Pride Goes Before
The Chanos Household
Home is where the Blood Is
It is called Areshi Noi.
Tepet is one of the oldest Great Houses, and the Chanos Household is actually the oldest hereditary holding of any House. The first tract was awarded to Tepet himself when the Empress created the House.
In the centuries since, the grant has been expanded several times. The first was given one year to the day after Tepet’s disappearance. Its bestowal at the time was an admission by the Empress that her consort would not be found, and she is said to have wept over the decree. It rests to this day, under glass, in the central family shrine, ink smudged by tears.Currently the main piece of Areshi Noi is nearly 100,000 acres. Various non-contiguous grants, farms, ranches, and Manses add perhaps another 20,000. None of this counts the land leased to the Tepet Legions, or the townhouses and other building the House owns with in Chanos proper, or on the Pearls.
Areshi Noi is prime arrestingly beautiful. Green , rolling hills, carefully groomed forests and wilderness, pleasing streams and ponds, with a small mountain on the eastern border.
The original Areshi Noi hold is ringed by a smooth stone wall nearly twenty feet high. The outer grounds are mostly given over to agriculture. In this outer ring, the House’s slaves, along with citizen and commoner sharecroppers, labor to produce wheat, rice, barley, and various fruits. They also raise cattle, chickens, Northern oxen, and breed stout warhorses.
Interspersed with these fields are collections of huts, almost too small to be called villages. There are also barracks for the guards, and watch towers ostensibly erected to watch for fire and storm, but the reality is House Tepet is always prepared for an invasion.
There is an ancient but well-maintained white stone road that runs from Chanos all the way to main hold. Called simply the Tepet road by most, it is riddled at various points with branches to various other holdings, farms, and villages. Once it enters the bounds of Areshi Noi, however, that vanishes.
Travelling down the Tepet road to the hold is at once a pleasing and intimidating site. Large oaks, carefully nurtured and groomed with Thaumaturgy and Wood-Aspected magic, line the road on either side. These oaks are exactly the same height, and share exactly the same branch structure. In the winter, the ice and snow even collect identically.
The main gate to the hold is carved of the same white stone as the road, inlaid with Blue, White, And Black Jade. The gate is carved to resemble two elemental dragons erupting from the earth, their faces meeting at the top. Between them, held in their finely wrought jaws, is a large vibrant, blue stone. A soft, cold wind issues always from this stone. Only the masters of House Tepet know the true purpose of this gate and its keystone.
Inside, there is a main plaza. A Shogunate-era Manse dominates the center, and various other buildings are arrayed around it. Carefully manicured forests and streams separate this compound from other, more secluded dwellings for servants, lovers, and those who wish to meditate or work in silence. There are at least two more Manses on the property.