Lord Derrik Greyfield
Southern Gilneas, Ashen Coast
- "Brandon's Stead is one of the heartiest cities I've ever visited, the area breeds strength and strong will in its men and women."
- — Lord Gareth Darkoak of Rosefield
Brandon's Stead is a Gilnean city in the Ashen Coast region of Gilneas. It was ruled by the House of Greyfield since its founding. With the destruction of the Ashen Coast, House Greyfield has sworn to the House of Grayblade and thrown its lot in with the Blades of Greymane.
Brandon's Stead was founded by Brandon Greyfield and his family along with their followers shortly after word had spread of the rich gold mine discovered in the Ashen Coast by the town of Bannhurst. Founded with the intent to reap the rich natural resources of the Ashen Coast, the Greyfields mined the area they settled in, finding the area rich with iron and other materials useful for crafting. However, this was not the bounty Brandon had hoped for, but made due as he'd already cast his lot in with the area. When tension began to arise between the Cobals and Stantons, Brandon began to muster an army together to snuff both houses out once the fighting was over, though the call of Gilneas came before this could be realized.
When the call went out for Gilneas' succession from Arathor, the army that the Greyfields had mustered was moved to aid with the succession, gaining a bit of prestige for their house as they were quick to heed the call, even if the army was made with poor intentions. House Greyfield kept mostly to their Arathorian roots at this time, worshipping the god Deus, and stayed mostly secluded from the other houses in the Ashen Coast.
War in the Ashen CoastEdit
Following the establishment of the Kingdom of Gilneas, the area of the Ashen Coast experienced a mix of religions. Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg were strong worshipers of the Holy Light, while such towns as Rosefield and Gregor's Crossing, which were mostly agrarian, were strong supporters of the Old Ways and refused to pick up the practices of the light. To add further religious confusion, worship of the god Deus was adopted in Brandon's Stead and Keel Harbor. With Bannhurst caught in the center, religious tension broke out within the area. As the strongest family in the area, the Cobalstants believed that Bannhurst should be kept to Light worship, seeking to oust Old Ways practices and especially worship of the god Deus.
Chapels to the Light were established in the areas of Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg, and a small cathedral was to be built in Bannhurst. Using stealth tactics and foreign mercenaries, the Cobalstants focused destruction on the towns of Keel Harbor and Brandon's Stead in order to cut down on Deus worship, in the eyes of the Cobalstants it was seen as a direct affront to the light and was to be snuffed out.
In retaliation, an alliance was formed between the two towns by the name of the Ashen Coast Coalition, and rather than pushing for stealthy methods, a direct assault was sieged on Bannhurst in order to severely hurt the Cobalstant's wealth. The assault attracted a large amount of attention to the Ashen Coast by the rest of Gilneas, with other houses silently supporting the Deus worshipers with hopes of displacing the wealthy Cobalstants and establishing some hold in the area.
Fearing for their people, the barony of Rosefield and the earldom of Gregor's Crossing banded together in an alliance of their own named the Rose Pact, laying siege to Bannhurst in order to displace both the Cobalstants and the Ashen Coast Coalition. The three way war in the town led to a severe decline of Bannhurst's prosperity, with the Cathedral's construction site destroyed and the great gold mine of Bannhurst being left unmanned. Unable to reap the benefits of the Ashen Coast, the armies of Greymane marched into the region, occupying the wreckage of Bannhurst and effectively ending the war. By the end of the strife, Keel Harbor and Brandon's Stead were left in ruins.
The Cobalstants funded the rebuilding of these two towns, establishing chapels of the Light, while Gregor's Crossing and Rosefield were permitted to continue their practices of the Old ways, and worship of the light was adopted in the area as well. Ultimately, Deus worship was effectively destroyed in the area as most practitioners were either slain or were converted to the ways of the light. During this time, the Greyfield's hatred for the Cobalstants grew, going from petty rivalry and jealousy of their wealth, to a desire for vengeance.
For years after the destruction of Brandon's Stead and its rebuilding, the lords of the town plotted against the Cobalstants. With the Ashen Coast Coalition's failure echoing in their history for hundreds of years and the family having been degraded down to the lowest rung of the noble chain, the Greyfields hired Alteraci assassins to destroy House Cobalstant. For the most part, it was successful, being a large house and its members spread wide, Cobalstants began turning up dead for months following the contract given. Fearing for their lives, most of the Cobalstants attempted to flee to Bannhurst to Cobalstant Manor, where Lord Hendrick Cobalstant ruled over the town.
Unable to house the influx of his relatives, Hendrick sent them away from Bannhurst, giving them refuge on small holds and minor farms, the majority of them setting up in Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg, which both housed ancient manses that had been abandoned for quite some time. However, before restoration could be completed, most of the Cobalstants were slain in their sleep aside from one, Jackson Cobalstant. Jackson was hunted down by the mercenaries and captured. Promising the men wealth beyond their reason if they aided him, the Alteraci mercenaries discarded their Greyfield banners and went under Jackson's employ. Feigning his demise, Jackson took on the persona of Harrison Marsh, who wooed and married Elisa of the Greyfields of Brandon's Stead. The mercenaries then assassinated the entire Greyfield family, bringing the town under Marsh's command.
Infuriated with his kin for having turned his family away and in his eyes leading to their deaths, Jackson led his band into Bannhurst under the guise of marauding bandits of unknown origin. After sacking half of the town, Jackson and Hendrick faced off in single combat, where Marsh was beheaded and House Greyfield was made nearly defunct with the murder of Elisa. Jackson's son, Kendrick Greyfield (given his mother's surname to hide Harrison's true origins), was adopted by the Cobalstants and later groomed to be their puppet as the effectively gained control over yet another town in the Ashen Coast.
Kendrick Greyfield would be raised in the virtues of the light, having effectively destroyed the last Deus worship in the Ashen Coast, as the Greyfields kept to their old ways up until this point. Elisa's murderers were never found, as she was burnt alive within the Greyfield estate, Kendrick barely escaping with his life thanks to a servant escaping the blaze with the baby. While all evidence pointed to a Cobalstant servant setting the fire, noone was ever arrested or punished for the crime, rather it was blamed on as an unfortunate accident that claimed the fair lady Greyfield's life. During this time, a large amount of gold from the stores of Brandon's Stead went missing as well, the culprits never being found.
Demise of House CobalstantEdit
Following Marsh's Rebellion, House Greyfield was put at an all time low. Their history laden with attacks against other houses in the area left a permanent mark on their reputation with the other houses of the Ashen Coast, despite the direction the House took once the Cobalstants watched over Kendrick Greyfield. By the time Lord Kalen Greyfield came into power, Brandon's Stead had been suffering from an economic depression. With Bannhurst in poor state and the rest of the Ashen Coast following suit, Lord Kalen opened up a trade line with the North Ashen Coast families, a mirror of House Gregor's deal with House Grayblade many years prior. For the most part, it kept the town from complete destruction, as House Grayblade supplied food in exchange for iron.
By the time the Second War had begun, the Greyfield and Cobalstant relations had deteriorated yet again, and when Cobalstant Manor was raided, the Greyfields were one of the largest supporters for House Grayblade's rise to power in the area.
Revitalizing their old pacts with House Greyfield, House Grayblade employed a large amount of Greyfield workers into the mines of Bannhurst, bringing in a rather substantial cut of the wealth into the town of Brandon's Stead. In addition, the revitalization of the Bite boosted the Ashen Coast' economy all around, allowing for Brandon's Stead to finally return to a decent size and following after many years of strife and hardship. Lord Kalen unfortunately did not live to see his town revitalized, as he passed away a year after Lord Haverin came into power. His son, Cail Greyfield, continued his work however and maintained close ties with the Grayblade family.
Arrival of the Seventh SkullEdit
Following the end of the Second War and the closing off of Gilneas from the rest of Azeroth, a group of Lordaeronian deserters turned bandits became trapped behind the wall. Originally just harassing small towns such as Emberstone Village, the Seventh Skull sought to grip Gilneas' economy under its fist. Laying siege to several towns across the Ashen Coast, such as Rosefield and the like, the Seventh Skull gripped the southern Ashen Coast economy. After attempts to harass Brandon's Stead were met with dead Seventh Skull members, a warning was sent to Lord Cail. The wrath of the Seventh never came as promised, as Bannhurst was attacked by the Seventh Skull before they could march on the rest of the Ashen Coast.
During the sacking of Bannhurst, a caravan of children was chased towards Brandon's Stead, where the people fended off the Seventh Skull pursuers. Marshaling forth a force, Lord Cail and his men rode out to Bannhurst, but arrived too late. Finding the town in ruins and its townsfolk dead, Lord Cail and his men remained in the area, attempting to find any survivors. Unable to find any, nor any remnants of the Grayblade family, Lord Cail held a mass funeral procession in honor of the town's inhabitants, one that was attended by at least one member of each of the Ashen Coast families.
In the aftermath of the attack, Bannhurst was left completely ruined and the Ashen Coast in disarray. Cobal's Hold was given to House Darkoak of Rosefield, and Karnsburg to House Cloverfield, only for the Cloverfields to eventually die of mysterious circumstances, and Karnsburg to go under the Darkoak's lordship. In the years that followed, House Gregor of Gregor's Crossing and House Greyfield of Brandon's Stead to become extremely wary of the Darkoaks, following the sudden destruction of House Cloverfield and House Grayblade.
Death of the Darkoaks and the WorgenEdit
- "My father never questioned the loyalty of the Greyfields, why should I?"
- - Lord Berenal Grayblade, Lord of the Bite.
While on a visit to Gilneas City to visit his son and sole heir, Galin Darkoak, Lord Balaforth Darkoak was slain, alongside his son, by Berenal Grayblade, the heir to Bannhurst and true heir to Cobal's Hold and Karnsburg. The man was arrested, though was later released on the grounds that he was framed. With no other heirs to the land, Cobal's Hold, Karnsburg, and the Ruins of Bannhurst once again found themselves under the name of House Grayblade, though it was short lived.
While the young Lord Berenal Grayblade sought out a military life and left minor lords to run the towns in his stead, the Worgen curse swept across Gilneas in the years to come. While the Ashen Coast were mostly unaffected, Bannhurst became the site of hunting parties, seeking out the wolfmen in the ruins. After a large pack of Worgen were found in the ruins, and Gilneas City had been lost, the people of the Ashen Coast destroyed the bridge connecting the Ashen Coast to the rest of Gilneas.
During this time, the Greyfields were assigned to watch over Karnsburg and Cobal's Hold at Lord Cail's request, after swearing to the Grayblades. He sent his sons to each of the towns, Hevrin headed to Cobal's Hold, Erik to Karnsburg, and George to Rosefield. Due to failing health, he kept his eldest son Brandon and his only daughter, in Brandon's Stead in order to ensure his son was able to lead the town should he pass.
Arrival of the HordeEdit
The final blow to the Ashen Coast was struck by the hands of the Orcish Horde that had arrived near the end of the first invason of Gilneas. During this time, Rosefield, Cobal's Hold, Karnsburg, and Brandon's Stead were destroyed by the Horde. During the assault, Lord Brandon Greyfield, having risen to the position of lord following the passing of Lord Cail, was slain during a raid on Greyfield Manor. Before the Lady Greyfield could be slain, arriving men from Gregor's Crossing saved her and as many as they could from the Orcish Horde.
By the end of the siege, the Greyfield family was neary wiped out, having been butchered when Brandon's Stead was ransacked, each of the brothers having died in their respective towns. The people of House Gregor and House Greyfield followed Lord Berenal Grayblade and lent their men to the banner of the Blades of Greymane.
Brandon's Stead has been completely rebuilt, having began reconstruction sometime after the fall of Gilneas and finished construction towards the end of the Siege of Orgrimmar. The city, now ruled by the young Lord Derrik Greyfield, prospers with trade from its many mines and is currently undergoing continued renovations to further improve the town with designs left behind by the late Lady Sieglinde.
The people of Brandon's Stead and the Ashen Coast shared a unique culture with Gilneas, having a blend of various beliefs from their origins as well as keeping strongly to the old ways and the light. Brandon's Stead was known for keeping a large library of history, detailing much of the past of the Ashen Coast and the origin of the families there. Unfortunately, this was lost when the town was destroyed.
In its early days, the people of Brandon's Stead were devout Deus worshipers. Following the War in the Ashen Coast, Deus worship fell out of place, replaced with devotion to the light instead. It was said that House Greyfield continued to worship Deus until Marsh's Rebellion, as Kendrick Greyfield was a known devout follower of the Light.
The people of Brandon's Stead were known to be very hearty and strong, the town based off of mining. A strong sense of pride was always evident in Brandon's Stead, despite its poor history. Most of the people of the area had black or red hair, and were often of varying heights.