of his own.
Cormac quickly gained a reputation as a strict but fair captain, pushing his men hard, but making sure they were well taken care of and highly trained. He also became known among Lethbrand's enemies as a privateer of some renown. The Lord Admiral kept Cormac at his side, as the young knight rose through the ranks.
Cormac eventually met Maraflora, an Aestnian merchant, while staying in an Aestnian port as his ships were repaired during a war against Hendrysson. He quickly fell for her, despite her being a commoner, and would hear no words against the two of them being wed. Half a year later, they were, but would not be at peace for long.
The Lord Admiral Cormac had served for so long had turned traitor, changing his sails to support Denroth, and a messenger arrived seeking Cormac's assistance to immediately sail against his former allies in Lethbrand. Cormac refused, and sailed what ships he had in seaworthy condition to Lethbrand as swiftly as possible. His unexpected arrival with a timely message helped the kingdom prepare for the Lord Admiral's fleet's arrival, and with a clever naval ambush Cormac helped to plan, the traitor fleet was decimated and the Lord Admiral put to the sword. Cormac was upset that the man who had been a father figure to him, traitor or not, had not been given a fair trial for his actions. He resigned his commission with the Royal Navy, and left with Maraflora to his father's land, hoping to live a quiet life.
This hope, too, was short lived. Raiders from Temgrin had attacked his father's land, leaving the fields burnt and their stores pillaged. Faced with the starvation of his people over the winter, Cormac once again took to the sea, raiding Temgrish merchant vessels and opportunistically targeting combat vessels when possible. He soon built up a modest fleet of captured ships and those newly built in his father's land, and contacted several of his former sailors to join him. With their aid, he turned a bumbling peasant navy into a trained fighting force, and took the raiding to Temgrin. Renowned for his ability to strike unexpectedly and escape quickly, Cormac easily made up for what was taken by the raiders and then some. After he had plundered a not insignificant amount of wealth, a ceasefire was signed with Temgrin, and Cormac's ships were in a port with no nearby targets.
The Royal Navy had, of course, received word of his exploits. Taking his best ships and most elite crew, Cormac took up the sails of an official privateer again, and for the next several years served Lethbrand loyally, capturing and sinking many ships. After many years of trying, however, Maraflora was finally pregnant with their first child. Cormac requested a leave from the Navy, and his first son, Narron Kaspen, was born.
Cormac was nearly 45 at this point, and had almost given up hope of a child. For two years he and Maraflora raised their son in relative peace and quiet. Eventually, however, word reached them of the vast fertile land which abounded in the recently discovered continent of Carthe. Once again, it was time for Cormac to sail. Many of his former sailors jumped at the opportunity to discover the new world with him, and he petitioned the crown to fund an expedition. They accepted, and Sir Cormac sailed far into Carthe, along the Grand Prosper Peninsula and into the Bay of Prosperity, before finally settling on its eastern branch, where good land and defensible terrain was abundant. Thus was Kaspen founded, named after his house in honour of his recently deceased father, who had been too ill to make the trip to Carthe.
Kaspen was quickly established as one of the best ports in Carthe, and attracted many traders and immigrants. As his city-state expanded, Cormac and Maraflora were blessed once more. Shortly after Narron's ninth birthday, Maraflora became pregnant again. Nine months later, a healthy baby girl, Amanda Kaspen, was born. Maraflora nearly died during childbirth, and the couple decided against having any further children.
Ten years later, Kaspen was already the largest city in the Bay of Prosperity and a local power. Narron had married his own wife, Lady Lynine Sholt of Wystan. Sadly, Maraflora was stricken with a fever, and despite Lord Cormac sparing no expense, it eventually claimed her life. He mourned for a full year before remarrying, eventually wedding Lady Deasta Lasten, a woman twenty years his junior from a prominent family in mainland Lethbrand. Unlike his first wedding, this was not a union of love, but a calculated political marriage. Although the two got along reasonably well, their marriage would never have a fraction the warmth Lord Cormac's first had.
Another ten years on, Narron is raising his own son, eight-year-old Oryn Kaspen. Lord Cormac and his new wife had tried for a child, but were unsuccessful. Lord Cormac's health was now worsening, and he celebrated his 75th birthday while bedridden. With the Albernecht Empire expanding into east Carthe, and Aestnia, Denroth, and Hendrysson feuding to the west, now more than ever a strong leader is needed. Narron is set to lead an expeditionary fleet north of Wystan in search of new land for settlers coming from mainland Lethbrand, which could earn Kaspen a valuable regional ally, as well as allowing Narron to establish himself as a leader in preparation for when he will take over the Lordship of Kaspen. Only time will tell how successful Lord Cormac's efforts will be, and how long he has left.